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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: James Neal, meet Adam LaRoche


Brief and to the Point …

>> Great day for hockey in Pittsburgh, really was. The Mario Lemieux statue’s unveiling comes on a 66-degree day before the Penguins’ 66th game of the season, and the team comes through with a three-goal rally to beat Toronto, 3-2.

It was lots of fun, as columnist Joe Starkey writes this morning.

(Warning: Wet blanket time.)

James Neal now has gone eight games without a goal, meaning all the games since signing his big extension, and has just three goals in his past 16 games. That’s a concern, no matter his visibility or effectiveness. And it’s doubly a concern when he isn’t visible or effective, as was mostly the case last night.

I’ll repeat the numbers from the column the other day: He has 84 career goals before the All-Star break, just 19 after. That’s the reverse Adam LaRoche, if you will.

Neal has broken through a lot of barriers this year. And, we should remember, he has elected to play through that broken foot. But he’s going to have to break this one, too.

>> All in one day, Pitt, West Virginia and Robert Morris get bounced from their conference tournaments. Duquesne, naturally, beat them all to the exit.

If I wanted to sell some extra papers or generate extra web hits Friday, I’d write about the Dukes, wouldn’t I?

>> After Peyton Manning emotionally bade farewell to the team that paid him $26.4 million to do nothing last season, it wasn’t exactly hard to switch gears to his next employer. To me, that’s got to be Houston. Indoor stadium, familiar division, away from Eli, terrific line, Super Bowl contender that could really use a Super Bowl quarterback, the Texans have never had a face-of-the-franchise type … it all makes sense.

>> Jeff Karstens pitched three scoreless innings yesterday. I have nothing to add to that. Yet.

>> Our weekly chat is today at noon.


  1. Deb says:

    Here is a link to a well written analysis countering DK’s earlier article and suggests that Sid should be reunited with Kunitz and Duper when he returns. Makes more sense than the “move Staal to wing” bandwagoners.

    As you point out DK, since the break the firing line has pretty much been firing blanks. Maybe time to rethink the line combinations.

  2. Ryan76 says:

    I just can’t see the Texans getting a deal done with Manning. Yes, it makes sense. But, they’re already paying Schaub over $9M and are just $4M under the cap (and Mario Williams is a Free Agent). I’d also add that if Schaub didn’t get hurt this year, they may have beaten the Ravens in the Playoffs….likely would have, honestly.

    Now, the Dolphins also make sense and are $10M+ UNDER the cap….I’d start the odds there at 3:2…

    DK: I agree about Schaub vs. Ravens, but the goal is to win the Super Bowl. Do you think a healthy Schaub — even a healthy Williams and everyone else Houston had lost — really beats the Giants?

    Almost any team acquiring Peyton will have to give up its existing QB. Only team I can see as an exception is the Niners, where Alex Smith can walk March 13. Teams do move QBs in cases like this.

    I just wouldn’t underestimate the indoor thing. And the great line. I didn’t see a ton of the Dolphins last season, but I know they played outdoors and never heard them lauded for their line. The latter is a MUST for Peyton.

  3. Ryan76 says:


    Respectfully….sure I do. The Giants were a very good, not great team. Certainly not the ’85 Bears or ’78 Steelers. They got hot at the right time, just like they did in ’07.

    In today’s NFL, “on any given Sunday” is more true than ever. Had they made the Superbowl, yes, I believe the Texans would have had a shot against the Giants.

  4. Leah Backus says:

    I’m concerned about Neal’s cold streak, too. That said, he has a well-known rep as a streaky scorer and I’m sure Ray Shero knew that when he signed him. That says to me that either they have a plan to address it, or are comfortable with the risk of him producing less during the back half of the season.

    What I’m thrilled with is the continuing production of the other three lines. Scoring depth…the Pens already have it! :-)

  5. PigLegs Roinson says:

    Can’t be around for chat, got to work. Will read the transcript though.

    So many impressive relievers in camp with Pirates. Juan Cruz (looks like a shoe-in), Jared Hughes (very intimidating), the monster Jose Diaz, Chris Leroux and many more.
    Makes me think the way Evan Meek has done last season and so far, he’s a longshot to make the team. I’ll be very surprised if he makes the 25 man roster.
    Who else is going to lose a spot?

    For the bench spots, also am impressed with Josh Harrison’s consistent improvement. Have to think he has a good chance even with one option remaining. Yamaico Navarro is another impressive bat. I thought Matt Hague & Nick Evans were favorites for bench spots, but Harrison & Navarro are hitting machines so far and can play all over the field.
    I still think Hague & Evans are only an injury away from making it.

  6. PigLegs Roinson says:

    That’s PigLegs Robinson, sorry. I’m in a hurry, have to leave for work.

  7. Jandy says:

    Leah, darn, I agree with you again lol.
    Neal not scoring is a bit of a concern, but last night I was more concerned with the boneheaded penalties he took. Argh! He’ll come around. And yes, the rest of the team has picked up on production, which has been fun to watch.

    Deb, you have a good argument there about Kunitz being reunited with Sid. It sure will be interesting to see how things pan out.

    Peyton Manning? he’s like Justin Beiber, his name and face are everywhere, and I’m sick of him. Sorry, had to say it. ;)

  8. JAL says:

    JAL’s Tripped and Fell Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Yahoo Free Agent Tracker;_ylt=AvN8KLXkNW0TcRjzSCagLIMBbgM6?slug=jp-passan_ultimate_free_agent_tracker_baseball_110211

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Spring Training Tracker

    5 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Broadcast Schedule

  9. JAL says:


    11 Toronto Sun

    Jays notes: Drabek keeps his cool

    Pirates Begin to See What They Have in Igarashi

    12 Mainichi Daily News

    Baseball: Igarashi solid in second spring outing

    13 Youngstown Vindicator

    Three Rivers reunion

    14 Bradenton Herald

    Spring Training 2012 | Jeff Karstens quietly giving Pirates quality innings on the mound

  10. JAL says:

    15 Sports Illustrated

    With McCutchen in fold long-term, Pirates ready to take next step

    16 Tribune Review

    Starting pitcher Karstens efficient, effective for Pirates

  11. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    19 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Peyton Manning Released By the Colts After 14 Seasons

    Aaron Smith Had the Perfect Attitude for a 3/4 Defensive End

    Steelers Ryan Clark Speaks Out On Bounty Systems, Controversial Tweets

    20 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers Still Hold Strong Leverage With Mike Wallace

    21 Steelers Gab

    A Tough Goodbye: The Top 10 Moments of Hines Ward’s Career

  12. JAL says:

    Pitt Blogs

    22 Pitt Blather

    Expansiopocolypse: Temple In, Marinatto Negotiates Against Self

    23 Cardiac Hill

    Georgetown Routs Pitt, Panthers Left Waiting For Possible NIT Berth

    WVU Blogs

    24 Metro News

    Bad Taste In Big Apple

  13. JAL says:

    25 WV Illustrated

    WVU Blows Lead, Falls 71-67 to Connecticut in Overtime

    WVU Men’s Basketball Interviews Following UConn Loss


    26 Pensburgh

    Jordan Staal on track as Penguins come back from two-goal deficit, defeat Leafs 3-2


    27 Sky Sports

    Defoe double sinks Stevenage,19764,11065_3494161,00.html

    28 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 7th March, 2012

  14. JAL says:

    Title song Tripped and Fell , Dodgy, 2012. English trio formed in the early 90s. Very popular for their live performances.

  15. Noel Gallagher says:

    Can’t wait for tomorrow’s column! –
    Where Does Messi Rank Among Football’s Best?

  16. John A says:

    Houston, really? Toss away a young blossoming star QB for Peyton? Houston already is a contender with Schaub, they probably were the best team in the AFC before losing him last year. Bad idea.

  17. Dave H says:

    I just don’t understand why Jeff Karstens is constantly mentioned as a likely guy to head to the bullpen. He does nothing but get guys out and give his team a chance to win. He’s no Greg Maddux but he has great control and a good sense for the hitters and game like Maddux. Is this something that the team is saying or conjecture by otheres (see Rob Biertempfel’s column today).

    Speaking of which…I would have commented there, but there’s no way to do that. Wish there was as I know I’m preaching to the choir with Dejan.

  18. JMB says:

    PM is going to AZ.

  19. scapper says:

    Don’t stir up trouble, Noel!

  20. Milo Hamilton says:

    @John A

    “A young blossoming QB” ? Matt Schaub is older than Ben Roethlisberger & only 4 years younger than Peyton Manning. He’ll be 31 when camp opens & has started 16 games a grand total of twice. If the Texans think they have everything else in place & he’s the final piece to the puzzle – go for it.

    The other two places I think would fit the criteria would be Baltimore & San Francisco. Let the brothers fight to the death for him.

  21. Sarcastic Sword says:

    The statue is nice when you consider it as a stand alone piece of art.

    I would have preferred to not include any other players in the piece – I realize that in and of itself, those who think an action shot is best picked a good one.

    But those memories of Lemiex are in my mind – I dont need to see him splitting the defense. I want to just see Lemieux celebating a golal or something similar.

    Different strokes for diff folks.

  22. Dan1283 says:


    Dallas Cowboys. They could trade Tony Romo easily to a team like Seattle or Cleveland. Lots of folks in that town, maybe including Jerry Jones himself, blame their inability to make or advance in the playoffs on Romo. But he’s good enough that plenty other teams would want him. Trade him for a draft pick, use it to draft some protection, and pay Manning. It works on all the same levels as the Texans – stadium, throwing targets (Austin, Bryant, Witten, Robinson), weather, the coach there isn’t too big that he’d try to control Manning, and so many other points. He would be in the same division as Eli but what’s wrong with a little brotherly competition, especially now that Eli has his second ring?

    I would love it. I’d watch every Cowboy game and so would millions of others. The Sunday Night games between the Cowboys and the Giants or the Eagles or the Packers would be must-see television. The media circus would be insane. And it would be a lot of fun watching that team on a Super Bowl or Bust mission with a QB that has done it before.

    I’m serious, if the NFL wants to bury BountyGate quickly once the season starts, this is one way to do it.

  23. John A says:

    Milo, do we even know that Peyton can throw a football? You don’t toss a quality QB in his prime for an over the hill vet with huge health issues. Schaub is 5 years younger in a sport where players drop off quickly. He played all 16 games in 2009 and 2010 with 4000+ yards and very good TD:INT numbers, its not like he has always been hurt and only occasionally healthy. He also has 4 straight years with a QB rating north of 90 essentially matching Manning’s numbers from 2008-2010. There is no reason to gamble (and its a huge one) on Manning for a short term deal when you have Schaub in place. Baltimore won’t even consider it either. The list of QB’s who have won championships after age 35 is pretty short (Elway and ?). We arn’t talking about vintage Manning.

    He’ll end up somewhere desperate for a QB fix like Arizona or Miami.

  24. Milo Hamilton says:

    @John A

    Actually he is always hurt and only occasionally healthy. In his 5 years in Houston, he’s played the full season twice. He’s missed 16 of 80 games due to injury, same as Manning by the way, that’s 20%. Sure Manning is a gamble, but if he’s healthy it’s a no brainer.

  25. Kenerdivanis says:

    @ John A In his 5 years with the Texans, Matt Schaub has played all 16 games twice. Two times he played 11 games and one time he played 10. He’s missed an entire season’s worth of games in 5 years. He cannot stay healthy. When healthy, he’s an excellent QB, and with a healthy Schaub, the Texans might have gone to the Super Bowl. But I agree with Milo. The Texans should take a good look at Peyton and consider trading Schaub to another QB starved team.

  26. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Why this sudden love for the Texans from some of us? Let him go to AZ with Whis and the boys. Just so he doesn’t go to Cleveland and we have to deal with him twice a season, who cares where he ends up? He’s in the twilight of a great career, not the pinnacle.

  27. pghboyinca says:

    James Neal will snap out of it and will be a force the rest of the year and in the playoffs. The Malkin line stays intact, they have bn dominant and a stretch of 5 games doesn’t alter a season of work. Sid, Staal, and Dupius is a line htat is any other teams best line. Letang is crucial interms of hte power play, it is a joke without him.

  28. Dan1283 says:

    Interesting link on the Manning situation that gives a brief explanation of every team’s probability of landing him, including no chance, very low, low, medium, and high.

  29. PhillyJake says:

    Karstens on the mound. April 5th, James Neal throwing out the first pitch.

  30. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good insight, Dan. That link looks very accurate. Like Jandy said, he and that teeny-bopper’s faces are on way too much. Someplace like Miami can keep him off all the commercials and he can finish his career in the warmth and good weather (except for the occasional hurricane or two). AZ would be nice with the “dry” heat, scorpions and all. No AFC North.

  31. Jandy says:

    Lucky ~ glad to see I’m not the only tired of seeing him everywhere lol

  32. John A says:

    Milo, you’re right “its a no brainer”, as in you’d have to have no brain to consider it. A lottery ticket on an over the hill guy who supposedly can’t throw it more than 40 yards in exchange for a guy who is cheaper, 5 years younger, and just as good??? Nevermind the fact that you’d have to dump your entire offense to accomodate Peyton’s unique style.

  33. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I like Manning as a person and all, but exile in Oakland being out of the question with Palmer out there, I think a far destination would be good and the NFL is only in Hawaii once a year, so AZ is my choice. No AFC North. I can remember one of the last times they played at Heinz, the Steelers had the game won and he moves them down on one of the last series and beats them. It might have been their only home loss that year. We don’t need that in Cleveland, even at 60 or 80%. God knows, Flacco did it last season and we don’t need Manning lurking around.

  34. Milo Hamilton says:

    @John A

    So how long’s your son been with the Texans ?

  35. Milo Hamilton says:

    Many thoughts I’d be thinkin’
    I could be another Lincoln
    If I only had a brain.

  36. MrB says:

    66 degrees at the unveiling yesterday…really? That’s amazing!

  37. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I love that sense of humor, Milo. Good that you’re not the real Milo.

  38. Kenerdivanis says:

    Don’t get me wrong – Matt Schaub is a good QB, but he’s certainly not what I would consider an elite QB. No way he’s on par with Rodgers or Brees or Brady or a healthy Peyton. I have no idea if Peyton will be at or near 100% next season, but teams that are a QB away from going to the Super Bowl (the Texans among them) need to give Manning a look, even if just to kick the tires and see what his arm strength is.

  39. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Many thoughts I’d be thinkin’
    That the Texans will be stinkin’
    ‘Cause they don’t have a brain.

    Credit to Milo H. for the Scarecrow song.

  40. montyb says:

    DK, I would agree with you the Houston looks like a decent fit for Peyton. However, I think Miami will be the team to get him. You overlooked Miami’s line which has one of the best LT in the league with Jake Long and also Pouncey the younger. The right side will be pretty good too if the can keep Vernon Carey. I would say their line is a strength as well as the great Miami weather and the Dolphins owner wanting to add a marquee name to the roster. I am not a Miami fan, I just have way too much time on my hands.

  41. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    Hey DK, I get the Adam Laroche comparison. However, 8 games without a goal isn’t such a concern when you consider that he has had 6 assists and is a plus player in those games (+1). It’s more important that he is still contributing and finding open teammates because those lanes will open up again.

    A slow stretch for a goal scorer isn’t that uncommon. Neal also had a 6 game streak Dec. 29 – Jan 11. Steven Stamkos has 48 goals and had a 5 game scoreless streak in December. Geno Malkin has had a 6 game streak. Phil Kessel has had a 5 game streak and a 6 game streak.

    Plus, it’s a team game. Dupuis has 4 goals and 7 points in the last 8 games. Malkin has 5 goals and 11 points. Kunitz has 3 goals and is a plus 4. And Staal as 4 goals and 10 points. At the risk of sounding cliche, it’s a game of high(s) and low(s).

  42. Kenerdivanis says:

    @ MIlo

    For a second, I thought you were talking about Brad Lincoln.

  43. Jandy says:

    ZING! (X2) lol

  44. Jandy says:

    @ Black n Gold (not yellow) That’s a great way to look at it! As I said above, I’m more concerned at James Neal taking those boneheaded penalties last night.

  45. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Great one, especially after yesterday’s performance by Brad!

  46. John A says:

    Milo, how clever, I guess your time machine is ready to go as well. Manning is at the end of the line if he can even play at all. Houston makes no sense, you don’t give up a very good QB for a shot in the dark on a guy who may not be able to even play. I guess by your logic the Steelers should move Ben for him. At one time Manning was much better than Ben …..

  47. John A says:

    Milo, I’m also waiting for that list of QB’s over 35 who win it all.

  48. Kenerdivanis says:

    @ John A

    I’m having trouble with the sudden lovefest for Matt Schaub. To paraphrase Pittsburgh’s own Kurt Angle, “Where’s his Super Bowl rings, pal?” Am I saying that Peyton Manning will instantly bring the Texans a Super Bowl if they sign him? No. But at least he has a pedigree, unlike Matt Schaub who is perpetually hurt. The goal is to win the Super Bowl, and the Texans would do themselves a disservice if they didn’t at least see what Manning has left, if anything. That goes for any other teams that have QB issues. The Steelers aren’t in that category.

  49. scapper says:

    I’m with Jandy on the concern over Neal’s penalties. They are bordering on Semin-esque in that they seem to happen too often in the attack zone or neutral zone at times when he’s not even preventing some kind of odd-man situation. They look like fatigue or laziness penalties, which is strange, because the guy plays balls-out all the time and he’s a heady type of player.

  50. Jandy says:

    Look boys take it outside ;)

  51. Jandy says:

    @ scapper ~ yeah, Neal really upsets me when he does that. And then Geno does that no look pass….to an opposing player ::eyeroll::
    But I’m sure they both will be fine.

  52. Arriba Wilver says:

    List of quarterbacks over 35 who won Super Bowls: Unitas, Elway (twice), Plunkett. Also, while not “over” 35, Staubach (35), Bart Starr (34), Len Dawson (34), Brad Johnson (34).

  53. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thanks Wilver.

  54. Milo Hamilton says:

    By the way, that’s nearly one out of every five Super Bowls won by a quarterback at least 35 years old.

  55. Milo Hamilton says:

    At least 34 I should have said. Sorry.

  56. DAve G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    It’s embarrassingly easy to get Neal scoring again.

    Simply have Rob Rossi predict how many goals each of the Penguins will score over the rest of the season.

    Or make Neal pay the equivalent to Rossi’s charity each game Neal DOESN’T score.

  57. Jandy says:

    Dave G, now why didn’t we all think of that?

  58. NMR says:

    ’bout time somebody broke up this daily love fest with a little good natured sports argument!

    My gut says its too risky to give up a quarterback like Shaub for what amounts to an unkown with Manning, even though on paper it seems like a logical move.

    Houston would definitely be cutting its window of opportunity from 4-5 years down to one, maybe two with Manning.

    Then again, it only takes one good year to win a Superbowl…

    Add NFL GM after newspaper columnist on my “jobs I’m glad I don’t have” list.

  59. Although I share neither the angst nor the short-temperedness of John A——why does the devil make us keep egging on those who ‘get emotionally involved?’ I blame the devil, because it certainly can’t be our human nature!!——I agree with him that Houston is not a good fit for Peyton Manning.

    The risk/reward it too great to change the course of the Houston franchise by disappearing your previous quarterback and leader, who is significantly younger and still has room to grow, for a quarterback who is at best on his last few round-ups (Texas terminology) and may not even be able to handle it when the chute is opened.

    For Houston, Manning would be a bad personnel decision and a bad financial decision. Texans should use the money elsewhere to move from good to great.

    Now, Arizona . . . . . Miami . . . . . Washington (with the owner who collects “live” football cards) . . . . . and possibly San Fran . . . . . or maybe the bombastic owner in Big D . . . . . the juice is worth the squeeze.

  60. Kenerdivanis says:

    @ Groat

    I am a regular listener of The Tony Kornheiser Show out of DC, and the topic of Manning to the Skins has been discussed a lot recently. I wonder if the Skins are gunshy over the Donovan McNabb disaster, but Peyton is clearly an upgrade over Rex Grossman, even at 80%. That said, I wonder if Peyton would be happy about playing his brother twice a year and if the Skins wouldn’t be better off trading up in the draft to take RG3.

  61. Kevin says:

    “Live” football cards – good one!

  62. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s a no-go for Manning with the Redskins.

    Why do you think Chris Russell spends all day at Redskins Park ?

  63. John A says:

    When was I short tempered? Milo was the one talking about no-brainer’s and if I only had a brain. OK maybe a little, I rarely post here but each time I do Milo the know it all immediately tries to shout dissent down with nothing more than opinion. For those who think its a good idea, please find one mention of a source saying Houston is even considering this.

    1 out 5 SB won by a QB 34 or older eh? First I said older than 35 which Peyton is, second it isn’t remotely true. I count 5 guys 34 (Elway twice) or older in 46 SB’s, only three guys have ever won a SB over the age of 35 – Unitas, Plunkett, and Elway. Its neither here nor there anyway.

    The argument isn’t about whether a team could win with Peyton, its about whether Houston should dump their guy (who has missed 5 games in 3 years with ratings equal to a healthy Manning at age 32-34) for a 36 year old with a chronic degenerative neck issue.

    Look, if I had Rex Grossman or Kevin Kolb or Matt Moore at QB I’d be all for it.

  64. LuckyNKentucky says:

    FOXSports’s list doesn’t have Houston listed, John A., you’re right there. Some of the ones listed are surprising. Haven’t looked at the almighty Extra Sorry Perception Network yet.

  65. Milo Hamilton says:

    @John A

    I never said Houston was considering Peyton Manning. I simply said in response to Dejan’s post that they, along with Baltimore & San Francisco should. By the way, we should hook up in Canton when Matt Shaub is inducted into the Hall of Fame.

  66. LuckyNKentucky says:

    ESPN says 12 teams have “reached out” to Manning, but doesn’t list all of the 12. I guess the only ones that don’t need him are the Steelers, Packers, Colts and Giants. He could even go to NE and back up his pal, Brady. Maybe they could have a 2-quarterback system like Don Meredith and Eddy Lebaron in Dallas. Most of you young boys and girls don’t remember that.

  67. LuckyNKentucky says:

    DK is still fighting the flu. We can’t go by what he thinks. He compared poor James Neal to Adam “I don’t begin the season until June” LaRoche. I don’t know the difference between James Neal and Curly Neal, but the kid seems like he’s in a slump, not prolonged agony like Adam.

  68. LuckyNKentucky says:

    BTW, Marte homers again. That’s 8 straight hits for him, isn’t it? It’s a slow day here due to bad weather, can you tell?

  69. Milo Hamilton says:


    Didn’t Landry also alternate QB’s with Craig Morton & Roger Staubach (he who won Super Bowl XII three weeks shy of his 36th birthday) ?

  70. LuckyNKentucky says:

    He did until Staubach came into his own. I think Morton finished his career with Denver or someone else because of Staubach. That’s what my aged memory recalls. JAL probably has the answer to that one.

  71. Milo Hamilton says:


    Morton did indeed finish in Denver. He was the Broncos starting QB in Super Bowl XII against the Cowboys.

  72. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Half a memory is better than none, I guess. I forgot that Super Bowl until you mentioned it. I remember the very first one, but some of the ones in between are a blur.

  73. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Marte made an out in the top of the 10th. There goes Spring Training immortality.

  74. Kevin says:

    Sometimes its enough just to read this blog rather than actively try to contribute…makes my day. Good stuff

  75. Kenerdivanis says:

    Wonder how long it will be before there are cries to have Sterling Marte start the year with the big club. News to those who want that – not gonna happen.

  76. LuckyNKentucky says:

    DK mentioned it on his chat, I believe. Since the outfield is a strength, he can be brought along slowly, meaning Triple-A. Neal said they aren’t in favor of bringing guys straight from AA to the majors. That pitcher that they shuttled back and forth a couple years ago from Altoona didn’t fare real well. Wasn’t he a Cuban defector or something? Memory saturation again.

  77. Kenerdivanis says:

    @ Milo

    Are you a Kornheiser listener, too? Whenever I hear the Chris Russell updates I always wonder why he’s always at Redskins Park. I guess now I know why.

  78. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Phils win on a Lou Montanez homer in the bottom of the 10th off Michael Dubee. Is that Louie Montanez, the former Phillie’s son? Sure has been a lot of players’ sons lately in all sports.

  79. Milo Hamilton says:


    Yes. A loyal little.

  80. Although I agree with John A that Houston should keep Matt Schaub, I think the Texans should get rid of that wide receiver they have—named A Johnson. He can’t stay on the field; he missed big games this year; sounds totally unreliable! He must be a problem child for the Texans. How can they ever win with him on the roster?

    Because I am a benevolent fellow, I would suggest the Texans pawn him off on the Steelers. The Steelers could give Houston a young receiver who runs and drops the ball—Mike Wallace—and an old receiver who can’t run and drops the ball—Hines Ward. Certainly the Houston Texans need a “Leader of the Wide-outs.”

    Matt Schaub will be much more successful when he has a wide receiver he can count on: Mike Wallace AND Hines Ward are your men! And, the Steelers will help Houston even more by taking that malingerer Johnson off your hands.

    No need to thank me. I only have Texans best interests at heart.

  81. Kenerdivanis says:

    @ Milo

    I missed not having Tony to listen to today. It makes the first part of my work day go so much faster.


  82. Dejan Kovacevic says:


    Killing me!

  83. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Better than the flu killing you!

  84. pattonbb says:

    As far as possible landing spots for Peyton “I’m trying to be a good teammate” Manning, I wouldn’t count out Seattle. $30 Million under the cap could get them Peyton, Reggie Wayne and some OL help. Although, according to some reports, he’s told his people he won’t play for a team that would compete against Eli for a playoff spot. Of course, $$$ could change his tune.

    DK, absolutely agree with you about OL importance. For anyone interested, the guys at Football Outsiders have a whole set of metrics for rating overall team OL play.

    DK: Whoa, that’s nice. Thanks!

  85. Dejan,

    Just read in your “Fireside Chat” that a new web site will be up soon.

    Haven’t we been talking about that since last June?! That 9 months——it’s time to have the baby!!

    I look forward to reading something positive about Duquesne basketball tomorrow.

    DK: Within a month, I’m told.

    Your Duquesne line sounds like a mafia-style threat, G-man! What if it isn’t positive?

  86. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just got home and got a chance to look at the chat transcript. Major props for the Jonas Salk response. Indisputably, one of the ten greatest human beings who has ever lived. It is easy to stoke people’s passion about sports and popular culture heroes, and, not insignificantly, get financing to honor such figures, but, wow, humanity owes all the accolades possible for Dr. Salk. Is there even a bust of him at the University of Pittsburgh medical school?

    DK: I’m not aware of any public monument to Salk.

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