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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: Time to meet the ‘Wheelers’

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

LONDON – Top of the morning, Lunatics …

Couple of pics from our impeccable staff photog Chaz Palla here yesterday, the first one setting the scene on Regent Street, the de facto headquarters of all NFL festivities here this week …


And the one below showing shoppers walking past a window display of someone else’s Big Ben …


The Friday column examines the really odd — and mostly unexplored — relationship between the NFL and London, and it does so with one whale of a random Scottish Claymores reference.

As an aside, that passport guy in the opening asked me if I knew whether the Steelers would be coming through Heathrow or Gatwick. When I told him Gatwick, he said, “Oh, beg pardon. Not Steelers. Wheelers.”

I didn’t correct him. It was too cool. If the Nailers ever get tired of their name …

Anyway, the Wheelers will be out to meet the media here this morning, 11:30 a.m., Greenwich Mean Time. I’ll cover it along with Alan Robinson and Palla, and some of that will be here on the blog.

Here’s our full Wheelers coverage, including offensive linemen noticing the tackle rotation and the latest on Isaac Redman’s concussion.

Here’s the latest on the Vikings from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

And here, if you’re looking ahead, are and

>> The Pirates are seeing RedsRob Biertempfel reports from Cincinnati.

A playoff ticket mistake is being fixed.

Here’s our full Pirates coverage, including the weekend’s rotation.

Here’s Reds news from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Here are official game highlights from

>> We’re six days away from the Devils, but first a look at the increased expectations on Beau Bennett this winter by Josh Yohe. He also loves Olli Maatta.

David Morehouse wants the World Juniors. (Hand goes up.)

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here are official game highlights from


>> Jamie Dixon says at Pitt’s basketball intro session the Panthers will try some transition heading into the ACC. Seems like a sharp idea without a big man. Kevin Gorman reports on the men from the Pete.

On the women’s side, Suzie McConnell Serio looks to climb from the ruins … her way. John Harris has it.

>> And don’t forget: The weekly chat will be right here at noon, Pittsburgh Mean Time. Live from the Tower Bridge of London. I kid you not.

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.


  1. Reading says:

    Maybe a reference to Scotland’s own, and Pitt great, Jock Sutherland, would fire up the people.

  2. Reading says:

    Who also coached the Wheelers, um, Steelers.

  3. War Horse says:

    Excellent column, DK. Thanks for the tip-off about the promotional displays on Regent Street. I will try to visit them on the weekend. On Sunday, if you get down in the stands with the masses, you might find it interesting to see how a huge British crowd reacts to the game compared to one in the USA. There will be lots of ex-patriate Yanks there, too, none cheering louder for the Wheelers than yours truly.

    The beating heart of the NFL in the U.K. is the live TV coverage of the Sunday Night Football game with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth every week, which usually starts at 1:00 AM and has a hard core audience of an undisclosed number in the thousands.

    Being a soccer fan as well as a football fanatic, I think the Brits, like people all over the world, prefer their kind of football to ours because there are so many more moments of excitement in a sport where control of the ball changes sides several times a minute and can be passed from one end of the field to the other in seconds. To watch the best players in the world compete with one another at British matches is a true wonder to behold. Their skills on the ball in attack and in defence are incredibly well developed. Just like our best football players (I’m thinking of Antonio’s Brown’s touchdown catch on Monday night.).

    Enjoy your stay. Don’t be late for the plane home. We’re still on British Summer Time as opposed to GMT. It would be interesting to read your observations on the differences between airport security leaving the UK and the USA. The Duty Free shops in Paris are far superior to the ones we have here.

    DK: Thanks kindly on all counts.

    Honestly, there’s nothing more powerful for me than to see Pittsburgh’s signature franchise playing a game in this city. Blows the mind.

  4. Tom P. says:

    One quick summary and a reminder. The Pirates need to win two out of three this weekend to host the wild card game Tuesday.

    I noticed that Saturday’s game has been moved to 1 pm from 4 pm. I assume so that it can be broadcast on Fox.

  5. Drew71 says:

    “A disappointing number of Americans still find soccer dull.”

    Why does a matter of personal opinion about sport choice and style preference disappoint you?

  6. Jandy says:

    “Bloody shame. Nothing could stop that guy!” (A Brit’s quote on the Bus being retired)

    Are you listening Redman, Bell, and Dwyer???

  7. tdb1977 says:

    If the Pirates host the wild card game on Tuesday – the giant rubber duck that is coming into the city today better be perched in the river just off the right field wall with a pirate hat, eye patch, and large Jolly Roger flag hanging from its beak starring into the ball park.

  8. Thundercrack says:


    I’m disappointed that I didn’t see that first and come up with the same reply.

    I’m disappointed when an American tells me that they find baseball dull and slow.

  9. Jandy says:

    Hubby USED to say that, TC, until I teached him better ;)

  10. Thundercrack says:

    ‘Many Londoners just don’t see the draw in Steelers-Vikings game’

    Hey, either do a lot of Americans.

  11. Thundercrack says:

    “To be honest, I think only small sections (of the population) care anything about the game,” London resident Dave Johnson said. “There’s a few who might like American football. But I love (British) football. That’s my world.”

    Don’t they know who we are?! And just for that I’m not going to give soccer another chance.

    By the way, in the sports section I see a picture of the Vikings’ cheerleaders at a street in London. Where’s the picture of the Steelers’ cheerleaders?

  12. JD says:

    Well put Drew. I’m disappointed that too many people are trying to force Soccer down our throats.

    DK: No discussion in any walk of sports amuses me quite like the fear-of-soccer topic. If you don’t like it or don’t know anything about it, so be it. But you can’t write one syllable about soccer without it setting off this AAAAAAHHHH! Noooooo! Keeeep it AWAY from meeee! reaction from people.

    Is it because we as Americans are threatened by it?

    If so, why? Who really thinks it’ll ever elevate past our four most popular sports?

    Really, really don’t get this, but I’m fascinated to learn more about it. Is it the whole this-isn’t-the-America-I-knew thing, where we all wish we were the Cunninghams in Happy Days? (Never mind the racism, the trampling of women and all kinds of other garbage buried in the background.)

    Seriously, my ears are open. What’s the fear here?

    Other sports have risen in popularity in the interim without setting off the same reaction, even goofy stuff like X games.

    Why is soccer the singular threat to our culture?

  13. Drew71 says:

    Oh. That’s your hand?

  14. Drew71 says:

    That’s disappointing.

  15. KenKopp says:

    The Steelers don’t have any bloody cheerleaders.

  16. Well, I AM happy to see you!

  17. Steely McBeam doesn’t get your blood pumping?

  18. So weird to see Suzie McConnell in a Pitt sweater.

    I did get excited as I read the two Trib articles about Pitt basketball, men and women!

    Now THERE’s a sport where there are few play stoppages. Forget “the sport that must not be named!” Go ACC!

  19. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord!


  20. Steve in VA says:


    Not everyone likes every sport. Between Steelers, Penguins, Pirates and my college football and basketball teams(Old Dominion btw, they play Pitt in a few weeks at Heinz) I am tapped out as far as time and energy it would take to follow another team.

    As far as soccer goes not understanding it plays a big part into it being dull. I only played a little in college during intramurals, it was fun but I have no deeper understanding of the game and watching it to me is boring. I went to my first MLS game this summer in DC. I don’t know if it was the low vantage point(was in lower bowl about 5 rows back and couldn’t see over those the glass over the benches or being in a dump of a stadium. I found the most interesting part of the game was just people watching others in the stands and tailgating before the game.

  21. Travis has a Pirates article up today in the Trib where he states that umpire bias is more influential in home field advantage than the “Red Bull effect” that a cheering crowd has for the home team.

    To which I respond, “Bull Diddley!!!!!”

  22. The Justice Avenger says:

    Morning All – So who throws the first volley tonight/this weekend in Cincy? What do you think Dusty has up his sleeve? Clint? Or is this just going to be a great weekend of baseball and not get ugly? This weekend sets the tone for Tuesday?

  23. Dom says:

    I never would have guessed the people of London would have been such football fans, even though I believe the Raiders had two British born players at one time. I’ve never been there but it sure looks to a beautiful city.

  24. Steve says:

    + 1,000,0000

  25. Jandy says:

    G’mornin Justice Dude and TGIF! Dusty? I don’t care if his toothpick is up his….oh waittaminnit…you said SLEEVE ;)
    I hope our boys strike first. The Stinkin’ Reds have it comin’!

  26. Karen22 says:


    (And STEELERS, of course)!!

    Yinz have a great weekend without me…heading out now.



  27. Jandy says:

    Dejan loves it, AND it has a Starbucks…what more can one ask for???? :)

  28. Jandy says:

    be safe Temptress! We’ll be sending tons of good vibes to our boys!

  29. Dom says:

    I love the pumpkin spice latte from starbucks. I wonder if they have that flavor overseas…

  30. The Justice Avenger says:

    Morning to you, Jandy! LOL about the toothpick. Yea, I think you are right…Reds have it coming and the Pirates must have some fight in them tonight.

  31. Drew71 says:

    It isn’t. You raised the singular “disappointing” threat.

    So I think your response to JD is unfair because it should be flipped around to the one who raised it this morning.

    In other words. Why is our lack of interest so disappointing to you?

    DK: But it isn’t lack of interest. There’s lack of interest in jai-alai. There most definitely isn’t lack of interest in hating/fearing soccer.

    I brought up my disappointment primarily because of my appreciation for what the U.S. men’s team has done to move higher on the world stage and what I feel is a disproportionate amount of attention to that compared to the rest of the world. But that wasn’t what this column was about, so I just threw in the adjective. It’s an opinion.

  32. Iceman says:

    DK – I love soccer. I played it for my whole childhood (6 yrs old through high school varsity), but the soccer I love is really hard to find anymore. The diving in the pro game has made that sport all but unwatchable to me. When the game is just being played, English Premier and the international games are fascinating, but every time I see someone go flying across the turf without being hardly touched, I get turned off and eventually get so annoyed I stop watching.

    I still love going to high school and college games because they are not so overtaken by this garbage yet. Loved watching Point Park playing at Highmark and still love going back to watch my high school team play, but the pro game is frustrating to me.

  33. Drew71 says:

    Are you raising your, um, hand again?

  34. Jandy says:

    OOohhhh a BOLD reaming, and it’s answered by a very thoughtful question by our very own Drewster :)

  35. Iceman says:

    I hate those things. Can’t understand why so many people are obsessed.

  36. Dom says:

    They’re a taste of Autumn.

  37. JAL says:

    JAL’s Let it Rain Morning Links

    Rain Must Fall Queen 1989


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Biggest Story in the Pirates Minor League System This Year

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Francisco Liriano’s road struggles likely overblown

    6 Rumbunter

    What’s Your Strategy for Pirates One-Game Wild Card Game?


    A few thoughts for the last off-day

    8 The Green Weenie

    9/27: Bucs Clinch in 1901, ’70, ’92, Longest Win Streak, Waner, Gibson, Kiner, Drabek, Giles…

    9 Rant Sports

    Using Sabermetrics To Prove Pittsburgh Pirates Will Win the World Series

    10 City of Champions

    Pirates starter Francisco Liriano still right choice for wild-card game

  38. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Pittsburgh Business Times

    Pirates winning season worth $199M

    12 Forbes

    Baseball’s Most Underpaid Players Of 2013

    13 Sporting News

    How much of an advantage is there to playing a win-or-go-home game at home?

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds All chips on the table for Reds

    Daugherty: Ryan Ludwick calls out Reds fans

    15 KDKA

    Clint Hurdle’s Off-The-Field Words Of Wisdom Making A Difference For Many

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Reds Preview

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards ready to party at Cubs’ expense

    18 PBC Site

    Bucs-Reds a fight for NL Wild Card home game

    New to playoff party, Pirates figure to stay awhile

    19 LA Times

    As regular season comes to an end, let’s see what postseason may hold,0,5636030.story#axzz2g5y0b26x


    20 Fangraphs

    How the Pirates Should Manage the Wild Card Game

  39. JAL says:

    Let it rain, Eric Clapton 1970

    only baseball links this morning

  40. A seven-paragraph bold reaming for JD. That’s almost a record.

    Can’t imagine it would be over soccer.


  41. Jandy says:

    To each their own, Iceman ;)

  42. Jim S. says:

    I think that is the reason, Tom P. I wonder if that also means Pittsburgh will get Thomm Brennaman.

  43. Thundercrack says:

    My reaction is :

    Boo hoo, why don’t more people get soccer.
    Boo hoo, why don’t more people in America like it as much as the other sports.

    Boo hoo, I like soccer so I am going to look down my nose at those that don’t get.

    Boo hoo,

    I feel not one bit threatened by soccer. And I don’t care if it is kept away from me or not. Actually I will continue to try and watch it in hopes that I begin to like it.

    But when someone complains that they don’t like it or don’t care for games that are 2-1, or just don’t understand the game, or are not attracted to it……I really wish the soccer snobs would quit making it out that we just don’t get it and we’re bad people for that.

  44. Who, in turn, receives a bold reaming of his own.

    I think there’s a different formula for the Starbucks over there.

    Or his misses Dali and the kids too much on these trips.


  45. Holy Cow! I leave for 45 minutes . . . . and this place has turned into a Soccer Blog!

    Time for me to go clean out the refrig or sort my socks or pick lint off my sweaters or something more exciting!

  46. You could always watch grass grow on the pitch at Highmark Stadium.

  47. “Actually I will continue to try and watch it in hopes that I begin to like it.”

    No offense to JAL or DK or you, TC, but I won’t be joining you.

  48. Jim S. says:

    As somewhat of a soccer fan myself, I think it cuts both ways. It may be true that traditionalists in the US have a disdain for soccer. But, I’ve had many a discussion with folks from Europe at games for my daughter, and they are often dripping with elitist disdain for American sports and anything else here they don’t enjoy. If you’ve ever listened to a Euro try to tell you how you could just never even contemplate the complexity of a soccer match, all the thinking that goes on, the pure artistry, etc., then you probably understand what I’m saying. They put the game up on some pedestal where you’d think you have to possess Einstein’s brain and Usain Bolt’s speed just to play it. Then, a breath later they totally dismiss a sport like baseball as being boring and requiring no skill. I guess my point is that a lot of soccer aficianados are not the most open-minded people on the planet.

  49. The Justice Avenger says:

    thanks, jal…huge baseball weekend…

  50. Dom says:

    Is it just me or has the popularity of Soccer exploded in this region and probably throughout the nation?

    I remember when I was a kid nobody cared for the sport. Now, when I go into the break room at work, I just as likely to see a bunch of guys watching soccer than I am them watching the Buccos.

    I also never thought that not only would Pittsburgh have its own soccer team but their own stadium.

  51. theplanisworking says:

    I think that reasons for not liking/fearing soccer on the US are:

    1) Its not American. We like sports that are our own…. baseball, basketball, etc.
    2) It is the sport of the rest of the world, and we dont care to adopt it. Its that sport that ……………… well, its just foreign.
    3) I feel it doesnt translate well to TV. Its like tennis……… great if you play it, boring to watch.

    Personally, I like soccer……. RiverPuppies, World Cup……….. but I dont fear it, I am just not interested in it beyond the “big” stuff I previously mentioned. I certainly wont get my pants in a bunch one way or another if others like it/dont like it.

    I hope this post doesnt get in the way of a nice, bold reaming. ;)

  52. theplanisworking says:

    ………..or on the thoroughbred farms of Kentucky……….. ;)

  53. theplanisworking says:

    I dont like coffee, so I dont get the whole Starbucks thing. Paying $5 for a cup of “coffee” is a lost art on me, I guess……..

  54. theplanisworking says:

    Thommmmmm Brennaman? He really sucks………

  55. tdb1977 says:

    You forgot one thing in this post plan…

    Hi Frank!

    Better now :)

  56. theplanisworking says:

    No offense to anyone Lucky…………. there are people who like to watch bowling on TV. Bowling. To each his or her own.

    I personally dont get the “I refuse” comments for any sport……. I donlt like watching bowling, or lawn darts, but that doesnt mean I break an ankle getting the remote just to not see it………..

    I think this soccer thing i much ado about nothing….

    Oh, and Happy Friday morning to ya.

  57. Probably smells better at Highmark.

  58. Jim S. says:

    Random thoughts:

    * I think Suzie McConnell is going to do great things at Pitt, just as she did at Duquesne, and before that as a player at PSU and in the pros.

    * Jamie Dixon is once again saying that he will alter his playing style to suit the quickness and athleticism of the ACC’s transition game. I hope so. But, it is tough changing who you are. I love the move of Pitt into the ACC, BTW.

    * I think Paul Chryst is pretty quickly figuring out the offensive part for Pitt, but their defense is a disaster that won’t likely get closed to being fixed this year.

    * I sure wish Giants and Dodgers fans would stop killing each other year after year. Not much else to say about that. Very sad.

    * Maybe a futbol game will break out in the stands of the football game in London.

    * We need 7 innings of 2 run ball out of AJ tonight, and I think we’ll take Game 1, 4-2.

  59. theplanisworking says:


  60. theplanisworking says:

    Very true.

  61. Jim S. says:

    I thought I was the only one who went with all the M’s on the end of his name, plan. I left them off this morning, but I see you put them back on! :-)

  62. And to you, Juan-Jesus Hippolito.

    I used to love to watch bowling when I was a kid. (grew up in the country with no siblings my age)

    Billy Golombieski and Dick Webber.

    Made it look easy.

  63. theplanisworking says:

    M’s or no, that guy really sucks !!!!!! ;)

  64. Jandy says:

    It’s not just you :)

  65. Jandy says:

    TGIF Morning Hipposter :)

  66. Dom says:

    I never fully understood why Americans didn’t like soccer. I’m guessing part of it is also b/c there is so little scoring in soccer which might conversely be why basketball is so popular.

    At one point in time Cricket was a very popular sport in the US but I don’t think soccer had any success beyond the New England States.

  67. Jandy says:

    $1.39 for Sheetz Seriously Dark Road Arrabica :)

  68. Dom says:

    For the most part, I’m the same way. I prefer tea over coffee.

  69. Jim S. says:

    I hope nobody gets hit. But, if McCutchen takes one (accidentally, of course) up around the head again this weekend, and if the Pirates decide to accidentally hit one of the Reds … I hope it is Joey Votto this time. He’s a lot more important than Brandon Phillips. Why does Votto get a pass when they keep going after our best player time after time?

  70. Arriba Wilver says:

    I predict Clint will either leave AJ in too long or take him out too soon.


  71. Patrick(ri) says:

    Personally, I find it diappointing that anyone watches NBA BB. I don’t think that means I am trying to force that opinion on anybody. What an over-the-top reaction to an almost aside DK comment. Not only might some be stuck in the Richie C. Days, lots of posters here, still seem not to have adapted from the days the Head Lunatic was a MLB beat writer?

    Btw, this is only my opinion and not a defense for a man who can handle his own.

  72. Patrick(ri) says:

    Come on, if you are going to do an “over/under,” at least pick an inning!

  73. 21sthebest says:

    Amen Lucky. And don’t forget about Earl Anthony and Mark Roth.

  74. theplanisworking says:

    Things I look forward to……………..

    Cant wait to see the Wheelers game. There will be many crowd shots…… of fans looking lost, then erupting in soccer-style chants. Also, there will be shots of some poor soul feeding his face with “English” food, and a cold one in other hand. Why, I will never know.

    Wembley stadium is the best place to witness anything……. from concerts, to the Olympics, to soccer, to American football. Hope we get to see DK running across the field……..

    Pirates need to avoid the Dustball head games this weekend. It is a given that Cutch will get beaned again. Question is, do we strike first? Or get involved in a bench-clearing brawl?

    When does hockey start again???

    Suzie McConnell will do fine at Pitt. Just be patient, as this will take a long time. It aint easy raising the dead……….

    Jamie Dixon again says he will “adapt” to a new style…………. I like Dixon, but sometimes I thing he doesnt listen to what he says. I have heard him say that before, and poof! he really doesnt. I like him, hope he recruits well for Pitt to do well in the ACC.

  75. theplanisworking says:

    TGIFF to you also, Jandy.

    Hope this finds you doing well, and liking soccer. ;)
    Dont have a good feeling about the Pirates or Steelers this weekend……………. hope I am wrong.

    Maybe Keisel can tackle Dustball before heading to Wembley??? ;)

  76. Thundercrack says:

    I wish I would have saved the article, but I read that the biggest -by far- thing that makes people fans of a sport is playing & being exposed to it as a child. So I think in the future soccer has a chance to be more & more popular in the US.

    The only soccer I played was in gym class.

  77. 21sthebest says:

    Yes! I’ve been thinking that for weeks.

  78. NMR says:

    Isn’t it rather obvious at this point?

    I don’t understand what is hard to understand.

  79. Thundercrack says:

    What amazes me AW is how many posts on this blog that I’ve read in recent weeks that were “Clint should have yanked ‘pitcher X’ as soon as he saw him struggling / walked that batter”.

    The only other thing amazes me more was the people seemed to believe that Clint should have had another pitcher warming up in the bullpen as Locke was completing his warmup pitches at the beginning of his last start.

  80. 21sthebest says:


  81. MrB says:

    Ahhh… it’s just another well written human interest piece, which is slightly diluted by the opinion of a columnist.

  82. Jandy says:

    21 runs marathons AND blows….what don’t you do?

  83. Dom says:

    When I was a kid everyone played soccer at one point in time. It was played as much as baseball. The sport has obviously increased in popularity so there’s most likely some truth to that article.

  84. Jandy says:

    OMG. EPIC Jandy typo!
    That was to be bowls


  85. Jandy says:

    OMG I’m dying here…laughing so hard,I’m crying

  86. 21sthebest says:

    In Liriano’s 8 inning start against the Reds on the 20th, I really thought he was done and should’ve been yanked after the 6th, then again after the 7th. So in this last start, I went with Arriba’s ICIT philosophy.

  87. Jandy says:

    Problem is, if they hit us first, WE ALL get warned…there’s no chance for retaliation.
    That’s why I say to strike first this time.

  88. Jandy says:

    Keisel is already over THE Pond :)

    I have much more hope for the Pirates than I do the Wheelers…

  89. Jandy says:

    “When does hockey start again???”


  90. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy typo…… or real thoughts??

    You are one funny nun!!!!

  91. theplanisworking says:


    Look forward to Eric’s first FIRE BYLSMA of the year…………

  92. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord, Hipposter, I am dying here, seriously. People are peeking in my office wondering what the heck I am laughing about… I can’t even tell them :X

  93. 21sthebest says:


  94. Jandy says:

    Eric’s had a rough time this past week…his whole family was sick…but they’re getting better now…it’s not always nice to share lol

  95. Scott says:

    I think it’s quite simple, Dejan. People don’t like being told what to like. Americans keep hearing about how soccer is the most amazing game in the world, and some people get turned off by the constant insistence that something is wrong with them if they don’t enjoy the sport.

    I like watching soccer, but I get bothered by all the weird rules and tune out before long. I will never take soccer seriously until they move the penalty kick back 20 yards and make shooters and goalies demonstrate some actual skill on the play so that winners of tie games are determined by talent and not luck. That’s my biggest beef with the sport.

    Also ridiculous are the card system (really, two accidental fouls that draw yellow cards equals a one-game suspension?), the constant faking of injuries, and the lack of substitutions in a game, which blunts the importance of depth and strategy.

  96. Jandy says:

    See??? Can’t stop laughing, can you?

    Oh My God, I’m still laughing ROFL!

  97. NMR says:

    Ha, this is absolutely true. I dislike soccer fans far more than I dislike soccer.

  98. JD says:

    I don’t hate/fear soccer. I just don’t like it. I’ll watch the USA every 4 yrs in the World Cup and that’s it.

    I love the sport of Rugby. I played it for 4 yrs in college at John Carroll and another 5 yrs after I graduated. I stop and watch it on tv every now and then if I come across a match while flipping the dial. What I don’t do is bemoan the fact that Rugby isn’t popular in the US.

    I follow the American sports because that is what I enjoy.

  99. Jandy says:

    ++++mulitudinal quantities!

  100. Thundercrack says:

    No NMR, it isn’t obvious to everyone. And it wasn’t obvious to me.
    Some people think that watching sports on TV is biggest factor in making someone a fan of a sport.

    Some people think that it is whether the sport is American or not.

  101. Milo Hamilton says:

    The thing I admire most about the elitists behind the renewed soccer push is their perseverance. This whole thing’s been going on for 40 years. The original push started back in the 70’s about the same time they tried pushing the metric system down our throats. “Hey, they’re doing it everywhere else …” That’s never worked here. Maybe these people just don’t get the fact that Americans don’t like being told what to do or what to think. We want to be less like Europe. Kinda the idea behind the founding of the country in the 1st place.

  102. Tom P. says:

    Regarding umpire bias in favor of the home team, I only have four words to say:

    Randy. Marsh. Jerry. Meals.

  103. Jandy says:

    Indeed! a HUGE step for Cuba to take.

  104. Arriba Wilver says:

    I remember a comedienne did a small bit on bowling because her hometown had the Bowling Hall of Fame (which I think may be in Dick Webber’s hometown.) She said Dick Webber’s wife was trying to tell her he was an “athlete.” When she balked, the wife said

    No, really, he is. He even has a number. See, that’s him over there, number 9 . . . It’s right there on the back of his shoe.

  105. NMR says:

    And I’m pretty sure Dejan would fit in well with those elitist soccer fans at your daughter’s games. ‘scuse me, matches.

    God forbid I come off sounding threatened.

  106. Jandy says:

    Milo for Prez!

  107. Jandy says:

    Ahhh..thanks for that AW. I might catch my breath yet. lol

  108. Jandy says:

    is there also an endangered…uhh…associated with soccer?

  109. Jandy says:

    haha Spunkster, we poked the bear today ;)

  110. Jandy says:

    and look! it’s a drive-by the expert MrB! :)

  111. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, I am trying to come up with another sport that can be interchanged like “bowls” and :blows”.

    I cant. Thanks! ;)

  112. theplanisworking says:

    Chill out. Relax.

  113. Jandy says:

    hey, don’t mention it ;)

  114. 21sthebest says:

    What don’t I do? Well you asked:

    Go hunting or camping
    Watch TV other than sports or news
    Play or watch soccer (I must be afraid)
    Lie, cheat, steal or run around with women
    Listen to country music

  115. NMR says:

    Reading Dejan talk about soccer gives me the same feeling as reading Pirate bloggers talk about baseball.

  116. Jandy says:

    Country music.. ugh.. We agree there.

    I don’t camp or hunt either. I’ve been known to go fishing from time to time, tho.

    I watch sports and hubby’s car shows.

    Ditto’s on the lying or cheating…nor do I run around with men…other than hubby ;)

    I also don’t run marathons, although summer in this office IS a marathon. Glad fall is here. :)

  117. 21sthebest says:

    Where did you grow up Don?

  118. Jandy says:

    Are you bald yet, NMR?


  119. JAL says:

    Soccer growing in popularity. Just 7 years ago the World Cup was pay for view, now all games are on networks. NBC now runs the English Premier League. Fox carries other leagues and tournaments. College soccer is growing.

  120. 21sthebest says:

    I’ve never fished either but somewhere along the way my son became totally addicted to it. Totally. So I’ve gone with him a couple of times. Fun fishing off of the ocean at the beach (my wife and I can sit and have a beer) and we took a fishing tour once out on the ocean. Good stuff. But that’s about it for me.

  121. Jandy says:

    Sounds like you have a great family, 21.

  122. An upstanding, moral, Jewish man and Catholic woman.

    21 and Jandelita.

    That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

    Neither of you had drinking in there.


    Ditto on the country music.

  123. Jandy says:

    LOL Spunky! make that ex- Catholic.
    But I’m still Christian :)

  124. Jandy says:


  125. theplanisworking says:

    Careful Milo, someone else will question if you like sports because they are “American”.

    Wouldnt want that………….

  126. NMR says:

    There’s something still there, but I’m not proud of it. :)

  127. Excellent.

    Both you and 21.

  128. NMR says:

    I’d imagine this has a significant MLB impact.

  129. Milo Hamilton says:

    Don’t get me started. :)

  130. Jandy says:

    that’s the BEST reason to like a sport, if you ARE an American >:<

  131. Jandy says:

    :poke: :poke:

  132. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Revvie :*

  133. Jandy says:

    Oh, you know it will. it will be very, very interesting !

  134. Arriba Wilver says:

    Whatever inning he takes him out.

  135. Brother, at least you’re not at the age where there’s more hair in your ears than on your head.

  136. Jandy says:

    Bald is sexy!

  137. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yeah, you reach a certain age & hair stops growing where you want it and starts growing where you don’t.

  138. Arriba Wilver says:


  139. Well put. And very true.

    Cal Ripken. Matt Holliday.

    (Had to say those names to keep this a sports blog)

  140. Dom says:

    In the area.

  141. Nate83 says:

    This is true. As more and more kids have been playing the sport more and more parents are at least finding interest in the sport when it is at the level and importance of World Cup. Also the first generation of kids who started playing when the sports starting growing 10-15 years ago are now young adults.

    I believe this trend will continue and the sport will have more and more fans. I don’t think it will ever be more popular then the 4 major sports but it definately will have it’s place on TV going forward. We have hundreds of channels so it hardly bothers me that maybe one or two are showing soccer.

  142. Jandy says:

    lol Pittsburgh, Dom?

  143. Nate83 says:

    That is the safest prediction ever made. I’m pretty confident he won’t take him out at exactly the right time. How would know even if he does since none of us can see into the future.

  144. Nate83 says:

    Yep many leave this world exactly how they came in. Hairless, toothless and wearing a diaper.

  145. 21sthebest says:

    I was just wondering because I grew up in the city here and there was no soccer to be found in the 70’s that I recall.

  146. Dom says:

    I grew up in the suburbs. I said that it was played as much as baseball but I should have specified and said that was of the ages of 6-7.

  147. toochca says:

    Youth soccer has grown in popularity as well. My daughter has been playing since she was 5, she’s now 17. Plays for a Club Team and her High School.

    I have an appreciation for the sport, but that is about it.

  148. JD says:

    + 1000 meters, err yards.

    They can keep their soccer, metric system and their socialism.

  149. Jim S. says:

    I think Americans can call them games.

  150. Jim S. says:

    Well, Jandy, we may have to go back to my mid-summer strategy where you, plan and I pounce on them from behind a curtain near the clubhouse and bean the nearest Reds player. Then, we run like crazy out of there.

  151. Jim S. says:

    Cold tea for me. Diet Lipton. Having one right now, as a matter of fact.

  152. Jim S. says:

    Pack your glove, Karen!

  153. Jim S. says:

    + many, Nate.

  154. Jim S. says:

    Plus, the fact that our immigrant population continues to surge, and they pretty much all bring a love for soccer – no matter from which country they arrive.

  155. Jim S. says:

    Well played, Arriba. Very funny!

  156. toochca says:

    I see this as more of an impact on Japanese Leagues and Mexican Leagues. The two paragraphs which lead me to believe that it won’t have much impact on MLB:

    Cuban athletes will have to pay taxes on any earnings from foreign clubs, and the 51-year-old U.S. embargo outlaws nearly all American transactions with the Cuban government.

    “A change in Cuban laws does not affect our licensing procedure,” said John Sullivan, spokesman for the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which enforces limits on transferring money to Cuba.

  157. Jim S. says:

    I also stick with Arriba’s ICIT strategy because it has been right far more often than it has been wrong this year. But, if I disagree, I’m gonna say so – as are all of us.

    And, let’s face it, every time I make a decision at work that Clint doesn’t like, he fires off a scathing email to my boss. Turnabout is fair play. :-)

  158. Jim S. says:

    I thought we decided you could see the future just yesterday, Nate-stradamus!

  159. Jim S. says:

    Dragged into the 20th century 113 after the rest of the world.

  160. Jim S. says:

    That is interesting. If they have to pay a heavy fine … oops, excuse me, “taxes” to the Cuban Govt., won’t they just sign up for this to avoid having to risk their lives escaping on a raft in shark infested waters with Raul’s boys shooting at them, and then defect later, anyway? Our taxes are outrageous, but I have to believe their Govt will still extract an even higher %.

  161. NMR says:

    I won’t pretend to know the first this about the laws involved here, but that was my exact thought, Jim.

    If nothing else, this would seem to help players avoid dangerous situations escaping the country.

  162. Jim S. says:

    Good post, plan. Your description about the crowd is priceless. “There will be shots of some poor soul feeding his face with “English” food and a cold one in the other hand.” I love that, very funny. Only question, though, wouldn’t he have a warm one in the other? I’ve not been to Merry Old … but do they drink any beer cold?

  163. theplanisworking says:

    Jim, I love sweet tea.

    Iced coffee? No sir.

  164. toochca says:

    I think they won’t be initially allowed to be signed to MLB contracts by the US Government because of the taxes by the Cuban governement. What may happen is that they do sign with Japanes League or Mexican League and then defect.

    So the initial impact from this may not be as big as we think. Time will tell.

  165. Jim S. says:

    Superb, Milo. Every single word.

  166. theplanisworking says:

    I really dont know.

    I think they keep beer cool, not ice cold like we do in the states.
    But it will be funny to see if my prediction comes true! ;)

  167. Jim S. says:

    I believe there’s a Seinfeld bit to that effect.

  168. Jim S. says:

    Not so much on women, though.

  169. Jim S. says:

    Count on it.

  170. NMR says:

    I appreciate the insight, tooch.

  171. Jim S. says:

    Eric Clapton is the man, JAL. Well chosen.

  172. Jandy says:

    lol I was stating a female preference :P

  173. toochca says:

    I, like you, do not know anything about the laws involved. Just know that anytime our government gets involved in anything it usually turns out going sideways.

    I hope I’m wrong on my original post.

  174. Jandy says:

    WOW! Amazing…and scary indeed!

  175. toochca says:

    Yes, my initial thought was he can have surgery to have it removed and be back in a few months, like Justin Vargas did from the LA Angels of Anaheim.

  176. toochca says:

    Did anyone else see the Link above where Ryan Ludwick criticized the Reds fans?! It’s between #14 and #15.

  177. 21sthebest says:

    Sid Bream asked by the Braves to throw out the first pitch if the Braves play the Pirates in the playoffs and he declined.

  178. toochca says:

    Good for Sid!!

  179. toochca says:

    Classless by the Braves, too.

  180. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nuttin’ wrong with that.

    I’m just trying to get in early. ;-)

  181. Jandy says:

    That’s what we were led to believe by what we read….but now we see that isn’t true.

  182. Jandy says:

    yeah way to act like Scum, Braves :P

  183. Arriba Wilver says:


    Do they have a pool we can jump in?

  184. Dom says:

    good point

  185. Naje says:

    Milo…. there’s nothing elitist about soccer… everyone on the planet plays it. America and American’s resistance to it had to be broken down a bit. Sorry if you felt it was forced upon you, but thanks to our free markets it made a small, but important impact on youths in the ’70’s and ’80’s….not to mention a colossal failure in ticket sales and television contracts. Free market allowed for a small group to enjoy it, but the masses said no. That’s fine. But it’s growth here can’t be ignored.

    Major American sports follow international soccer very, very closely… how they market the sport, how they make billions off the sport, how they handle tv contracts, how they present the product, etc. The technology they use in showing players and the amount they run, the velocity at which the ball is traveling, the distance, etc, all of that is being used in NFL and other sports broadcasts now.

    The more one watches the sport… the more they’ll identify with a player or players and certain teams. And then maybe they’ll appreciate it for what it is: an incredible team game played by highly skilled athletes. I don’t doubt that you understand that and probably agree, but it’s highly entertaining and it’s filling up stadiums around the country to 20K fans a night. And in some U.S. cities it is downright THE ticket to have.

  186. Naje says:

    “Jump,” AW…?

    How ’bout pee instead.

  187. Jim S. says:

    Drink a half gallon of water first.

  188. Jim S. says:

    I saw some of it on ESPNNews last night. He talked about the frenzied atmosphere in Pittsburgh last weekend, and how he hoped it could be duplicated in Cincy this weekend.

    Then, some sportswriter came on and talked about how everyone knows the Reds don’t draw after August … ever.

  189. Jim S. says:

    That’s pure sexism, Jandy. You women only think of yourselves.

    :-) :-) :-)

  190. Jandy says:

    No no no! beer!

  191. Jandy says:

    LOL Jim, put on your big boy pants and deal with it! :P :P :P

  192. Jandy says:

    isn’t that the truth!~?!?

  193. Jandy says:

    cold Lipton diet green tea here ;)

  194. Jim S. says:

    I grew up in the city, and we thought the guys who even considered saying, “Let’s play soccer today” to be wimps. It just did not work at that point in time.

    I have not lived in Pittsburgh for a long time now, so I can’t speak to its growth there as much as I can in the Chicago area. It is a huge thing here. My kids all played club soccer at a pretty young age, although the two younger ones gave it up for other sports. Club soccer is so big here that there are easily a half-dozen or more clubs in just our suburb (150,000+ people), and nearly every single coach is a full-time professional. Parent coaching here is a thing of the past in soccer.

  195. Joni says:

    I love watching tennis and I have never played the sport. Chalk it up to not having cable when I was a kid. NBC sports were kinda limited way back when.

  196. cmat0829 says:

    I am sure there are those that are over the top against soccer for some unknown reason, but to me it is much more common to see ‘disinterest’ in the common American sports fan for soccer, not dissimilar to how those in Europe react to American football.

    I have had a ton of conversations with colleagues from Europe who describe the passion about soccer and I often say I can’t relate to how popular it is, given the times I have tried to watch the game and find it hard to follow the action…and it isn’t about lack of scoring per se, it’s that it is really hard for the uneducated about the game to even sense which team is better, who has the advantage, etc. In baseball, which is also low-scoring at times, you can more easily see the pitcher dominating or the hitters failing or the defense prevailing, etc. I can stare at a soccer game and have no clue as to what is really going on, short of the rare goal being scored.

    I don’t disagree DK with your view of those that are overtly against soccer, but to me it is way more common for fans to just have disinterest. The experience you detailed you had with your friend and the American football game is pretty similar to how I and my friends have experienced watching soccer. We just don’t hate it or belittle those that are religiously passionate about it, but we just don’t see the appeal. Same for the odd Londoner and American football I’d take it.

  197. Jim S. says:

    I hear you, Jandy. I always have some on hand. I even like their white tea (raspberry).

  198. JohninOshkosh says:

    College Football Friday:

    1. Pitt 5.5 pt. favorites at home against Virginia
    2. WVU 19 pt. dogs at home against Oklahoma State
    3. PSU is idle.

    Other games featuring ties to bloggers:

    4. Ohio State (Lucky) 5 pt. favorites at home against Wisconsin
    5. New Mexico (cmat) 2.5 pt. dogs at home against UNLV
    6. Notre Dame (Irish) 3.5 pt. dogs at home against Oklahoma.
    7. Minnesota 1.5 pt dogs at home against Iowa (JHadar)

    I’ll take Pitt straight up and against the spread. I’ll take Oklahoma State straight up and against the spread. No person has ever gone poor betting against the Badgers in Columbus. I’ll take Wisconsin (I always do) straight up and against the spread. New Mexico and UNLV feature two of FBS worst teams. I’ll go with New Mexico straight up and against the spread. I’ll take Notre Dame and the points but Oklahoma straight up. When Lou Holtz was at Minnesota, he once commented after a Minnesota/Iowa game that he had never seen so many tractors in one parking lot in his whole life. I’ll take Iowa straight up and against the spread.

    All lines from the happiest place on earth, the sport book at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

    Was listening to the Score (radio station in Chicago) a lot the last few days while I traversed the Midwest in my ole reliable Subaru. They were getting a kick out of kicking the Cubs because no less than three teams in three consecutive series could clinch playoffs/titles against them. Funny stuff. You can’t have champagne without the Cubs.

  199. Milo Hamilton says:

    Mr. Naje you are correct, there is nothing elitist about soccer. It’s the elitist attitude of the people who feel the need to shove it down our throats. The haughty refrain, “If you just took the time to understand it, you’d like it.” I do understand it & while I don’t hate it, it’s way down the list. I’m a hockey fan, a Canadian sport that ranks 4th out of 4 major team sports in the US. I don’t feel the need to convert people that don’t like it.

    And please don’t mistake the need for new cable stations to fill their channels with programming with growth.

  200. Jandy says:

    Yes! it’s good stuff!!

  201. NMR says:

    I did, tooch. He must not be on Twitter.

  202. Jim S. says:

    What model Subaru, Osh?

  203. Jim S. says:

    Better yet.

  204. toochca says:

    My thoughts exactly!! Or he has few followers!!

  205. Jandy says:

    Sounds like a great plan! Let’s do it!

  206. Jandy says:


  207. Jim S. says:

    I was trying to past a copy of Big Boy holding up the tray and wearing his “Big Boy” pants. You know, the red & white checked ones?

  208. NMR says:

    As for the rest of the article, I’m convinced that if one were to read each teams local writers/fans, they would come away with the impression that there are no good teams in baseball.

    “For whatever reason, the karma isn’t great, and hasn’t been. The team and town haven’t been energized all summer.”

    I’m guessing that would be news to Pirate fans.

  209. NMR says:

    Oh, and Ludwick has turned back into the crappy player he was in Pittsburgh, as if that should come as a surprise.

  210. Jandy says:

    From Dejan in the chat:
    Dejan Kovacevic:
    Those quotes are horrifying, actually, Adam, and I’ll repeat here what I tweeted a bit ago advising caution in taking them too seriously. The Prague papers are notoriously unreliable and often have been caught outright fabricating stuff.

    In this case, you’d dearly love that to be the case. Vokoun is a good man, a family man, beloved by his acquaintances for a reason.

    As for a replacement … I really want to tell you what I thought of Jeff Zatkoff the other day, but that wouldn’t be fair. It was just one preseason game. I’ll hold off.

  211. Jim S. says:

    Ludwick’s the guy who missed 100+ games, right? Fans will love his criticism. Tone.Deaf.

  212. Milo Hamilton says:

    And by the way, I’m not saying soccer’s not growing at the youth level. I don’t have any numbers to support it (sorry War Horse) but you need only have a pair of eyes to see it. And I bet I know where they’re coming from. 10,000 fewer kids are playing high school football than 2 years ago & 25,000 fewer than 5 years ago.

  213. Kevin says:

    I like the post Milo. But, I can’t respond at all without getting political. I thought you were the “fact” guy. You say one thing but more than 50% put a government in place that wants to be more like Europe. A government that likes telling people what to do or think. Anyway, that is all. I was going to reply to 5 other posts but changed my mind. This is probably the worst one to reply to cause its not at all sports related…. err.. ummm… go bucs!

  214. Naje says:

    Yep… we’re going to see a whole different football product in 20 years than we have now. Just not enough bodies at the youth levels compared to the youth participation numbers of soccer and, get this: the fastest growing youth sport in the U.S., lacrosse.

  215. JohninOshkosh says:


  216. Arriba Wilver says:

    Unfortunately, not against us. He becomes Ronny Cedeno against us. :-)

  217. NMR says:

    Now, we can all agree that IS an eitist sport, right? :)

  218. That Buckeye-Badger game is intriguing, John.

    I don’t like a 2-QB system and they are saying Miller and Guiton are co-starters for the game.

    Should be interesting. Never a bad game when those 2 meet.

  219. theplanisworking says:

    I will just sit on them !! ;)

  220. theplanisworking says:

    I will just sit on them !! ;)

  221. Naje says:

    Hey, you can go to New Mexico State game this week v. San Diego St. (I think) and WIN MONEY! The President of the university is giving away a bunch of prizes for those who stay for 4 quarters… GIDDY-UP!!!

  222. Jandy says:

    My daughter has one,…she loves it.
    I wore out two Legacy wagons…the second one I put 162,000 miles on before I finally traded it in and still got $3500 for it.

  223. Jandy says:


  224. Jandy says:

    let’s get ‘em Hipposer! :)

  225. Wore out? 162,000 is barely broken in around here.

  226. theplanisworking says:


  227. Jandy says:

    Jim, I love those ‘spenders ;)

  228. theplanisworking says:

    I thought that was polo? ;)

  229. theplanisworking says:

    Are you talking miles, or peoples? ;)

  230. theplanisworking says:

    BOOM !!!!!!!

  231. Kevin says:

    To tie that back into sports, soccer will catch on because its cheap. Just need a ball and a field. The sport I wish would catch on is Ice Hockey. But, its off-putting to lots. The cost is high, the learning curve is high, and in the end you get people that just go out there and head-hunt and punch each other senseless.

    Soccer’s not really a contact sport. In fact, if you even bump a soccer player, they’ll collapse like a house of cards, cry alot, and demand a free kick. It’s very much what our society has turned into. What with all the frivolous law suits for stupid stuff and sticking out our hands the moment we feel at a disadvantage. *sigh* sorry I devolved back to political… but hopefully you get my point.

  232. Naje says:

    THAT, or IS…? lol…

    Well, the Lax community here in Louisville, yes, Louisville, KY, is growing every year.

    Bellarmine University, a D-II school in all sports and one of the top teams in all of D-II basketball (won the championship in 2011 and was in final four in 2012), plays D-I lacrosse… against the likes of Michigan, Ohio State and Loyola, MD (another national champ).


  233. Jandy says:

    I didn’t say it was worn out. lol
    I just said I traded it in.
    I know the people who then in turn bought it and they put a ton more miles on it!

  234. NMR says:

    Haha, no kidding.

    It also appears the stupid has rubbed off of Dusty and on to the writer.

    Joey Votto has to be the guy who is most underappreciated by his own town in all of baseball.

  235. Jandy says:

    That’s a lotta miles Spunky! And I hauled lots of kids and dogs along the way :)

  236. Jandy says:

    Well, yes I guess I did say I wore it out…but I know the people who bought it…and they in turn put a lotta miles on her too …

  237. NMR says:

    And just for my comment, he’s going to sneak two more run scoring seeing eye singles through the infield this weekend. :)

  238. Jandy says:


  239. Naje says:

    18-hoppers, seeing eyed, bleeding quails… that’s about all he’s good for.

  240. Arriba Wilver says:

    Lacrosse is boring.

  241. Jim S. says:

    You live in prime Subaru country, don’t you, Jandy? Plenty of hills and snowy/icy roads?

  242. Jandy says:

    (You just HAD to, didn’t you?)

  243. Jim S. says:

    I work for Subaru, Osh. Wisconsin loves us … and we love Wisconsin!

  244. Jandy says:

    Yeah, more so when I lived “up the mountain” than now when I live “down the mountain.” Nothing ran like them…I loved my Subarus.

  245. Arriba Wilver says:

    $3,500 with 162,000 miles? That’s pretty good.

  246. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yep, you know me. ;-)

  247. Jandy says:

    AW, I am a mean person to deal with when it comes to dealing for a car ;)
    I’ve mellowed a bit…but they used to hate to see me coming lol

  248. Jim S. says:

    You said you wore out the 1st one.

  249. Jim S. says:

    Oops! You did say you wore 2 of them out.

  250. theplanisworking says:

    Just watched Olbermann from the DVR last night.

    Roberto Clemente Jr. was a guest.
    They showed old photos, he told a few little stories, Olbermann was almost reverential toward him. The final story Roberto Jr. told was a huge “what if” moment…………

    ” Dad sent 2 previous planes to Nicaragua, but they didnt get the relief supplies through. Today, I talked to the son of a Nicaraguan militia commander, who explained why. Planes were coming from all over the Carribean with aid, and someone said that the planes from Cuba were also carrying spies to take over the country. The leader, Somosa, then confiscated all Carribean planes supplies, not letting anyone off the airplane. It was because of that rumor, that Dad felt he had to get on a plane to ensure the relief supplies got through. ”

    So, because someone started a rumor, Roberto perished.

  251. Bizrow says:

    John if you are out in Vegas pleae be on the lookout for all the shirts I lost out there a couple of weeks ago ;-)

  252. Only 162,000 would be a selling point here. They run them until they look and run like garbage.

    No inspection of any kind here.

    Not quite as hilly, either.

  253. JohninOshkosh says:

    Very cool, Jim. Good company, good car. I need 4WD with all the snow and ice we get. The Forester runs better on it than any other car I’ve had. I would recommend it to anyone.

  254. Naje says:

    Good Lord… what a man.

  255. Nate83 says:

    Lucky I don’t like that system either but Urban won a National title using both Tebow and Leak.

  256. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m not sold on the Badgers’ secondary. That quarterback tandem could have a big night.

  257. JohninOshkosh says:

    Not in Vegas. Wish I was, though. :)

  258. NMR says:

    “One of the warmest, sappiest pieces I’ve written all year was about an athlete who’s been an epic jerk. You just do the job.”

    Did I miss a column on AJ? :)

  259. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just read an article a few days ago in the WSJ, Naje, about declining student attendance at college football games. Many reasons for it, but the biggest reason is that most schools don’t have the technological infrastructure at their football stadiums to accommodate all the mobile devices. Seems the kids can’t go three hours without the cell phone.


  260. Jim S. says:

    Glad you like it, Osh. The new version of Forester should win Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year again.

  261. Bizrow says:

    Yeah, who was he talking about?

  262. Jandy says:


  263. Milo Hamilton says:


  264. Milo Hamilton says:

    …and yes. :)

  265. Jandy says:

    shame on me lol

    But man, I loved those cars!

  266. Naje says:

    Nah, the ghost of Kendall.

  267. Exceptionally good point, Nate. I had selectively forgotten that.

  268. Jandy says:

    The Panthers signed goaltender Tim Thomas (right) to a one-year contract worth $3.75 million.

  269. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t know, but leaving it open like that invites wild speculation.

  270. Jim S. says:

    Sorry, I didn’t respond quicker. I was reading tweets.

  271. Arriba Wilver says:


    Just kidding. But it’s not AJ. DK likes AJ. (And so do I)

    Probably isn’t even a baseball player. They’re all nice.

  272. Jim S. says:

    Could be AJ Pierzynski.

  273. Nate83 says:

    It’s definately Mark Melancon. The guy just looks like trouble. My money is on him. Either him or James Harrison. They seem to be cut from the same cloth.

  274. Nate83 says:

    I don’t think his mom even likes him.

  275. Arriba Wilver says:

    Remember, it was a warm, sappy piece.

    So not Harrison.

  276. Jandy says:

    She definitely doesn’t call him Precious :D

  277. Jim S. says:

    There were articles today in each of Pittsburgh’s papers about the Pitt basketball team’s upcoming season. The theme of each article was about Jamie Dixon adapting the transition game to take advantage of speed and athleticism. I notice this happens a lot – where almost identical articles pop up from the two papers on the same day with the same sort of angle. I always wonder exactly how that comes to be. Does Pitt lead them in the direction they want them to publicize on something like this, and then they oblige? Just wondering. Seems like an odd tactic for competing papers to produce very similar articles quite often.

  278. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m going Grilli. Just because.

  279. Jim S. says:

    His wife “tolerates” him.

  280. Nate83 says:

    What? You must have not seen Harrison’s reaction when asked about Dick Lebeau. There is a warm, sappy piece to be written about Harrison somewhere in there. If anyone can find that piece it would be DK. He made buildings talk.

  281. Jandy says:

    Not only did you put on your big boy pants and your pun shoes, but you also put on your thinking cap ;)

  282. Jandy says:


  283. Arriba Wilver says:

    Probably were both at the same meeting/news conference. That’s what I always think anyway. Not sure what Pitt gains from it, other than some publicity. No advantage to mislead us. (Except on something like the Wannstedt firing).

  284. theplanisworking says:

    +1 ‘Stache.

  285. Milo Hamilton says:

    Haven’t had a chance to look yet, plenty of soccer stories today ?

  286. Arriba Wilver says:

    I had the same thought. I’ve seen some implications he’s not all he seems. But nothing concrete.

  287. Milo Hamilton says:

    See, isn’t this fun ?

  288. Jim S. says:

    Yes, they were both at the Pete. Maybe the press conference started with “talking points” from Jamie, and that naturally became the theme. I wasn’t criticizing Pitt or the papers, necessarily. Just wondered how that comes about. And I always think it appears a bit odd.

  289. Arriba Wilver says:


  290. Arriba Wilver says:

    We can speculate out the wazoo.

  291. Jim S. says:

    I saw one about girls HS soccer, I think.

  292. theplanisworking says:

    Only “American” soccer. ;)

  293. Jim S. says:

    We can start speculating about steroids again if we run out of other ideas.

  294. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m sick of the preseason games. That’s just drop the puck for games that count. I’m going to miss that compressed schedule from last year, though. That was a blast, although I’m sure it wasn’t that fun for the players.

  295. Milo Hamilton says:

    By the way, roughly 21% (65,915,796) of the population (308,745,538) voted for the winner of the last presidential election.

  296. Bizrow says:

    I still think we might have one more opening in the fantasy hockey league. Two folks were supposed to sign in last night. If interested, email me at

    Also, did anyone notice a guy was thanking Dejan for meeting him yesterday on the chat? If so, that would be a London Lunatic, not sure if we have that place logged in

  297. Milo Hamilton says:

    Did Grilli stop taking them ? Is that why he hurt his arm ?

  298. Arriba Wilver says:

    Time to zip it, Kevin, on the political stuff.

  299. Nancy52 says:

    It will be somewhat compressed…..Olympics in the middle, just not as compresses as last year.

  300. Nate83 says:

    Compressed schedule was awesome for the fans. I’m sure the players wore down quickly.

  301. Jandy says:

    But yes, let’s get the reason underway!!!!

  302. Jandy says:

    season even…long day…

  303. JohninOshkosh says:

    Friday Fun Film Clip:

    Not exactly a film clip but, in honor of Dejan’s trip to London, here is the great Monty Python with “I’m so Worried.” My high school punk band did a cover of it. We killed the ending!

    By the way, very pleased the Trib sent Chaz Palla to London. I’ll take him over Getty Images any day of the week. A true artist.

  304. Bizrow says:

    I did ask Dejan if he had “run” into Lisa over there on the chat, but got no response.

  305. Jim S. says:

    Has anyone ever read one negative thing about Mariano Rivera? I mean, ever? I never heard one bad thing written or said about the guy. Am I’m not even talking yet about how great of a pitcher he was. I’m saying that I have never heard a player last that long in the league and nobody, anywhere ever had anything but glowing things to say about his character. He must be the real deal.

    As for his pitching, he is so far ahead of all other closers ever that comparisons are silly.

    A lot of guys get over-hyped by the media and fans. I really don’t think it is possible to over-hype what he accomplished as a closer.

  306. Jim S. says:

    Am I’m not a Yankees fan by any means.

  307. Nate83 says:

    I know nobody likes basketball but to me Rivera feels like the Tim Duncan of baseball. One of the greatest of all times that just goes about his business and gets things done. Both are really well respected throughout the leagues they play in by teammates and opponents.

    I don’t think people realize how important he has been to the Yankees over the years. The game is essentially over when he comes in with a 1 or 2 run lead. Class act and so is Jeter.

  308. JohninOshkosh says:

    + Good point.

  309. Jandy says:

    More fires to put out…try to catch yinz later, Loonies :)

  310. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m an NBA guy. That comparison to Duncan is spot on!

  311. JRay3 says:

    Bucs Lineup:

    Marte, Walker, Cutch, Morneau, Byrd, Alvarez, Martin, Barmes, Burnett.

    Could this very well be the lineup with exception of pitcher for the all important WC game next Tuesday?

  312. Kevin says:

    yes sir!

  313. Jim S. says:

    Great comparison, Nate.

    I heard Larry Bowa say yesterday that when Rivera came in, Torre or Girardi and their coaching staff could basically start preparing for the next day because that game was OVA!

  314. Nate83 says:

    Finally the lineup we all envisioned after the two trades. Obviuosly Barmes and Mercer are interchangeable depending on who we have pitching.

  315. buggee says:

    that’s “dooty free” here in the good ole U S of A baybee

  316. buggee says:

    I don’t see the draw in a Steelers-Vikings game. Meh.
    Wonder what the Brits’ name for the Vikings is?

  317. buggee says:

    I’m not a fan of it because it’s boring to watch, although there are notable exceptions to that statement.
    To me it’s a sport that works very very well with the highlight format developed by that 4-letter network.
    Playing the game was slightly more interesting, but then i’m a fan of physical contact, so wherever I could get that in and get away with it was good for me.

    it’s a yawn-fest to watch. to me it’s an excellent cure for insomnia

  318. War Horse says:

    The British (this includes the Welsh, Scots & English) drink their lager as cold as we do, usually on tap from the barrel). But more popular is what they call “bitter” beer and we call “ale.” That they drink at room temperature. It’s an acquired taste. Americans who live here that I’ve met don’t drink bitter.
    You cannot imagine how loathesome most British consider American-brewed beer to be. “Watery” is a common description.

  319. buggee says:

    mine too, but only cuz I had gas

  320. War Horse says:

    FYI, JD, British workmen still use inches, feet and yards alongside millimeters, centimeters and metres. It’s officially metric but in reality both systems are still used. Retractable measures have both systems, one on each side of the metal. They measure temperatures in Centigrade because that’s all you see on TV or the Internet, but some of us old-timers still use Fahrenheit. Alas, the British Imperial Gallon has gone away, replaced by “litres.” One litre of petrol (gasoline) costs around $2.00. There are four litres in a gallon. Smaller cars outsell bigger gas-guzzlers. Britain is a social democracy, pretty much like Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the rest of Europe. Cuba is a socialist state.

  321. War Horse says:

    And, Milo, what percentage of the population was too young to vote?

  322. War Horse says:

    And what percentage of the population didn’t bother to vote?

  323. War Horse says:

    Good car, especially in snow and other harsh weather. I’ve had mine since 1998. Never lets me down. 100k miles and the engine’s going strong.

  324. War Horse says:

    I think it might also be said that Roberto’s plan went down because it was overloaded by a couple of tons and the people in charge of the flight were irresponsible. If you haven’t already, read David Maraniss’s book, “Clemente.” It’s all in there.

  325. War Horse says:

    DK did write a warm, sappy piece about Grilli, but not until several allusions earlier about how his performance suddenly shot up last season without explanation.

  326. War Horse says:

    Russell Martin was once quoted as saying that when he caught Mariano he could catch 40 winks between pitches.

  327. War Horse says:

    Let’s see where A.J. positions Barmes to field. If ROOT Sports people had a sense of humor, perhaps we’d see.

  328. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, I knew that point already.

    My point, and Roberto Jr’s, was that the fight should not have been necessary at all, if that rumor would never have started, and the first 2 planes went through.

  329. theplanisworking says:


    The NBA is a sport not allowed here.


    (For the record, I like some NBA also. )

  330. Jim S. says:

    And he pretty much just had to put his mitt on the exact spot Rivera was aiming for, and the ball would magically end up there.

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