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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Vacation thread: 12-26-13

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

I’m off all week but will return Sunday to cover Steelers-Browns. Feel free to use this thread as a daily discussion forum. Game posts will go up as usual.

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. Bizrow says:

    Thank goodness the Christmas season is over, butter, cookles, more butter, more cookies

    My wife, Cathy, her niece gave us honestly, half a Kaufmanns bag of cookies, then a neighbor checked in with more.

    One of my brother in laws said, can’t wait till I’m back to spinach and salmon

    Except for the spinach, sounds good.

    I got some cool stuff for the PBC, “We play for October”

    And AW, got a fitted Gold PBC hat.

    What day is it???

  2. Ghost says:

    Biz, we spent a low-key Christmas day, shampooing our carpets and working on last minute touches to those college applications my daughter has not yet finished. It was nice day, but I’m glad Christmas is over, too. Too much of the holidays is decidedly not low-key. Only 364 days left to get your next Christmas shopping done, after all. ;-)

  3. JAL says:

    JAL’s Hawaiian Christmas Song Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 MLB Important Dates

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    Winter Leagues: Navarro Makes Debut, Dominican League Playoff Rosters

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Gregory Polanco wins MVP of Dominican Winter League

    6 Rumbunter

    All I Want(ed) for Christmas: A.J. Burnett to Do His Thing Again

    Pirates Pitchers Weren’t Self Help Gurus, A.J. Burnett Among Worst

    7 Sports Illustrated

    Hot Stove Roundup: Crazy Logan deal leads 10 under-the-radar moves of note

    8 Green Weenie

    Merry Christmas: Sam Leever, Rick White, Frank Taveras, FF Fire, Pud Galvin, Gene Lamont, Mario Mendoza…

    9 Pirates Site

    Bucs aiming to build on breakthrough ’13 campaign

    10 Beyond the Boxscore

    Tim Lincecum and Learning to Help Yourself

  4. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 New York Times

    The Night Pittsburgh Became a Baseball Town Once Again

    12 Bleacher Report

    Rumored MLB Deals That Could Happen Before Jan. 1

    13 Belleville News Democrat

    Happy Birthday, Pud Galvin

    14 MLB Daily Dish

    MLB storylines to look forward to in 2014

    15 Berkeley Independent

    Finding Mudville: A Sporting Christmas

    16 Sweetspot

    Christmas wishes for every team

    17 Baseball Nation

    Stephen Drew, the last remaining free-agent hitter you care about

    18 St Louis Post Gazette

    Bernie: DeWitt’s franchise vision working brilliantly


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes December 16-25

    20 Fangraphs

    Spending $130 Million Well and Less Well

    Song: Hawaiian Christmas Song Sam Sims

  5. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    ‘Twas the Steelers’ 2013 Season

    Mike Tomlin apologizes, but not for what you think

    22 Steelers Gab

    Bell And Taylor Take Home Awards For The Steelers


    23 US National Soccer

    U.S. Soccer Names All-Time Men’s National Team Best XI

    24 NBC

    Premier League TV schedule – Boxing Day


    25 CBS Sports

    Anderson makes 27 saves, Senators shut out Penguins

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Wednesday: A Very Penguin Christmas

  6. Wild Bill says:

    It’s only the second of the twelve days of Christmas, Biz. That’s why you’re getting such a generous supply of food. Hope your fitted hat still fits when it’s over!

  7. Drew71 says:

    Ok, this is kind of forced. But it’s Christmas. My office was closed. I’m surrounded by family. So I have to do SOMEthing.
    Speaking of forced…to “get” this, you have to pronounce Kovacevic with the same syllables accented as Pennsylvania for this to make ANY sense…PENN-syl-VA-nia = KO-va-CEV-ic. Though “sense” has little to do with this.
    So with that, um, build up, here is a belated Christmas present to all of you from Ebenezer Drew.
    HOTEL KO-va-CEV-ic
    On a dark Pittsburgh highway, cool wind in my hair
    Bad smell of three rivers, rising up in the air
    Up ahead in the distance, I saw a Serbian blog
    My poodles heavy cause they hadn’t gone
    I had to stop for the dogs.
    There he stood in the doorway; he said that baseball’s swell
    And I was thinking to myself
    “This could be Heaven or this could be Hell”
    Then he beat up on Thunder and he showed me the way
    There were voices down at P-N-C,
    I thought I heard them say

    Welcome to the Hotel KO-va-CEV-ic
    Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
    Not a baseball trace
    Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
    Not a baseball trace
    Plenty of room at the Hotel KO-va-CEV-ic
    Any time of year (Any time of year)
    You can’t find it here
    His mind is Huntington-twisted, he got the HokaHey bends
    He got a lot of hockey blogging boys he calls friends
    How they dance in the Consol, sweet winter sweat.
    Some dance for more baseball, bold reaming they’ll get
    So I called up our Captain,
    “Please bring us our Foo”
    He said, “We haven’t had that spirit here since he ticked off you-know-hooo”
    And still his voice, it’s reaming inside my head,
    Wake me up in the middle of the night
    And I think he said…
    Welcome to the Hotel KO-va-CEV-ic
    Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
    Not a baseball trace
    We bloggin’ it up at the Hotel KO-va-CEV-ic
    What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)
    No Pirate alibis
    Jandy’s on the ceiling,
    When Penguins lose sometimes.
    And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of Bylsma’s third lines”
    And in Ray Shero’s chambers,
    They’re drafting for a ring
    They stab at all the blue line scabs,
    But they just can’t fill left wing
    Last thing I remember, we were winning Super Bowls
    I had to find the passage back
    To the time they had less holes
    “Relax, ” said Arriba,
    “We are programmed to complain.
    You can check-out any time you like,
    Cause Thunder is a pain”

  8. JAL says:

    Wow–Hull strike twice in first 12 minutes to take early 2-0 lead over Manchester United

  9. Excellent, Drew. Some of your best work. And for that, I’ll leave off the emoticon.

  10. theplanisworking says:

    Very funny!
    Nice start to the after Christmas stuff.

    Don Henley on line 1 for you, Ebeneezer Drew,……………. just start talking about soccer, he will leave.

  11. hockeymonster says:

    When does the album drop? :)

  12. Drew71 says:

    It dropped and broke

  13. JAL says:

    Man U strikes back in next 12 to tie game at 2-2

  14. Vette60 says:

    Nicely Done! If if the record broke, there’s always iTunes and the digital drop!


  15. Stuart says:


    Couldn’t you have worked in “we haven’t had that vintage here since Nineteen Severtynine”. Not to be critical of your inspired work.


  16. theplanisworking says:

    Rebecca Lowe is the highlight of the Premier League.

  17. Milo Hamilton says:

    Drew, you’ve truly outdone yourself. And that’s saying something.

  18. JAL says:

    yes she is

  19. Milo Hamilton says:

    Happy Boxing Day !

  20. Joey Bats says:

    End of an a Steelers era coming for several folks on Sunday.

    One of my favorites…..thank you Brett Keisel….classy guy, a hard worker on the field….laughed @ his beard cutting routines!!! THANK YOU for your service.

    Appreciate Mark Kaboloy’s article….

  21. theplanisworking says:

    Didnt Klitschko retire? ;)

  22. JAL says:

    Man U came all the way back and won 3-2 with a goal in the 66th minute, though it was an own goal.

  23. JohninOshkosh says:

    Happy Pizza Bowl Day, everyone !

    TBS is currently running its yearly “A Pizza Bowl Story” marathon.

  24. JohninOshkosh says:

    Well done, Drew.

  25. What in the world is an “own goal”? Did they kick it in their own goal?

  26. theplanisworking says:

    Yes. He headed it in his own goal.

  27. Mercy. Guess there are duffuses playing soccer as well as other sports.

  28. JohninOshkosh says:

    Watching ” A Day that Changed the Game” on NHL Network about the ’80 USA Olympic team.

    The Soviet team went 5-3-1 against NHL teams in exhibition games leading up to the ’80 Olympics.

  29. scapper says:

    Prime stuff. Hate when parodies don’t match up syllable and scanning-wise, but this one hits all the marks. Really fun read.

  30. scapper says:

    Anyone in the Raleigh-Durham area looking for tickets to tomorrow night’s game, I’m selling two at a discount. Put them on Craigslist, as I’ve had luck unloading tickets there before, but figured I’d mention it on here, too. Just respond on this blog if interested and I’ll give you my email so we can connect. I can email the tix.

  31. pattonbb says:

    Pizza pizza…..

  32. JAL says:

    yes, sometimes players try to get the ball out of the area but instead hit it into their own goal. James Chester of Hull and Wayne Rooney of Man U went up for the ball. Chester’s head hit the ball but it went into the goal. If Chester had missed it Rooney probably would put it in. Happens in hockey sometimes. Also in basketball when a player tries to tip the ball out but instead it goes into the basket. Has even happened in US football though rare.

  33. Milo Hamilton says:

    Michigan State has suspended Max Bullough for the Rose Bowl. Unspecified team rules. That gets a big wow out of me. His grandfather Hank was coach of the Maulers but never coached a game as the team folded.

  34. Milo Hamilton says:

    Which of course begs the musical question, can one actually be the coach without ever having coached a game ?

  35. Brandie says:

    I would say yes though the act of coaching, due to financial reasons and lack of fan interest, went unfulfilled.

    We will Call him CINO…Coach In Name Only!

  36. Vette60 says:

    Ahh, the Maulers. Haven’t thought of them in a long time. My Dad ended up with free tix and we took in a game when I was as kiddo…can’t remember who they played, but do remember Rozier having a few nice runs..

    We sat in one of the upper sections of 3 Rivers under an overhang.

    Funny stuff that sticks with you from when you were a kid.

    Thought the ESPN piece on the USFL was very good too. Forgot all about Trump being involved with the league.

    Randy in RVA.

  37. JAL says:

    Yes, coaching is also game preparation. Say someone is hired, works through training camp and the dies before 1st game. They were still the coach for a few months.

  38. Vette60 says:

    Beat me to it! Winner gets free Hot & Ready Pizzas for 1 month…3 Meat Treat excluded

    Where’s the game thread? Got a lot to cover analysis wise before kick-off!

    Take care,

  39. Brandie says:

    I remember the cheap tag line to drum up fan interest…THE MAULERS ARE HERE!

    Fan Response…SO WHAT? WHO CARES?

  40. The Gunner says:

    I still have a Maulers T-shirt from 1983 in my collection. I thought the emblem was pretty cool and, the shirt even glowed in the dark. Somehow, after the team went belly-up, Baldwin High got the Mauler uniforms and wore them for a few seasons.

  41. JAL says:

    Game of the day about to start, Man City and Liverpool . Arsenal won and leads league with 39 points, Chelsea won and have 37. Liverpool has 36 points and Man City has 35. In the league you get 3 pints for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss.

  42. Milo Hamilton says:

    The team used Baldwin High School as their operation center. They even had training camp there. Everything was probably left there when the team folded.

  43. Milo Hamilton says:

    Someone should tell Dejan that there’s a guy trying to drive away potential posters with incessant soccer talk.

  44. The Gunner says:

    Having called on School Districts in my old sales territory & understanding how tight they are with the buck, I figured somehow Baldwin got those unis etc. for nothing.

  45. JAL says:

    Hey, this is all sports blog.

  46. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yes. Yes it is. :)

  47. American football evolved from soccer, which is the abbreviation for Association Football, and Latinos abroad call it football, so I suppose we should take some interest in it. Also, my niece in Maryland has played it, and I went to a match she participated in a few years back.

  48. Yes, Klitschko did retire to go into politics back in his native Russia.

  49. Ghost says:


  50. Rob says:

    Just read where Antonio Brown was voted the MVP for the Steelers. While I can’t argue with that I believe Ben deserved the team MVP this year. He is having one of his best (if not his best) seasons ever. He is working within the system. He has stepped up as an on the field leader and become proficient at running the no huddle. His int’s are down and touchdowns are up. He is not holding onto to the ball as much yet still making plays. He has worked behind a patch work o-line (who have done a great job, kudos to you guys and o-line coach Bicknell) and has not quit even when the team could of.

    Like I said either he or Brown are most deserving but I would have voted for Ben.

  51. Ghost says:

    Well, it’s the players in the lockerroom themselves who make this decision. Two years ago there was some speculation (by outsiders) that Ben was “snubbed” in favor of Brown. Who knows? But in 2013 Brown has been truly terrific — probably the only Steeler who is the best in the NFL at what he does (wide-out AND kick-returner extraordinaire). I’m an outsider too, but I gotta believe the players know what they’re talking about when they deem Brown their MVP.

  52. Ghost says:

    …Not suggesting above that you, Rob, don’t know what you’re talking about. Didn’t mean to leave a rough edge on my reply to your comment…

    And now the season of countdowns is in full swing! Some are fun, a lot are dumb. I see ABC News is counting down Miley Cyrus’ “Most Shocking Moments.”
    Here’s a year-end wish list of countdowns or list entries I DON’T want to see:

    (In no particular order…)
    1. Anything with Miley Cyrus
    2. References to “Boston Strong”
    3. References to the 2013 Pirates that include the obligatory opinion that they’ll relapse in 2014
    4. Duck Dynasty
    4. Soccer (I JEST! I JEST!)

    Let the list-makings begin!… But only if they’re good ones. (Though I posted a haiku here once that referenced year-end lists, but it got deleted :-( ).

  53. Rob says:

    No offense taken. As someone who is outside the locker room looking in I don’t have near the insight those guys have. I was just thinking out loud and curious what others (except for you) thought. :)

    As far as the Miley Cyrus countdown, just the fact that her music is even relevant is shocking to me.

  54. Vette60 says:

    Not too many other purple HS teams too, I suppose.


  55. Ghost says:

    “…Just the fact that her music is even relevant is shocking to me.”
    Me too. I guess I’m officially old now, because I feel myself wanting to say “the music these kids listen to these days…”

  56. Rob says:

    I feel your pain. I turn the boob tube onto the awards shows and realize I have no idea who any of these people are. So I turn the tv off and turn on my classic rock station on Spotify and all is right with the world again.

  57. Bizrow says:

    The mind is a horrible thing to waste ;-)

    Excellent though, nonetheless


  59. Brandie says:

    Let’s see a year end list of the top Dejan’s Lunatic Blogworthy moments! :-)

  60. Jandy says:

    Great work, Drewster,….and to think, I’m mentioned in this hit of the century. I feel so honored!!!!
    (emoticon omitted out of respect for the Artist Formerly Known as Drew)

  61. Jandy says:

    Groat, no first baseman here, and I’d surely NOT hold him hostage. But I *DID* fine a McCutchen jersey under my tree :)

  62. Ghost says:

    Hear! Hear!
    Though one moment I do NOT want to hear about is that “Mah biscuits arrr burnin’!” moment when I took some buckshot in the bee-hind. :-D

  63. theplanisworking says:


  64. theplanisworking says:


  65. Ghost says:

    Which reminds me, the purple dancing hippo MUST make the countdown.

  66. theplanisworking says:

  67. It couldn’t have been better! Pitt beat Bowling Green tonight in Detroit and is now 7-6 for its first winning season in three years. First the Panthers beat Notre Dame during the regular season and then they win their first bowl game in three years by three points due to some great plays by substitute quarterback Chad Voytek and, naturally, Aaron Donald in the second half. Again, it couldn’t have been better!

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