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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Column preview: Of Pedro, Willie and rain

The Trib will be doing, as a fairly regular feature, a video preview of my next day’s column. And, as you’ll hear from the clever guy in the video, this very first one involves blatant child labor.

This is it …


Oh, and here’s today’s chat transcript.


  1. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m a fan of leave your children at school day.

  2. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Nice. Should have shown your kids.

    DK: Maybe next time. They were a bit shy. Oh, and it was my 11-year-old girl on the camera.

  3. Milo Hamilton says:


    They were too busy running the camera !

  4. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Dali does that for him. She’s a pro at that.

  5. Milo Hamilton says:


    Any chance you covered the “Miracle at Riverside Park” Riverview-Jeff Morgan 1994 playoff game ?

    DK: How did you know that?

  6. Milo Hamilton says:

    A few of us that were in the press box that day were talking about it. We were trying to remember everyone that was there. We weren’t sure if you might have been covering for the PG that day. I saw video recently. What a day.

    DK: I absolutely was. Recently listed as one of the top five events I’ve covered in my life. And if you could dig up my story on that somehow, I’d be deeply indebted.

  7. Naje says:


    Found ya and thanks for the tip…bookmarked and ready to roll with you through what I think may be a very fun, rollercoaster-ish, PBC season…

    Great job on the camera to your young’un…

  8. smyers says:

    I like the Jets t-shirt / blazer combo. Very stylish.

    DK: It’s all the rage in Manitoba.

  9. Milo Hamilton says:

    Me too. From that day on, I never pack up until there are all zeroes on the clock. I was doing stats, halftime, & post game for local cable channel.

    How about this. The guy doing radio for the Kittanning station on tape delay, and in those days it was actually on tape, lost the cassette tape in all the commotion after. His plan was to watch our replay the next morning, announce the game again & then take that tape up to Kittanning. In a last ditch effort, he went back to the field just before the sun went down, and found it undamaged on about the 35 yard line. It must have fallen out of his pocket on the Lewis & Clark hike to the locker room.

  10. Arriba Wilver says:

    Milo– so you really ARE Milo Hamilton? ;-)

  11. Arriba Wilver says:

    DK–and your daughter did a great job!

  12. Milo Hamilton says:


    Holy Toledo !

  13. I like the Winnipeg Jets T-shirt!

  14. JohninOshkosh says:

    Tell your daughter that she did a great job on the camerawork. A budding Kathryn Bigelow if I ever saw one. Already shooting up at the subject-a cinematic development that earned immortality for the young Orson Welles.

    Not crazy about the shocking blue blazer with distressed graphic t shirt. Few men in their forties can pull it off, although you come close. Perhaps your wife can do wardrobe on the next shoot.

  15. SeanAY says:


    Looks like you re-posted it, in its entirety, about five years ago in a Q&A:

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: November 13, 1994

    Riverview survives wild finish, 34-28

    By Dejan Kovacevic, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

    Jake Cappa stood in disbelief after his Riverview Raiders pulled out a wild, 34-28 overtime victory over Jefferson-Morgan. Oblivious to the celebrating going on around him and, for a moment, to reporters’ questions, he turned to one and said:

    ”Did we win this game?”

    The Raiders’ coach might still need a couple more days to let this one sink in.

    Yesterday’s WPIAL Class A first-round match between the top-ranked Raiders and visiting Jefferson-Morgan was a classic.

    A glance at the last few minutes:

    — Jefferson-Morgan had a 28-15 lead with two minutes left, but Riverview’s Jeff Cappa threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Ben Erdeljac on fourth-and-7 to make it 28-22.

    — Jefferson-Morgan got the ball back following the kickoff and marched to the Riverview 4 with 47 seconds left. Riverview had no timeouts left, but the Rockets chose to run a play on first down. Mike McCort ran to the middle of the line and fumbled. Riverview recovered.

    — On the next play, Jeff Cappa threw up a bomb that hit a streaking Erdeljac down the right sideline for a 96-yard touchdown, tying the game at 28-28 with 36 seconds left.

    — The Raiders were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for the ensuing celebration, pushing the extra-point kick back 15 yards. Orlando Bellisario missed to the left, forcing overtime.

    — Each team gets four plays from the 10-yard line in overtime. Jefferson-Morgan moved backward five yards on its four tries. Riverview got no yardage on its first two attempts, but on third down, Jeff Cappa connected on a pass to brother Jason at the right side of the end zone.

    All of which left one burning question:

    Why didn’t Jefferson-Morgan kneel on the ball at the Riverview 4 and run out the clock?

    ”He’s our best football player,” Jefferson-Morgan coach Jan Haiden said of McCort. ”We wanted to get the points right there. Mike hadn’t fumbled all year, in 181 carries going into this game.”

    Asked if he would fall on the ball if he had the play over again, Haiden said, ”Probably not. We’ve never had a problem with fumbles. Why do anything different right there?”

    The Rockets (7-4) were decided underdogs to Riverview (11-0), the Post-Gazette’s No. 1-ranked Class A team. And Jake Cappa had nothing but praise afterward for Jefferson-Morgan, including Haiden.

    ”I will not second-guess Jan’s coaching,” Cappa said. ”He did a great job preparing his team for this game. If he scores a touchdown there, that sends a powerful message to his next opponent. It shows them that they beat the No. 1 team by two touchdowns.”

    Cappa ran across the field immediately after the overtime and talked to Haiden.

    ”I told him he did a great job coaching,” Cappa said. ”And I told him they deserved better.”

    Indeed, it looked like Jefferson-Morgan — and McCort — would get a better ending.

    McCort, the 5-7, 155-pound firecracker in the Rockets’ offense, had little trouble squirting through holes in the Riverview line. He gained 189 yards on 25 carries.

    The rest of the Rockets kept pace. They finished with 407 yards total offense and held Riverview’s offense in check until the big-play finish.

    Riverview got strong outings from running back Steve Dapra, who got 112 yards on 13 carries, and quarterback Jeff Cappa, who completed 8 of 16 passes for 178 yards and four touchdowns.

    Jefferson-Morgan had a 14-0 halftime lead after a 35-yard run by McCort and a 60-yard pass from Scott Whetsell to Nathan Hassett. Riverview scored late in the third quarter on Jeff Cappa’s 6-yard run, but a minute later, Xavier Lockette streaked 72 yards down the left sideline for a 21-7 Rockets advantage.

    With 8:19 left in the game, Riverview cut the lead to 21-15 on Jeff Cappa’s 6-yard strike to Jason Cappa. But again, Jefferson-Morgan answered, this time on McCort’s touchdown reception with 4:06 left.

    Then came the finish — one that left coaches, players and fans exasperated.

    After the winning touchdown, the fans at Riverside Park poured out of the bleachers and mobbed the end zone. Many Jefferson-Morgan players fell to the ground, some with tears flowing. McCort knelt at midfield on his helmet as Riverview players walked by to console and congratulate him.

    ”I’m proud of my kids,” Haiden said. ”We never got any respect all year, and we played a great game today. Mike had an excellent game. It just wasn’t in the cards.”

    Cappa seemed more shocked than jubilant.

    ”I don’t do any drugs, but this must be what it feels like,” he said, barely breaking into a laugh. ”This is easily the greatest high school football game I’ve ever been a part of.”

    He then paused, shook his head and added, ”But I don’t ever want to go through anything like this again.”

    DK: Wow, brings a lot of that back. (And man, I’d like to rewrite that if I could.)

  16. JAL says:

    That’s a nice little feature to add the blog.

  17. Milo Hamilton says:


    Thanks for that. Brought back a lot of memories. I saw Jake Cappa recently and nearly didn’t recognize him. He’s lost a lot of weight & looks great. What a character.

  18. RobertoForever says:

    Haha, I love that child labor laws don’t apply to the family business. But child welfare laws do :-)

  19. Karen22 says:

    Ahhh—can’t wait for your Pedro feature! I attended, sadly, yesterday’s first game. Petey looked dreadful on his first AB, striking out and looking silly on a ball that broke in the dirt after he started his swing. BUT—his next three AB’s were another story. I do pray he unleashes his awesome talent—it is very obviously THERE.

  20. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Steelers have re-signed QB Byron Leftwich.

  21. JAL says:

    Leftwich a surprise, guess the market wasn’t much elsewhere.

  22. Sec.143RowMSeat24 says:


    In the chat you stated Marte looked to be slated for RF. As he is a CF in the minors, some have speculated they could move Cutch to LF and play Marte in CF. I don’t think that would happen as Cutch is a superstar and if he wants to stay in CF he should, but the Pirates Front Office has stated before you in essence need two center fielders in PNC Park. So why wouldn’t Marte play in LF with a semi-platoon with Presley/Tabata in RF, or a staring Presley with Tabata as a fourth outfielder?

    DK: Marte’s got an 80 arm. It’ll be the best they’ve had out there on a regular basis since Jose Guillen. The Pirates want that to play not only at PNC but everywhere they play.

    Also, Marte is seeing some duty in right in Indy.

  23. Sec.143RowMSeat24 says:

    Thanks for the answer.

    DK: No problem! Always here.

  24. Karen22 says:

    You ARE always here! Do you have clones??

  25. cosmo says:

    Leftwich and Batch. I still think you need to try to draft another back up QB at somepoint in this draft. Both Leftwich and Batch are fragile. If they both go down which is highly possible you are left with Troy Smith. Just Sayin.

  26. Milo Hamilton says:


    I love Case Keenum in the 6th or 7th round. Penn State fans are familiar with him.

  27. Thundercrack says:

    Great camera work and I can’t wait to read the column on Pedro.

    DK, if you’re going to do more of these videos you are going to need a stylist.
    Get a new jacket!!!

  28. cosmo says:

    Was listening to Jim Wexall earlier, he likes him too.

  29. Milo Hamilton says:


    This means there’s absolutely no chance.

  30. cosmo says:

    22 minutes til draft. Do the Steelers make their pick before 10:30 tonight.

    DK are you at draft headquarters?

    DK: Am not. What makes you think the Steelers will pick that early? It was an hour later than that last year for Heyward.

  31. Milo Hamilton says:

    Last year they picked 31, this year they pick 24. That’s 70 minutes.

  32. cosmo says:

    Didn’t they pick 31st last year

  33. JAL says:

    Amazing how they have built the draft into high drama.

  34. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Anybody here anything about Josh Bell’s injured knee? There was a story in JAL’s links this AM and he didn’t play last night.

  35. LuckyNKentucky says:

    That is “hear” even in KY.

  36. Milo Hamilton says:


    I remember it being on a Tuesday afternoon & having to get the bulldog edition of the PG to see who everyone picked.

  37. cosmo says:

    Browns traded up to 3. Trent Richardson?? That should be 3 quickpicks made.
    Can we make 10:00

  38. cosmo says:

    @ Milo and JAL

    you’re right. 3 Days is ridiculous.

  39. Milo Hamilton says:


    Teams like to take most of their time even if it’s known who they’re picking. Ten free minutes of publicity. Hope you’re right, though.


    Bell on the DL. Don’t know the severity.

  40. JAL says:


    He has put on the DL but no word yet what the extent of the injury is.

  41. JAL says:


    I remember that too, times change

  42. JAL says:

    They brought Carlos Mesa from extended spring training to replace Bell. Mesa is 24, a Cuban defector they signed in 2011.

  43. LuckyNKentucky says:

    JAL and Milo,

    Thanks. Not great news. At least he’s young and a long way to go before ML ready. WV put up an 8-spot in the 2nd in their game tonight. None of the other affiliates are tearing the cover off the ball early this seaso, except Indy occasionally and individually at times.

  44. JAL says:

    WV had some hitters. now lets hope some take their skills up the ladder.

  45. LuckyNKentucky says:

    A big amen to that.

  46. Milo Hamilton says:

    Fastest first 2 picks in draft history.

  47. Vette60 says:

    Enjoyed the flashback post regarding Jefferson Morgan v. Riverview – wasn’t around PGH for that one, was at college, but familar with Riverside Park. Went to another A school, so we spent some time there…

    Regarding the videography…nicely done on the camera work. Maybe a stylist is in order though. Thumbs up on the Jets T…not sure about the blue blazer… 8)

    Anyway, not watching the draft – can’t really get into it…but do have on the Rangers v. Sens game. Rangers just went up 1-0 – let’s see if they can hold on.

    Have a good evening.

    R. in RVA.

  48. cosmo says:

    33 minutes and 5 picks. Could it be an early night?

  49. Eric Bowser says:

    - love Minnesota’s move to slide down one spot to still draft OT Ryan Kalil and pick up three picks (4th, 5th, and 7th) from Browns.

    – Rams are rebuilding under Jeff Fisher, smart move, by moving down to 14 and picking up #45 from Dallas. Cowboys draft Morris Claiborne to fix their holes at corner.

    Let’s keep moving this draft

  50. Milo Hamilton says:

    1st off my wish list to go – Luke Kuechly goes to Carolina at #9. How far up would the Steelers have to go to get David DeCastro, the guard from Stanford ? He’s next on my list.

  51. Eric Bowser says:

    @Milo – DeCastro would be ideal, though I think Bengals could take him if he’s on the board at 17.

  52. Eric Bowser says:

    Chiefs need a good NT/DT, look at Fletcher Cox

  53. Eric Bowser says:

    surprised Chiefs took Poe before Cox but Poe is a natural NT like the Chiefs need

  54. Milo Hamilton says:

    Chiefs take Dontari Poe at #11. Can you say reach boys & girls ?

  55. Milo Hamilton says:


    Every highlight I see of Luck, DeCastro is killing somebody. The Eagles may be willing at #15.

  56. Eric Bowser says:

    My top 5 players (non QB) for Steelers were Mark Barron, Matt Kalil, David DeCastro, Riley Reiff, and Dont’a Hightower.

    Obviously Steelers had no shot at Barron or Kalil but I’m still hoping one of the last three fall to them at 24. I’m thinking Ravens might move up from 29 to get in front of the Steelers to grab Hightower.

  57. Eric Bowser says:

    Eagles need help on defensive line, they get Fletcher Cox by moving from 15 to 12.

  58. Eric Bowser says:

    Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald on the outside at WR for Arizona, scary!

  59. Eric Bowser says:

    Watching game 7’s tonight too…

    Rangers 2-1 over Senators with 6:55 to play in third period

  60. Eric Bowser says:

    wow, really bad pick by Seattle to pick Bruce Irvin, WVU

    DK: Why do we hate Irvin? Because Kiper does?

  61. cosmo says:

    Seattle takes Bruce Irvin from WVU. Suprise. Didn’t see that coming.

  62. Eric Bowser says:

    Gonchar takes penalty with open-net and Senators season ends, tough way to lose in the final minutes for Ottawa. Big time time by Hagelin, both players should have been penalized.

  63. Eric Bowser says:

    DeCastro is sliding right into Steelers range now

  64. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hate Irvin because he spends more time in jail than he does on the field. Plus he’s from West Virginia.

  65. Eric Bowser says:

    DK – Just didn’t think he was NFL material watching him with WVU. I didn’t even see Kiper’s comments on this.

    DK: Oh, yeah, he was aghast. Kiper HATES when he’s wrong, tends to take it out on the athlete.

  66. Eric Bowser says:

    @Milo – yeah, there’s that (WVU) too. In all seriousness, Irvin had 38 tackles for WVU in 2011. That’s weak production for a LB

  67. JAL says:

    Gues I’m no longer welcome here because I am born and raised in WV goodbye

  68. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Bengals probably don’t let DeCastro get past #21.

  69. Eric Bowser says:

    JAL – lol,.. I can’t root for a WVU player.

  70. JohninOshkosh says:

    You know what is amazing? Is the NFL draft ratings will kill 2 Game 7’s in the NHL

  71. JAL says:

    what about Ryan Mundy?

  72. Milo Hamilton says:


    Love the state, hate the football team. But that will wane, just like the Penn State thing has.

  73. Eric Bowser says:

    DK – ESPN and personal attacks, that would never happen at such a reputable organization. I love to see a video put together where all the “can’t miss” prospects are bragged about on and on by Kiper, yet failed miserably.

  74. Milo Hamilton says:

    Cinci is trading #21.

  75. Eric Bowser says:

    @Jal – Mundy is fine, he’s a Woodland Hills graduate, I live in Forest Hills.

    @John – I watched the last 10 mins of Ott-NYR, great action. I just can’t watch NJ-FLA, terribly boring teams.

  76. Milo Hamilton says:


    A friend of mine taught him at Woodland Hills, says he’s a great guy. Besides, that stuff goes out the window once they get to Pittsburgh.

    New England trades for #21 with Cinci.

  77. JAL says:

    Irvin is a stretch, low tackles because he was used primarily as pass rusher, his best skill. Has not shown he can be a complete LB.

    Pretty high pick for a pass rushing specialist.

  78. Milo Hamilton says:

    Looks like the Steelers will have a decision to make. They could also trade down being that so many of the guys they like may still be there.

  79. Naje says:

    “Rare size and arm length…”

    Yeah, Belicheat will find a way to exploit that and try to extend his “genius” legend.


  80. Eric Bowser says:

    Talk about the draft working out for Steelers.

  81. Milo Hamilton says:

    Brandon Weeden becomes the 2nd oldest QB in the AFC North. Only Ben is older.

  82. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Steelers are taking De Castro. Whouda thunk it ?

  83. Eric Bowser says:

    at #23, Detroit selects Iowa RT Reiley Reiff

    Which means, Steelers have to choose between G David DeCastro or ILB Dont’a Hightower.

    Steelers have a bigger need at guard, so gotta imagine they take him.

    DK: Started new post for DeCastro.

  84. Eric Bowser says:

    Steelers waste NO time to pick David DeCastro

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