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Morning Java: Do-it-yourself LaMarr, Letang, Dukes

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Tuesday do-it-yourself blog invites all to write your own mini-column on any ONE of the following three topics:

1. Weighing the investment the Steelers have made in LaMarr Woodley and the fact that he’d cost even more in 2014 if released, who would you play on the left side Thursday night, Woodley or Jason Worilds?

2. Kris Letang recently signed his own monster contract, and already he’s been taken off the top power play. Was the extension a mistake?

3. Pitt and Duquesne tip off in the annual City Game on Saturday, and the Dukes for the billionth time will be an underwhelming underdog? Can anything realistically revive hoops on the Bluff?

To repeat the rules: Choose only ONE topic. And limit all entries to 150 words.

The best ones in each category will go up on the main portion of the blog tomorrow. If you want your full name credited, please include it with the entry.

>> Speaking of Duquesne, I’m happy to share here that Jim Ferry will be the very special guest on my TribLIVE Radio show tomorrow at 2 p.m.


>> Nothing the Penguins try against the Bruins seems to work. Not even when Sidney Crosby ties it with 0.3 seconds left. Josh Yohe reports from Boston.

I know this is a broken record, and I don’t care: This team’s third line is a farce, and that’s even within the context of Brandon Sutter being a reasonably competent player. Soft AHL guys.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Bruins news from the Boston Globe.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Ben Roethlisberger says players hate Thursday games, by Alan Robinson.

The weekly Steelers Film Session focuses on how to keep Ben clean, by Mark Kaboly.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Ravens news from the Baltimore Sun.

Here are official game highlights from

And here’s a fun talk I had yesterday with TribLIVE Radio’s Ken Laird and Guy Junker about Steelers-Ravens …

>> Anyone complaining about Pitt’s out-of-conference schedule probably was placated at least a little by the Panthers’ rather thorough rout of Texas Tech last night. Kevin Gorman reports from Brooklyn.

All I’ll add from my channel-switching view of this one: If Durand Johnson could blossom into a legit outside shooting threat — and I mean consistent — that’s a difference maker.

>> Pitt’s Aaron Donald is piling up potential honors. Jerry DiPaola reports.

>> The Pirates and Padres trade minor-leaguers. Travis Sawchik reports.

>> By the way, for those who helped in paring down that list of 10 columns from 2013, this was the final call made by the editors — and yes, after reading your comments — for the cutdown to five:

Feb. 12: Wrestling isn’t down for count yet

March 21: Dixon has questions to answer

Oct. 2: Hey, baseball, can you hear us?

June 7: For Penguins, a stubborn failure

Sept. 29: Chaotic Steelers a bloody mess

If a cutdown is needed to three, the first three up there would be the choices.

Couple notations: I hated the baseball column, as I’ve mentioned, but that ranked at or near the top of most of your lists, and the editors agreed. So that’s that. The Sid-Mario column that a lot of people liked was shot down — rightly — because I didn’t gather enough outside opinion. (Started it late on a Friday night for a Sunday paper, but judges don’t care.) The Paternos column, which I had as my own favorite, was rejected, candidly, because the people who read it almost surely will be sick of the topic. And all the other happy baseball pieces were left out for the simple reason that the sentiment was basically expressed in the one above.

Anyway, I’ll thank everyone again and promise not to bring it up again. This really, really helps, as you can see from the huge difference in what I gave you and how it ended up.

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. DJ says:

    No. 2. I’d give Letang this year and that’s it. He needs to justify the signing this year.

    If he doesn’t perform up to expectations this year, particularly in the playoffs, and Derrick Pouliot and others in the system progress as envisioned, trade Letang, even though constrained by his limited trade clause. I think a lot of those teams would overpay for his “skills” — both real and imagined.

    Only then would his extension not have been a mistake.

  2. Rbilak says:

    No. 2. Kris Letang, eight years, $58 million, age 26. Much like the Penguins, the parts of the player do not match or exceed his current play. Letang has incredible skating ability and can play a physical game. However, he is not a power-play QB, like Gonchar before him. To pay what the Pens paid, he should be the best power-play QB. He is not. Paul Martin is. His passes sometimes make you scratch your head. He should be part of a shutdown pair. He is not. The solution is not a trade. It is finding the right assistant coach to use the extreme talent he possesses. The organization should find a former player who can reinvent Letang. Another coach doesn’t hurt the cap. A player not playing to abilities does.

  3. DJ says:

    Sid 2 for 10 overall tonight in face-offs against Bergeron, 0 for 3 in the defensive zone. Not good.

  4. john says:

    Ray Shero has managed the Penguins’ last eight drafts. The highest-scoring forward drafted by Shero to play in tonight’s game was Brian Gibbons, with one goal. And for all of the picks in those drafts, the only players on the ice up front that the Penguins had to show for those eight drafts (either the picks or trades of the picks or players picked) were Sutter, Jokinen, Sill and Gibbons.

    Actually, you could sort of make an argument for Dupuis, but the first and Esposito were for Hossa, not Dupuis. Dupuis, who was going to be a UFA, was swapped for Armstrong.

    Can anyone think of a GM in the league who would have less to show for 8 drafts on his roster than Sutter, Jokinen, Sill, Gibbons, and Maatta? Every other player out there tonight was a Patrick draft pick, acquired for a Patrick draft pick, or acquired in free agency?

    Don’t Sid and Geno deserve better than that?

  5. DJ says:

    Not absolving Shero but he’s assembled a very nice stable of D-men in our system, and we should be using one or two to fill out our NHL roster. Not as concerned if the forwards come from our or another team’s system at this juncture, particularly since our best players are either in or approaching their primes.

    His biggest decisions will be which D-men to keep and which to trade and what we get for them in return.

  6. DJ says:

    . . . I would not trade Pouliot.

  7. Eric Bowser says:

    John, been on this topic for a while now, and let’s not just target the players in tonight’s game. (And by the way, Gibbons was a free agent.) Let’s just look at all the drafts and see the lack of production:

    Forwards: 24 draft picks
    Games played: 683
    Goals scored: 156
    NHLers: 5 (Staal, Jeffrey, Caputi, Hanowski, Bennett)

    I would love to know, is there another team in the NHL with a worse record during this time?

  8. hockeymonster says:

    Indeed. And Jussi was on waivers before we made a trade. A conditional trade for a seventh-round pick, I believe. Wasn’t Sill an undrafted free agent, too?

  9. john says:

    Nope. My brother asked me what would happen if this were a Canadian city, LOL. At the very least, the media might have noticed by now that, nice as Neal and Kunitz are, Ray Shero has done a pretty awful job exploiting the advantage of having two generational talents.

    It’s just really poor long term asset management, and, for the life of me, I cannot understand how a GM doesn’t identify his team’s strength, make it as strong as possible, and then build from there.

    Imagine if Geno and Neal had their Kunitz again and Sid had his Hossa again. Yeah, you might not have a Dupuis or a Jokinen or even an Orpik.

    But, those guys aren’t going to put the Pens in the best possible position to win a cup.

    Doing everything possible to give Sid and Geno two talented and perfectly complementary wingers each is going to do that.

    DK: Yes, if only the Pittsburgh media was a little tougher, maybe the franchises here would be as successful as those in Canada … which haven’t won a single Cup since Montreal in 1993. Or if the Pittsburgh media were REALLY tough, like those rabid dogs in the Toronto media … oh, 1967? Yikes.

    Not suggesting a correlation. In fact, I’m doing the opposite in pointing out how overstated it always is to link media pressure to team success/failure.

  10. MikeVee says:

    No. 2. Letang has not been the same since his initial concussion. Last year’s playoffs, he may as well have been wearing a Bruins jersey. I’d take two Orpiks any day over one Letang. Bylsma walked into a motivated team in 2009 or he wouldn’t have done squat. The coach has no emotion or passion and is not a motivator. This team wins because of superior talent not because of coaching. He’s outcoached nightly. I can’t believe this team doesn’t have 2 or 3 cups. I couldn’t wait for game days and now I dread them. What team shows up is always unknown. You’re lucky, Dejan, that you go to the games for free, because as a paying fan I’d sure like refunds on MANY of the games I’ve watched.

    DK: I don’t ‘go to the games for free,’ Mike. I go to the games to do my job, no different than anyone else who goes to a job anywhere.

    I appreciate the broader point you’re making. That’s just kind of a red-flag comment for me. Even my parents think I ‘go to the games,’ put my feet up and eat nachos.

  11. Clint says:

    No. 2. Letang needs to be humbled into playing better hockey. The big deal does not concern me, but he has to learn from the coaching staff that they need simple plays from him. The really fancy goals and passes will come their way if he can harness his talent. I would be more concerned if the staff kept using him on the first PP unit. By putting Martin there, they show Letang he has to earn his time, and April is what matters for this team, not November.

  12. MikeVee says:

    I know. I guess that’s worse: You get paid to go to the games! If I go, it’s a $300 night at least. I don’t expect a win every night, but I do expect the best team available on the ice and, if an obvious change needs to be made, that they do it and get away from the “family” atmosphere. This is supposed to be a business. Isn’t that what the sports folks always say? The front office has to know this is not working and there is no way that this team right now is going deep in the playoffs. And by the way DK, I like your honesty and frankness and that you don’t hold back punches to “offend” the players.

    DK: I don’t limit that to the players, but again, I know what you mean. Thanks, Mike.

  13. Ghost says:

    Always did kinda wonder if you guys in the press box too, wear those contraptions on your heads that pipe beer through tubes into your mouths …

    DK: Busted.

  14. No. 1. If the Steelers did not want LaMarr Woodley to be their starting left outside linebacker, they would not have restructured his contract before the season adding more dead weight to the remainder of his contract; but they can want someone else to play the position Thursday night against the Ravens.

    Woodley is dealing with an injury and was unable to play this past Sunday. Even if he can go four days later, Worilds was already ready to go on Sunday, and go he did. Worilds will not be limited in practice, and will not need to get back up to speed.

    If Woodley is healthy, let him dress while starting Worilds on a short leash. If he struggles, Woodley is still the next best option, not to mention the long-term plan. If Worilds does not struggle however, Woodley could find himself going the way of Willie Colon in 2014.

  15. john says:

    C’mon, Dejan, that’s pretty disingenuous. I make a point about how little the Pens have to show right now on their roster for 8 Ray Shero drafts and comment on how little they’ve done to build around Sid and Geno. I then make a crack about even the Canadian media would’ve pointed this out. You take offense at the latter. Fair enough.

    By the same token, you don’t bother to acknowledge the former. But, it’s a contributing factor as to why we only can talk about 1 cup for Sid and Geno and why we must talk about Boston being the class of the East. The Pens could never match Boston’s depth. But, Boston would have a hard time shutting down BOTH Sid and Geno if BOTH of their wingers complemented perfectly.

    Sad thing is, I posted here because you’re about the only one in the Pittsburgh media who will ask an uncomfortable question sometimes. So, I point out something uncomfortable about Ray Shero’s record, and, well, I guess we can’t let the questions get too uncomfortable, even around here.

    DK: Or, it’s got nothing to do with asking or not asking uncomfortable questions, to repeat my point. There really is a possibility that I don’t feel as you do about this GM.

    Considered that one?

    I’ve criticized Shero, often and loudly. If you haven’t seen it, you haven’t been reading.

    But I don’t share your overall view on him, and I find your view about some media role in his tenure to be fantastically ridiculous.

  16. Scott says:

    No. 2. I never agreed with the Letang contract. I think many Pens fans, myself included, were just getting used to the idea of trading Letang and giving the roster a much-needed shakeup when suddenly the extension was announced. It was probably the only time I ever felt bummed out upon hearing that a star player on one of my favorite teams had been extended. That was way too much money to give a guy who, on this team, is a luxury, not a necessity.

    Just for fun, here’s what we were saying about Letang before he was re-signed. Seems like most of us agreed that he wasn’t worth anywhere near $7 million:

  17. Mitch says:

    No. 2. I never took a French language course in college, but I’m fairly confident that ‘Kris Letang’ would translate to ‘overrated.’ Or rather, should I say, ‘overpaid.’ Letang may very well be the most gifted natural athlete in the city of Pittsburgh, including the likes of McCutchen and Crosby. We’ve learned to take the good with the bad and HOPE for more of the former. That statement alone is not very becoming of a franchise centerpiece. But let’s forget the ugly turnovers and Power-play Quarterback skills of Brandon Weeden for a moment. Kris has been playing in the NHL for six years under a plethora of very intelligent hockey coaches and even Jaques Martin hasn’t changed a thing about him. Is he uncoachable? Does he have a poor hockey IQ? To be blunt, the reason for his enigmatic play doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that he will cost us two Brooks Orpiks in salary over the next eight years. His greatest value to this team may be his trade value. This team does have some holes after all. Here’s to hoping Ray Shero’s brain is a lot smarter than Letang’s …

  18. Devon says:

    No. 1 Months ago, Mike Tomlin addressed the media for a fireside podium chat after every loss rah-rahing on his slippery soapbox of redundant coachspeak about accountability, getting the job done and promising change for those who could not. Lost in the Sea of Obviously, here is a lush Island of Primary Example. Worilds has three sacks in as many games and has been generally disruptive, and Sunday made me forget about Lamarr Woodley since…Lamarr Woodley in October 2011, the last we saw of the healthy and dominant variety. I’m not completely sold on Worilds on such a small sample, and this year the Cleveland line is one giant weak link in a game of red rover, second worst in sacks and worst in quarterback hits. But if Tomlin can’t practice what he preaches, his ship of integrity might inspire nothing more than another Gordon Lightfoot folk song.

  19. john says:

    So, leave the role of the media out of it then.

    What the Pens have to show for 8 years of drafts in their lineup tonight was Sutter, Jokinen, Sill, and Maatta. My ‘overall view’ of Shero was to criticize that record and to say that doesn’t do right by Sid and Geno.

    You say that you do not share that view.

    Do I follow correctly?

    DK: What you haven’t done is read my stuff.

  20. Pucknutz says:

    Well put Rbilak,
    A total reinvention may not be necessary, fine tune the rough edges . Slow down a bit – guy is in high gear all the time – I think that is where a lot of those head scratching passes come from – learn how to use that gearbox – more than enough horses under that hood.
    Will he ever be a great PP quarterback – maybe not – but he outta be watching a lot of film of guys like Gonchar and Coffey.
    Ton of talent, hardwork, and desire there ….. a little reinvention may not be a bad thing,

  21. john says:

    Just looked. Sill was an undrafted free agent. Gibbons was an undrafted free agent.

    So, Ray Shero has been in charge of 8 Penguins drafts. All he had to show for it in tonight’s lineup were Sutter, Jokinen, and Maatta.

    There were NO Ray Shero drafted forwards in tonight’s lineup.

    The highest scoring Ray Shero draftee in tonight’s lineup was Maatta, with 1 goal.

    The highest scoring Ray Shero drafted forward in the organization is Beau Bennett with 4 goals.

    Comparatively, the following teams have the following draftees or players acquired for picks from the last 8 drafts (I may have missed a few of the trades):

    Boston – Jordan Caron, Loui Eriksson, Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Dougie Hamilton.

    Chicago – Marcus Kruger, Brandon Pirri, Andrew Shaw, Jeremy Morin, Brandon Saad, Ben Smith, Nick Leedy. Oh yeah, forgot Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

    San Jose – Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, Tommy Wingels, Justin Braun, Jason Demers, Matt Irwin.

    St Louis – Patrick Berglund, Jaden Schwartz, Chris Stewart, Valdimir Tarasenko, Ian Cole, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alex Pietrangelo.

    Los Angeles – Mike Richards, Jordan Nolan, Tyler Toffoli, Dwight King, Kyle Clifford, Matt Frattin, Drew Doughty, Slava Voynov, Alec Martinez, Johnathan Quick, Ben Scrivens.

  22. Drew71 says:

    Yes, that’s ridiculous.

    Sausage and peppers, right?

  23. JAL says:

    The Whole of the Moon Waterboys 1985

    JAL’s The Whole of the Moon Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 MLB Important Dates

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Will the Pirates Get a First Baseman or a Right Fielder?

    Pirates Won’t Pay A.J. Burnett Market Rate

    A Platoon at First Base Seems Most Likely For the Pirates

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Comparables for new Pirates acquisition Jaff Decker

    Pirates designate Jones and McPherson, deal Alex Dickerson in flurry of roster moves

    6 Rumbunter

    Why Is Miles Mikolas On Pirates 40-Man Roster?

    7 Green Weenie

    Bucs Dealin'; Garrett Jones & Kyle McPherson DFA’ed, Dickerson Traded


    More of Jaff Decker, Alex Dickerson, Garrett Jones, and the trade

    9 Pirates Site

    Bucs know market doesn’t favor them for A.J.

    Pirates make Minors trade, designate Jones

    10 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Team Checked In On Rafael Furcal

  24. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 IS Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Tim Williams rushes to defend payroll, Huntington

    12 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates trade prospect Alex Dickerson to Padres, DFA Garrett Jones

    13 Gaslamp Ball

    Alex Dickerson Things and Stuff

    14 Bleacher Report

    The Top 10 ‘Strange but True’ Plays of the 2013 MLB Season

    15 Rising Apple

    Recap & Thoughts: Conference Call with Mets Chief Revenue Officer Lou DePaoli

    16 CBS Sports

    Creating baseball’s perfect players, Part I: Catcher

    17 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards’ signing of Peralta criticized

    18 Access Atlanta

    ‘Baseball Wives” Anna Benson speaks to Dr. Phil about guilty plea


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Strongest (and Weakest) Roster Cores of 2013

    20 Fangraphs

    The Dodgers And “Too Many Outfielders”

  25. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Character (Ac)Counts: Steelers Center Fernando Velasco

    Big Play William Gay

    22 Steelers Gab

    Mike Tomlin’s Post-Game Press Comments Following The Win


    23 Rant Sports

    2013 Is The Year That Changed Everything For U.S. Soccer

    24 World Soccer Daily

    Ribery on why he should win the Ballon d’Or


    25 Pensburgh

    Memorable Moments: 0.3 Seconds

  26. Jeffrey Palombo says:

    #1. You play the better player. If your stuck with LW for next year due to the cutting cost, you still play the better player if you want to win.

  27. Wild Bill says:

    Really busy this morning, but just want to say it stinks to be Beau Bennett this season. Here’s hoping he isn’t going to be injury prone his whole career. Heal well, young man.

  28. hockeymonster says:

    He will be soon enough…and we wont have any trouble finding someone to take him off our hands if it comes to that. But I don’t think it will…i’ll be elaborating on letang and last nights game shortly.

  29. Jandy says:

    Another great article over at FaceOff-Fator:

    This should please a lot around here. Even I can’t argue with it.

  30. Jandy says:

    The Pens have already started to reign in Letang. It’s going to be tough on him. Already pulled off the top PP, what’s next? is Martin making the decisions to get him to use his head and play better? He definitely needs a strong hand.

  31. theplanisworking says:

    No cheering in the press box!

  32. Drew71 says:

    Even EYE don’t care about the minor league trade.

    Not when there’s Dejan’s press box eating habits to discuss.

    And face paint.

  33. Jandy says:

    And clothes, oh the clothes!

  34. theplanisworking says:

    I never knew ties went well with comic book t-shirts?

  35. Thundercrack says:

    One last time…anyone else still having problems getting on the blog via the Trib mobile app?

  36. JAL says:

    3-Can anything realistically revive hoops on the Bluff?

    The answer is yes. College basketball is cluttered with teams that came from nowhere to become successful. Butler University has half as many students as Duquesne but had a great run in basketball. In Duquesne’s own conference both George Mason and Old Dominion have had some excellent seasons.

    Reviving Duquesne requires a good coaching staff that recognizes the type of athletes that make a good team. Ron Everhart had them moving in the right direction with an NIT appearance, a couple of CBI appearances, and a career record of 99-89. He was the only coach with a winning record since Mike Rice back in 1978-1982.

    We will never know if Everhart could have taken them a step further but his term shows that the right coach can revive the program. It will take a couple of years to see if Jim Ferry can move the program up the ladder.

  37. DJ says:

    As to Letang’s PP skills:

    1. Cannot consistently and seamlessly enter the O-zone
    2. Cannot consistently put the puck on net
    3. Does not have a quality one-timer off the pass

    That’s a bad combination for your PP point man. I thought the world of him until about 1.5 years ago. I think we know what we’ve got right now and it’s less than ideal for $7+ million. However, the measure of whether it’s a “bad signing” would be whatever we got in return for him if we dealt him. I happen to think there would be a number of high bidders.

  38. 21sthebest says:

    “Can anything realistically revive hoops on the Bluff?”

    Sure. A really really good coach.

  39. Rich says:

    #2: Kris Letang is a unique talent; there’s only one of him in the NHL. He’s the kind of talent that can sell tickets or win a game almost single handedly on a January night. The Pittsburgh Penguins do not have any trouble selling tickets. Nor do they have a shortage of players who can put the team on his back to win a regular season game. Letang would draw a king’s ransom from some team who is looking for the traits above, which would have been about 29 teams, had the team not allowed him to limit that list. For all his unique talents, Letang is not a player who a team should want on the ice up 2-1 with 2 minutes to go in the playoffs. At $7 million per season for a team who should regard anything but a Cup as a failure, Letang’s extension was a mistake.

  40. 21sthebest says:


  41. 21sthebest says:

    Oh yeah. What JAL said. Sorry I didn’t see that earlier.

  42. Jandy says:

    so do we trade Sid now, too? Imagine, we could prolly get an entire team for him! ;)

  43. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know what can realistically revive hoops on the bluff, Dejan. I don’t know that Pittsburgh is big enough or hoops crazy enough for 2 strong D1 programs. They pull it off in Cincy, but that is more of a hoops hotbed quite frankly. The only chance for Duquesne is to follow the Xavier model of building slowly, which is what they did 20 years ago, and internally. Their new coaches come from within when others move on. And, the school definitely made a financial commitment that Duquesne has been unwilling or, more likely, unable to do to this point. Xavier is not a wealthy school by endowment standards, but grew hoops slowly and eventually built a new arena when the brand was built up. They have access to better talent in their area, though. Sadly, I don’t think the Dukes and Pitt can be ultra-successful simultaneously.

  44. Jim S. says:

    Saw a Myth Busters episode on it recently, Ghost. Thanks for owning up, DK.

  45. Drew71 says:

    3. Yes.

  46. Jim S. says:

    My wife told me this morning that she read Angelina Jolie is buying Brad Pitt an island somewhere off the coast of NY for his upcoming 50th birthday. She’s going to sink $20 million on it.

    First of all, there are islands for sale off the coast of NY? Ok, getting past that, I reminded my wife that I will be reaching that magic milestone in the not too distant future, and a similar gesture would be nice. She’s going to look into a part-time job, I think.

    Seriously, though, I have no problem with people of wealth doing anything they please with their money. But, when those people are as preachy to the rest of the world as these 2 idiots are, maybe they should just keep it to themselves when they add to their toys. I liked Angie better when she just exchanged vials of blood with Billy Bob Thornton.

    I promise I’ll talk about sports now.

  47. Sarah says:

    Yup. He’s lost more games single-handedly I’m afraid. Poor Jandy!!! Her boy’s taking some hits today!!!!!!!

  48. Jandy says:

    I’ve been adding to the hits the last couple weeks, Sarah.
    I don’t wear rose colored glasses….


  49. 1. We’re legitimately (in a way) in the playoff hunt, albeit tied with many teams for the final WC spot. We need to play Worilds and work Woodley in, if need be, since it’s a quick turnaround and if he’s healthy. Forget about how much somebody is being paid and use the production and quality of play of the individual as the guide. We need this game badly and we need the best 11 on the field at all times.

  50. 21sthebest says:

    Duquesne has increased their financial commitment over the past several years and improved facilities twice – in 2006 and 2010. I’m not sure that the problem is the budget. I really think it’s finding the right coach. I think they were on the right track with Everhart and we saw some decent improvement but obviously that didn’t work out and now they’re pretty much back at the drawing board.

  51. Bizrow says:

    Can Woodley play inside LB?

  52. hockeymonster says:

    Had a whole write up but site crashed on me so here’s version 2:

    Bout last night i think we saw continuation of solid stretch of hockey going back to caps game with lack of focus mixed in at times. After giving up 2 sloppy goals i thought it was nice to see pens not per usual get discouraged and pack it in. Instead we saw our guys get it together and unleash the kind of attack and onslaught this team is capable of against an extremely deep and well coached team. But there is room for improvement(read below).

    Is it my imagination or was Tanger better last night? Believe he only made my head explode once or twice for whole game as opposed to half a dozen times per period. Did iggy dance him? Yes. Did he force a pass or 2? Yes. But he looked more under control and very solid last night. I think this is start of a trend for him and later this season we’ll look back and realize how short sighted it was suggesting we should trade him cuz of poor start to season. And if not I have mike keenan’s inner monster on retainer :)

    Bout Engo…i have all the respect in the world for anyone who works their way up the ranks to become an nhl regular. But on a cup contending team he’s not a top 6 or maybe even top 7 dman. Most any other team should be happy to have him in the top 6-7 but on our team i like his potential at wing. Which makes me wonder is there any reason he wasn’t moved to wing last night with Glass out so bortuzzo could get some much needed TOI?

    Bout sill and gibby…really? Megna and harry z wouldn’t be better fits with BB and glass out? Bottom 6 needs fixed in general but those 2 would be a start. And with the possession offense we’re running megna’s speed, acceleration and hands would be a welcome addition along with harry z’s speed and willingness to crash and bang on forecheck. Maybe he’ll even find himself at the net on a rush or 2 which leads me to…

    Just cuz we’re playing a possession style doesn’t mean we don’t need to center lane drive to the net on our rushes. For example, look at what duper did on real deal’s 4th goal against the caps. Unless we score on clean shots like Real Deal did last night we got no chance at rebounds and greasy slimy goals we need for long term. Hope disco has team work on this and Cross Corner Murphy Dumps in practice. I’m talkin bout practice cuz with the style we’re playing and the occasional lack in focus(possible conditioning issues?) i’m seeing i hope pens go out of their way to make sure teams can not skate with us.

  53. +++++++++++++

    I can recommend a nice island in Italy for them, Jim. It’s called Poveglia. Buildings already on it.

  54. Jim S. says:

    Last night was the first opportunity I had to see Pitt’s hoops team play. Wow! This is not your father’s (or even your older brother’s) Pitt Panthers! How do you transform a roster from that stubborn, plodding mess we saw vs. Wichita St. in the first round of the NCAA Tourney last March into a bunch of long, lean, strong, athletic ball-hawking, ball-sharing, sharp-shooting machines that I witnessed last night? The answer is, I have no idea how you do that so quickly. No idea whatsoever.

    Ok, I realize TX Tech is not a good team … at all. They will be near the bottom of the Big 12. And, I realize Pitt will not shoot 3’s that well every night. I get all that. But, this team is different from any Pitt team I have ever seen from my 30+ years of watching them. They have never had so much athleticism, quickness and length. They made it near impossible at times for TT to simply move the ball from side to side around the perimeter.

    Pitt has a long way to go, but this is the exact recipe that a lot of people said Jamie could never create, let alone do it in one off-season. He has an athletic, slashing team that can also shoot from the outside. But, it appears that they have not lost the great Dixon tell-tale traits of unselfishness, teamwork and tenacity. The fact that he has come so far in 8 months is amazing to me. Again, they have not proven anything yet – except that their coach is not stubborn and old-fashioned. He even lets this team shoot EARLY in the shot clock. Who’d-a-thunk-it?

  55. Jim S. says:

    I hope their PR team reads this blog, Lucky! :-)

  56. hockeymonster says:

    We’ll get him going…dont worry.

  57. Zachary Fausnaught says:


    The Steelers undoubtedly should start Worlids at LOLB vs. the Ravens, regardless of Woodley’s health. This is a win now league, and this team epitomizes “win now” based on their collective age, as well as their 5-6 record. Since Woodley went down, Worlids has played the most effective OLB that any Steeler has played since early 2011. The rotation should be Worlids at LOLB and Jones at ROLB, they can work in a fresh Woodley on a limited number of snaps, while moving Worlids to ROLB. The Steelers know as much as anyone that come playoff time its not the best team that wins, but rather the hottest team (2005 Steelers). Right now the Steelers are a very warm team, on the verge of becoming scalding HOT. Worlids and Will Allen should remain relevant in the lineup (even after Woodley and Shamarko return) if the Steelers want to remain relevant in 2013. We’ll leave the decision on whether to keep Woodley or Worlids in 2014 to the suits. If the Steelers worry about the off season decisions in November the 2013 Steelers season will quickly be overshadowed by the 2014 Steelers draft.

    Zachary Fausnaught – Lancaster, PA
    @zfausnaught – Twitter

  58. 21sthebest says:

    My wife turns 50 tomorrow. I hope she doesn’t hear about this.

  59. hockeymonster says:

    Forgot to add that Engo’s icing prior to 3rd GA was a killer…

  60. Jim S. says:

    As I said, I think it is two-pronged, 21. 1. Right coach, followed by coaching succession; and, 2. Financial commitment. I know they are committing more money, and I am not criticizing them necessarily. They are probably doing all they can in that area, and if so, that is all that can be asked of them.

    So, it would come down to the definition of reviving a program. If the goal is to merely compete in the A10, maybe their current budget under the right coach can get them a nice 4 year run at some point where they make March Madness once and a secondary end of season tourney a couple of times before the inevitable regression. But, if the goal is to truly compete, a la the Xavier’s of the world, then they have committed nowhere the amount of money required. Again, maybe that just isn’t realistic for Duquesne. Xavier was an awful program at one point at a similar school to Duquesne. They pulled themselves up through a long, hard process. As I said, they had the added advantage of local talent. Duquesne does not have that.

  61. Jandy says:

    I think Tanger wasn’t so sloppy last night. Heck, Sid was worse.
    Not sure who’s leaning on him, but hope it’s Martin and he keeps on leaning.
    No reason for Letang to do the boneheaded stuff he does as often as he does.

    I loved Engo on the wing. And if Borts isn’t back soon, I may have to send DB a telegram. Sheesh.

  62. Jandy says:

    Get the red wine out, 21. Wine and dine her and keep her busy ;)

  63. Jim S. says:

    This is clearly a gift wives give to “deserving” husbands, 21.

    Just take her to dinner and a movie. You’ll be fine.

  64. hockeymonster says:

    If you like maatta you’ll like harrington too. Between those 2 and despres pens scouts know their dmen. Forwards…maybe not so much. I have thoughts on pouliout but will save them for another day.

  65. Jandy says:

    he frustrates me that I just want to pull his hair! ;)

  66. Jandy says:

    Can’t wait for Harrington to be ready!

  67. Jim S. says:

    Since I’m on a college hoops rant today, I’ll throw in a shameless plug for my alma mater, the University of Dayton Flyers. My boys went to GA Tech last week and whipped that ACC team, 82-72. Last night, they came from 16 down in the first half to beat #11 Gonzaga, 84-79 in the first round of the Maui Invitational. Tonight, they face another tough foe in #18 Baylor.

    UD has great Pittsburgh ties, being led by Archie Miller. You may have heard of his brother, Sean. He did some good things at Pitt, and is making a go of it at Arizona right now. Or, his father, John, who did some good things for about 40 years at Blackhawk and other WPIAL schools.

  68. Jandy says:

    I see some new names. so…

    Newbies and lurkers, we want to chat with you!
    If you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum.
    Don’t be shy, we don’t bite. (Well, I do kick on occasion) ;)

  69. hockeymonster says:

    Well contrary to popular belief sid is human. He’ll have days when his hands dont get it done on faceoffs. And with all the ice time he gets maybe he’ll lose just enough focus every now and then to go for a skate like he did in OT prior to krug’s blast.

  70. The Justice Avenger says:

    Just was wondering about something last evening, as my wife and I were having this conversation: This situation in Stubenville, Ohio (the rape case and now some administration/teachers on the hook…as they should be…for coverup and obstruction and so on): Doesn’t anyone learn anything? It’s different than the Sandusky case at PSU, but is it, really? What is this teaching our kids….that sports is THAT much bigger and more important than a human life? I really stand and applaud the grand jury and the Ohio State Attorney General for looking at this since April and believing that adults need to be held accountable. Between PSU and now this one in Ohio…I just continue to shake my head in disbelief at what goes on sometimes in this world we live.

  71. Football is all they have in Steubenville, JA. The kids know it. The parents and administrators know it and this kind of behavior is the result of it. Been that way for a long time. Sad, sad commentary on our entire society, whether it’s Penn State, Ohio State, Steubenville Big Red or anywhere that sports of any kind is bigger than life.

    It’s basketball here. At all costs.

  72. theplanisworking says:

    Lucky, good points.

    Maybe this is where we have failed as a society?
    Just a thought……..

  73. Jim S. says:

    Sad on so many levels.

  74. Jandy says:

    Oh trust me, I know he is. But when he makes mistakes, multiple ones last night…focus was off, etc etc, we don’t hear about how bad he was or trading him.

    I was more or less being sarcastic :)

  75. The Justice Avenger says:

    “…is all they have……at all costs”. There has to be more…there just has to be more. Thanks, Lucky. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  76. Rich says:

    I’m a lurker, but my current hometown (Lansdale) was already on the list. Though I didn’t see the town that I’ll always think of as home…Portage.

  77. Jandy says:

    Until people/administrators at all levels are held accountable for what they allow, this will continue to happen. If it gets punished long and hard, it will slow down. But it won’t stop unless that accountability is enforced.
    Sad, indeed.

  78. Jandy says:

    Welcome, Rich! is that Portage, PA? That’s a hop, skip and jump away from me.

    Biz, is Portage on the list?

  79. The Justice Avenger says:

    I agree, Plan. But that being said…we also have seen where sports can be for the good. Let’s look at what our Pirates did for this city this summer. And really good guys like Clint and Andrew and so on. Ok maybe a different level and different conversation, but still…

    When it gets ugly like Ohio…we have these dialogues.

  80. Damon says:

    Here’s the problem (or problems) I see with Letang right now. Shero signed him to that major deal based on his point-per-game season last year – tied for most in the league in points for a Dman. Then he was tied for the team lead in points in the playoffs (also a 1+ PPG average). Just watching him skate and move around the ice, you can see the sky would be the limit on that kind of talent. Thing is, Letang is more of a 4th forward when on the ice than a solid offensive defenseman like Suter. While the Pens are trying to install a more-stout defensive approach, having a “4th forward” is counter-productive. The defense was almost flawless before Letang came back from injury – played the system to a T, very few defensive lapses, very few odd man breaks. Letang seems to be an odd-man rush the other way waiting to happen 4 or 5 times a game. Those chances almost always seem to end up in the net. How many times have the Pens come out like gangbusters only to have the other team bury a coughed-up puck and the team is now down 1-0?

    The biggest problem right now is that Letang is still struggling to get into a groove, and 5 points in 16 games is a glaring problem. It’s not like he’s getting close either. When he’s not producing, he then becomes a liability. He’s not playing physical in his own end – he could be a beast at times in the past. I’d love to give him a chance to get back in that groove, but how long do you wait before his trade value plummets? It is also possible – like Malkin a few weeks ago – he is trying way too hard rather than letting the game come to him.

    Ultimately even though his offensive prowess and potential is very intriguing, the team as a whole would probably be more sound system-wise if they traded him. The return could fill out the 3rd line and make it potent.

  81. The Justice Avenger says:

    Again, my point of I applaud the top cop in Ohio for NOT letting this go.

  82. Damon says:

    Good call Bizrow – I was just thinking that yesterday on my drive home from work. Too late for this year, but give him a camp playing next to Timmons….could be awesome. Or not…who knows. Worth a shot.

  83. The Justice Avenger says:

    Welcome aboard, Rich!

  84. Jandy says:


  85. 21sthebest says:

    I took her to a movie on our anniversary once. We saw While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock. It was a chick flick but, you know, it was our anniversary. I fell asleep. We don’t movies anymore on birthdays or anniversaries.

  86. 21sthebest says:

    That is the plan!

  87. The Justice Avenger says:

    Thank you, Jandy.

  88. Same to you, JA. And good posts above.

  89. Jandy says:

    LOL! I’m afraid you’d be WEARING the red wine ;)

  90. 21sthebest says:

    I wonder if I could name all of the coaches since the days of Mike Riceand Jim Satalin when I was there. Probably not.

  91. Jim S. says:

    I get big points for “chick flicks.” Just sayin’.

  92. NMR says:

    Don’t forget the awful Maryville, Missorui case as well.

    Penn State did not have a culture problem. FOOTBALL has a culture problem.

  93. theplanisworking says:

    3- Can anything realistically revive hoops on the Bluff?

    Well, maybe. It would require a steadier hand from the Presidents office than has been done for the past 40 years.

    Not only is getting the right coach important, but sticking with a coach is important. Since Red Manning left in 1974, Duquesne has had a coach last 7 seasons only once, most coaches are let go after 4-5 seasons….. which does not allow for continuity. Jim Larranaga was at George Mason 8 years before success. Duquesne has to do more than smile, and say all the right things at a new coaches introductory news conference.

    Also, the Palumbo Center is ok, but will a 4400 seat arena do the trick? Consol has the ability to have a reduced seating capacity for basketball (8000 I believe), so Duquesne might look to holding more games there for increased exposure, which would help recruiting. Yes, upgrades have been made to Palumbo, but when a recruit comes in, and sees basically a large High School type gym, it doesnt help.

  94. Bizrow says:


  95. Sarah says:

    I think the best might have been Erin Brokovich.

    The ladies get to see Julia Roberts heroically taking on evil corporations and saving the world.

    The guys get Julia Roberts in spandex, swearing like a sailor.


  96. Joni says:

    I totally agree, Jandy with the need for a strong hand with Letang. My question is how long or short of a leash is J. Martin allowed with the defense? How do the multiple assistant coaches agree on how things should change, let alone how to go about it? Yes, I understand that Bylsma (whom I continue to pray for and about) is the head coach and gets final say. I am sure that the message from all of the coaches remain the same, but the teaching method may be different.

    I know that Letang has been struggling since before J. Martin came along, but when we start to talk about breaking a player down and building him back up again (as other people have mentioned above) I think Mr. Martin may be the guy to do it.

    Is anyone keeping track of which defensive coach is behind the bench when the Penguins win or lose? I completely understand that the person behind the bench has limited “control” over what is happening on the ice. Perhaps the coach’s mere presence is a factor?

    According to my hazy memory, Tony Granato (loss) was behind the bench on Saturday’s game. While Jaques Martin (win) was behind the bench on Friday night’s game. I also wonder which d coach was behind the bench on the win over the Caps. I hadn’t thought to check who was behind the bench at the time.

    I have nothing but respect for coaches at any level. I appreciate all of the work that goes into developing players and teaching them how to win.

  97. Bizrow says:

    It is now, that makes 435

  98. AB says:

    Playing Texas Tech changes nothing about Jamie Dixon’s atrocious non conference scheduling. Why? Because he didn’t schedule this game (its a tournament, he didn’t get to pick his opponent) and it wasn’t a road game. He plays no one unless it is scheduled by someone else in a tournament, classic, or conference challenge.

    He claimed in an article by another outlet that he wants to play better teams, but no one wants to play at Pitt and no one calls him or the AD. I am calling BS. If you just look locally, in the last 5 years WVU has hosted Virginia Tech, Purdue (twice), Gonzaga, and Ohio St. The difference is, Huggins was also willing to go on the road against those teams. I don’t think Dixon will.

    He doesn’t have to schedule Kentucky or Michigan State, but at least try to get a BCS level team on your schedule that isn’t located in Happy Valley.

  99. hockeymonster says:

    I’ll leave that one alone :)

  100. toochca says:

    My brother is also a UD alum!

  101. hockeymonster says:

    Forgot to mention sooner but if memory serves me correct our play 4 on 4 has been abysmal of this season. Dont know what the numbers n stats are but seems like we’re 4 headless chickens out there 4 on 4.

  102. Joni says:

    Louise Penny (Canadian author) recently write a book called “How the light gets in”.The reason why I pitch Ms. penny’s work is because one of the book’s characters proclaims that the word coach means “a**hole” in French.

  103. Thomas Leonard says:

    No. 1: The Steelers would be foolish not to continue playing Jason Worilds full time, and given his increased production from the left side, leaving him there. LaMarr Woodley was easily one of the best OLB’s in the NFL between 2008- first half of 2011. He has never come close to regaining that form since his 2011 mid season injury. I don’t blame PGH for giving him his contract extension (which came before the injury) based on his age, health (at the time) & production. Some guys never fully recover from major injuries (Greg Lloyd) and others do (Jason Gildon). With salary cap issues as they are, Worilds impending FA status, and the Big Ben Extension looming, PGH needs to know exactly what they can get from Worilds, letting him go without a true evaluation of his ability in the hopes the oft injured Woodley regains his early career form would be a huge mistake.

  104. Jandy says:

    haha! good one, Joni.
    Nice to see you :)

  105. Jason81 says:

    Agreed. He’s the Pens version of Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson. Everything that is being said about Letang (good and bad) could be used in the exact same way to describe Karlsson.

  106. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Let’s not get carried away with Jason Worilds.
    The guy has had a couple of “ok” games….It’s not like he’s setting the world on fire.
    He knows what’s at stake here financially, and he’s putting all effort forward to get a good contract somewhere.
    I fail to believe that playing a certain side is going to shed some new light on a guys talent in year four of his NFL career.

  107. Damon says:

    I didn’t get to mention this yesterday, but….PK Subban is the new Ray Lewis to me. Hate that guy….

  108. 21sthebest says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but after like the first hour of that movie, I found myself thinking, “Okay Julia. Put some clothes on. Enough is enough.”

  109. Tim Costello says:

    This is a little tougher call than I would guess the masses feel about it. We are talking about a guy who only in the past three games has the look of a quality NFL linebacker versus an injury prone and aging pass rusher. The rub here is that the latter also has a history of showing up on the biggest stages, which Thursdays game surely is. The eye test will tell you that the defense looks more energized with Worilds in Woodley’s normal spot. I don’t even take into consideration who makes what and for how long at this point because of the importance of the Thanksgiving game. I’m starting Worilds because of the way his play is trending and the way the defense is playing with him in the lineup. I’d like to see what he looks like in the biggest game of his career as a starting LOLB. Woodley can cry all the way to the bank and hopefully won’t re-injure his hamstring on the drive over.

    Tim Costello (Boston, MA)

  110. pattonbb says:

    1. If Woodley is healthy, he plays. Worilds was an underachieving draft bust 4 weeks ago. Now we think the season hinges on his playing time? I’m not convinced. Woodley deserves a chance to get the job back. If he fails to impress (again), then you swallow your pride and play Worilds. Every team gets stuck with an occasional bad contract. Maybe now it’s the Steeler’s turn.

    Or you could move LaMar to the right. I know, that topic seems off limits. Jones’ continued playing time, regardless to how bad he looks is important to his evolution as a player, as a man and as a….blah, blah, blah.

    Oops, sorry. I was day dreaming for a minute.

  111. 21sthebest says:

    Wish I had a chance to see more of the game but sounds good.

  112. Jim S. says:

    Fair criticism, AB. Some have said this is out of Jamie’s hands, as the administration has dictated X amount of home games for revenue purposes. I would argue that is short term thinking, and that playing a more challenging schedule early in the season would benefit Pitt more in the long run from revenue, prestige, national exposure, etc. standpoints.

  113. Jim S. says:

    + many, toochca.

  114. theplanisworking says:

    Could go the Denny Crum route………… he played the best he could find at any time. He said it was the best way to prepare for the NCAA’s every year.

  115. Jim S. says:

    I thought so, 21. I’m not saying this team is headed for great things this year – although it would not surprise me. But, I was astounded in the face lift in such a short amount of time. They look like what an ACC team should look like athletically, while hopefully retaining the Big East toughness.

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    John, you should enter the contest.

  117. Jim S. says:

    I can’t believe you are saying it, either, 21. Let’s just pretend you didn’t. :-)

  118. Jim S. says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Sarah. Julia … acted … well in that movie.

    I think the real Erin B. must have played a big part in casting that role.

  119. Arriba Wilver says:


  120. Jim S. says:

    Loved the Dukes as a kid, JAL. I would love to see them in the 20-win range every season.

  121. Jim S. says:

    True, and I notice that Tom Izzo doesn’t shy away from tough opponents early in the season. He mostly plays them at neutral sites, I think. But, he takes on great teams.

    I will say this about Jamie. And, it goes back to my UD Flyers again. Remember, about a half dozen or so years ago, Pitt played a home and home series with UD. Pitt agreed to it as a favor for something that I don’t recall at this point. Anyway, Pitt won in Pittsburgh the first year and then got hammered in the crazy 13,500 attendance atmosphere that is UD Arena in year 2. Levance even broke his foot in that game, if you recall.

    So, you do have to be careful where you go. Winning that game in Dayton against a good UD team probably would not have gotten Pitt a ton of credit with the committee – although it probably should have. But, losing that game by 20+ sure hurt Pitt that year. Most big-time programs avoid trap games like that, for that very reason.

    But, I still like when the big schools do it. The mid-major conferences deserve a chance at the big boys.

  122. Arriba Wilver says:

    Penn State had a culture problem, at least in the upper ranks.

  123. Arriba Wilver says:

    The question is, is he better than Woodley has been there for the last year and a half, and the answer seems to be yes.

  124. Jim S. says:

    :-), Jandy.

  125. hockeymonster says:

    Good one jandy…i think i’ll take a closer look at FF when i get back to town next week. You pickin up what im puttin down? :)

  126. Jandy says:

    You and me both, Damon, you and me both.

  127. Jandy says:

    You take a look at it Monster Mash, and then we can pick up from there…lol

  128. Jandy says:

    Jim S, Mike Adams used to write the game grades column for FaceOff-Factor. He said exactly what he thought and wow did he generate a lot of discussion. I miss him. This particular column on Tanger is actually mild lol. We disagreed on things, but I loved reading what he wrote. I love someone who speaks their mind ;)

  129. Joni says:

    Jason81 – Good point about Karlsson.
    And I think your avatar is fantastic!

  130. Wild Bill says:

    DK question #2: Was the Letang signing a mistake?

    No. Letang is a world class offensive talent in a league that makes a specialty of clogging up rush lanes right now. He has to be coached to adapt to what is possible, and I think he will be. Injuries have slowed this process.

    The big question for me is: What message does he get regarding his defense? He may feel under such pressure to bring offensive support that he is seeing himself as an “offenseman” first, second and third.

    Over time, and with Jacques Martin’s influence, the Letang cup should still be seen as half full, not half empty or more.

  131. theplanisworking says:

    If PK was a Penguin, you two would be loving him.
    Admit it.

  132. Jandy says:

    Actually, Hipposter, I’m not so sure about that. his attitude reeks, and he’s a vicious player. Nasty like Marchand. I don’t like that kind. He’s not someone I want representing Pittsburgh.

  133. Damon says:

    Matt D’Agostini placed on waivers?

  134. Vince says:

    Butler has Hinkle Field House. Duquesne has the Palumbo Center.
    Butler is in the basketball hotbed of Indiana. Duquesne is in the football hotbed of Pennsylvania.
    Butler is the #1 school in its city; Duquesne is #2.
    Butler is a private school accountable to its Trustees. Duquesne is accountable to the Holy Ghost fathers.

  135. Jandy says:


  136. theplanisworking says:

    Same thing happened with Ulf. People in Pittsburgh loved him, other cities hated him. Said he was a dirty and vicious player also. For a more modern reference, see Cooke, Matt.

    It all about perspective, Jandy. I believe you would not like him at first, but would grow to love him.

  137. Wild Bill says:

    I was looking a Justice Avenger’s very thoughtful post, and feeling late to the discussion on it. Maybe the more aggressive approach to the entire Steubenville case shows that much has been learned from the Sandusky case and others. If that’s so, we have reason to celebrate. The current Florida State case may also be showing us that our celebrations will always be fleeting.

    I know from my work that there have always been offenders of a sexual nature, and there always will be. This is the sick side of humanity that must be recognized. Lots of people in large organizations are quietly nervous because they know that tomorrow they could have a Jerry Sandusky in their midst.

    Protective policies and aggressive enforcement are the best we can do in a world where violators will always be present. Blind trust or blinding loyalties to school or brand are a recipe for disasters to come.

  138. Damon says:

    Dejan’s tweet:
    Those of you celebrating #Pens placing Matt D’Agostini on waivers, please remember to hand the car keys to a friend.

  139. Jandy says:

    There is one HUGE difference, Hipposter. Since the rule changes and crack downs on the nasty hits and nasty play, things are looked at differently. Matt Cooke is a changed player. He’s the poster boy for the NHL “you can play clean too”. PK came into his own in this changing time. He still chooses to play dirty. He’s very talented, I’ll admit. I’d much rather have Letang.

  140. Jim S. says:

    Me, too – right, wrong or indifferent!

  141. Jim S. says:

    By my math, you still have 145 words left.

  142. Damon says:

    I guess Kobasew must be close to returning, they like what they saw from Sill and Gibbons, and/or they want to put Engelland back on the 4th line.

  143. Jandy says:

    How many sets does Dejan have now?

  144. Jandy says:

    or Matt D pissed someone off!

  145. Damon says:

    Agree – PK is a punk, arrogant and cheap. All things I’d have trouble rooting for as a Penguin.

  146. Jim S. says:

    I would agree.

  147. Jim S. says:

    Was it Darius Kasparaitis the Pens had who everyone around the league hated when he wasn’t on their team, but loved him if he was on their team. Interesting initials.

  148. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m leaving for the big feast weekend. Not sure if I will get a chance to do other than lurk this week so I want to wish Milo a very happy 50th this weekend. I tend to think the “6” birthdays are more trying. I found 36 and 46 a little depressing as I knew I was making the turn to the milestone birthdays. Anyhoo, 50 is a big deal. A number of my friends from grade school on will never make it there reminding us all that the alternative to birthdays is much worse. I almost checked out last year myself when a virus took a great disliking for some reason to my meninges. I’ll be thankful to just be here and have a family this Thursday.

    Hope you enjoy the game, Milo. Blog would not be the same without you!

    Incidentally, it’s a good year to turn 50. In addition to 21 and his wife, there is Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Lisa Kudrow, Kathy Ireland, Mike Meyers, and our generation’s greatest ingenue, Phoebe Cates, who still looks fabulous I must say.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all in Blogdem!

  149. Tyler says:

    Letang’s extension was not a mistake, if he is used properly. Letang is perhaps the most mobile defenseman in the league and in the past has shown an ability to take over games from the backend. As the cap rises, $7.25M per year will be a bargain over the life of his contract. However he cannot be “Letangover.” He needs to make better decisions, simpler plays, and fully utilize his biggest asset, his skating. That is not a key powerplay attribute, so it’s not surprising he struggles there. He’ll never be a powerplay QB, but that’s okay, provided he excels at all other aspects of the game. It would be a mistake to give up on him; Paul Martin drastically improved from one season to the next. Letang can too, but he needs to be put in a position to succeed.

  150. 21sthebest says:


  151. Jandy says:

    haha Jim, yeah…how bout those initials? ;)

    And yes kaspar was hated by all who he played against. But again, the league isn’t quite the same today, which is why Cookie reformed himself.

    I can’t see PK changing anything he does, and he’s nasty.

  152. 21sthebest says:

    Can I carry them over to baseball season?

  153. Wild Bill says:

    Well said, John.

  154. Jim S. says:

    Not Phoebe Cates, Osh. Say it ain’t so?

    Good thoughts on life and all that there is to be thankful for!

    Happy Birthday, Milo!

  155. Jandy says:

    Oshie, enjoy your long holiday and I sure hope that fudge turns out! Safe travels, my friend.

  156. Jandy says:

    Nope, you use ‘em or lose ‘em ;)

  157. theplanisworking says:

    Guys, (and girls), I just see a bit of hypocrisy here, thats all. You cant have it both ways. If you cheer for a player, and his bad habits as a Penguin, you cant vilify a player on another team who does the same things. Yes, Cooke changed, but only after multiple suspensions, and the threat of not surviving in the league.

    We can agree to disagree, but I cant support the criticism of Subban when the Pens have employed the same type of player. Like I said, if Subban were here, he would be cheered.

  158. Jim S. says:

    If you’re looking for a link, I’m thinking he’s on the deer antler spray, Damon.

  159. Jandy says:

    Not by me!

  160. Jim S. says:

    Arriba, did I recall you saying here once that you are a UVA alum?

    I have a friend whose son plays collegiate soccer at Marquette, and they are playing a Sweet 16 NCAA Tourney game at UVA this weekend. He is heading down that way to see his son. Any suggestions for places to eat, things to do on a Saturday?

  161. 21sthebest says:

    Speaking of Phoebe Cates, I see that Jennifer Jason Leigh is starting to take on a bit of an Ernest Borgnine thing.

  162. Jason81 says:

    Thanks, Joni. That’s my son and I leaving the final regular season game at Mellon Arena back in 2010. He was 4 at the time and it was his first Pens game. He turns 8 next week and definitely does not fit on top of my shoulders as well as he used to! :D

  163. Milo Hamilton says:

    I just “tune in” and that’s the first thing I see. You are way too kind. Thank you John.

  164. Jim S. says:

    That is a peculiar phenomenon that you seem to be acutely aware of, 21. Please continue with any new developments.

  165. theplanisworking says:

    Kathy Ireland 50? Wow.
    Also turning 50 this year……….

    Vanessa Williams, Elisabeth Shue, and Demi Moore.

  166. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thanks Jim.

  167. Joni says:

    people wondered about P.K. Subban’s limited his ice time earlier this year. I personally believe it was punishment for P.K. ‘s on-ice antics. Apparently the man hasn’t learned about the importance of integrity during play. Yet another example of believing that your talent excuses your actions.

  168. 21sthebest says:


  169. Jim S. says:

    By all means. Or, you can lend them to me. I’m always way over my limit.

  170. Jason81 says:

    Gibbons was sent back to Wilkes-Barre this morning.

  171. theplanisworking says:

    Happy Birthday, Milo, if it is indeed today.
    If it isnt, accept my well wishes for the correct day.

  172. Jandy says:

    Good points, Tyler. Tanger also needs a coach who can propel him in the right direction to be better.

  173. Bizrow says:

    Let me tell you this retirement stuff is rough.

    What to do? What to do?

    Ummm, Nuttin ;-)

  174. 21sthebest says:

    I gotta respond to this Plan. Elisabeth Shue and I share the same birthday, day and year. And I had a bit of a crush on her going back to the Karate Kid movie.

    In the mid 90’s I was in New York City on business. Went for an early morning run in Central Park and I could swear she ran past me in the opposite direction. I turned around, caught up to her and said something embarrassing about having the same birthday. She giggled, I said I have to get back and go to work, then I went back to my hotel room and called my wife.

    Jim, she looks nothing like Ernest Borgnine as of today.

  175. Jandy says:

    WOW! Our Milo is 50. Happy Birthday, Milo! Enjoy the day!

  176. Jandy says:

    Go ahead, Biz, rub it in…good thing my size 9 wides can’t find you ;)

  177. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hasn’t Demi been “turning 50″ for a couple years?

  178. Jim S. says:

    Butler had some amazing NCAA runs led by a great coach, Vince. Truly astounding! I’m not sure they are solidified as a program that is built for the long haul, though. And that coach now coaches the Boston Celtics. We’ll see where they are 5 years from now. They are the #1 school located in Indianapolis. But, they are a distant #4 to Indiana, Purdue, ND in Indianapolis as far as collegiate followings go. Even with all their success, Butler attendance is 5,000 – 6,000 per game most years. And, when I lived there a few years back, a lot of those tickets were give aways.

  179. 21sthebest says:

    I could use a latte? :-)

  180. Milo Hamilton says:

    Saturday is the day. Again, thanks everyone. It really means a lot.

  181. Jim S. says:

    And, actually, I didn’t mean to short change, Butler. They have been a solid program since Thad Matta. So, I guess that has been longer than I gave them credit for. My point, though, is I think they might be susceptible to falling into oblivion if they have several losing seasons in a row.

  182. Jim S. says:

    To steal a Milo line: “They’re so cute at that age.”

  183. Jim S. says:

    Do you even know what day it is, Biz?

  184. Damon says:

    Ulf and Kasper were tough, hard hitting players – some say dirty. But they weren’t the combo of dirty, arrogant and an all around punk. I had issues with Cooke’s cheap shots, and glad he turned things around. Same for Ruutu to a much lesser extent. In those cases I was cheering for the jersey rather than the player. If Subban was a Penguin, it would be the same case – cheering for the jersey.

  185. Jandy says:


  186. Damon says:


  187. Jandy says:

    Post of the day!

  188. Damon says:


  189. Jandy says:

    I honestly don’t know that I could even cheer for the jersey, Damon. He just totally turns me off.

  190. Rich says:

    That is Portage, PA. Hopefully the weather will hold off enough so I can make the cross state drive tomorrow.

  191. Jandy says:

    Joni, I do know that Therrien was sitting him and it pissed PK off. I’d love to know why Therrien did it. MT has the cajones to do it. Kudos to him!

  192. Jandy says:

    It’s gonna be nasty, Rich. be careful!

  193. Dom says:

    Well, Ernest has been dead for a few years, so she must REALLY look bad.

  194. theplanisworking says:

    I cant, or wont do that to Milo, but I echo the sentiment. ;)

  195. Jim S. says:

    Parts of her are about 15. Other parts are 10, 5, all the way down to this year’s additions.

    Not saying I’m complaining.

  196. Rich says:

    7.25 mil is a lot of money for a defenseman who is a “project” and can’t be a PP QB.

  197. JohnnyC says:

    My question revolves around the Penguins’ third line… what once was a staple (Staal Cooke Kennedy) is now a revolving door of meh. Sutter is solid and brings good hockey sense but it’s tough to imagine the rotating cast of wingers hasn’t hampered his ability to play and produce consistently. Now with the injuries (Bennett, Glass), waiving for D’agostini and demotion of Gibbons, the biggest weakness in the Pens lineup will be even more exposed: NHL-caliber FWD depth. Isn’t it time for Shero to deal from a position of strength and bolster this lineup?

    Could it finally be time to swap Despres for a big, young, speedy third line winger… Let’s say Simon Despres for Emerson Etem and a 2nd round pick? The Pens need some players that possess both skill and grit to smooth out the roster. Etem (and his speed) was noticeable on the ice for the Ducks vs. the Pens recently – kind of a young, unpolished Kunitz. I could imagine some great forechecking with speed AND chipping in some goals from a 3rd line like Megna-Sutter-Etem.

  198. Damon says:

    Huh…..things are getting interesting. With all the forwards injured, why would you get rid of two? I guess they could call up Megna tomorrow before the game and after D’Agostini clears waivers. Plus there’s the new slash – Engelland as the D/RW.

  199. Jim S. says:

    I have to agree wholeheartedly, 21. Elisabeth Shue does not look like Ernest Borgnine – dead or alive. And she never did.

    I love the stones for stopping her and talking to her. And, for the calling your wife right after part.

  200. 21sthebest says:

    “That’s a fun age” was Costanza’s response when Russell Dalrymple mentioned that his daughter, Denise Richards, was 15.

    She doesn’t look like Ernest, yet.

  201. NMR says:

    Penn State administrators…and certain supporters…had a culture problem, but it wasn’t their own creation. It was the same football-centric culture seen over and over again elsewhere.

  202. 21sthebest says:


  203. Jandy says:

    Maybe Megna gets the call up

  204. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bongs were big on Saturdays. One Saturday when I was there, during a protest, some students stole the fake canons from the JAG school and left them in the middle of Ivy Road, which led up to the Rotunda. Big scandal. Different times, at least on the protests, maybe not the bongs.

    Seriously, I went there in the early to mid-seventies, and everything’s very different. I’ll ask my sister, who lived there for about 15 years more recently.

    There was a favorite place that was a Greek restaurant called Expresso’s, with the favorite dish being Grinders (hot hoagies). They opened a larger, fancier restaurant on 29, but I don’t know if it’s still there. The owner looked exactly like Jimmy Kimmel’s sidekick (the guy with the mustache).

  205. Jim S. says:

    Great episode, 21.

    “Get a good look, Constanza?”

  206. Damon says:

    Happy Half-Century of living! Hmmm…..probably could have put that better. Happy Birthday Eve Eve Eve Eve!

  207. Jim S. says:


  208. Jim S. says:

    Adam Corolla? Or, his more recent sidekick?

  209. Damon says:

    The Pens 3rd line was supposed to be Bennett-Sutter-Kobasew which isn’t bad, but the Pens are plagued by injuries once again. Etem isn’t a bad choice though….

  210. Jim S. says:

    I love hockey. Follow it pretty well, but admittedly not great. Watch all of the Pens games on NHL Network and/or NBC/NBC Sports. I try to catch a non-Pens game on TV every week.

    I would never want to get into an argument with any of about 5 of the ladies on here that know more about professional hockey than I ever could know.

  211. Jandy says:

    LOL Jim S, I’m always learning. Argue with me, we could have some fun ;)

  212. hockeymonster says:

    Happy bday Milo! DJ sends his best too. :)

  213. Arriba Wilver says:


  214. Damon says:

    That’s awesome!

  215. Jason81 says:

    Very unclear. It was also just announced that Tanner Glass is out with a broken hand for 3-4 weeks and Paul Martin is out with a lower body injury. Once again, the injuries are mounting.

  216. Dom says:

    On this day in 1942, Casablanca premiered at the Hollywood Theater in NYC.

  217. Jandy says:


  218. Arriba Wilver says:

    I forgot she was in the Karate Kid. She hit my radar with Adventures in Babysitting.

  219. Jason81 says:

    Posted this above, but wanted to put it down here so it didn’t get lost in the muddle…

    Just announced that Tanner Glass is out with a broken hand for 3-4 weeks and Paul Martin is out with a lower body injury. Once again, the injuries are mounting.

  220. Jim S. says:

    That’s a euphemism, right Arriba?

  221. Jim S. says:

    I’d look foolish if I argued with any of the female regulars on here about hockey.

  222. Jim S. says:

    + a million.

  223. theplanisworking says:

    I thought she was best in Leaving Las Vegas.
    Or any of her work. ;)

  224. 21sthebest says:

    “I forgot she was in the Karate Kid.”


  225. hockeymonster says:

    Just caught up on moves and injuries. So with BB out they still waived D’agastini? Maybe a trade in the works? Despres, Megna and/or harry z called up yet? PM’s been stellar even with a few blunders recently. Gonna be big loss unless despres picks up where he left off last season.

  226. Jandy says:

    Did you radar go off??????


  227. Jandy says:


  228. Jason81 says:

    Thanks, everyone! :D

  229. Joni says:

    Could it also be the coaches telling Letang to do whatever he can to change games because he is so talented? No specific directions, just “we trust you to make it happen out there”. I can’t speak for Letang, but some of us need explicit directions to do our best. :)

  230. Lad 9 says:

    Happy Birthday Milo!

  231. Damon says:

    He really hasn’t been noticeable – even when he got 2 or 3 shift on Sid’s RW last night. I’m guessing they were happy with Sill, and will call someone else up….either Megna or Despres. Or Kobasew is ready. Harry Z would need to clear waivers if they sent him back down, so they may be reluctant to call him up for a few games then chance losing him.

    With Martin out, I guess Letang gets back on the PP. Could be the break he needs…

  232. Sarah says:

    Yes losing Scuds and PM, Oy…..

  233. Joni says:

    Great movie! You can’t go wrong with the line, “don’t f@*% with the babysitter”.

  234. hockeymonster says:

    I believe if they call harry z up cuz of injury he wont need to clear waivers to go back to WB. But i could be wrong on that…maybe someone can confirm.

  235. Jandy says:

    Harry has been skating, so I’d bet he’s ready. But both Martinand Scuds out…like Sarah says, OUCH!

  236. hockeymonster says:

    No no…i mean if harry z gets called up cuz someone else is injured-like BB- then when pens send harry z back down he wont need to clear waivers to be sent down.

  237. Jim S. says:

    “Or any of her work.” Great line.

  238. hockeymonster says:

    Oy indeed…but despres on adrenaline with borts and engo at RW and we should be fine. Well unless they dont call up despres.

  239. Jandy says:

    Oh well that I don’t know. Eric Bowser is one specialist on that.

  240. Jandy says:

    Laddie! Good to see you :)

  241. buggee says:

    ROFL! good one jandylicious.

    THWAPPP upside the head with a sloppy snowball

  242. Jandy says:


    Hey buggeeeeeee!!!

  243. Dom says:

    Beau Bennett out 8-10 weeks.

  244. Jim S. says:


  245. Jim S. says:

    Good thing she didn’t quiz you during that impromptu conversation in Central Park.

  246. Jandy says:

    Green, slimy pond scum!

  247. Jim S. says:

    Of course, that usually doesn’t stop me. :-)

  248. Jim S. says:

    Not sure whether I will be able to make it here over the long weekend, which begins tonight for me. But, if not, I just want to say Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you get to spend quality time with friends and family this week. I also hope that you are as thankful for the life you have as I am for mine. Be safe in your travels, and take care of those you love! Maybe take this time to bury the ax with someone you should have reconciled with a long time ago. This is a great week for that, I think.

    I will take to you all soon!

  249. Wild Bill says:

    A major milestone for Milo. Enjoy, man.

  250. Jim S. says:

    Sure thing!

  251. Wild Bill says:

    Same at ya, Jim.

    Although Jandy making nice with A-Rod is highly unlikely.

  252. Jim S. says:

    “Talk” to you all soon. F for proofreading.

  253. theplanisworking says:

    You rang?? ;)

  254. Jandy says:

    Have a warm, satisfying holiday, Jim! :*

  255. Jandy says:


  256. theplanisworking says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Turkey.

  257. Jandy says:

    LOL Ya nut!

  258. Jandy says:

    You’re incorrigible :P

  259. Jandy says:

    OK I gotta get some stuff done so I can go home.

    Yinz all try to behave, hear?


  260. Wild Bill says:

    Will do. At least as much as you would.

  261. Bizrow says:

    Happy Birthday Milo, many, many more.

  262. Bizrow says:

    Is some day during the week, I think, let me check to see if there is football on ;-)

  263. Bizrow says:

    Next ball game ;-)

  264. Milo Hamilton says:

    In my continuing series of ridiculous MLB Trade Rumors headlines, I give you – Marlins Have Discussed Mike Napoli.

    Marlin #1: So, did you see Mike Napoli in the World Series ?
    Marlin #2: Yeah, how about that beard ?
    Marlin #1: Something, huh.

    DK #1: Happy birthday to Milo!

  265. SeanAY says:

    I’d recommend just walking around the campus. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

  266. Bizrow says:

    Are the Marlins still getting grief for pocketing the revenue sharing money?

    You are right, that report is absolute nonsense, but it may be a leak for posturing

  267. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thanks DK.

  268. DK: Any of the regular care to play judge and pick one winner in each of the three categories up there?

    I’ll respect whatever decision you reach.

  269. DK:

    I like pattonbb’s for #1. @ 11:39 AM and JAL’s #3. @ 8:34 AM. I’m not qualified to judge the #2 ones.

  270. Milo Hamilton says:

    I like Tyler (12:54 pm) for #2.

  271. Sarah says:

    Hope my entry’s not too late!!
    On Letang, let me just re-post a rant from after the Habs game.

    The contrast in value between PK Subban and Letang was hard to ignore. Almost everything Subban does, Letang seems not to, and at a cap hit of 7+ next year I think this goes down as one of RS’s worst decisions. Letang is a marvelous skater, but….
    Is he a PP QB? No.
    Does he play PK? No.
    Is he a shut down D? ….no…
    Does he get under the other teams star players skin and take them off their game like PK did to Crosby? No…
    He delivers big hits occasionally but is not a physical presence like Subban.
    His purported value is transitional offense and in the scheme now he makes far too many turnovers, ( that could be corrected by scheme changes I agree….)
    On straight O he has 5 pts in 16 games, and many more TOs resulting in pts for the opp…just a low hockey IQ too often.
    Even at 3 mil I would give that away for an elite W for Sid and more grit in the bottom 6. (The fact that RS has been unable to find proper compliments on wing for Sid and Geno is a rant for another day)….
    At 7mil…. Even more so.

  272. DJ says:

    Missed this early post of yours, Jandy.

    Sid’s been in a bit of a slump on his FOs lately, more so in the D-zone based upon what I’ve observed.

  273. DJ says:

    4 on 4 is about winning the FO first, and then maintaining possession with guys who can skate second.

    Cannot get to part 2 unless you achieve part 1. Part 1 has been the problem lately.

  274. DJ says:

    Ha! Those just make me bigger and bolder, Bugs.

  275. Sarah says:

    Eaton anyone?

  276. DJ says:

    Thanks for that link, Scott.

    Looking back at what each of us said then, and comparing to what has been stated on this blog today, the views are remarkably similar . . . if not identical.

  277. Wild Bill says:

    Wow Sarah! You sure see Letang differently than I do. You make a compelling case. It will be interesting to see how his career plays out from here.

  278. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’m not a big fan of LaMarr Woodley these days, but he still has one more sack than Worilds.

  279. Sarah says:

    Oh dear. Well I was in a crabby mood when I wrote that LOL!

    I just don’t think he brings enough to justify 7mil next yr.

    Crosby hasn’t had a Hossa type in four years(mind boggling) and Geno needs someone on LW in the mold of Malone or Kulemin (his KHL linemate). The lack of completeness on our stars wings gets exposed every spring.

    When I think what Letang might bring to help Sid and Geno, and probably some left over for grit lower down, well, I just get crabby!!!

  280. Sarah says:

    Here’s an interesting question I saw.

    Besides Crosby and Malkin , can you name 5 players you would NOT trade?

    I start with Maatta…..Neal…..after that ….?

  281. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s a great question Sarah.

    1. Sidney Crosby

    That’s it. That’s the list. I’ve always operated under the notion that there is no such thing as an untouchable, except for Eliot Ness of course. I’ve made an exception in this case.

  282. I agree with Milo. Only Sid.

    Malkin would be on the block, to see what he would bring back.

    If I want “Figure 8’s” Malkin’s my man. If I want goals, this is his 2nd straight arid season.

  283. Sarah says:

    You guys are tough! After Sid and Malkin almost nobody but Maatta and maybe Neal…..

  284. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jim—if you check in, my sister says there are lots of good restaurants at the downtown Mall in C’Ville, and one called C & O right off the mall. And I second what SeanAy said about just sightseeing. Have to see the Rotunda and the Lawn, but Monticello isn’t far away, and that is worth seeing also. Beautiful campus, with lots of history (although not sports-related).

  285. Jandy says:

    You don’t want to see my list ;)

    it will make you crabby all over again ;)

  286. Sarah says:

    I never stopped being crabby!

  287. Jandy says:

    not sayin’ nuffin ;X

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