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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Monday Wakeup Call: Cleveland's gain

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media columnist

Brief and to the Point …

>> The Monday column looks at what LaMarr Woodley might have meant to this Steelers season that ended yesterday, had he not been such an overwhelming disappointment.

>> Here’s what Woodley had to say afterward …


Oh, yeah. Forgot.

Well, here’s what Plaxico Burress had to say, then, after a three-catch, one-TD showing that surely will leave a lot of folks wondering if he can come back …


As an aside, I’ve always liked Woodley. Hard not to. Known him for years, going back to the time we lived two houses apart and my kids played with his daughter.

But he’s a far, far better football player than what he showed this year. And he knows it, even if he doesn’t appear inclined to discuss it.

>> Photo of the day comes from our staff’s Chaz Palla, of Antonio Brown giving up his touchdown ball to a young fan near the end zone. Beautiful stuff …

>> The Browns stink, and the Browns will clean house today for the fifth time since rejoining the NFL in 1999. That’s just amazing. And it should speak loudly to the benefits of sticking by your staff as the Rooneys have done for years.

>> Speaking of Cleveland, the Indians’ new local TV rights deal will increase their annual take from $30 million to $40 million over the next 10 years. That is almost double the amount the Pirates will get over the same span from Root Sports, even though the market sizes are similar and the Pirates’ ratings are better.

It’s more evidence that the Pirates’ extension in 2010, signed three years before its expiration, is one of this front office’s biggest mistakes. The precise year-by-year figures for the Pirates’ deal aren’t known, but Frank Coonelly said at PirateFest they’ll escalate to “more than $20 million.”

I’m working on getting the exact figures for you and hope to have them soon.

>> I’ve never felt better about the NHL having a season than I do now.

And lest anyone forget how that is in these parts, consider this tweet from Maurkice Pouncey just hours after the Steelers’ loss: “We need hockey in Pittsburgh ASAP!!!”

>> It was a memorable, maybe even a milestone weekend for Robert Morris hockey, winning the Three Rivers Classic by beating No. 5 Miami and drawing more than 22,000 to Consol over two days.

On the occasion, it’s worth remembering the late athletic director, Susan Hofacre, for her vision in bringing Division I pucks to Pittsburgh. I had only one chance to meet her before her passing in 2005, but those who knew her remain moved by her life and achievements at the school.

>> Because of New Year’s, there will be no radio show tomorrow. All else is on schedule.

See you at First Night.

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