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Morning Java: Top 2013 column topics

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> On this New Year’s Eve — or First Night, if you’re into the local festivities — thought it would be fun to count up all the column topics for 2013, now that all 203 have been written and filed. So here goes:

Penguins, 62
Steelers, 55
Pirates, 52
Pitt basketball, 8
Pitt football, 5
Penn State football, 3
Olympics, 2
Riverhounds, 2
Duquesne basketball, 1
Other/notes, 13

In general, I’m happy with the balance, especially in the context that, if you flip the top two, you’re matching the level of reader interest. The Penguins are a decisive No. 1 here because they went by far the deepest into the playoffs. From April 27-June 9, I wrote 29 Penguins columns in a row, essentially becoming part of the beat team as they advanced into the Eastern Conference final. The Steelers didn’t make the playoffs at all, and the Pirates were out after a week. I don’t track this stuff as the year is going along, but I strive try for a balance among the big three.

What’s at least partially coincidental is that this list is also, by my measure, a pinpoint accounting of reader interest in those topics, provided you flip the top two. But again, the problem with the Steelers is that they were only in action from September through this weekend, just four months.

>> Very late word last night that Bill O’Brien is leaving Penn State for the Texans, by Chris Adamski. We’ll have more as it develops.

>> The Penguins did what they do in New Jersey. Josh Yohe sends us all a postcard from Newark.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Devils news from the Newark Star-Ledger.

Here are official game highlights from Blink and you’ll miss ‘em.

>> Pitt closes its pre-ACC slate by pulling away from Albany. Kevin Gorman reports from the Pete.

I’ll be flying to Raleigh this weekend to cover Pitt’s ACC opener against N.C. State.

>> Five plays the Steelers will regret, by Alan Robinson.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Oh, one other thing: Happy new year to all from the Kovacevic family!

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. MadTurk says:

    Same to you and yours DK and the many followers of the blog.

  2. DJ says:

    I’m with you on corner or inside linebacker as first pick in the draft. Take the best of the two available and rebuild the balance of the defense from there.

    Great looking family pic. Best wishes for 2014.

    Now, off to party like it’s 2009 (Pens).

  3. pattonbb says:

    Happy new year to you, DK. Thanks for the quality of those 203 columns.

    Happy new year to everyone that stops in here to chat, post, complain, brag, or lurk.

    Was just curious to hear what some PSU people thought…..with O’Brien officially gone, does PSU have a chance to make that “big splash” hire? Or are they just looking for someone to get them through the next 3 or 4 years?

  4. Anchor says:

    Happy New Year. Great work throughout the year!

  5. cosmo says:

    DK, Happy New Year,

    Looking forward to some interesting columns from Sochi in 2014.

    DK: I’m looking forward to going, Cosmo, and this in spite of some rather sobering news from that region the past couple days.

  6. Wild Bill says:

    I’m really disappointed, but I think this had more to do with BoB wanting to be a pro coach than anything negative about PSU.

    O’Brien did us a wonderful solid, one that I don’t think any other coach could have done in these two years.

    I think that PSU will look to college ranks for a coach who doesn’t see PSU as a stepping stone to something else. If they rush, that’s a mistake, but I think they have their eye on someone. If it goes like that, I hope it’s Franklin.

    Think it’s time to go and throw up. What a way to start 2014.

  7. Wild Bill says:

    Happy New Year DK and all. I do bounce back, as will my alma mater.

  8. Jim S. says:

    Although I voiced a difference of opinion concerning some things this morning, DK, I wish you a Happy New Year. Many things in life are far more important than sports. You have a lovely family, and it is obvious that is the most important thing to you – as it is for me. I wish you continued success in 2014.

  9. Jim S. says:

    He’s a “pro” guy, Wild Bill. So, this was inevitable. But, I think he got the program back on solid footing. Finding a quality replacement will, therefore, be a lot easier than it was when BOB took the job.

    I also think he may very well end up the best of the Belichick/NE tree as a pro coach.

  10. Drew71 says:

    What, no SEC columns?


    DK: I exist to disappoint you, Drew.

  11. Jim S. says:

    I just looked out the window at the growing pile of snow in my driveway that I will have to deal with tomorrow, Drew. And my 17 year old daughter just called from Orlando to wish us a Happy NY. She’s at a soccer tournament at Disney/ESPN that my wife and I now know we should have attended as well. I say this with all due respect – I hope it is at least raining on you, Drew! Happy New Year!

  12. Drew71 says:

    I just looked it up. The Over Under for Texas A&M – Duke was only 75.


    Hadn’t anybody seen these teams play this season?

    What a weird combo of scorched earth offense and horrid defense. Both teams. (And therefore weird that TA&M’s D scored the key points.)

    Still can’t believe 75. Before the game my oldest asked me what I thought the Over Under was. Being Couch Ensconced and too lazy to get up and look it up, I said “at least 80, maybe an unheard of 85. But they could score 100″.


    I feel like Dejan.

    I only remember the predictions I get right.

  13. Drew71 says:

    Worse than rain.

    I had to start the new year listening to billy joel.

  14. Jim S. says:

    I am totally with you on CB in the first round, DJ. Or, possibly, Safety if we lose both starters. But, I think ILB can be found later than #15 (or is it #16) overall in the draft.

  15. SeanE says:

    Thanks for all the great work DK. You are the first site I visit every morning. All the best to you and the family for 2014,

    But I gotta say it. That hoody has to go. :-).

    DK: Wife said the same. That might be the last time it’s seen alive.

  16. Bob Maddamma says:

    Happy New Year to you and your family. Thank you for all your hard work this year – it showed in the columns.

    Last year you gave us your favorite album and song for 2012. Have time to offer one for 2013?

    DK: Same to you and yours, Bob, and sure …

    Album: Ultravox, ‘Brilliant’ … lives up to its name from front to finish. Best comeback album I’ve ever heard.

    Song: Soulsavers, ‘In the Morning’ … David Gahan of Depeche Mode on vocals for absolute masterpiece, all by itself makes up for terrible actual DM album independent of this

    Movie: N/A … all movies suck

    TV: ‘Breaking Bad’ was so much better than anything else on TV I can’t even mention anything else, even though I really enjoyed ‘Homeland.’

    Book: I hate books, but I did read ‘The First Season,’ the Winnipeg Free Press’ excellent compendium of the rescue of the Jets.

    Comic: The falloff of ‘Batgirl’ hurt across the board, so I’ll go with Geoff Johns’ finishing run on GL. A little over-the-top, but that was his thing.

  17. Bob Maddamma says:

    By the way…here is a list of your columns that I read last year:

    Penguins, 62
    Steelers, 55
    Pirates, 52
    Pitt basketball, 8
    Pitt football, 5
    Penn State football, 3
    Olympics, 2
    Riverhounds, 2
    Duquesne basketball, 1
    Other/notes, 13

    DK: Oh, come on, I know you blew off the one about the penalty kicks. :)

  18. Ghost says:

    Wow, a lot of columns. The above referenced one about penalty kicks will probably be the one longest remembered (especially the accompanying vid). The ones calling out LaMarr Woodley probably the most important (at least to me).

    First time I’ve seen pics of your kids — thought they were younger. Time flies, huh. Great looking family.

  19. Ghost says:

    The Ghost of Christmas Past, here. About five minutes left left to go in 2013 in these parts, but the fireworks are already starting and the dogs are absolutely spazzing out.

  20. Bob Maddamma says:

    Oh, I meant to, but the companion video sold it. I’m still 50/50 on whether your one successful attempt was attributable to any actual skill.

  21. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Happy New Year DK!…..You’re the best.
    And Happy New Year to all Pittsburgh sports fans……

  22. radio wave says:

    You are a writer by profession and you hate books??

  23. radio wave says:

    Happy new year DK and all the readers. May all your teams win this year.

  24. 21sthebest says:

    He kind of looks like Lord Palpatine.

  25. hockeymonster says:

    Happy New Year Everybody!

    Jandstar, what happened to my snowman avatar? :)

    P.S. Regarding trade rumors…Ladd would be perfect replacement for super duper but Kane would be long term top six winger. I wouldn’t label Pouliout as untouchable…

  26. Carla McConnell says:

    What a beautiful family Dejan…you are very blessed :-)

  27. theplanisworking says:

    Happy New Year, DK!

    I dont know if you celebrate Orthodox Christmas, but I think your wife may get you something to get rid of that hoodie.

    Your wife and kids look like they belong at First Night festivities, you look like you just got off shift as a bagger at Trader Joe’s. ;)

    Best in the New Year to you and your family.

  28. theplanisworking says:

    That is a very diverse accounting of columns for the past year.

    I take it we will be seeing more Soccer and Olympics columns this year?
    I hope so.
    Maybe a Australian Rules football column too?

    Looking forward to your columns in the coming year.

  29. Baywatch says:

    Happy New Year, DK! Happy New Year, Everybody!

  30. Coach O’Brien was, unfortunately, bound to leave Penn State for the NFL anyhow, and most PSU football players wish him well, so we as well do so as well

  31. Thundercrack says:

    Happy New Year to you & your family.

    Now, why do you hate Duquesne basketball so much? :-)

    Real ?s: is 203 a ‘standard’ number for a year? Will there be more/less this year because of the Olympics? What did you do the other 162 days last year?

    (oops…sorry I went too far)

    DK: Actually, TC, the number is really high, and it’s probably not something I’ll meet on a regular basis. I’m obviously scheduled to do four a week. You’ll see columnists around the country who do three, even two. Well, this number is four a week even if you never take a vacation.

  32. hockeymonster says:

    Couple other Monster droppings:

    Couple players worth adding to wish list: Marcel Goc and/or Brad Boyes. Both would come with lesser price tags than Ladd, Kane or Wheeler with Goc filling the Duper role and Boyes slotting in as a top 9 forward.

    From LA: Kyle Clifford or Dwight King. Both big and mobile LW’s. King has great hands for a big guy and may not get the dollars he wants from LA. Clifford would be welcome addition to bottom 6. Both have been on my wish list for a while.

    From VAN: Richardson and Hansen. Both skilled top 9 wingers with skill, speed and grit. Both been on my wish list for a while.

    STL: Ryan Reaves and Chris Stewart. Reaves is a big RW with decent hands who isn’t getting alot of ice time due to depth in stl. Would be ideal fit for our bottom 6. Stewart who is also playing below average minutes cuz of depth in stl would be Real Deal 2.0 if placed on Sid’s RW.

    Vokoun’s and Duper’s cap space does allow for some flexiblility but acquiring someone like Ladd, Kane or Wheeler would be long term cap hits that we’d need to account for. That being said, Kane fits the mold of winger sid needs but his maturity has been questioned in the past. Either way not sure we should pay asking price for him. Ladd is a good all around player to bring in but if duper comes back next season not sure if we would need the redundancy.

    If we’re swinging for the fences we should kick the tires on Cammelleri. He’s a UFA after season so asking price for him should be more in check.

  33. Drew71 says:

    Holy Crap. Dejan and I have the same opinion about Breaking Bad.

    I guess I’ll have to change mine.

  34. Drew71 says:

    Nah. Yoda on PEDs.

  35. Drew71 says:

    Good job, Dejan.

  36. hockeymonster says:

    DK, Homeland was off the charts good. Lost track of breaking bad. Can’t wait for season 4 of Homeland, Game of Thrones and new season of Suits.

  37. scapper says:

    Seriously…with a family like that, I don’t know how he ever goes on road trips.

  38. Drew71 says:

    And by the way, I give Dejan a pass on the stoopid hoodie.

    It’s a man’s job to dress to embarrass his family. For instance, I specially bought and wore my New Year’s Eve outfit so I could turn to my 20 year old and say Let’s Go Clubbing.

    I then made those hand gestures that hip hop stars made 10 years ago.

    When I shopped for the new clothes, it was a three step process:

    1. What would HE wear?
    2. Would it look ridiculous on someone my age?
    3. Then I’ll take it.

    You should see what I’m wearing tomorrow. I wore my second best New Year’s Eve to make him think that’s the worst I can do.

    So. That was my long and self-indulgent way of saying…

    Dejan. Keep the hoodie. Wear it every day.

  39. Joni says:

    Happy New a Year, everyone!

    Dual thoughts regarding your family photo, DK.

    1. What a beautiful family!
    2. WHERE is your coat? :)

  40. Put it as your avatar, then we can all see how ridiculous you look in that stuff.

    Share the wealth for the New Year, Drewmeister.

  41. Drew71 says:

    When your daughter brings home teenage boyfriends, don the hoodie. Say “Sup, dude” to the kid.

    Your daughter will love that.

  42. Drew71 says:

    Wait. I want to test a theory.

    Dejan, say “Everything I do, I do for this family”.

    Then take your son’s new Challenger out and do donuts till you wreck it.

    I have to protect this blog from the man who protects this blog.

  43. Drew71 says:

    “sorry I went too far”

    Yes. You posted.

  44. kr70 says:

    so does his wife, happy new year! and lets work on our turkey necks in 2014

  45. Joni says:

    Comics count as books, along with graphic novels.

  46. Drew71 says:

    You want it as my avatar just to make me look ridiculous. And a man in my position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous. Now you get the H out of here! And if that Buckeye tries any rough stuff, you tell him I ain’t no bandleader. Yeah, I heard that story.

  47. Joni says:

    I’m not sure what “Happy New a Year” means, but I wish everyone the best in the days to come!

  48. Drew71 says:

    I didn’t think you’d play that movie in church

  49. Drew71 says:

    Ah. Another Godfather quote.

  50. theplanisworking says:

    Does that mean we only get one new per year?

  51. ml8360 says:

    Great columns for 2013! Looking forward to even better in 2014. Happy New Year!

  52. :D

    Not in church right now.

  53. Too much Breaking Bad.

  54. Drew71 says:

    I’m afraid to ask.

  55. Drew71 says:

    Not. Possible.

  56. Drew71 says:

    Same reason as me, Scapper.

    They make him.

  57. Eric Bowser says:

    Happy New Year to Dejan, his family and the blog family.

    * Just got home a few minutes ago, spent the night in Sharon celebrating my wife’s birthday and New Year’s. Family stayed and I came home since I have to work tomorrow. Quiet house to rest and relax watching sports. That was a fun drive for the first hour, i.e. snow!

    * Didn’t see one puck of the Pens-Devils game yesterday and just as good with it being in New Jersey. Is there a more dreadful organization in the game from an entertainment perspective?

    * I am so happy for 2013 to be gone from a personal perspective and hopeful 2014 is a new beginning. I am not usually one to have those “stoopid” resolutions at New Year’s but I am going to disappoint some of you, I’m going to have one this year. Personally, I’m going to eat healthier, work out, and maybe…. *JUST* maybe, even be in shape enough to run a 5K and not die as a result of it. I’m 6′ 215 – my goal is to be 190 by the time we head to Florida for vacation/family wedding, I think in Boynton Beach.

    * What do we have to look forward to in Pittsburgh sports?

    – Steelers drafting a cornerback in the first round to replace Ike Taylor.
    – Pirates acquiring a first baseman to be the everyday starter.
    – Penguins trading a defensemen (not Maatta) for a winger to play w/ Crosby.
    – Fleury winning the Vezina and Conn Smythe.
    – Team USA winning Olympic Gold (I was 2 in 1980!).
    – Pitt basketball gets to Sweet 16
    – Pitt football has an exciting offense in 2014 w/ Voytik, Conner, and Boyd.

  58. Drew71 says:

    I’m starting my new year the same way as last. Playing fetch, but not easily, with a blind dog.

    That may sound like a metaphor or a joke in poor taste. It is neither.

    She gets along pretty well, considering.

    Except for the, you know, fetch thing. But she insists.

    Feisty for 14.

    And if you think about it, there IS a metaphor in there. Tackling challenges with gusto. Or something.

    May we all tackle well this year.

  59. Joni says:

    Of your list, I like Chris Stewart the best.

    It takes a special person to come into a team knowing you will never be the #1 or #2 guy. You probably won’t be the #3 guy (James Neal), either. A healthy dose of “know your role” is necessary to become a successful top 6 Penguin. You have to know your role *and* be comfortable with that knowledge. I cannot help but wonder how Ray Shero takes this into consideration when acquiring new wingers. It’s not like you can have the guy take a personality test ahead of time…

    Once the new guy does come in he has to figure out how to contribute to the locker room. Brendon Morrow struggled a bit with this last year as a former team captain.

    The new guy also has to be careful not be too respectful of the superstars that he gets to play with. Case in point, Jerome Iginla. He also intersected with the struggle in the locker room after being a previous team captain.

    The new guy has to be super flexible, thanks to Bylsma’s sometimes random pairings throughout the game. How do you keep your cool after playing with some of the greats and then getting tossed on the ice with a fourth line guy? there’s nothing wrong with going out, or being, a 4th line guy.

    Don’t get me wrong, I know that all athletes deal with these issues. I just wonder if these thoughts enter the minds of players who get a say in moving to other teams. Obviously, it’s a heck of a lot more than just money (or is it?).

    I would love to hear people’s thoughts on how an incoming winger might deal with these issues.

  60. That’s 98 in dog years.

    Mercy. You ought to be fetching for her.

  61. Drew71 says:

    Yes. That’s what happens when one plays fetch with a blind dog.

    I think that’s why she insists.

  62. Arriba Wilver says:

    If you need pictures, they aren’t “books,” unless they’re children’s books. They may be graphic novels or comic books, but they aren’t “books.”

    Happy New Year all!

  63. Lad 9 says:

    Happy New Year to DK and all of the Lunatics! Looking forward to another 200+ columns and more blog lunacy in 2014.

  64. Bizrow says:

    What day is it?? The mailman hasn’t come yet

    Happy New Year to all lunatics, everywhere

  65. Jim S. says:

    I bet her sense of smell gets her to the object.

  66. hockeymonster says:

    Wanted the iginla deal to work out cuz he’s iginla. But wasn’t sure cuz of lack of speed and not having clear plan for iginla. Murray deal kinda liked. Morrow deal wasn’t crazy about at all. But hope main takeaway from last season was that going with the yankees/chankees school of thought of bringing in aging vets well past their primes at deadline isnt always good idea.

    But this is a new year so:

    For this squad, more inclined that shooting for role players and depth would allow us to keep our depth at D. Believe cammelleri is attainable while keeping depth but if another team wants PM, Nisky, sameulsson, or pouliot I dare them to make us an offer we can’t refuse. And with out depth on display I would sit back and let them come to me.

  67. JD says:

    + 1000. Breaking Bad was awesome. Walter White is the best tv character ever.

  68. Lad 9 says:

    Biz thanks for running the fantasy league. I got notified of my winnings – a no expense paid trip for two to Winnipeg. I understand the runner-up prize is two trips…. :) Current temp there is “up” to minus 18 btw.

  69. Barb says:

    Happy New Years to all the loonies. DK thanks for the great picture of your family. You are indeed a blessed man.

  70. Joni says:

    I beg to differ, says the (also) high school librarian.
    Thank goodness for books with pictures! Some people (age does not matter) would not read unless there were pictures to go along with the words. The pictures are a gateway to actual reading.
    Reading of any kind, in any medium, at any age level is good :)

  71. scapper says:

    Good point, Drew. With that musical taste of his, the family probably helps him find flights and hotels.

  72. scapper says:

    We’re now one period into the Winter Classic and still no Pirates reference from Doc Emrick? I’m getting nervous.

  73. Drew71 says:

    Seriously, that’s a large body of work. Plus blog, radio, television, chat, twitter, podcasts, posted interviews and photos, travel, Thundercracking, etc.

    That’s a lot. It really is.

  74. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree with your last sentence, and actually your whole second paragraph. And far be it for me to disagree with a librarian, but the way I interpreted DK using it was what I was going with. Of course, anything with a binding could be considered a book, but not a “book.” ;-)

  75. Jandy says:

    What a beautiful family.
    Happy New Year, Dejan.

  76. Arriba Wilver says:


  77. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m going to step out of character and agree with Drew. That’s a [poop]load of work.

  78. Lad 9 says:

    JANDY!!! Happy New Year to you!

  79. Jim S. says:

    Has anyone seen where Johnny Football would be projected to be drafted, assuming he comes out? I saw today that Bridgewater is definitely coming out, and he is projected at #1 right now.

    Manziel is intriguing, I think. He is not prototypical QB size, but his quickness and playmaking ability are off the charts. I wonder where scouts would project him getting drafted.

  80. Joni says:

    Personally, I think that the best part of reading is imagining the scene as it is described by the author. Books with pictures make me spend too much time comparing and contrasting my imaginary view versus the artist’s rendering of the scene.

    And feel free to disagree with any librarian! Make sure you tell them that a random person on a blog advised you to do so. They’ll just be excited that you are reading :)

  81. 21sthebest says:

    Kiper has Manziel around midway in the first round.

  82. Joni says:

    Sounds good to me!

    I saw Pouliot play in the Canada vs. USA game yesterday. He is making a good case for himself when it comes to potentially moving to another team. The same can be said for Niskanen.

  83. Milo Hamilton says:

    Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher injured his groin in practice yesterday. Maybe Andy Reid should have rested his starters.

  84. Lad 9 says:

    Todd McShay has Manziel going #4 overall to Jacksonville, which strikes me as a bit high.

  85. Jim S. says:

    Don’t we pick somewhere around the middle of the 1st round?

  86. Jim S. says:

    What would Allen Iverson say?

  87. theplanisworking says:

    Remember guys (and gals), Pens hard up against the cap. makes dealing that much more difficult.

  88. tpbco says:

    Per Pen’s website…both Orpik and Martin named to US Olympic team.


  89. theplanisworking says:

    Lad, and Jim………..

    First, Happy New Year!

    Regarding Manziel, I have seen him going from #4 to #14.
    Being franchises are enamored with QB’s, I see him going no later than 8-10. Doesnt mean he is worth it, but look at some of the QB’s picked high. Ryan Leaf anyone?

    I dont think Manziel will be there when the Steelers pick.

  90. tpbco says:


    MY hope is Kent NixIII NT – Notre Dame

  91. Thundercrack says:

    That is a big body.

    I suggest: Less Thundercracking in 2014.

    I’ll try too.

  92. theplanisworking says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, former Pirate minor-leaguer Tyler Gaffney.
    That is all.

  93. Jim S. says:

    I don’t think he’ll be there, either, and obviously we have a franchise QB. I wonder if he will stick at QB, and eventually become a network analyst (Tebow). Or, will he be so athletic that he defies the odds?

  94. Jim S. says:

    I don’t have a dog in the fight, and actually I’m sort of rooting for MSU in the Rose Bowl. But, how do the refs get together to discuss that interference in the endzone and not come to the conclusion that it was 6 feet over the receiver’s head and, therefore, not catchable? It looked like they discussed it. That call was helpful to MSU. 4 free points.

  95. Jim S. says:

    I’d like a space eating NT as well. Nix would work. Or, a CB.

  96. theplanisworking says:

    Jim, he is a million dollar talent, 10 cent head type of guy.

    I see much risk drafting him, but if he can reign in the off the field and immaturity issues, he could be good.

    Steelers need too much help in the secondary, and LB to worry about him. :)

  97. Looks like Stanford has a punter the Steelers could use. 3 punts, average 54 yards.

  98. Jim S. says:

    For sure.

  99. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I was only kidding about the Steelers. Manziel is going to insist on getting a shot at QB. He’ll get his chance, but it won’t be here. Maybe one of other 15 or so teams that finished 8-8 will pick him in the middle of the first round.

    Plus, he’s already set financially from all the illegal signings, right?

  100. theplanisworking says:

    Define “illegal”. ;)

  101. Bizrow says:

    Dejan listed his columns, should we keep a list of all the times each of us have been “chastized” for our posts ;-)

  102. Bizrow says:

    I don’t know what goes on in the background, but I really wish the Lunatic Nation could be more peaceful at times (with each other)

    Just sayin

    Hi Frank, tylenol and hot sauce works for hangovers ;-)

    Thanks for not being on the news today

  103. tpbco says:

    He’s finanicially set from his family’s old East Texas Oil Money

  104. theplanisworking says:

    Just think if the refs didnt cost MSU that game in Tempe.

    And, Thornton not appealing to an arbitrator, so he has to serve a few more games.

  105. Milo Hamilton says:

    Mixed your metaphors there Plan. Wisconsin got jobbed in Tempe. Michigan State lost to Notre Dame on a bunch of questionable pass interference calls. The bad officiating tends to all run together after a while.

  106. Milo Hamilton says:

    I like it when Brent says, “It’ll be Spartans football when you come back.” Where am I going ?

  107. Joni says:

    Fantastic news about Orpik and P. Martin!

    Did you see the announcement for the entire US team roster that took place after today’s Winter Classic? Little kids skated out with the chosen players’ names on the back and then turned around for a big reveal. I thought it was a nice gesture, and a great way for the youngsters to get into it. I must admit, I kinda chuckled when a couple kids almost fell down. I’m not ashamed; I’m sure they would have laughed at me, too!

    Phil Kessel and his sister are both on the US Olympic hockey teams. Nice!

  108. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, yeah.
    The refs are so consistently awful, I get confused.
    Thanks for straightening it out.

    Doesnt surprise me about refs and Notre Dame.

  109. theplanisworking says:

    Havent seen Brent scoping out pretty girls lately……………

  110. Milo Hamilton says:

    He’s too busy keeping a close eye on the Baylor/UCF betting line. Sounds like he’s on UCF. :)

  111. Vito says:

    Hi Dejan and Happy New Year,

    To plagiarize from the great Phil Musik of years ago there are a few things regarding the Steelers that I think I think :

    1) Pre-season games DO count for something. Maybe not in the standings but they do reflect if various schemes or units are coming together and working. 0-4 should not be acceptable to the team. Do you know which team also went 0-4 this year? Atanta….

    2) If rookie defensive players need three years to understand Dick Lebeau’s defense then the defense is TOO COMPLICATED! Teams no longer have the luxury to wait for players to develop. With free agency and the short length of careers/contracts many players need to play right away. Defensive schemes should reflect the skill levels of who they have on the team. Many, many other high draft choice defensive rookies are playing and making an impact on other teams and it showed with Jarvis Jones playing better as the year progressed. After all, many of these former “college students” may not be the highest scorers on the Wonderlic…

    3) Couch Tomlin needs to be told by management to either take time to learn the intricacies of game time clock management or hire staff to do it for him. It has been a chronic shortcoming of his game day performance that might make a big difference in winning or losing a game or two.

    4) I think drafting the big tackle Louis Nix III from Notre Dame and putting him a nose guard would go a long way to correcting the run defensive woes. Of course they would need to START HIM from day one….

    5) Finally, there must be 300+ colleges in the US so somewhere there MUST BE A PUNTER!!!!!

    Thanks for listening to my venting and keep up the good work.

  112. tpbco says:

    The Redskins were 4-0, the Texans and Browns were 3-1. How did it work out for them? Are you suggesting that if the 4th string FA’s give up the lead in an exhibition game in the 4th qtr, that the starters should go back in? That’s where most exhibition games are lost…or not won.

    Not sure where you came up with 3 years for rookies to learn LeBeau’s D. Generally it’s be said that rookies rarely start. The good ones start the second year (Polamalu, Timmons, Woodley, Talyor), unless blocked by an allpro. One of the exceptions was Casey Hampton and I do agree with you about Kent Nix III.

    The last time the Steelers drafted a punter….sports writers, bloggers and fans had collective embolulisms.

  113. It probably wouldn’t be worth if for Shawn Thornton to appeal since he’s due back on the 11th anyhow.

  114. I still say that they’ve got to do something about bad officiating if the pro and college games are going to mean anything in the future, although no solution to such would likely satisfy anyone.

  115. Penn State’s problem is that JoePa was the only football coach they’d ever known and he stayed on forever and fought all efforts to retire him. And now that JoePa is dead, the fans will have to get used to things as they are now. Hopefully, Coach O’Brien will be replaced by a coach who’ll be able and willing to stay longer and continue the efforts to restore the football program that JoePa had put together and had fought so fiercely to protect, probably too much so.

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