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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

‘Final Word’ on Steelers, Penguins, Pitt

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media


The joint venture between WPXI-TV and Trib Total Media continues Sunday night at around midnight — after NBC’s Sunday Night Football and the local news — with the latest episode of The Subway Final Word.

>> Who’s on the panel: I’ll be joined by Alan Robinson, the Trib’s Steelers beat man, and Mark Madden, top-rated radio host of 105.9 the X. The host will be WPXI-TV’s Alby Oxenreiter.

>> What we’re talking about: Steelers, Penguins, Pitt football and more.

>> How to participate: Each week, we also take comments from viewers through 20-second videos you submit on The Final Word’s Facebook page, as well as comments to The Final World’s Twitter account

>> Where to watch: In addition to the regular broadcast on WPXI-TV, we have WPXI’s live online stream for Pittsburgh’s many out-of-town sports fans, as well as video podcasts available on both outlets’ Web sites.

Here’s last week’s full episode, and here’s one clip from that show about player safety in the NHL …

Really hope to have you along, not only watching but also joining in!

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. Ghost says:

    So… BMTIB talk anyone?

  2. Ghost says:

    I believe Ben has been our QB for every play this season. Not sure that has ever happened before. Never been a fan of how the current NFL keeps franchise QB’s in the game even after games have been decided. But it’s kinda cool how Ben has been kept upright and healthy all season long. (And yeah, if he gets hurt against the Cleve Brownies, my bad.)

  3. radio wave says:

    How many days to pitchers catchers report? Still feels like AJ won’t be there.

  4. 21sthebest says:

    I’m thinking he’ll be there 15-30 days after everyone else.

  5. Eric Bowser says:

    just saw a commercial for Ghost, the musical, as I was reading this…. scary.

  6. Eric Bowser says:

    * Not surprised Pirates have gone cheap this offseason. The free agent market wasn’t all that deep and there’s no way the team was going to spend any significant dollars on a right-fielder with Snider, Tabata and Lambo already on the roster and Polanco on his way up. Once Burnett blew up about game 5, I think that was the end of his tenure in Pittsburgh. I’ll be absolutely shocked if he returns now that the team has Liriano, Cole, Morton, Volquez, Locke, Cumpton, and Pimental to start the season and Taillon by June. This offseason was always going to be about addressing the black hole at first base. If Sanchez getting 400-500 at-bats, it’ll be a failure.

    *No team that enters today at 7-8, needs to win to be .500 and has to get 3 other teams to lose deserves to be a playoff team. Before the year, I predicted 7-9 and I think it’ll happen. Yes, I’m calling for the Browns to defeat the Steelers. I think this team will overlook the Browns and Josh Gordon will have another monster day abusing Taylor, Allen, Gay, Polamalu, and Clark. With the 13th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Pittsburgh Steelers select CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State.

    *Fire Bylsma. Seriously, who plays Engelland as a defenseman? Scuderi should be back tonight so let’s see if Coach Genius moves Engelland to the 4th line or pushes one of the young defensemen back to the AHL or press box. Tonight’s pairings should be Maatta-Niskanen, Orpik-Scuderi, Despres-Bortuzzo.

    *Pitt football…. really hope what we saw from Voytik was the beginning of something good and for once in my lifetime, Pitt will have a good QB. They have the RB (Conner), WR (Boyd), and TE (Garner, Orndoff, Holtz). The defense needs to get better everywhere, maybe the Clairton duo of Howard and Web will help the secondary.

    *Bill O’Brien to the NFL… just a matter of time.

  7. Jim S. says:

    * Top PSU recruit, Holley, apparently said O’Brien told him there’s no merit to the story of him going to coach the Texans. Either he’s staying put, or he is lying to kids he recruited to PSU. If you’re leaving, coach, there had to be a better way to handle this with your recruit than flat out denying it.

    * I predicted 6-10 for the Steelers, and I am glad Coach Tomlin has them fighting to the end. Even though I still don’t think the Steelers are very good, an awful team will grab that last playoff spot if they don’t get it. Too many easy victories frittered away. We’re stuck rooting for the Bengals to beat the Ravens, among other things.

  8. Jim S. says:

    Remember Ryan Madson? Very good Phillies reliever for several years. During the 2011 season, the Phils supposedly offered him a 4/$44M extension. His genius agent, Scot Boras, talked him out of it. Smart move there. He got injured, and needed TJ surgery. Boras had no way of knowing that, but, he doesn’t worry about risks like that for his clients. We know that because Boras says it all the time.

    Somehow, Madson got the Reds to offer him a one-year deal for $8.5 million in 2012, which was reduced to $6 million when he had to sit the season out due to setbacks. The Angels then signed him for $3.25 million last year, where, once again, he watched the entire season while suffering further setbacks. He is said to be negotiating with the Phils again for this season.

    So, Boras talked him out of a bunch of money, which would have been a ridiculously lucrative extension for a reliever. But, he still got paid $9.25 million for watching the last 2 seasons. And, he’s probably going to be paid a lesser amount this year – a season in which he might actually participate again. I don’t even know who his agent is at this point.

  9. Thundercrack says:

    *Fire Bylsma

    You obviously didn’t watch the Final Word video posted above. Richie Walsh said the Pens are the hottest team in the NHL.

    And if you think the free agent market in MLB isn’t deep this year why wouldn’t you think the Pirates are ‘smart’ this offseason, rather than ‘Not surprised Pirates have gone cheap this offseason.’ ?

  10. 21sthebest says:

    Or the recruit is lying.

  11. Richard Roberts says:

    Fire Bylsma? Are you kidding me or have you ignored the last two months of the NHL season? The Pens have one of the league’s best records and they’ve done it with a lineup minus ten regulars. Friday night it looked like they had three checking lines and Sid’s. Man you are absolutely without a clue when it comes to this one.

  12. Richard Roberts says:

    If you are interviewing for a job, there is interest. It’s just a matter of time before O’Brien moves to the NFL. He wouldn’t be the first coach to lie to a recruit.

    I predicted 9-7 or 8-8 for the Steelers. I have been impressed that they’ve rallied to put themselves in position to be .500. Still there is no excuse for some of those bad losses.

  13. 21sthebest says:

    What if we got the 2010 or 2011 Gaby Sanchez?

  14. Ghost says:

    That, or the Roger Clemens option of agreeing to join the team in July. I’m fine with either scenario. Everyone has pitchers go down during the season and AJ would be a great one to have waiting in the wings.

  15. Ghost says:

    I get around.

  16. I look upon this end of this football season with a mixture of disappointment, since the Steelers didn’t make it to the playoffs, and relief, since if the Steelers had lost out in the playoffs, everyone would then have agreed that they didn’t belong there.

  17. Unfortunately, however, the Steelers were indeed unfairly denied a playoff spot because of blatant errors by NFL referees which seem to occur almost every week anymore, and such will have to be corrected if the games are going to mean anything in the future.

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