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Wakeup Call: Huntington ties his fate to Stark

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

OAKLAND, Calif. — Brief and to the Point …

>> The Monday column is on the Steelers’ defense getting chewed up and spat out, then discussing being chewed up and … well, you’ll see.

>> Here’s some of Brett Keisel after the game …


It’s clear from interviews over the weekend that Neal Huntington has no intention of parting ways with Kyle Stark and/or Greg Smith.

Here’s the Trib’s coverage from Houston.

There are all kinds of layers for analysis there, but the most important, I think, is this: Bob Nutting and Frank Coonelly won’t be able to fire Stark and/or Smith without firing Huntington. That’s a bold position to take, given that the GM is openly discussing the possibility he’ll be fired.

>> If that Friday column on the ‘Hoka Hey’ development was such a non-story, as Huntington and host/team employee Greg Brown insisted during the GM’s radio show yesterday, why invest almost the entire show on the topic?

One thing I learned long ago in this business: No individual or group of individuals decides what is and what isn’t a story.

I’ve written pieces that I thought were a really big deal, saw that the editors displayed them prominently … and they got very little reaction. Hence, not a big story. It wasn’t for us to decide.

I’ve also written pieces that I didn’t think were that big a deal at all — the one about Sidney Crosby and the captaincy last winter, for example — and they ended up becoming huge deals. (The point of discussion was a group of players discussing a temporary captain in Crosby’s absence, which I didn’t then and still don’t think was a big deal.)

Point is, the public decides. Not me, not my editors, not the Pirates.

>> Nowhere at any point in the interview did either the GM or the host dispute a solitary fact in that column.

The closest Huntington came was when he said Kyle Stark’s email was only one in a series of five and, thus, could have been taken out of context.

Does that mean we get to see the other four?

>> Huntington said this in trying to explain one of Stark’s quotes in that email: “We don’t want them to become hippies. We want them to think like hippies.”

>> The radio show is at 1 p.m. tomorrow. Right here on the blog, I’ll post all the relevant details — including how to hear it — with tomorrow’s Wakeup Call.

Flying back from Oakland today, so I’ll be out of commission.

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