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Wakeup Call: The Fan silences the fan

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Brief and to the Point …

>> My Friday column discusses Frank Coonelly’s DUI, what it means to the Pirates and, infinitely more important, what it could mean toward victims of drunk driving. My thanks here go to the Pennsylvania chapter of MADD for their help.

>> On this very blog yesterday, we had a post up for you to discuss the topic yourselves. Bet you had no idea what a novelty that would be in Pittsburgh.

The folks who run 93.7 The Fan, Pittsburgh’s only 24-hour sports talk station, embarrassed themselves and their on-air hosts by prohibiting any talk of Coonelly’s DUI. It would get mentioned during the every-20-minute news segments, but the hosts were explicitly told to leave it alone.

And I’ll repeat: Those orders came from The Fan, not from the Pirates. They came from general manager Michael Young or program director Terry Foxx, and my understanding is that Young initiated it.

Why did this happen?

The Fan recently won the rights to broadcast the Pirates, to become the official flagship. And it could just be that someone who was either over-thinking that relationship or not thinking at all decided that they’d stand behind their new brethren and go easy on Coonelly. Never mind that doing things like this almost invariably backfire and make matters far worse.

Think about this for a second: It’s not just the hosts who were muzzled. It was the callers! It was the very people, the very consumers who make the station go!

And they thought they’d somehow slide through the day without anyone noticing!

This was beyond gutless.

Some good people, with a lot of integrity, work as on-air hosts at The Fan. But they were made to look like fools by this ridiculous edict. They deserved better, and their callers deserved better. For that matter, the Pirates deserved better, even in the context of Coonelly’s mistake.

Very late at night, once The Fan was getting called out on Twitter and even the national site Deadspin pounced with a blog entry, the higher-ups relented and gave Chris Mueller the green light to … you know, conduct an actual sports talk show.

Don’t be surprised if this story isn’t over.

Did I mention that the Pirates weren’t happy with The Fan for this?

>> If the Stanley Cup playoffs began today — they don’t — check out the 3-6 matchup in the East.

You know, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen grass there …

>> “The Steelers will never get under the cap!”

“They’ll never sign Mike Wallace!”

“They’ll … what … Ben Roethlisberger just gave them $8 million in cap space?”

“Oh. Never mind.”

>> Here is the chat transcript from yesterday.

>> I’ll be on TribLIVE Radio today at 1:45 p.m. to discuss the Coonelly column.

Comments

  1. TheVoiceSays says:

    Would listening to Yinzers talk about DUI be exciting radio? Probably not, but the hosts should have been able to rant for a bit about their opinion on the matter and then the fans should have had a chance to air their opinions too.

    Isn’t 93.7 The Fan supposed to be about the fans?

    At least they finally corrected the error and let Chris Mueller talk about it.

  2. Mark says:

    Well said Dejan, all the shows on The Fan should have had the right to conduct business as usual. To absolutely undermine the hosts and make them look bad is just silly and downright foolish, and they deserved a better fate, and I hope callers will go easy on them tomorrow when they are afforded the opportunity to conduct businesd as they normally would.

  3. Sarcastic Sword says:

    DK – when you say that the Pirates weren’t happy about this either – do you mean the gag order? Because it may lead others to believe that the Pirates FO ordered the no-Coonelly talk?

    DK: Not following you, SS.

  4. Ian Brinksman says:

    Thanks for getting this out there. The Pirates have certainly earned their share of derision these past 20 years, but unless people like you emphasize they had nothing to do with this; the majority of the fans would gladly lash out at them unfairly.

  5. Bucco Aficionado says:

    Not a good move by 93.7 management, but this malarkey goes on everyday in various media outlets. Whether the reason(s) be personal, political, or as it appears in this case, commercial, the media has a long history of letting its assorted biases show. For instance, there were 15 times more network news stories linking President Bush in a negative light to rising gas prices in 2008 than to President Obama in the last year. Fair, no, but as long as media outlets allow the delineation between it’s news and editorial operations to fade away, the more news/sports media and its consumers suffer.

    DK: I appreciate the comparison. I cringe, though, at politics entering a sports forum.

  6. Drew71 says:

    I think Madden’s right, Dejan. You’re gonna have to start drinking. Heavily.

    Cause otherwise that 3-6 match-up might just KILL you.

    Oh that’s right. You columnists don’t root. Much.

  7. Captain of D11 says:

    Not surprised by the move by 93.7. Media outlets constantly shape the coverage of events to be the way they want them to be viewed. I’m sure that you’ve seen this working Atari the newspaper industry for such a long time. 93.7 has a big investment in protecting the Pirates brand, now that their Spring/Summer broadcasting time is going to be dominated by game coverage.

    Disappointing, but not surprising.

  8. Bob says:

    Kinda like when the local media squashes DUI stories about their own employees.

  9. Crash says:

    When he is eventually fired for being the buffoon he is I’d like to wish Terry Foxx good luck in all of his future endeavors.

  10. Ed says:

    Why does Coonelly even still have his job? I have to wonder if Bob Nutting has some special “incentive” from MLB.

    He blatantly lies to the public about the contract status of the GM and manager and frequently makes fool of himself in public. And now this DUI.

    Seriously, how many other team executives in any of the major team sports would still have a job after all this? Many others have been fired for far less.

  11. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    I may be setting myself up for a “Relax- it’s harmless entertainment” response from some of y’all but…

    …when I read tweets that three VERY prominent Pittsburgh sports media personalities are gathered to watch a PRO WRESTLING event, I can’t help but feel just a little alarmed and disappointed regarding the perception of their professional credibility.

    Just

    Saying…

  12. John Lease says:

    I want to know why he was driving with a suspended lisence. If he has had a previous DUI, they need to can him. And yes, the Pirates hushing it up is disturbing, and the Fan stuff is REALLY disturbing. How the Pirates thought this wouldn’t get out is beyond me, and the Fan is a media outlet first, not a propaganda outlet. That stuff is spreading.

    DK: License wasn’t suspended, John. That was in original police report, charge dropped immediately.

  13. MBS says:

    @ Dave G
    Couldn’t agree more about wrestling event statement.

    DK, how and when did you hear about the DUI?

    DK: No reporter would ever tell how. I can tell you the when was yesterday, just a handful of hours before publication.

  14. MBS says:

    DK

    Great column today. Very well put together and what better message to reinforce without the end result being a disaster. I think I found the answer to my question above. The Pirates answered your request for column topics?

    DK: Thanks, MBS.

  15. Jandy says:

    @MBS ~ a good columnist NEVER reveals his sources ;)

    How the Fan thought they would help…all they did was make things FAR worse. I feel for the hosts, serioulsy.

  16. mags in Virginia says:

    DK
    Great column today. About the 3-6 matchup, I remember being excited about the Steelers/Broncos.

    DK: Thanks, Mags.

  17. Thundercrack says:

    DK,
    I thought your article today was very good – very informative.
    Personally, if the President of the Pirates, Steelers, Penguins, US Steel or Highmark gets a DUI I don’t think it is any of my business and doesn’t affect me one way or another…not even my buying decisions as a consumer. If it happens more than once and there is a problem, then yes maybe it will.

    And I applaud you for calling out The FAN. I do so because I know that you are a regular guest on that station ( I don’t know if you get paid or not). I find your stance a bit more credible than say a former columnist who runs a blog in town. He criticized The Fan, but yet has a regular weekly guest appearance on 970 AM. Even though that person has criticized other Clear Channel stations, I believe he should have included a disclaimer in with his remarks about The Fan.

    DK: Thanks, TC.

  18. JAL says:

    JAL’s Diamond Girl Morning Links

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Yahoo Free Agent Tracker

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AvN8KLXkNW0TcRjzSCagLIMBbgM6?slug=jp-passan_ultimate_free_agent_tracker_baseball_110211

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2012

  19. JAL says:

    6 Rumbunter

    How Well Can the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Do?

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/02/23/how-well-can-the-2012-pittsburgh-pirates-do/

    Erik Bedard Is Healthy, We Promise

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/02/23/erik-bedard-is-healthy-we-promise/

    7 Bucs Dugout

    The Pirates’ Supposed Inability To Develop A Shortstop

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/2/23/2818156/the-pirates-inability-to-develop-a-shortstop

    8 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates Roundtable Podcast: Episode 4

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/02/pirates-roundtable-podcast-episode-4/

  20. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES

    9 Bradenton Herald

    Spring Training 2012 | Eric Fryer, Jeff Locke go from Marauders to the majors

    http://www.bradenton.com/2012/02/24/3897961/marauders-to-the-majors.html

    10 The Post Game

    In Defense Of A.J. Burnett’s Decision To Veto A Trade To The Angels

    http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/daily-take/201202/defense-aj-burnetts-decision-veto-trade-angels

    11 Syosset Jericho Tribune

    Over 60 … And Getting Younger: February 23, 2012

    http://www.antonnews.com/syossetjerichotribune/opinion/21189-over-60–and-getting-younger-february-23-2012.html

    12 The Journal News

    Torre’s group gives up on Dodger bid

    http://www.lohud.com/article/20120224/SPORTS/302240044/Torre-s-group-gives-up-Dodger-bid

  21. JAL says:

    12 The Journal News

    Torre’s group gives up on Dodger bid

    http://www.lohud.com/article/20120224/SPORTS/302240044/Torre-s-group-gives-up-Dodger-bid

    13 New York Times

    Braun Wins Appeal on Positive Drug Test and Avoids Suspension

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/sports/baseball/braun-wins-appeal-on-positive-drug-test-and-will-avoid-suspension.html

    14 Pittsburgh Tribune Review

    Infielder McGehee is hoping change with Pirates is good

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/pirates/s_783297.html

  22. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    18 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Shave $8 Million From Salary Cap With Restructured Roethlisberger Contract

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/2/23/2820011/steelers-salary-cap-free-agency-ben-roethlisberger-mike-wallace

    19 Steelers Depot

    - Colbert Says Both Byron Leftwich & Charlie Batch Could Be Back In 2012

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/02/colbert-says-both-byron-leftwich-charlie-batch-could-be-back-in-2012/

    20 Steelers Gab

    Colbert Says Steelers Will Do What it Takes to Keep WR Wallace

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/02/23/colbert-says-steelers-will-do-what-it-takes-to-keep-wr-wallace/

  23. JAL says:

    Pitt Blogs

    21 Pitt Blather

    Not Enough Cogs, No Stars (Yet)

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/02/23/not-enough-cogs-no-stars-yet/

    22 Cardiac Hill

    Pitt To ACC: University Holding Firm On $5 Million Big East Exit Fee Payment … For Now

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/2/23/2815856/pitt-football-big-east-2012-acc-2013-2014-syracuse-orange–pittsburgh-panthers

    WVU Blogs

    23 Metro News

    A Headache For Huggins

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=51133

    24WV Illustrated

    West Virginia Lacks Heart in Downward Spiral

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/16997558/west-virginia-lacks-heart-in-downward-spiral

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    24 Pensburgh

    Pens assign Cal O’Reilly to Wilkes-Barre

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/2/23/2818970/pens-assign-cal-oreilly-to-wilkes-barre

  24. Skip says:

    The DUI is bad enough, but wasn’t it also reported that Coonelly was cited for driving with a suspended license too? What’s that all about?

    DK: License wasn’t suspended, Skip. That was in original police report, charge dropped immediately.

  25. TheSaltyRogue says:

    Management of “The Fan” should be ashamed today.

    They simply have to be better than the decision they made yesterday.

  26. dcpinpgh says:

    I think the Fan also shut down Big Ben and GA talk. They let it go on while it was in the news, but the first chance they got, the shut it down. You would hear the on air people change the topic. They didn’t let the fans drive the show. At that point more people wanted to talk about Big Ben then I am sure wants to talk about a DUI. Again this is KDKA, who SI claimed shelved a Big Ben story so not to tick off the Steelers.
    I think the question has to be asked, if KDKA is willing to kowtow to sports teams, what are the doing with real news and politics?

  27. Tim says:

    “A stupid, selfish, inexplicable, indefensible thing.”

    Brother, ever since you started this column, you have gotten awfully preachy. Please turn down the halo. It’s beginning to feel like a sermon.

    DK: I hate being preachy, Tim. I don’t view those four adjectives as preachy when it comes to drinking and driving. I view them as stone-cold fact.

  28. Jandy says:

    @ Tim, would you still feel that way had FC killed your sibling or parent on his December joy ride?

  29. Stuart says:

    Is it possible that a little paranoia is developing about the FAN? After all why would they want to interrupt 24/7 of Mike Wallace speculation?

    Just sayin…

    Stuart

  30. Bob Sproule says:

    I make no excuses for FC, but in 24 hours we have heard more righteous that we did in six months over Hines Ward’s similar infraction. Oh, right, Ward is a STEELER, and Coonelly is a PIRATE. Enough said, I suppose.

  31. NMR says:

    Enjoyed the column and subsequent blog, DK, but no comment on Ryan Braun?

    Addmitedly, I don’t think enough of Coonelly to frankly care what he does or says, so maybe I’m desensitized.

    Just seems the Braun story is way too big to not have any comment.

    DK: Honestly, was so busy the past 48 hours I’ve barely had a chance to read up on it.

  32. Bob Sproule says:

    meant to say ” righteous indignation” above…I’m sure you all got my drift.

  33. MrB says:

    DK – As others have posted above and I mentioned yesterday, what is the detail of the “driving with a suspended license” charge?

    Coonelly may be a first time caught DUI offender as you decided to portray him in your column, but it certainly appears that he is NOT a first time offender!

    By law, Coonelly should not be driving anywhere at anytime if his license is suspended.

    This 51 year old fool, who is a lawyer by profession, the President of the Pittsburgh Pirates and who can certainly afford to hire transportation is consistently driving with a suspended license, once (that we know of) while impaired by alcohol at twice the legal limit.

    What is the “teaching point” in that?

    DK: License wasn’t suspended, MrB. That was in original police report, charge dropped immediately.

    As you can see, I can copy and paste this reply all day long. Nowhere in our news article did we say the license was suspended. Not in any version of our article.

  34. Absolute59 says:

    DK: You need to put in the link to your Friday Column.

    DK: Done. Thanks!

  35. Thundercrack says:

    You can get a suspended license for speeding / too many points.
    FC lives in Sewickley. Anyone who has traveled Rt. 65 to Sewickley knows it can be pretty easy to get pulled over for speeding. ( I hear it is easy in Muncie Indiana too ;-)

    The guys on the Fan morning show said that you can have a suspended license for parking tickets and not having your license renewed in time. I don’t know if that is true.

    I wonder if your license can be suspended and you don’t even realize it? But I am sure there has to be some sort of notification.

    DK: License not suspended. See above.

  36. TDB1977 says:

    I will admit that I do not follow the NHL but I have a question about this. Why is Winnipeg in the Eastern Conference and Detroit, Chicago, Minnesota, and Columbus all in the Western Conference. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to move one of those 4 teams to the East when Winnipeg came back into the league this year then put Winnipeg in the Western Conference.

    Like I said, I do not follow the NHL at all, but just find it interesting. Just like the Big East adding teams like Boise State and other teams west of the Mississippi. I guess elementary school geography is thrown out the window.

    DK: See NMR below if you haven’t already.

  37. Arriba Wilver says:

    I saw on one of the sites that they checked the PA driving records and the license was suspended for too many points for speeding tickets. I do know that it couldn’t have been suspended for a previous DUI, unless the charge was dropped illegally. If someone drives while their license is suspended for a DUI offense, there is an automatic (no discretion for the judge) jail term (I think minimum 90 days). Also, I believe what PennDot does with your driving privileges can be independent of what the police/courts do. If he was driving on a license that was suspended because of lack of points, my guess is he will still be in trouble with PennDot for that. In other words, despite the criminal charges being dropped on that, his license privileges could be affected independent of the DUI related offenses.

  38. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not lack of points, but too many points. :-)

  39. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Keep the sermons comin’ DK. Some good should come of this or it’s wasted and written off as bad judgment. Ask Tony LaRussa and Josh Hamilton. Teaching indeed.

  40. NMR says:

    @TDB

    The Winnipeg Jets were previously the Atlanta Thrashers, who last year played in the Eastern Conference.

    The NHL is in the process of realignment which will likely happen this off season.

  41. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Wilver

    Lack of sense, more like it.

  42. Kevin In Indy says:

    I can’t give Coonelly a pass. In 1996, my grandfather, his sister in law and her husband were sitting at a red light in Texas; when a car going well over 40 mile per hour slammed into them from behind. My grandfather suffered a punctured lung and other injuries, but ultimately survived. The other two died at the scene. The man had been convicted at least three times for DUI and was out on weekend furlough. His brother took him out to get loaded then handed him the keys.

    In 1981, when I was five, I was in my front yard catching fireflies. My dad went in the house to turn on the air conditioning. At that moment, a drunk driver came speeding down the street, ran through our front yard missing me by less than 10 feet. He stopped after ripping through three front yards. No one in this case was killed.

    Coonelly isn’t to blame for these situations obviously, but by the grace of God goes he. He got lucky. I like to go out and tie one on sometimes, believe me. I’m a lover of the lager. But at 250 lbs., once I have two beers, I shut it down. After the third beer, I find a ride. I’m nowhere near .16. I may not even be above the legal limit, but a $20 cab ride keeps me out of jail, and everyone goes home alive.

    This isn’t about the incompetance of the best front office in all of sports, this is about ego. Coonelly believed he was indestructible on that night. And for that he must go.

  43. PhillyJake says:

    What I don’t get about Coonelly’s DUI is how no one in the media picked it up. I thought most, if not all, police departments publish a daily log, and I thought the media scrutinized those things looking for a story.

    DK: I have no way of knowing that. All I know is that, as soon as I found out, you read about it.

  44. ken robertson says:

    Driving with a suspended license and drunk too. Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect paycheck from pirates.

    DK: License not suspended.

  45. Leefoo says:

    Frankie made a mistake. That I get. Frankie seems to always make news for the wrong reasons.

    Frankie needs to go.

    JMHO

    Foo

  46. dcpinpgh says:

    Do people that cover sports consider themselves journalist or sports reporters? If a paper sends a person to a college and every member of the basketball team not only has a car, but that car is nicer then yours and the car has in-state tags when all of the players are from out of state. Does the person covering that sport go…hmmmm, that isn’t right, i should look into that or that has nothing to do with the team on the court?
    If a someone covering a team knows so-and-so does have a drinking or drug problem and drives while impared. Should the person write about it or wait until there is a police report or someone dies?

    DK: I don’t know what any of this means.

  47. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Which FAN employee leaked the info about the gag order memo?

    Would a station like the FAN now conduct its own internal investigation to locate the leak?

    Who tipped you off Dejan about Coonelly? It didnt come from the Pirates and you didnt read it in another news publication…

    DK: If I read it in another news publication, that wouldn’t exactly be breaking the story on my end, right?

  48. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Foo,
    Frankie didn’t make a mistake. We all make mistakes and don’t get fired for them. He made an assenine (sp.?) errror in judgement and needs to make it right. DK suggested one way. There are others. He should be fired for being a bad employee not for being a lawyer that can’t make decisions. Nutting likes him because, to him, he is a good employee. He could have been fired for extending NH or that stupid bar thing last year or whatever else, but he makes Nutting money, so he won’t get canned, but he needs to make this right. JMHO here, too.

  49. Milo Hamilton says:

    Rob Biertempfel is tweeting this morning that Frank Coonelly’s parking spot is empty & Bob Nutting is currently addressing the team. That’s probably a yearly beginning of the season chat. But Coonelly, the king of prepared statements, has to address this issue & answer questions in front of cameras. Now.

  50. Milo Hamilton says:

    And so does Nutting, for that matter.

  51. Drew71 says:

    This is gonna sound like my usual sarcasm, but it is not.

    I wonder if Ben and Todd Haley met at any time as Ben was giving his employers $8MM of relief.

    Remember, I’m one of the guys who DEFENDED Haley to Dejan. Don’t read that as ANY kind of opinion-driven swipe. If anything, it draws into question my past opinions. Which is a bit uncomfortable.

    But that last self-absorbed wallowing aside, this was exactly the first question that I had when I read that Ben had done his part for his centurions and fellow legionaries.

  52. Brendansdad says:

    The issue isn’t the DUI it’s the never ending saga of the Pirates covering up crap. Let’s review; a) Pirates extend Russell and Huntingdon yet keep it a secret for almost 9 months; b) Tony Sanchez breaks his jaw in a bar fight and the Pirates wait 3 months to inform anyone about it; c) Coonelly is arrested in December but the Pirates wait until February to announce it.

    This organization has a huge problem with honesty and integrity. Coonelly promised if the fans came out to the ballpark the team would put that money back into the players. This years payroll is what…$55 million? That ranks near the bottom of MLB teams. Again it’s about honesty. The Pirates fail to show that time and time again.

  53. Joe says:

    You have two articles datelined today on Frank’s DUI. One says his BAC was “at least” .16 and the other states that it was .16. Which is it?

    DK: It’s “at least,” Joe. Police reports, from what I was told, don’t list higher than 1.6 because 1.6 is considered “HIGHEST ALC RATE.” I learned much about police reports yesterday.

    One article was the earlier online version from yesterday.

  54. NMR says:

    Gotcha, DK. I should’ve taken into account how much of a lead you’re actually taking on the Coonelly story. Not enough time for everything.

    Re: Ben’s Contract

    I’m certainly no cap expert, but doesn’t this just screw the Steelers further down the line?

    I don’t think I’m alone in the opinion that the Steelers will be lucky to have a serviceable Rothlesberger at the end of his contract due to injuries. Now they’ve backloaded said contract so that they run the risk of using a huge portion of the cap on a broken QB.

    Seems like a sign that they feel they gotta win now or never(figure of speech).

  55. Michael says:

    Bottom line with regard to FC…he will hopefully learn from a horrendous mistake.
    With regards to Nutting’s handling of the situation, it is clear to me now mor than ever how happy with Coonelly he must be. If he was on the fence or not happy, this was his escape hatch. What it tells me is what many of us figure to be true anyway…Nutting doesn’t measure wins the way we do. FC is serving a purpose, and he must be doing one of heck of a job based on goals set up by Nutting. Coonelly provides some protection for Nutting from MLB, as he sails this bare bones ship over its fanbase year after year, turning in annual profits that nobody has ever put a hard number on, unless we believe the numbers vaguely referred to by FC a couple years ago.

    Wake up folks….it’s not about winning baseball with this crew. It’s about money, plain and simple. And FC is helping beloved Bob Nutting make money….lots of it. Why else do you stick by a guy that has failed to improve the product on the field and take yet another public opinion hit?

  56. JAL says:

    NMR

    No, the restructure took $8 million off his salary and turned it into a signing bonus which spread over 4 years

  57. NMR says:

    @JAL

    Ok, sorry for being dense, but is that a joke?

  58. Milo Hamilton says:

    Here is Frank Coonelly’s docket sheet direct from Allegheny County’s Court of Common Pleas. By the way, it took about 2 minutes to find this.

    http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/docketsheets/CPReport.aspx?docketNumber=CP-02-CR-0002158-2012

  59. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sounds like his license was suspended, but he wasn’t aware of it because he had moved.

  60. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think Ben’s contract is for only 4 more years. I don’t think they expect him to be broken down at the end of 4 years. This isn’t a Hines Ward or James Farrior, or even Troy Polamalu situation. It’s a cap accounting gimmick (but “legal”).

  61. Milo Hamilton says:

    @NMR

    Here’s the thing to remember. With huge new TV contracts being signed & coming into play over the next few years, the NFL’s salary cap is set to explode. This adds only about $2 million to each subsequent year’s cap value. This year’s cap should come in at about the same $120 million as it was last year. Also, they aren’t paying Ben any more money, but making the lion’s share of this year’s money a signing bonus, it makes it guaranteed.

  62. NMR says:

    Thanks, guys.

    To someone who addmitedly knows nothing about the cap, the signing-bonus-in-lieu-of-cap-space thing sounded too ridiculous to be real.

    Serves me right for commenting on something that shows my ignorance.

  63. Drew71 says:

    NMR – If I worried about that, I’d never post.

  64. Milo Hamilton says:

    The great thing about this place is if you aren’t clear about something, all you have to do is ask. Someone in this group is going to know the answer.

  65. CDBrewer says:

    Great stuff all…

    Does Ben deserve credit for an accounting move that ensures they keep a player who will help define his legacy?
    I DO NOT want to get on Ben, but think about it. He, and his legacy, might benefit most with 4 more years of Wallace.

    That said, I give Ben a nod for doing it in the face of the organization seeming to snub him on the OC situation (even though I agree with the organization).

  66. CDBrewer says:

    Hey, one other point about FC…once a person is that drunk, they can’t make a good decision. They just don’t know. That is why you can’t drive.
    Somebody at that party had to help him make a good decision.

    Look, I don’t drink at all (watching my family destroyed in many ways by it), but it seems to me a friend needed to help him understand the mistake he was about to make on 12/22.

  67. Jandy says:

    @CDBrewer ~ Perhaps this is one way Big ben can atone for some of the crap he did and embarrassed the Steelers with. Just sayin…

    @NRM ~ Drew and Milo are right. Even if we don’t know, we sure have good times figuring stuff out. I get a lot of laughs here every day. Also, I LEARN a lot here, without being made to look or feel dumb. I’m not big on basketball, and not up to snuff on baseball. (Female here). The posters here are absolutely wonderful.

  68. CDBrewer says:

    @Jandy
    This is one way…hopefully he can continue to stay clear of trouble and maybe even use his experience in some “teachable moments” either behind the scenes with younger players or in public with younger people. Good call.

    Also, DK breeds a good group. I came over from the other site, and have never lived in Pittsburgh (Seattle currently), but man…always good opinion and humor in here.

  69. Jandy says:

    @CD ~ you said it Brother :)
    I actually was told about this blog by my son-in-law, who has his own hockey blog FaceOff Factor. I used to go to his site first….now he’s second stop lol!

  70. Kevin says:

    @CD & Jandy (and all who care to read along!)

    One of the greatest aspects of this blog is the fact that Pittsburgh fans can communicate from all over the state/country in a meaningful, respectful way. I haven’t lived in Pittsburgh since 1994 but I still call it my home and truly believe it is the greatest city on the planet.

    I NEVER contributed to blogs/talk radio/etc. until I found this one after following DK over from the other guys. And it took a little while for me to actually contribute because the conversation is so informative and funny.

    Like you, Jandy, I sit at work and laugh out loud at some of the comments made!

    Keep up the great work all and every now and then I throw in my contributions…

    Signing of from Central PA -

  71. Kevin says:

    Oops…I meant “I will” throw in my contributions

  72. ken robertson says:

    Hey DK, according to Docket sheet License was suspended.

    DK: Look a little lower, Ken. The charge was withdrawn. The reason is that there was an unpaid ticket that had been incorrectly billed to a previous address.

  73. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Ditto all your comments in #72, Kevin.

  74. Jandy says:

    @ Kevin, I’ve also enjoyed your posts. I have never lived in the Burgh, and am about 2 hours away, but I root for the Pittsburgh teams. I like to visit a couple times a year. Hockey is my sport of choice to follow. Football runs a close second. I am picking up on the Pirates since I found this blog months ago.

  75. ken robertson says:

    Teachable moment indeed. Frank Coonelly should thank God if he only loses his job. He should thank God if he has to do some jail time. But most of all he should thank God he didn’t kill or hurt someone. THE LESSON SHOULD BE ZERO TOLERANCE FOR DRINKING AND DRIVING!

  76. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m watching Ryan Braun’s statement. I really don’t like that guy very much. And that’s being kind.

  77. Jandy says:

    I have to say I don’t know anything about Ryan Braun. But this seems like a kick in the head to clean athletes everywhere.

  78. Milo Hamilton says:

    What a &*@$%.

  79. Milo Hamilton says:

    Methinks he doth protest too much.

  80. Jandy says:

    @Milo lol! He should maybe be surprised with a few odd ball tests this season.

  81. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Jandy

    In a related story, Prince Fielder just tested positive for cheeseburgers. The Sonic napkin just came back from the lab.

  82. Jandy says:

    Milo…ewwwww…pity the lab techie ;)

  83. Kevin says:

    Remember Braun’s suspension was overturned because of a chain of custody issue, NOT because it was found that he didn’t use steriods…and it is a slap in the face to clean athletes and MLB.

  84. Jandy says:

    kevin, I’m guessing you feel he’s guilty, correct? And you Milo as well.
    As I said, I don’t know enough about it, but I’m learning … fast!

  85. radio wave says:

    This blog keeps getting better everyday.
    More posts, and very interesting too.
    DK’s award winning writing, and there’s never a technology issue with this site.

    Great stuff.

    DK: Knock on cyberspace.

  86. JAL says:

    NMR

    Not a joke–they have done that with 5 contracts so far-Timmons, Colon, Taylor, Woodley, and Roethlisberger. It does not affect future years but for this season they will all earn less than the contract was for. They get a limp payment of the signing bonus but the rules let the team spread the amount over 4 years on the books. Complicated economic maneuvers to beat the system.

  87. Kevin says:

    No question in my mind…the sample was tested by the World Doping Agency and found positives in both A and B samples (implying that because the second sample came up positive the first sample was tested properly). At least that’s how I understand it so far -

  88. Jandy says:

    Radio ~ yup, good stuff here :)

  89. Jandy says:

    Seems to me MLB is as much at fault here. Shouldn’t there be a fool proof system in place? It’s a joke.

  90. Kevin says:

    I totally agree that MLB screwed this one up, but maybe with a “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” toward the whole process. Braun was the MVP last year…imagine the damage had this not gone the way it has.

    I am not a conspiracy theorist kinda guy, just a thought…

  91. NMR says:

    Thanks again guys, and agreed.

    @Milo – I about spit out my coffee reading the Fielder comment. Clearly grounds for stripping him of his title as Worlds Fattest Vegetarian. And yeah, he really is.

    The part that bothers me about Braun more than anything is that for him to claim he is clean, he must also be claiming that the man transporting his sample tampered with it.

    Why is he not doing everything in his power to prove that? H*ll, why is he not even questioning it?

  92. Bizrow says:

    Is this close to the all time high in posts?

  93. aglebagel says:

    This has zero to do with today’s topic and everything to do with a pet peeve of mine brought up in the chat:

    On a deep throw, it is impossible to “catch the ball at its highest point.” The goal is to catch it at YOUR highest point in your leap. Whew! Glad I got that out.

  94. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just got home after a long day of work. I echo the sentiments of RW (87). Milo-be thankful you don’t live in Wisconsin. It took a lot to bite my tongue hearing all the talk about St. Braun. Oh well. Dejan peeked my interest at the close of his chat yesterday-I ventured into my attic to check my collection but, alas, no Kamandi. Might have to go to the comic book store tomorrow and see what is available. Hope all have a nice weekend.

  95. NKay says:

    Being charged with a license suspension and having it dropped isn’t the same as “license not suspended. license not suspended. license not suspended,” i don’t know how many times i can say this but “license not suspended.”

    You can have the charges dropped for other reasons than it wasn’t suspended to begin with. Licenses are suspended for trivial matters, as stated many times, and the charges are often dropped especially if the bigger charge sticks. But it doesn’t mean the license wasn’t fer-real suspended when he was pulled over. Unless as a reporter you’ll never tell how you actually fer-real know.

    DK: What I was repeating wasn’t that the license wasn’t suspended. It’s that the charge was withdrawn.

    And if you look closely through the comments, you’ll see that I explain very specifically why.

 
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