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Wednesday Wakeup Call: Save Olympic wrestling

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media columnist

>> The Wednesday column assails the International Olympic Committee’s decision to eliminate wrestling following the 2016 Rio Games.

>> I’d hoped to direct you to USA Wrestling’s official site for where you might be able to get involved, but it would appear the best place to start is upgrading that site.

Here’s a Facebook page called Save Olympic Wrestling.

And the official-as-it-gets hashtag on Twitter is #SaveOlympicWrestling

>> Also, here’s the local-angle news coverage by our Scott Brown.

Here’s yesterday’s TribLIVE Radio show podcast, featuring my guests, Duquesne women’s coach Suzie McConnell-Serio and Winnipeg Free Press columnist Gary Lawless.

And here’s video of the monologue on the Penguins’ second line …

>> Related to the monologue, here’s Josh Yohe’s report from practice. I would recommend reading James Neal’s comments in here closely.

>> Whatever happened to goals in the NHL? Yoke asks the Penguins.

>> Maybe the Rangers’ Rick Nash provided the answer last night in Boston …

Yep. Just stickhandle through an entire franchise, have everyone looking your way, then pass off to a really fortunate teammates at the end. Problem solved.

>> A.J. Burnett’s bunting, Brandon Inge as backup, other Bradenton stuff from Rob Biertempfel can be found on our baseball page. You’ll also find quality photos and videos from staff photog Chris Horner, who does good work.

>> The Marlins’ fans are upset with ownership and management, and they’re protesting.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

Comments

  1. Ghost says:

    Well done and extremely timely piece on Olympic wrestling.

    When I first read about this earlier today (I think it was in USA Today), the article explained that each sport must perpetually lobby for continuance inclusion in the Games. The author then went on to suggest how sports like golf have an inherent advantage over wrestling when it comes to wining and dining IOC members at their respective events in bids to “impress” these voters. IOC appointments are plum political annointments for most countries and we know their votes are bought all the time (see: Salt Lake City Olympics).

    Also, I wonder if NBC weighed in on this behind the scenes. After all, sports like golf are more telegenic for broadcast, with broader, cross-gender appeal. Wrestling, let’s face it, probably loses many a casual viewer, and even more casual female viewers. With all it’s sappy cutting away to pre-produced back stories on athletes, NBC spends a lot of broadcast time and money on what it believes the casual female viewer wants to see. I’d be interested to see what people at NBC have to say about this, off the record.

    But this is horrible. Wrestling is so intrinsic to the Olympic Games, and to cultures and civilization from time immemorial. Some things need to be sacrosanct and Olympic Wrestling is one of them.

  2. Ghost says:

    Another thing about this that bothers me is this: The role of team sports in the Olympics is unquestioned. The 1980 US Hockey Teams Miracle on Ice still sends chills down the spine. But even more so, I think the Olympics are about the individual competitor back home who dreams about going to the Olympics, dreams about representing his or her country, and then on the world’s greatest sports stage of them all, steps onto the field — or mat — all by himself. Just him/her, against the very best in the world. Is not wrestling the epitome of this story?

  3. Reading says:

    DK (a.k.a. “WFU”- Winnipeg’s Friendly Uncle), how about making wrestling a Winter Olympic sport? Putting it in the Summer Olympics always seemed misplaced.

  4. Ghost says:

    I think that’s an American convention that wrestling is tied to winter sports, due to how high school sports calendars fall into place. And the winter games are all snow or ice related if I’m not mistaken.

  5. PgherinLev says:

    Well said, Ghost. And wrestling is still a sport where the competitors are still about as amateur as it gets. No millionaires taking time off from their respective pro leagues here.

  6. Ed says:

    I would hope that any future changes that may come to this blog will not involve having to use some Big Brother system like Facebook.

    A certain other newspaper in town will no longer be getting views or comments from me because of their decision to do this.

    DK: What you see is what you get. We’re happy to have you, Ed.

    Now, go to Gravatar.com and get yourself an avi, man.

  7. Tim says:

    Very well written article. I don’t believe this is over for wrestling.

  8. Drew71 says:

    How bout just plain Uncle Winnipeg?

  9. Deb says:

    Rather than focus on Geno’s winger failing to score, I think you should focus on why that ENTIRE line is failing to score. Geno and Neal have overall poor 5 on 5 performance, despite starting in the offensive zone close to 70% of the time, but ending in the o-zone only 56%. [ http://tinyurl.com/b2edya8 ]. Contast this with Sid who starts in the o-zone only 46% of the time, yet has more points than Geno. This also coincides with Geno’s generally bad defensive play, (on ice for goals against/bad plus/minus)

  10. John Lease says:

    Brandon Inge? Well, OK. Can he play short?

  11. Jandy says:

    I agree, Deb, and have said so several times the last few days. Geno’s attitude and play have been horrible. Neal’s isn’t far behind (penalties). Don’t blame the third guy on the line for the play of two of the top players on the team…and even the league.

  12. Drew71 says:

    Ah. The Gloves Are Off.

  13. Pat4PGH says:

    I canna believe the IOC decision regarding wrestling!

    I still remember how great it was seeing the US Olympic trials on two different occasions.

    I understand the IOCs desire to make money, but dropping a historical sport like wrestling is so mercenary!

    How does one contact the IOC board members directly?

  14. Drew71 says:

    I hope you’re not asking Neal that SS Q. Cause how would HE know?

    But hey. Let’s give credit where due. It’s going to be a minor league contract.

    In past seasons, Neal woulda given Inge a guaranteed, multimillion dollar deal.

    So. Congrats to Neal for finally not giving yet another obviously faded, older player yet another multimillion dollar retirement plan.

    (He probably WOULD have but ran outta bucks after the Russell Martin contract)

  15. Drew71 says:

    My new favorite phrase.

  16. Jandy says:

    better yet, try “Do you wanna go, or are your gloves glued on?”

  17. JAL says:

    JAL’s A Lovers Concerto Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmJ1AqtTuyo

    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 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    http://gobuccos.com/pittsburgh-pirate-news/

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2013

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    Spring Training 2013 Position Battles: Right Field

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/02/spring-training-2013-position-battles-right-field.html

    First Pitch: Platooning Pedro Alvarez

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/02/first-pitch-platooning-pedro-alvarez.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates to sign Brandon Inge

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/2/12/3982732/pirates-to-sign-brandon-inge

    7 This Is Getting Old

    Roster Watch: Michael McKenry

    http://thisisgettingold.net/2013/02/12/roster-watch-michael-mckenry/

    8 Hyzdu Headquarters

    Pitchers and Catchers 2013

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    9 Rumbunter

    Russell Martin, Jeff Karstens, Jerry Sands On Pittsburgh Pirates Primer: 93.7 The Fan

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/02/12/russell-martin-jeff-karstens-on-pittsburgh-pirates-primer-93-7-the-fan/

    The Honesty Of Pittsburgh Pirates Tony Sanchez Still Impresses

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/02/12/the-honesty-of-pittsburgh-pirates-tony-sanchez-still-impresses/

    10 Green Weenie

    Reppin’ 2008 In Camp

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/02/reppin-2008-in-camp.html

  18. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 PBC Site

    Baseball’s 100 Names You Need to Know: Nos. 21-40

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130212&content_id=41562280&c_id=pit

    12 Yahoo Sports

    Saving grace: Grilli relishes first opportunity to close

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    13 Rant Sports

    Russell Martin Major Key For Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/02/12/russell-martin-major-key-for-pittsburgh-pirates/

    Will the Pittsburgh Pirates Finally Have a Winning Season?

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/02/12/will-the-pittsburgh-pirates-finally-have-a-winning-season/

    14 Nonsensituation Room

    The four best (and worst) words in Pittsburgh: Pitchers and Catchers report.

    http://nonsensituationroom.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/the-four-best-and-worst-words-in-pittsburgh-pitchers-and-catchers-report/

    15 Bloomberg

    Judge Rejects Plea Deal in Baseball Card Tampering Case

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-12/judge-rejects-plea-deal-in-baseball-card-tampering-case.html

    16 USA Today

    Baseball’s 100 Names You Need to Know: Nos. 1-20

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2013/02/12/mlb-100-names-you-need-to-know-top-prospects-nos-1-20/1911513/

    17 WWSB TV

    Baseball begins again for Pirates and die-hard fans in Bradenton

    http://www.mysuncoast.com/news/local/baseball-begins-again-for-pirates-and-die-hard-fans-in/article_e6af0364-756c-11e2-ac92-001a4bcf6878.html

    18 Sweetspot

    Can Wakefield teach Flutie the knuckler?

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/32886/can-wakefield-teach-flutie-the-knuckler

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    9 Breakout Candidates

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=19600

    20 Fangraphs

    Adjusting Linear Weights for Extreme Environments

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/adjusting-linear-weights-for-extreme-environments/

  19. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Was Steelers WRs coach Scottie Montgomery forced out?

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/2/12/3979638/steelers-wide-receivers-coach-search-job-position-fired

    James Harrison says he’ll restructure, won’t take a paycut

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/2/12/3979684/steelers-james-harrison-contract-salary-cap-depth-chart-free-agency

    Steelers Willie Colon wrongly targeted for release

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/2/12/3977594/steelers-willie-colon-contract-salary-cap-release-restructure-2013-2014-2015

    Does your team have a franchise quarterback? If it does, be thankful</b?

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/2/12/3976012/nfl-franchise-quarterbacks-salary-elite-draft-prospects

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers 2013 Draft Analysis: Inside Linebackers

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/02/steelers-2013-draft-analysis-inside-linebacker-early-look-at-the-rankings/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Real Madrid v Manchester United: Sir Alex Ferguson is man on a mission as his side face ultimate ‘acid test’

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/9866577/Real-Madrid-v-Manchester-United-Sir-Alex-Ferguson-is-man-on-a-mission-as-his-side-face-ultimate-acid-test.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 12th February, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-12th-february-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Zach Boychuk struggling to make his mark

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/2/12/3980100/zach-boychuk-evgeni-malkin-penguins-trade-rumors

  20. JAL says:

    A Lovers Concerto The Toys 1965 based on J.S. Bach’s Minuet in G Major

  21. JAL says:

    Wrestling, one of the oldest sports, gone and non-sports like synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics are still there–arrgh

  22. Jandy says:

    We’re getting old JAL. The times, they are a’changin’ But it doesn’t mean we have to like it!

  23. Drew71 says:

    Time to take the gloves off.

    (see?)

  24. BFD says:

    Good for the Marlins fans in the article linked by DK. Too bad Pgh fans continue to be fooled & entertained by crappy 90′s bands and firework shows.

  25. Jandy says:

    LOL! Drew, you wanna go or are your gloves glued on??

  26. Dejan,

    “In a reprehensible, reckless and utterly ridiculous ruling, the International Olympic Committee erased wrestling . .”

    I don’t always like it when you make these kinds of over-the-top kinds of judgments, because you are too good a writer to have to resort to such tactics.

    However, this time it not only was justified, it was not over-the-top enough! What a foolish, foolish, selfish, money-grubbing decision by IOC!!

    Your article took a very personal and interesting direction. It moved me. That’s good writing. Thanks! “Wrestle!”

  27. Drew71 says:

    The Gloves Are Off

  28. Drew71 says:

    TGAO

    Don’t even have to spell it out.

  29. Taught me something, JAL! There goes my Know-It-All self image!!

  30. Officer Mancuso says:

    Awesome column!

  31. JohnH says:

    Thank goodness they are fooled. Because if they weren’t we wouldn’t have a team

  32. gregenstein says:

    Could not have said this better myself. Well done.

  33. NMR says:

    More likely this years Casey McGehee, just without a big league contract.

    Pedro insurance.

  34. Drew71 says:

    Ok, seriously.

    I agree and I agree.

    I can’t remember the topic, but I wrote about two weeks ago that, essentially, I agreed with Dejan but i thought he was a bit over the top on that particular issue. Yes, sometimes I think his arguments, while directionally correct, are OTT. (I’m liking the initials today.) Maybe it’s columnistitis; many columns of many writers don’t exactly seem to seek a balanced, nuanced position. Maybe it’s presumptuous for me to try to get inside the head of any columnist. So I’ll just go back to, and leave it at, your position. A tendency to go OTT.

    And yes. In this SPECIFIC example, I think going hot is justified. Hard to have a quiet conversation about a sport that doesn’t receive wide attention when it has been wronged, and expect people to notice.

    - Fish Head Drew
    (FHD)

  35. Jandy says:

    OK, let’s go! :P

  36. Jandy says:

    Something smells.

  37. NMR says:

    New NCAA motto: “Hey, at least we’re not the IOC!”

  38. Drew71 says:

    It’s the gloves

  39. Jandy says:

    No wonder you took them off!

  40. gregenstein says:

    Geno is only 1 point behind Sid. His defense you can say has been horrible, but to say he’s been horrible overall is a bit misleading.

  41. Drew71 says:

    Where’s Spunky?

    Cause every follow-up EYE have is vaguely inappropriate.

  42. Drew71 says:

    My Sensei told me to

  43. Jandy says:

    is that like Big Brother???

  44. OK. Position players report tomorrow.

    This team has some serious holes. Even their best players have holes:
    1/ Can McCutch play a full season?
    2/ Can Pedro set a Pirate record for strikeouts?
    3/ Can Barmes hit?
    4/ Can Garrett Jones hit lefties? Is Gabby Sanchez still a Major League player?
    5/ Can Marte continue to grow as a player, or will he catch Tabata-Snider disease?

    Here’s my solution——and it is consistent with the philosophy of Neil Huntington:

    Texas Rangers love big boppers, and their park is made for that. Hamilton is “Gone with the Wind.”

    Right now, in Spring Training, trade Pedro Alvarez and Clint Barmes to Rangers for Jurickson Profar, their SS phenom who is blocked by the Rangers’ shortstop who signed an extension over the winter . . . . and Mike Olt, their excellent field, power hitting 3B who is blocked by Adrien Beltre, the best 3B in American League.

    Rangers need a 1B badly and they put Pedro there instead of Olt.
    Rangers need/love more power and Pedro will hit close to 40 in Rangers’ ballpark.
    Barmes will be the quality backup Rangers can use at 2B and SS instead of Profar.
    BMTIB sheds almost $8 million from 2013 payroll, obtaining two blocked players who each have 6 years of control and 2-3 years of low, low salary.
    BMTIB sheds itself of Scott Boras with Pedro’s contract and soon-to-be coming hassles.
    Bucs fill two big needs for next 6 years with their favorite word: “PROSPECTS!!”
    Bucs will have defense at both 3B and SS for now and future, and have a net gain of 8 years of control.

    Nah, makes too much sense.

  45. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Wha happa?

  46. Patrick says:

    We have a team? I thought the baseball was just the Opening act for Lifehouse…

  47. Drew71 says:

    Great. Just great.

    So when he’s traded, there will be more tears and something to blame for the next collapse.

  48. TJ says:

    Could care less how many points Malkin is behind Crosby. Malkin is often irresponsible with the puck and his +/- of -2 goes to show considering how many points he actually does have. Crosby sits at a plus 7. Also I would suggest that Malkin has been flat out child like in some of the games with his ridiculous penalties. He sits at 24 penalty minutes in 13 games compared to 6 for Crosby.

    So before we go comparing points we should consider the entire body of work which means playing both sides of the rink.

  49. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Patrick, number 14 on the JAL top 25. That’s a pretty good ranking. I’ll ask the same question I asked on the other thread:

    Does IT WILL END translate into ABSOLUTE LOCK or is that phrase reserved for certain other columnists we all know and appreciate?

  50. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good columns today. Groats and DK’s.

    Also good to see Kurt Angle with hair.

  51. Jandy says:

    And just what do you mean by “vaguely”??? Are you growing soft on me, Drew?? ;)

  52. Jandy says:

    Inquiring minds want to know!

  53. Patrick says:

    Sounds good in theory. I cant see Texas going for it though. By most accounts those are their top two ( the worst I saw was Olt 4th in their system) for an aging backup and an inconsistent power hitter with a low average. Both of which, like you said, are due new contracts very soon.

    I don’t think the Rangers would agree to it, and I doubt NH ability to persuade him. What would you say if Texas asked for another piece thrown in? Say Polanco or Heredia?

  54. TJ says:

    The Rangers wouldn’t give up Profar for Justin Upton, why in the world would they suddenly think Profar for Kdro and Barmes would be even close? Sorry Groat but that seems like a NH offer despite its logic for us.

  55. Patrick says:

    groat has a column?

  56. Jandy says:

    Fire Neal and hire Groat!

  57. Jandy says:

    Now, Patrick, don’t be so precise….his POST is a COLUMN in itself, silly :P

  58. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Up above. You commented on it. :)

  59. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Like.

    Now I want an answer from the writer.

    :P

  60. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Intelligent lady.

  61. Steve says:

    My interest in the Olympcs has dwindled over the years. I think the fall of communism hurt the Olympics. Once the mysteries behind the Iron Curtain were lifted and the evil Soviets and East Germans were no longer dominating certain sports a lot of the patriotism and national pride seemed to go away. Eliminating wrestling, one of the original sports and one that to me, seems so closely associated with what the Olympics is all about is an absolutely ridiculous decision. They’ve decided to do this while allowing somehting like badminton?! to remain?

  62. Patrick says:

    Ah….you subtlety eluded me. I thought you were being more literal.

  63. Thundercrack says:

    My new favorite line may be “stick a glove in it”

  64. Nate83 says:

    Groat

    It does make to much sense and that is why the Rangers would never make that trade. Although Pedro has value but until he hits above .250 and cuts down his strike outs I can’t see a team like the Rangers that can just buy a solution at first base trading a talent like Profar away for that little of a return. I would think they would want Heradia, Polanco or Hanson as well.

    I think/hope Cutch will be putting up similar numbers to last year through his prime years.

    Pedro strikeout numbers where better but still not great after May. So I think he will come in at a more reasonable 150-160 strikeouts.

    Barmes should hit closer to his post all star/career batting average. He seems like a pretty professional guy who just won’t collect a paycheck.

    I don’t know about Gabby I sure hope he still is. Him and Snider are keys to the season in my opinion.

    I think Marte will grow but I don’t think he will ever be a leadoff hitter so hopefully they don’t force him to be one. I think you put Walker in the one spot. I would rather have a dependable consistant leadoff hitter then speed. I don’t like a leadoff hitter that disappears for long stretches.

  65. Thundercrack says:

    Early leader of Post of the Day

  66. Jandy says:

    LOL remember, Patrick, this is the Lunatics’ Asylum ;)

  67. Jason says:

    The Marlins have won the World Series twice in the last 16 years. The only reason they’re protesting is that they’ve never been Pirates fans.

  68. Iceman says:

    Well I guess Rick Nash is an ok player. Wow…

    Let me present to you a brief statement from Josh Yohe’s Penguins Notebook this AM.

    “While practicing their power play with a two-man advantage, the Penguins added a new wrinkle. Right wing Tyler Kennedy played in the left circle on the top unit. Kennedy has struggled this season, scoring one goal and one assist in 13 games. He hasn’t had a goal in 11 games.”

    Please tell me that I am reading this wrong, but I believe it says that they were practicing with TK on the TOP power play unit. I understand that they were practicing 5 on 3, but still. What does Bylsma see in this guy that I am missing?

  69. AJS says:

    Agreed, but don’t discount it either. The third man on that line doesn’t need to score, but he does have to be the physical presence. Someone who does the dirty work and gets teh forecheck going. Glass is the only player who has spent time on that line that fits that description but his statement that he likes to keep it simple with them is testament to the fact he is not comfortable out there with them.

    All I want is a 2 to 3 game experiment where Kunitz moves to Genos line and Boychuck moves to Sids. Sid has a knack for making people around him better. It might just be what Boychuck needs. And it is obvious from Neals statemets that they would really like to have Kunitz back on their line.

    All that said, Malkin has a tendency to pout. He needs to get over himself sometimes. That pouting can lead to self loathing and just a downward spiral in his play. people alwayus talk about how good he is defensively. I think they must only be looking at the take away column when they say that. Sure he hops on loose pucks and gets a few poke checks that lead to big time opportunities. But he also whiffs on several of those leaving his line mates in a bad situation.

    Neal had started to take some penalties out of frustration as well. This started last year in the playoffs vs Philly. That needs to stop. Fining a way to “unfrustrate” these guys is essential at this point. I think moving Kunitz to that line accomplishes that.

  70. Jandy says:

    me too!

  71. Jandy says:

    I think Bylsma needs new glasses…or something….just sayin’

  72. Iceman says:

    Very well said Ghost.

    I’m going to be honest here and say that I have little to no interest in Olympic wrestling. I have never really enjoyed it and it actually makes me a bit uncomfortable to watch. However, not having it in the Olympics is ridiculous. When I think of the origins of the Olympics, I think of images of wrestlers on ancient Greek artifacts and archaeological sites.

  73. meglasdad says:

    Ghost came closer than most when it comes to getting wrestling back into the Olympics. NBC is the key. Put pressure on NBC, maybe suggest we won’t be watching the Olympics if wrestling is left out. They can get wrestling put back in in a New York minute IF THEY WANT TO.

  74. AJS says:

    I believe the answer is the guy who lead the team in goals a couple years ago when everyone and their brother was hurt. that team had absolutely no business making the playoffs and wouldn’t have if it weren’t for TK. He also is the guy that until he was called upon to be said goal scorer would muck it up in the corners and get to loose pucks.

    Now, that is not to say that TK has grown at all since then nor is it to say that he should be on the top PP unit. Just that sometimes when you have a guy who pretty much stabilized the team when it should have flopped, it is normal to try to give that guy every opportunity you can to stick. Hence a look on Geno’s line and now on the PP. In that not so distant future you have to believe that he will continue to disappoint and the decision to get rid of him will not be far behind.

  75. Dan1283 says:

    I never watched any of the wrestling before so it doesn’t bother me a bit that it might be gone soon. I think it’s a dumb decision because I’m sure the ratings aren’t great but they can’t be any better than the pentathalon stuff that NO one watches. But yea, if it goes away, I really won’t care.

    Heck it might even give me a chance to poke at some people who poked at me during the NHL lockout!

  76. TJ says:

    Unfortunately I don’t think NBC would have any kind of leverage in this matter. The bottom line is that they bid for the Olympics; along with several other companies to broadcast the Olympics. Should NBC have a brain fart and decide that they Olympics are not worth covering because Wrestling has been removed I would guarantee that they would have a new broadcast partner in no time. I hate to use a time frame after the whole Rob Ryan “I’ll be out of work for 5 minutes”. But the Olympics would go on just fine without NBC.

  77. TJ says:

    Anyone miss Steve Sullivan on the point? Had to keep that money free for Parise. :)

  78. Dan1283 says:

    100% correct, TJ.

  79. Patrick says:

    Wait..an asylum? I thought this was the line for Malkin’s mom’s Borscht recipe?

  80. Dom says:

    I don’t understand the frustration with the Marlins fans. Everyone hates it when they’re team goes through a rebuilding process but 2012 was a disaster for the club. They had no other option but to sell off the goods and hope for the future. Small market clubs in MLB simply cannot spend big on years that they are not able to compete. The team did what it had to in order to build a championship.

  81. Jandy says:

    Wrong line :p

  82. Patrick says:

    I’ll take it one step further. If anything people like NBC are the reason they are canceling it. NBC pays A LOT of money for the rights, and they don’t want to spend money covering sports that makes people change the channel. The main reason they said they were eliminating it was lack of interest.

    Not only would NBC not be willing to save it, they might have been the ones that killed it.

  83. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    While Geno has been taking dumb penalties way too often, coughing up the puck (Sid is too don’t forget) and displaying some of his inner Jagr, I think it should be pointed out that he is an incredibly skilled defensive player: when he WANTS to be. If he and Sid would start shooting the dam puck, I think we’d see them both producing and playing way better. Time for them to be a little selfish.

    I’m not a big fan of +-. Very misleading stat. Sort of like blocked shots and hits. But I guess the NHL needed to incorporate some aspects of the NBA and NFL in their numbers.

  84. Reading says:

    “Eliminating” wrestling has given the sport more publicity than it would have gotten had it been left on the schedule.

  85. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    + positive sentiment

  86. Drew71 says:

    At my age, the word “soft” makes me, um, uncomfortable.

  87. Dan1283 says:

    It’s a lot more complex and sordid than that I’m afraid. Everyone in Miami except for Jeffrey Loria got rooked. Everyone. I wish I had some all-encompassing link for you that combs through it all but I don’t. Maybe someone else does?

  88. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Olympics are a television show. If NBC said, “hey, don’t get rid of wrestling” it would still be there. Period.

  89. Patrick says:

    Because they just spent 500 million to build a stadium for a guy who immediately turned the product into garbage. I think its fair for the citizens of Dade county to expect more from their investment than what they are going to get the next 2-3 years. You can argue it was deliberate or not, for the foreseeable future they paid a lot of money to build a beautiful stadium for a TERRIBLE team.

    And honestly did Loria not realize how much money he had when he signed those guys? Did he not estimate what his revenues were going to be and realize he would be operating THAT far into the red? How do you pay 120 million when you KNOW you are only afford about half of that?

    It didn’t help to hire a coach that immediately went about alienating fans and players from day 1, either.

  90. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    +appreciate. But I think he’s on IR right now.

  91. Nate83 says:

    Dom

    I agree to a degree in that they did this twice before and won World Series. I would think Pirate fans woudl be OK with this all in method of running a team based on the results over the last 20 years we have had doing it this way.

    The issue is the stadium that the city payed for. If you front the Bill for something with the understanding of a competetive team being put on the field and a payroll somewhere in the 10-20 range of teams there is going to be anger after just one year the tax payers are receiving a team that is dead last in payroll.

  92. Jandy says:

    LIKE!!!!!

  93. Jandy says:

    nuffin yet…

  94. Patrick says:

    I cant see any way they don’t end the streak this year. (Barring signifigant injuries to Cutch and AJ obviously) I still fully believe if Neil Walker doesnt miss 20 games down the stretch it ends last year. Teams like that simply cannot sustain asignifigant part of their lineup missing.

    I think Marte and Snider become more consistent. More than anything i think the motivation of UFA for Garret and Pedro=big seasons for both.

  95. Jandy says:

    Malkin has been putrid with his juvenile behavior. His behind end needs to ride the pine a game or three.

  96. Dan1283 says:

    The fact is though, Patrick, that if people wanted to see it over the gymnastics, swimming, diving, track, and yes, beach volleyball, then it would already be in prime time. Instead, and I’m going by memory here, the gold medal wrestling match was aired in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday, I believe. It’s just not popular enough, but that’s hard to see that inside this PA bubble we live in where the sport is popular. There’s probably entire states you could walk through where 99% of the people you run in to would look at you weird if you asked if they liked wrestling.

    I know, I know, where are rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming popular, right? I don’t understand why wrestling is on the brink over those sports, but it’s still one of the sports apparently struggling in popularity around the globe.

  97. Jandy says:

    Nah…he was back last week. Averaging about 13 minutes a game.

  98. Nate83 says:

    Olympics are a global event. I don’t believe NBC pulls that much weight in this situation. I don’t think they care one way or the other because Wrestling was being shown on MSNBC not during primetime on the main network.

    You ended your sentence with three consecutive periods. Period.:)

  99. Jandy says:

    Well, Spunky, there’s our answer. Copy it, paste it, and we’ll see how it ends up at the end of the season.

  100. John Lease says:

    I thought Josh Harrison was the Pedro insurance policy, has it lapsed? :)

  101. Dom says:

    If the team had a successful run in 2012 than anyone could understand the frustration for selling off the team. However, since 2012 was so abysmal, why would 2013 be any better with the same guys? I don’t see how keeping the same guys from last year would have rectified the issue. The problem really started back in the 90’s when MLB decided it was a good idea to place a team in Miami.

  102. Reading says:

    Last week Pitt and Penn State had an NCAA Top 20 wrestling match at Pitt. I’m too lazy to look, but I don’t recall an “On Location” Blog or other dedicated Blog thread for that match. NCAA wrestling is the feeder for Olympic Wrestling, I believe.

  103. Milo Hamilton says:

    I did, didn’t I. Is that a record ?

  104. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    “They have come by truck, by train and by plane to congregate under the clear skies and palms of the crucible of another season, to take another aim at 82: The number of wins that would secure the team’s first winning season since 1992.

    Reinforcements have been brought in for the next charge up Mount .500.”-Tom Singer

    I can’t even think of a stupid joke to describe this guy’s writing and reasoning. Delusional is the best I can come up with. I liked Langosch’s writing much better. The rest of this article is even worse. I guess at least we’re not setting the bar too high this year?

  105. Domske,

    The Marlins just moved into their NEW ballpark last season, with all the NEW income!
    The Batting Champion shortstop, Buerle, and Bell were less than a year into their NEW Free Agent contracts.
    Marlins had just hired a NEW Hotshot manager.
    The Marlins centerfielder was on the verge of NEW stardom as a fielder and leadoff hitter.
    Stanton, he of NEW first name, is a horse in right field.

    Selling off all those NEW resources (except Stanton) is NOT the way to build a championship team.
    Instead, that’s a losing management team sticking it to the fans and politicians of Miami!

  106. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    “Because they just spent 500 million to build a stadium for a guy who immediately turned the product into garbage. I think its fair for the citizens of Dade county to expect more from their investment than what they are going to get the next 2-3 years. You can argue it was deliberate or not, for the foreseeable future they paid a lot of money to build a beautiful stadium for a TERRIBLE team.”

    This sounds terribly, sadly, agonizingly familiar.

  107. Nate83 says:

    How would the Pirate fan base react if in late July we where 40-55 and decided to trade away Cutch, Jones, Walker, Alverez, Wandy and AJ? Now add the fact that taxes just went up to pay for a new stadium.

    I agree that keeping the same team would have been a bad idea, but they literally stripped the entire team and really didn’t get much in return. They could have kept Reyes and Johnson and traded Hanley and Buhrle.

  108. Jandy says:

    it is now

  109. Milo,

    How much would it cost me to have you go back to a “gray man”?!?!

  110. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Where were you a couple years ago, Natester? :)

  111. Milo Hamilton says:

    A swirl at Mixon’s ?

  112. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good answer. That and a few bucks will get you a Starbucks. But I like his optimism and positive attitude, as I did Dejan’s when he proclaimed the Absolute Lock. Time will tell, as it always does.

  113. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Here again, that’s what your wife said. (I couldn’t resist. You leave yourself open to it, Drewster).

  114. NMR says:

    You just do not add that many players and completely give up after one year. You just don’t do it.

    Loria blamed the lack of attendance for the inability to field that payroll any longer when no amount of fuzzy accounting could’ve paid for it through attendance alone at current prices.

    They could’ve won the world series and I guarantee they still would be shedding salaries. The payroll was simply never sustainable.

    The whole process was a sham from the start.

  115. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think you meant to say Arbitration eligible for Pedro. His first arb eligible is 2014.

  116. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Thanks, Jandy. Hadn’t checked if he was back. But yeah, I kinda miss him.

  117. Give me an address and I will have it mailed first class packed in ice!

  118. TJ says:

    The sad thing is that we all believe and agree that the Marlins stuck it to the tax payers in Florida. The same tax payers that have seen the Marlins win 2 world series in the past 15 years while we’ve seen 20 straight LOSING seasons.

    They’ve had fire sales before after each WS and managed to rebuild and win. If anything I think they’ve shown more of an ability to win than Mr. Moneyball considering their constant build up and tear down mentality. Might have some losing years in there but they’ve shown they can win the WS.

  119. Patrick says:

    Brad….i wrote something that pretty much says the same thing. Maybe its setting the bar low. But the ceiling for this team isnt real high….

  120. NMR says:

    I have zero compassion for this sentiment.

    How many times has an owner fed a city this load of garbage?

    The total financial liability will be well over a billion dollars after debt payments and take decades to pay off. NO person in their right mind should reasonably expect success out of the team over that kind of time frame.

    If those are your demands for voting yes, then you deserve to be disappointed.

  121. Jandy says:

    ehh…I think we’re ok on point with Martin and Letang. I liked Steve, but he’s gonna be 39 this summer.

  122. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Sorry AJS, I just cant subscribe to TK being that big of an influence. A pleasant surprise that year, certainly. But hardly the determining factor in them making the playoffs. Guys like Rupp and Dupweee also contributed way more than expected that year. Brett Johnson stabilized the crease when McFluery was floundering early on. And the fact is, he’s not getting to loose pucks and mucking it up like he used to.

    In a what have you done for me lately situation that shelves Tangradi, Jeffrey and other guys with more potential, it’s hard to justify TK even being on the 3rd line right now let alone any PP. He’s incredibly one dimensional and for a guy that makes a living shooting the puck, his SOG % is nowhere near acceptable IMO.

  123. Kevin says:

    Agree with everything you just said. Still looking for reasons why kunitz should not be on the malkin-neal line. Other than his 4-goal game a week ago.

  124. Dom says:

    I guess the Marlins should have given one more year but it was probably better that they did get rid of the guys when they did. They had less than 70 wins last year. It wasn’t going to happen. They should have made one more push this year b/c of the new stadium but its hard to imagine that they would have turn it around.

  125. NMR says:

    I don’t equate tax payers and winning baseball what-so-ever, TJ.

    Only Marlins fans give a sh*t whether they win or lose.

    EVERY person pays taxes.

    Burdening the city with massive public debt should not at all be tied to winning a trophy.

  126. Nate83 says:

    I was pounding my fist at the Bay trade and Sanchez trade but was perfectly fine with the Nady/Marte trade nad Wilson trade. I understood it because of the extreme lack of talent in our minor leagues and absolutely no pitching. We actually where fooled into getting excited about Zack Duke and Ian Snell.

    This fan base really has been through a lot. We deserve something even if it’s just 82 wins.

  127. Milo Hamilton says:

    How about I just meet you there ?

  128. The Gunner says:

    Another washed up bum for the joke of MLB and all professional sports, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  129. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    NMR,

    I’m not very knowledgeable of and don’t really even care about Miami’s situation-BMTIB keeps my brain busy enough :-). I just think it’s sad that our time frame has been 12 years since PNC opened and we’re still struggling for Mount .500 and just starting to get into fairly average payroll.

  130. TJ says:

    No I was referring to the fact that:

    1. While everyone is upset they blew up the team the fact is that they have done it before and won

    2. They have at least 2 WS titles before getting a new park while we were fed a new park would bring a WS.

  131. LuckyNKentucky says:

    like

  132. Drew71 says:

    Man. When our minister says things like that, this is gonna be a long day.

  133. Jandy says:

    like +2

  134. Drew71 says:

    Shoulda said OUR Sensei.

  135. TJ says:

    I don’t know if anyone has actually seen this park but I’ve driven past it several times over the past couple months and I am amazed at the size of it. I think you could possibly put PNC and Heinz inside and close the roof. Its ridiculous.

  136. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Oh I agree. But calling a .211 hitting catcher, a 5+ ERA pitcher that took months to sign because of bathroomgate and some AAA players “reinforcements” hardly seems appropriate.

    Singer continues praising Neal the SEAL’s offseason in the article and it just makes me want to puke…

    “Around those high-profile moves, the influx was almost non-stop, right down to the confirmation of Liriano.”

    “General manager Neal Huntington’s biggest acquisition, Martin, came early, and he ventured into blockbuster territory with the late-December trade of Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt to Boston for a quartet headlined by reliever Mark Melancon and slugging prospect Jerry Sands.”

    I can accept the bar isn’t the World Series, but let’s not act like this offseason is getting us there before spring training even really gets started.

  137. Jandy says:

    LMAO! You’re in trouble, Drew.

  138. JAL says:

    Dejan’s column points out many countries participate in Olympic wrestling. More countries also win medals in wrestling. In 2012 there were 72 wrestling medals with 29 countries winning at least 1. In swimming there were 102 medals but only 19 countries won at least one.

  139. NMR says:

    Nobody ever said a new ball park would bring us a world series, and I certainly don’t think anybody should’ve expected such even if it were said.

    But I do think your first point could point to an unintentional silver lining…

    The Marlins were basically able to rebuild their entire organization in one season largely through trading high priced free agents only a year after signing.

    Its certainly easy for ME to say spending over $100m on payroll for a year causing you to bleed money is worth it when the return is young, cheap talent. But thats basically what the Marlins did.

    The easy part is over. They’ve shown they know how to aquire talent.

    The second part of the formula is signing key veteran free agents for the title run. I have a feeling that is going to be much, much harder this time around after the stunt ownership just pulled.

  140. Kevin says:

    we need more pleasant surprise! expectations seem too lofty for this group.. kennedy, boychuk, etc. My dad was complaining about Kovalchuks goal on Sunday. Was complaining because “why can’t sutter do that?”. He had basically the same look but put it off brodeur’s blocker.

  141. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Hey Gunner. Good to see you!

    Curious as to what you think about our rotation “potential” this upcoming campaign.

  142. Kevin says:

    I know its not fair because I didn’t even read the wrestling column. Wrestling just does not interest me. Hockey fighting on the other hand… maybe should be its on sport.. in the winter olympics.

  143. BFD says:

    I’d bet the Marlins have another winning season before the Nutting Pirates do. Heck. They may even retool and compete for another championship before “we” see .500

    I saw a few posters mention they believe 2013 will end the record breaking futility streak. I can not see it. I think the hope which spring training always brings is making many forget the wretched free falls we witnessed the past couple years.

    Too many holes. Too many “ifs”, “hopes” and relying on players improving rather than reverting back to their career “norms”.

    XXI coming soon

  144. Dom says:

    Isnt the 2020 Olympics supposed to be the last one that includes wrestling? I bet by then there is enough outrage that they decide to overturn that decision. It was an odd verdict in my mind.

  145. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    “With internal replacements failing, and a waiver claim not running with the opportunity, Pens GM Ray Shero may be forced to attempt to make a trade close to the deadline to bring in a winger to play with Crosby so the Pens can finally right the Malkin line by moving Kunitz back.”

    Here’s a wild freakin idea. Move Kunitz there NOW! Put Boychuck, Jeffrey, Glass, Vitale or even Tangradi on Sid’s line. NOW. Not at the deadline. I can only think of one guy who’s played consistently with Geno where you think, “Man, those 2 belong together.” He’s already on that line.

    Sorry, but this one falls on Bylsma. Do something! It’s so frustrating that the best solution is right there (Kunitz with Geno), but it’s not being implemented.

    Wait, we’ll just put Tyler Kennedy on the PP. That will fix stuff.

  146. The Gunner says:

    Lucky

    First of all, I am extremely disgusted with the BMTIB. I can’t see how AJ will have a year like last year, Wandy & Karstens will probably be OK. JMac, Ground Chuck, Liriano, Locke, & McPherson are iffy. They need to take a serious look at Cole and see what he is made of. Shortstop & the lack of a legitimate lead off hitter is still an issue.

    All of this points to the Bucs taking a step backward this year and being sellers at the trade deadline.

  147. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    To be fair, Kovalchuk has developed into a moderately ok player. Sutter just isn’t an Ilya. Neither was Staal.

  148. JAL says:

    Let’s compare

    If Martin plays at his career norm he will much better than Barajas
    Jones played near his career norm last last
    Walker was almost exactly at his career norm
    Barmes at his career norm would better than he was most of last season
    Alvarez has no career norm
    Marte has no career norm
    If McCutchen plays at his career norm it would a small drop.
    AJ’s career norm would be 2 wins less than last season

    Certainly some ifs but I see no one who would hurt the team playing at their norm

  149. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I’ll agree with Letang. I’d take Sullivan over Martin. Martin has a better shot, Sullivan more vision. So what if uncle Steve is gona be 39? I’m sure Grandpa Chelios is playing retirement league somewhere and he’s like 84.

    They should put Despres and Letang on the PP and get Geno off the back end.

  150. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Sounds like a fair analysis. And you didn’t even mention your favorite OF, Tabata. :)

  151. NMR says:

    JAL committed the cardinal sin…engaging BFD in conversation.

  152. Jandy says:

    http://www.faceoff-factor.com/1pittsburgh-penguins/4706/lacing-up-the-future-of-58

    Great write up at FaceOff Factor on the future of Letang. UFA after next season.
    Shero has some tough decisions coming up.

  153. Jandy says:

    Spunky, what shall JAL’s penance be???

  154. JHadar says:

    Excellent column, DK!

    I was upset enough with the IOC when they dropped baseball — but dropping wrestling, now that’s a travesty.

    Did I ever mention Frank Gotch was from Humboldt? The town just put up a statue of him in a little park about three blocks from my house where he used to work out. I remember the old timers telling how trainloads of fans would come out from Chicago to watch him train for a match. Old stories about Farmer Burns, Hackensmidt, and how when he attended a Cubs game (when the Cubs were good) the baseball players came up to his box after the game and asked him for his autograph.

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20130212/SPORTS/130212013/?odyssey=nav|head

    But yeah, eliminating wrestling from the Olympics is about on par with eliminating track and field events.

  155. Jandy says:

    He doesn’t get paid like one either.

  156. Jandy says:

    Grandpa Chelios lol! Priceless!

  157. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Three Hail Marys and one My Country Tis’ of Thee.

  158. Patrick says:

    You cant put Kunitz on there right off the bat. You cant make the best player in the world play with Kennedy and Dupuis. You just cant ask Sid to give up the best winger he has ever played with (not named Marion) just to help out Geno. Especially when Geno ALREADY has the only all-star winger on the team on his line.

    I’ll ask you this: Why does Geno need so much help? Great players are supposed to make those around him better. How much more help does he need?!?

    I’m not denying they need a winger for Geno, but not at the expense of stripping every other line down. Personally I dont know why Dupuis isnt being mentioned a winger for Geno. He played with him and did well. Why does it have to be Kunitz?

    I would switch Dupuis and Boychuk before i blow up the first line completely.

  159. NMR says:

    JAL does make an excellent argument, though.

    The 2012 Pirates did not get a single performance above and being what could be reasonably expected according to “career norms”.

    The closest anyone came to playing “over his head” was Jones, and his line almost exactly matched his career split against righties (.279/.348/.504). Gaby and Snider/Tabata/Sands will almost certainly mean he never sees game action against lefties, which mean that it is completely reasonable to expect a similar performance.

  160. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I knew you’d like the song part of it. :)

  161. JAL says:

    Cutch had the most stats above his norm but we have no idea if he was above norm or simply showing natural development

  162. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Patrick, I’d be happy if they did something like that (put Dupweee there). Pensburgh seems to think Kunitz is the answer based on recent experience, so why even stick with Boychuck? I obviously don’t have the answer, but I’m irritated that Bylsma doesn’t seem to be trying to find one. I don’t think this situation should necessitate a trade like Pensburgh suggests. My biggest gripe with Bylsma is that he doesn’t adapt and adjust well.

    I agree on Geno. He needs to stop letting his inner Jagr come out and just play the game like he’s capable.

    And for the record, I would be scratching Kennedy.

  163. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    “Letang brings a unique combination of speed, offensive ability, and physicality to the game.”

    They forgot to mention long dirty hair.

  164. 21sthebest says:

    I think it was both.

  165. ddomico says:

    DK,
    I just shared the wrestling column on Facebook. I coach wrestling and football in central PA. I don’t always agree with your opinions (esp. PSU/Paterno – I’d love to discuss this with you over a few beers someday) but I’ve always respected them due to your diligence. I knew I was biased on this due to coaching and having two sons that wrestle, so I was interested in your take. Thank you for the piece to raise awareness.
    I LOVE what wrestling is doing for my kids. It is a sport that is worth supporting. As a football coach, I feel that wrestling is the best thing they could do as a youth to develop as a football player. As a teacher, I love the self-discipline that it teaches. I have been looking for a specific reason that wrestling was dropped by the IOC, but haven’t found one.
    Please do not forget this topic. If you find of other ways we can influence the IOC please share the information.

  166. BFD says:

    Most everyone saying this will be the year to break the streak are counting on similar production or better from last year minus the last 2 months free fall.

    Anyone who has watched this team over the past 20 years knows this doesn’t happen.

    Can the streak be broken? of course. The odds say it has to some time, but if I were a betting man, I’d say it will not be this year……

    NRM – most/many of these guys know me from the old DK PG blog days…..they know how I roll….. your advise/insult wasn’t necessary

  167. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Very interesting, even for a non-puckhead like me. You need to write a column for his site, J-girl.

  168. pattonbb says:

    Went out for a couple drinks last night with a German friend/colleague. He asked the bartender to please tune one television to the Champions League game between Celtic and Juventus. Soccer? Are you kidding me?

    I ordered a double and prepared myself for the worst. Instead, I saw one of the most amazing pregame traditions I’ve ever seen, 60,000 Celtic fans singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. Not to mention the coolest banner of Joe Strummer I’ve ever seen. I was completely amazed.

    Then the game started. I lasted about 5 minutes before re-runs of “Battle of the Network Stars” on another tv caught my attention. I had forgotten that Victoria Principal was a stone cold fox. What a beautiful woman.

    Not sure what happened in the soccer game.

  169. Jandy says:

    hey Brad….I got something for ya….oh wait…this is a G rated blog….

  170. Jandy says:

    Actually Spunky, he’s bugged me about it…but with working full time, helpuing hubby with his sub-contracting business, and trying to keep up with the house..and stil make time to enjoy a few things, well, let’s just say, it’s tough. I make sure to visit his site and comment on it, tho.

  171. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I hear ‘ya.

  172. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    avatar and statements not matching up…

  173. Boise Bucco says:

    I’m sure it’s been mentioned already, but Ryan Whitney’s pretty much on his way out in Edmonton…

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/02/12/edmonton-oilers-defenceman-ryan-whitney-says-while-he-doesnt-understand-being-scratched-hes-not-looking-for-a-trade

    So basically Shero’s 2 for 2 on getting wingers on-the-cheap for D-men who end up getting healthy-scratched on their next team, and that’s not even counting getting Hossa for like a big bag of pennies and Colby Armstrong.

    Ray Shero for Pirates GM? Maybe?

  174. Jandy says:

    Boise, a lot of fans don’t like Shero You’ll be hearing it right here soon enough. But I think he does a fine job. He’d only make the Pirates better, and wouldn’t break the bank doing it.

  175. Dom says:

    In DK’s article, he notes that wrestling already took a hit hard before the announcement from a few days ago. I did a google search on the topic and found an article that stated NCAA and NAIA colleges eliminated 40% of their wrestling teams from the 80’s to 1999. I can only imagine how bad of shape it is now and will be if it is no longer an Olympic sport.

  176. JAL says:

    Juventus 3 Celtic 0

    To game series but Celtic has to go on the road and win by at least 3 to have a chance to advance.

  177. Dom says:

    Correction: it is the 2016 Olympics that would be the last one. I didn’t read DK’s article until after I posted that.

  178. JAL says:

    Bigger game this afternoon–Manchester United vs Real Madrid

  179. Naje says:

    Liverpool does the same thing with “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at their home stadium Anfield… incredible tradition.

    The brilliant Pirlo not much of a factor yesterday, but Matri certainly gave the Celtic defenders fits all night.

  180. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I think Shero does a very good job. He has his weaknesses, namely FA acquisitions and retainers. But overall I’d take him over Neal the SEAL any day. And Dupweeee was an excellent addition to the Hossa Mammosa trade.

    If he trades Despres, then I’ll be upset.

  181. Naje says:

    Most, if not every single one of those wrestling programs were eliminated because of Title IX and the NCAA’s and NAIA’s desire to even out the scholarships for women and men. Schools had too many sports for men and had to cut a few of them and add several more women’s sports to come into compliance. Swimming, water polo and other sports have felt the heavy hand of getting cut… and the Cal Bears had to cut baseball just a few years ago.

    Title IX has expanded opportunities for women, but in dozens, if not hundreds of cases, it has crushed men’s sports. If the demand for men’s sports is 450 players over 15 teams (or something like that), and the demand for women’s sports is 250 players on 10 teams, I have no problem with that whatsoever. The way the NCAA defines equality is mind-boggling.

  182. Give me date and time, and I’ll be there if at all possible.

    I’ll buy you two!

  183. Boise Bucco says:

    But what if he trades Despres for what ends up being another Neal or Kunitz?

    I only ask because that’s his track record right now. I’d take that trade.

  184. Such a nice blog today, then you had to introduce this “Drive-By!”

  185. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    As long as Letang isn’t lost to FA I guess I could stomach it. (cringing) But I think we really can’t afford to subtract much from our starting D. Martin, while playing better, is hardly a dominant force. Orpik’s not getting any younger, and Letang and Niskanen are injury-prone.

  186. JoeyBats says:

    For those of you who are NCAA hoops fans….the injury to Kentucky center Nerlens Noel yesterday evening may shakeup the landscape of the upcoming March Madness tourney and the NBA draft order.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1527206-nerlens-noel-injury-updates-on-kentucky-stars-knee?utm_source=cnn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=cnn-sports-bin&hpt=hp_bn15

  187. pattonbb says:

    I knew you would appreciate it, Groat!

    PLAY BALL!!!

  188. ddomico says:

    I attended IUP when they dropped it. It was strictly a Title IX decision. I wouldn’t call it dead yet, though. If you want to know why, go see a Penn State match at Rec Hall. It’s an experience that any sports fan would want to do again.

  189. NMR says:

    Are you sure mens sports being eliminated due to Title IX are because of scholarships?

    I could certainly be mistaken, but I thought it had more to do with equal FUNDING provided to male and female sports.

    Non-revenue generating male sports like swimming and wrestling become too expensive given the overemphasis of football at all levels, thus those are the ones to get cut.

    It’s not like the number of scholarships have changed over time.

  190. 21sthebest says:

    Baseball programs are also being eliminated at D-I programs.

  191. National Mart of Records,

    I’m pretty sure it’s equal scholarships.

    Duke introduced a female rowing team to have 30-35 scholarships for women, since football throws 85 on the male chromosome side. Not many rivers or big creeks near Duke campus. All races on road!

    But it balances out the scholarship opportunities.

  192. 21sthebest says:

    Title IX requires that female and male student-athletes receive athletics scholarship dollars proportional to their participation; if sixty per cent of the university’s intercollegiate athletes are male, then sixty per cent of the athletic scholarships should go to men. The law does not require that women receive the same number, or the same size awards as the men, only that the total awards be proportional to participation.

  193. ddomico says:

    It is a funding issue. The issue with Title IX is that schools did not comply by increasing the funding for women’s sports. They complied by DECREASING the funding for men’s sports to make them equal.
    True equality would come from raising the support of those in need, not by tearing down support of others.

  194. Ghost says:

    Actually, Cal’s baseball program is alive and well. But you are right about the effects of Title IX on scholarships for men. Title IX doesn’t specifically target scholarships: what Title IX does — and how it is interpreted has apparently changed over the years — is to mandate that equal ‘participation opportunities’ are offered. Well, at the collegiate level a participation opportunity essentially involves “scholarships.” But monies for practice facilities, coaching staffs, etc. are all included in the equation. Basically, schools are are required to bean count so that overall funding of men’s and women’s sport ends up balanced. Of course, this funding is disproportionately derived from just two sports: football and men’s basketball. And even these two sports actually operate in the red on most campuses. Everyone sees programs like Notre Dame football and then think that all football programs are cash cows. Most are not. (See the 2010 NCAA Report).

    Interestingly, outside of marquee sports like football and basketball, I believe most collegiate athletes on scholarship are only getting partial scholarships. In softball and baseball, for example, a few hotly sought after recruits can command a full ride, but especially in softball most ladies on any given team are playing on only partial assistance.

  195. Dom says:

    Does anyone believe that title IX is still needed today? Men might have more opportunities in terms of collegiate sports but that might just simply be due to the fact more men are interested in sports.

    Arizona State has a 52% female enrollment but just 40% of the athletes are women.

    I’m not against the rule, I just think it should be tweaked.

  196. JHadar says:

    Are there any revenue-producing women’s sports?

  197. 21sthebest says:

    Yup. D-I baseball programs can only offer 11.7 scholarships for the team and as you mentioned, those are usually split up between 27 players (8 walk ons allowed to get to a max roster of 35).

  198. TJ says:

    The only time Malkin plays like Malkin is when Sid is not on the ice. Its truly amazing how much of a different player he is. Usually you have guys like Hossa that dwindle under the pressure of being the go to guy but Malkin seems to fade at times when he isn’t the go to guy.

    As for making a trade now I’m all for it; but it takes 2 to make a trade and I seriously doubt anyone wants to send up the white flag of surrender this early in the season. All we have to give is prospects and picks. A team giving up a winger that we need for those assets would send a clear signal to a fan base that we have no intention of winning this year despite it only being 12 games old.

  199. NMR says:

    This is the explanation I’ve previously heard.

    People blame Title IX for the elimination of male sports when the football team is usually just as much to blame.

    Other than the handful of money making D1 schools, most football programs are an enormous drain of financial resources.

  200. Sisyphus says:

    I’d be delighted to take that bet.

  201. Ghost says:

    Yes. See: Women’s mud wrestling. ;P

  202. Milo Hamilton says:

    Second week in March.

  203. NMR says:

    I bet certain schools have certain teams that make money.

    PSU Volleyball sells out matches and probably have low operating costs.

    UConn and Tennessee basketball probably make money.

    These select examples probably come closer to breaking even than truly generating wealth.

  204. Ghost says:

    There ya go, Son — like a chip off the ol’ block!

  205. Ghost says:

    “These select examples probably come closer to breaking even than truly generating wealth.”
    I think that’s true. In addition to money spent on scholarships, coaches and training staffs’ salaries eat up quite a lot of money. UConn, Tennessee can at least generate television revenues for their schools though.

  206. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I’m touched to think that I’m your minister, Drew. Brings tears to my eyes.

  207. Jandy says:

    Suddenly, our stockpile doesn’t seem so formidable.

  208. Jandy says:

    Awwwww….how sweet….I think I need a tissue…

  209. Ghost says:

    I don’t want to get too far off the beaten track, however. That Olympic wrestling is not as popular as with television viewers as, say, the men’s track 100 m final, does not mean it deserves the axe. If popularity and viewership were the criteria, there still would be MANY candidates to go before wrestling. Shooting? That Wushu???
    A certain few sports with such great heritage, like the 100M dash, and like wrestling, are so intrinsic to the Games and to the coming together of cultures and nations to compete on this world stage, that it is “reprehensible” as DK puts it, for the feckless vote-holders of the IOC to do this to this great heritage we all share.

  210. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I’ll send you a box. :P

  211. tpbco says:

    Actually, I think it does. Both Strait and Lovejoy were at one point the top of the AHL depth chart. Now, they couldn’t beat anybody out in the top 7 and the real depth in W/B has shown a lot more upside, although a bit younger.

    They didn’t lose them out of desperation. They knew the risk that Strait would be claimed and were okay with that. Lovejoy’s trade was as much as they could get for him (in a stand alone trade) and I guess didn’t want him wasting away in Mario’s box on game nites.

  212. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    My predictions for tonight’s Pens game…

    1. Dupweee will not be able to stop.

    2. Craig Adams will hit someone and fall over.

    3. Tyler Kennedy will attempt at least 7 shots, 2 of which will actually count as a shot on goal.

    4. Letang may or may not play.

    5. Karlsson will impress at our expense.

    6. Crosby and Malkin will both score.

    7. Boychuck will record his first point.

  213. tpbco says:

    I think it’s interesting, with ALL the line changes DB has tried, not once has it been Kunitz, Geno and Nealer. I haven’t seen ONE shift yet. Almost going out of his way to avoid it. The closest has been Sid, Geno and Nealer.

  214. Dom says:

    That only makes sense since it brings in such huge financial resources.

  215. Jandy says:

    Add to Brad’s predictions:
    Karlsson will take a dive in an attempt to draw a penalty, but it won’t work. (Because he just got away with it last game he played).

  216. TJ says:

    Gonna go out on a limb and say Glass has a goal and a fight tonight

  217. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    The cardinal sin is to sit in here and defend at least 99% of everything the Nutting Regime does.
    Hoka Hey…Lies…Cheapness….20 years of losing baseball.
    It’s fine to ramble on about it whether its June, December or February.
    Anyone that questions it is labeled a dope.
    Your opinion is just an opinion…And a minority one at that.

  218. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Who’s defending that? You must have this blog mixed up with another one. Foo hasn’t been on here for a few days.

  219. Dom says:

    There is no female equivalent to football. There is no sport that brings in such huge profits and cost a huge amount of money to run. A college would be much more likely to drop a minor men’s sport in lieu of taking anything away from their football squad because it would limit recruits, provide a worse team, and therefore could cost the school money in the future or down the road.

    Rutgers was lambasted by title IX supporters b/c they cut their men’s tennis team due to funds but they spent over 100K over the years on hotel rooms for the football players. Evidently, these pro-title ix supporters could not figure out what I said in the last paragraph.

  220. CeehowUR says:

    They like to meet at the bank.

  221. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Wha gonna happa?

  222. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Might as well throw in an assist for the Gordie Howe hat trick. That would be awesome!

  223. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Heard Starkey, Miller and whoever’s on that show on the Fan interviewing Gerrit Cole. They asked him about Hoka Hey. Talk about 30 seconds of word fumbling and awkward response preparation. The 3rd guy was bashing DK for Hoka Hey, Starkey was defending him.

  224. NMR says:

    Huge relative to the other sports, but often still a loss for the school.

    PITT football, for instance, certainly generated more revenue than any other sport, but I bet you the basketball team made more profit.

    Once you get out of major D1 programs, the actual money made is slim to none.

  225. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Looks to me like NMR is….

  226. NMR says:

    You broke the second cardinal sin, Lucky…engaging Daq in baseball conversation.

    You, you apologist!!

  227. CeehowUR says:

    I’ll add Team Handball to the list of sports to drop. The US rarely qualifies anyway. In most cases sports that have been in the Olympics the longest should get the benefit of the doubt.

  228. CeehowUR says:

    If you’re both right, I predict we might see a smile from Bylsma on the bench.

  229. Dom says:

    I don’t understand what negative reaction would occur if they would omit football and basketball from title IX. The women would still get their funding and men would be more likely to keep their minor sports.

  230. LuckyNKentucky says:

    This is the place to come if you want to NOT defend the aforementioned nonsense by the FO in my opinion.

    I can’t remember NMR ever defending Hoka Hey or any of that stuff.

  231. Milo Hamilton says:

    Eric Tangradi traded to Winnipeg for a 7th round pick. Surprised they got that much for him.

  232. Iceman says:

    Here are two predictions to add.

    Dylan Reese will not play (he got reassigned to WBS).
    Tangradi will not play (he just got traded to Winipeg for a seventh round pick).

    Oh and Letang and Niskanen were both activated from IR.

    All info reported here is coming from the Penguins Twitter account.

  233. Milo Hamilton says:

    Does this mean they could get a 7th rounder for the equally stinky Zach Boychuk ?

  234. JAL says:

    Man U and Real Madrid played an entertaining game. Ended 1-1 in Madrid which means if the second game of series ends 0-0 Man U moves to the round of 8 because of the away goal

  235. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    You’ve got to be kidding…..

  236. tpbco says:

    No, probably not. The best offer is Carolina saying they would claim him if he was waived.

  237. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sounds like a great way to decide a playoff series.

  238. TJ says:

    I would also like to predict that Tangradi will not be in the lineup for the Pens tonight

  239. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sure hope the Sens can score tonight to keep their playoffs alive,,,oh wait, North Americans decide winners in head to head competition with best of series.

    Which cup is this for, again? UEFA (just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it). FA? EPL? World? I can’t keep all their competitions straight…much less how many goals were scored in previous legs (whatever that means).

  240. BFD says:

    NRM – not sure why you feel the need to insult right off the bat…. first me, then Daquido.

    And for the record. NRM is a big time supporter of the regime, although he has finally waivered a bit in recent months mostly due to Navy Seal wantabe Stark

  241. Iceman says:

    Did we just find another winger for the Malkin – Neal line? Cooke does the dirty work on the forecheck and in front of the net. I’ll take that on this line any day.

  242. Deb says:

    The point is not how many goals or assists over all Geno and Sid have..the point is how many of these goals/assists were earned during 5 on 5 play. .Malkin and Neal have earned most of their points on the powerplay…where Malkin’s other winger doesnt get any minutes/shifts.

  243. The Gunner says:

    Lucky

    It is too early in the year for me to start getting fired up over the likes of Scabata. I predict he will start annoying me by mid-April.

  244. Woomer says:

    I think it’s time that they restructured Title IX so that it will help female athletics without hurting male athletics. I think that would be a pretty simple thing to do to the law, logistically-speaking.

 
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