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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: Here comes the ACC

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The weekly chat is today at noon, right here on this blog. As soon as you see the post, you can submit entries inside the chat field. Any topic, as always.

>> There’s no Friday column this week because one of my allotted four was used for an extra Steelers piece Tuesday.

Looking ahead to the weekend, I’ll fly to Raleigh to cover Pitt’s inaugural ACC hoops game at N.C. State. Tipoff for that is noon tomorrow, and it’ll be televised locally by WTAE, nationally by the ACC Network. After that, I’ll rush home for Penguins vs. Winnipeg and will have a Monday column off that.

To prepare for the Pitt game, I spent some time at the Pete last night with James Robinson, Talib Zanna and Jamie Dixon, then put together this video …

If you noticed some of the new fanciness in there, it’s the result of my tinkering with iMovie software. Planning to do more of this in 2014. Fun, different way to deliver the material.

Also today, beat man Kevin Gorman has news on a prized recruit for Dixon.

>> Penn State promises a speedy search for Bill O’Brien’s replacement, by Chris Adamski. Hey, they’d better hurry. The AD’s only employed for another six months.

Allen Robinson, as expected, declares for the NFL.

More on the search from Adamski, Ken Laird and Guy Junker on TribLIVE Radio

Here’s Texans news from the Houston Chronicle. The press conference is expected today at the HQ of O’Brien’s new NFL employer.

>> The Penguins snap up Taylor Pyatt to replace injured Chris Conner, Josh Yohe reports. Pyatt should be in uniform for the home game tonight against the Rangers.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Rangers news from the New York Post.

Here are official game highlights from

>> The Dukes win their fourth in a row, as Ovie Soko tops 20 points every game in that streak. Chris Harlan covers at Palumbo.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m. It’s the easiest station in the world to find. One click on that link, and we’re there.

Hope to have you aboard for the chat!

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. Jim S. says:

    Mustapha Heron. 6’4″ defense-minded left-handed guard. Top 15 recruit nationally. Only a soph. Credit to Rohrssen. Great get for Pitt. That is all.

  2. Drew71 says:

    The ACC?

    They’ve looked overrated and overmatched this bowl season.

    LET them come.

  3. theplanisworking says:

    I said before the season began, Rohrssen would be a HUGE addition for Pitt. That man can recruit.

    That is all. ;)

  4. Arriba Wilver says:

    I like Pitt being in the ACC.

    That is all.

  5. Jeff A says:

    Did you actually comment based solely on the blog title??? You might consider at least skimming the content first.

  6. theplanisworking says:

    What a shame Nick “I am not coaching at…………………” Saban lost last night.
    Crying shame.
    Really, really a shame.

    A Karma shame.

    On a related note, guess Bob Stoops was correct in the preseason, huh?
    When he was talking about his team vs. SEC teams.
    Youngstown’s own Bob Stoops. representing the 216 proud.
    Great game.

  7. Arriba Wilver says:

    You OBVIOUSLY don’t know Drew.

  8. pattonbb says:

    Not too bad for a rebuilding year. Bama will be better next season.

    Bob Stoops is still mad Florida didn’t give him the job instead of Urban.

  9. theplanisworking says:

    They lose McCarron (and his girlfriend).
    IMO, I think that is a big loss.

  10. Jeff A says:

    You’re right, I don’t. Was he just kidding?

  11. pattonbb says:

    I’m an AJ fan. But a lot of his success is a result of the system.

  12. Matt says:

    216? That’s Cleveland not Youngstown, hasn’t been in years.

    It’s 330 and now some 234 scattered around.

  13. JoeyBats says:

    He needs to pitch INSIDE more frequently….. ;-)

  14. JoeyBats says:

    “Slice” is an awesome recruiter.

    The other thing that is sometimes overlooked with him is that he is a good coach / mentor working with the big guys. He helped develop and tutor Adam Gray from a “cigar store statue” his freshman year into a serivceable, meaningful contributor his senior year when Pitt went to the Sweet 16 . (2007)

  15. Drew71 says:

    I would never joke about college football, Jeff.

    It is bigger than life itself.

    And besides. Dejan wrote that title. So I was writing in a reverential tone.

  16. Jeff A says:

    Ummm, ok. I’m still pretty sure you haven’t read it. But, whatever.

  17. Jandy says:

    LOL Poor jeff…

  18. Jandy says:

    Hoops. Ugh. That is all :)

  19. Jandy says:

    Really good article from the Pens’ site about Joey Vitale:|PIT|home

  20. TJA says:

    Warm thoughts on a chilly morning:

    76 days until Spring begins…

    ….41 days until pitchers and catchers report…

    Oh, and Alabama lost big time….Nice….

  21. NC_Bob says:

    Welcome to Raleigh Dejan! I think it will almost feel like Pittsburgh with the arctic air coming in today.


  23. Drew71 says:

    From the AP, bowl records so far…
    Conference W L Pct.
    Sun Belt 1 0 1.000
    Southeastern 5 2 .714
    Pac-12 6 3 .667
    Independents 2 1 .667
    Big 12 3 2 .600
    Conference USA 3 3 .500
    Mountain West 3 3 .500
    American Athletic 2 2 .500
    Atlantic Coast 3 6 .333
    Big Ten 2 4 .333
    Mid-American 0 4 .000

    Thank heavens for the Sun Belt.

    Several days ago I had a long post prepared (there’s a surprise) anointing the Pac12 as the new SEC. Then Stanford booted the Rose Bowl that the Pac12 hadn’t lost since the 1890s.

    But watch the Pac12. To call it “Emerging” doesn’t do the conference justice.

    SEC is likely to end 5-3, losing both their BCS bowls and ripping the luster off the winning record.

    If Florida State AND Clemson win (I’d guess Yes and No), it won’t mask that the ACC is vapor thin and overrated below the top.

    I’ve written all season: Alabama’s dominance, now busted, had hidden the decline of the SEC. No. Not a decline to mediocrity. But no longer separated from the rest of college football.

    I have been waiting to anoint the Pac12 but their best teams just haven’t quite closed the deal this and last season as the SEC had (HAD). But its depth is real, in the way that the SEC’s had been.

    I know bowl season isn’t over but I think we can say that it’s all on the Sun Belt.

    Quick. Without looking it up. Name the Sun Belt members.

    (I got three. Including the one that’s leaving, so that’s sorta two.)

    Ok. Name one.

    (I can’t WAIT to receive the huffy reply from the poster-alumnus of Northeastern Community Shifting Sands of Arizona.)

    oops. I just gave you one.

  24. Look outside your window!

    Step outside your door.

    That is all.

  25. TJA says:

    Oops…I was off by one day. Thanks, Groat. Warm thoughts, indeed!

  26. Jandy says:

    Already did that…was at the office at 6am :P

  27. Drew71 says:

    Dejan HATES pitchers and catchers.

    Actually, to be totally honest. I seem to remember Dejan writing something about how he LIKES that part of baseball.

    He just hates the rest.

  28. Drew71 says:

    I did, Groat.


  29. Drew71 says:

    If you’re going to use oops, it’s gotta have a small o.

    There are rules.

  30. theplanisworking says:


  31. Iceman says:

    Welcome to the Loony Bin Jeff.

  32. Drew71 says:

    I was going to submit this Q for the chat but decided to open it up for wider discussion because of the cultural relevance.

    “Dick LeBeau”

    Why is it NEVER just “LeBeau”?

    Bylsma (well. Sometimes you see his first name Fire)

    But it’s ALWAYS Dick LeBeau.

    Like Wayne Newton. It’s almost like it’s one name. DickLeBeau


  33. Drew71 says:

    He’s welcome but he’s not exactly new.

    Dejan has adopted another identity.

    Just wait to see what Jeff does when Thunder wakes up.

  34. TJA says:

    oops…sorry, Drew! :) Thanks.

  35. TJA says:

    It’s cold here, for sure, but talked to a co-worker who is from Boston and his wife’s family is from Minneapolis. I am not really complaining too much.

  36. You’d better get back to work soon. You’re thinkin’ (and drinkin’) too much.


  37. theplanisworking says:

    Hi Frank.

  38. Drew71 says:

    You think I don’t drink at work?

  39. Drew71 says:


    Now ditch the frigging emoticon.

  40. Brandie says:

    In some instances, he is referred to as Coach LeBeau. Is Coach his middle name?

  41. Vette60 says:

    Nope, Coach is first First Name, as in Coach Dick LeBeau…prefers to go by his middle name in most cases.

    I prefer to refer him as The Beautiful One…LeBeau. French Canadian from Ohio.


  42. Drew71 says:


  43. theplanisworking says:

    Does anybody really know Drew?

  44. Jandy says:

    Awwww poor Drew dahling :*

  45. Jandy says:

    Only the poodles know…Drew…

  46. Brandie says:

    Ohio, The Montreal of The Midwest!

    I propose we call him Pepe LeBeau!

  47. Brandie says:

    Sorry. Ohio should be The Quebec of The Midwest. Me fail geography!

  48. Jim S. says:

    I agree. That is all.

  49. Jim S. says:

    Stoops has taken a lot of heat over the years for not closing the deal a few times.

    On the other hand, I believe they said last night that he’s the only coach to win all the BCS bowls.

  50. Jandy says:

    Either one works for me! Viva la Pepe!

  51. Jim S. says:

    Two small o’s, to be precise. :-)

  52. Brandie says:

    Funny…Tomlin, Hurdle, and Haley also go by the name Fire.

  53. Drewmeister,

    Very nice post!!!

    My Dukies contributed to making the SEC little more than a .500 conference by allowing A & M and Johnny Manziel to come back from a 38 – 17 halftime deficit, losing 52-48. However, it took a superior effort by former Heisman Manziel to pull that off, and if SEC is only 4 points better than Duke Blue Devils in football with a Heisman performance, SEC is in trouble!!!

  54. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s going to be a big help to the Tigers’ bullpen.

  55. Why is it always John Wilkes Booth?

    Why not just John Booth? Why not just Booth?

    Are Dick LeBeau and John Wilkes Booth related? Is LeBeau the French pronunciation of Booth?

    As Dejan says, there are so many more important things to pay attention to RIGHT NOW than look forward to Spring Training.

    Did Dick LeBeau play with John Wilkes Booth as a child?

  56. Jim S. says:


  57. Jim S. says:

    And then it turned to CBB season, where Duke usually gets it revenge on SEC teams!

  58. You are faster than I am, Sweet Jimmie!

  59. Jim S. says:

    Loved him in Hogan’s Heroes.

  60. Lad 9 says:

    I think Dick LeBeau coached against John Wilkes Booth, who was obviously one of the first advocates of the the run and shoot, which didn’t work out so well for him…..

  61. Brandie says:

    And it was always James Brown. Same with Jim Brown. Why not James or Brown? Jim or Brown? What Can Brown Do For You?

    Great Topic Drew!

  62. Brandie says:

    Way to abandon the run, Booth!

  63. Drew71 says:

    Just like the ACC during Bowl Season. Dejan’s disappeared.

  64. Jim S. says:

    He was more of a “Shoot and run guy” I think, Lad.

  65. Wild Bill says:

    It’s just one of those things that Must Be. Like San Antonio, Texas.

  66. Brandie says:

    Or Shoot n Shoot!

  67. Jandy says:

    LOL! I think you all are drinking, along with Drew, and I’m mighty jealous!

  68. Jandy says:

    It is what it is….my boss’s favorite line these days…

  69. cosmo says:

    wasn’t Lebeau on Hogan’s Heroes

  70. Being born and riz in Ohio, I still don’t see how it’s the “midwest”. Next to PA, which is east. What happened to the central part of the country?

  71. Jandy says:

    He’s trying to save that HOODIE from extinction!

  72. Sounds like it, Jandelita.

  73. Jandy says:

    Yup, Jim S mentioned that ^^ there :)

  74. 21sthebest says:

    That’s what she said.

  75. Stacking many Z’s to ready himself to fly to Raleigh.

  76. I wish I was Dejan tomorrow, as he travels to Raleigh to see Pitt play at N. C. State. Tobacco Road crowds are different than Northeast basketball crowds and that should make this a tough, tough game for non-road tested Pitt.

    As a long time ACC follower, I’m not predicting Pitt will lose . . . . . but these ACC road games will definitely make Pitt a better basketball team . . . . if they survive.

    Dejan, gotta stop at a BBQ and Brunswick Stew, with hush puppies and cole slaw on the side, little shack. Pour on the homemade hot sauce provided. Get the sweet tea! Like stopping at Primanti’s in the Strip.

  77. Milo Hamilton says:

    Back in the NHL’s dark ages before overtime, the Washington Capitals record would be 12 wins – 15 losses – 14 ties.

  78. Jandy says:


  79. Jandy says:

    Didn’t Carolina just beat them in SO? Or was that just OT?

  80. Brandie says:

    Some people call it the Midwest Revvie. I do not understand it either.

  81. 21sthebest says:

    “Why is it always John Wilkes Booth?

    Why not just John Booth? Why not just Booth?”

    So that the rest of the John Booth’s around don’t have to deal with dirty looks and jokes for the rest of their lives. Same with Lee Oswald’s, Mark Chapman’s, and James Ray’s. Not sure why they didn’t use Joel Rifkin’s middle name though.

  82. Overtime. Skinner with hat trick goal in Overtime.

  83. Jim S. says:

    Haha! 2 minutes.

  84. If the parents in a Booth family name their son John, the parents deserve to be shot.

  85. Arriba Wilver says:

    You STILL haven’t read what Dejan wrote (beyond the title), have you?

  86. Milo Hamilton says:

    Duquesne’s Micah Mason has made 62.5% of his 3 point attempts this season placing him 2nd in the country. He’s made 11 of 15 since returning from a broken hand. A broken shooting hand.

  87. Drew71 says:

    I wish EYE was Dejan.

    Every Stinking Day.

  88. Jim S. says:

    Great post, 21. Very funny.

    And the Joel Rifkin decision was just based on the fact that there probably aren’t any/many others sharing that name.

  89. Jandy says:


  90. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Groatie :)

  91. Drew71 says:

    Put your hand out, Thunder.

    This will improve your posting.

  92. Jim S. says:


  93. Jim S. says:

    That’s what she said.

  94. Your wish is my command, JandyGirl!

  95. Jim S. says:

    I like the term Mideast to cover WPA & Ohio, Lucky.

  96. Jim S. says:


    Maybe even “Shoot, run, shot” Brandie.

  97. Maybe Steelers’ center Cody Wallace can help break in other parts of Cracker’s game.

  98. Jim S. says:

    “It is what it is.”

    “At the end of the day.”

  99. Jim S. says:

    The endangered species folks called. They said don’t bother.

  100. 21sthebest says:

    Hey I wasn’t trying to be funny! Except for the part about Joel Rifkin.

    I wonder if Dejan has a middle name. Maybe Drew could make one up in the event he assassinates some baseball fans.

  101. Jim S. says:

    I also do that mental exercise as soon as I see an NHL team’s record, Milo.

    Some people had a fit last year when Chicago had that long non-losing streak to start the season if anyone dared say they had a few losses. Seems to me if you get to count the OT wins as wins, then the OT losses are still losses. Give ‘em the participation point if you want, but it is still a loss to me.

  102. Brandie says:

    “When it comes right down to it.”

    “Well there you go.”

  103. 21sthebest says:

    Jim, did you ever play BS Bingo?

  104. 21sthebest says:


  105. Jim S. says:

    Ok, then I’m a little concerned that you had that list of famous killers at the ready.

  106. Jim S. says:

    Or, San Antonio Holmes.

  107. Jim S. says:

    No, I haven’t 26.2. What is BS Bingo?

  108. Jim S. says:

    “So, there’s that.”

  109. Jandy says:

    Sounds kinky to me!

  110. Jandy says:

    Sounds like Cracker is in for a REAL workout!

  111. Jim S. says:

    Wow! What time will you get out of there tonight, Jandy? Better go out to eat lunch or you may not see daylight at all today. I hate those days.

  112. Jandy says:

    Oh mY!

  113. Jandy says:

    From the Penguin’s morning practice:

    Looks like Malkin will not return tonight against the Rangers. He skated earlier in the day, but did not join the team for their morning skate. Letang did suit up for the session. He worked in a trio with Maatta and Niskanen.

    The team used the following workflow…



    PP1: Jokinen, Niskanen on point. Crosby, Kunitz and Neal down low.
    PP2: Despres, Maatta on point. Sutter, Gibbons and Vitale down low

  114. Jim S. says:

    Patience is a virtue, I’ve been told.

  115. hockeymonster says:

    I hope sutter ate his wheaties….

  116. Milo Hamilton says:

    One day closer to the end of Chuck Kobasew.

  117. Brandie says:


    “Let’s take this to a whole ‘nother level.”

  118. Dom says:

    With the Packers still having 3000 tickets to be sold and the Colts narrowly avoiding a lockout could the NFL’s popularity be waning?

  119. hockeymonster says:

    Been browsing the interwebs about team usa and Jack Johnson is just getting hammered. I was vehemently against trading Despres for him and still am when it was proposed but I do recall him being very good in last olympics. Furthermore, i believe he may be suffering from columbus’ flawed system that we exported to them and MN known as the “disco stretch”. And talent level in columbus, especially at center isn’t capable of masking their deficiencies. We’ve since adjusted our breakouts and neutral zone play which improved our team d and fluidity and consistency to our offense. But from i can tell JJ is their Orpik and is playing the biggest minutes against the best competition and people are hammering his numbers and stats as if he’s surrounded by a legit team within a legit system.

    And after seeing the highlights of the caps game last night i dont know how disco and be comfortable with Carlson over JJ…just saying…

    P.S. maybe i should start bloggin in MN and columbus ;)

  120. hockeymonster says:

    Engo for kobasew sounds like a plan to me…

  121. Brandie says:

    He gets the coveted James McDonald Ultimate Sports Flame Out Award for most spirited disappearing act.

  122. Milo Hamilton says:

    When their defense is healthy, it’s the best way to go.

  123. Jim S. says:

    Doesn’t everything?

  124. Jim S. says:

    I posed that very question late last night, Dom. Plus, it seems like a lot of people are leaving games early this year. I cited Pittsburgh and Chicago as my examples, but I’m sure it is widespread. Maybe that has always been the case, though.

    I do think the economy has something to do with it. It’s still pretty crappy. But, I doubt that is all of it.

  125. SeanAY says:

    No, it’s just that it’s become incredibly obvious that the game is a lot more fun to take in at home than it is in the stadium.

    I could pay thousands for four season tickets, additional hundreds for playoff tickets, $50/game for parking, $9 for a beer inside, deal with traffic and crowds, and sit in the nosebleeds miles away from the action…

    …or I can re-invest all that money into the NFL Sunday Ticket Package and/or Red Zone, a 72-inch TV with a killer sound system, and copious amounts of food and libations.

    The popularity of the NFL is not waning. I’d probably wager it’s more popular than ever. It’s just that the stadium experience can’t compare to how great it is to watch the game at home.

  126. 21sthebest says:

    Here’s BS Bingo Jim. Sit with one of these cards at a corporate meeting.

  127. Jim S. says:

    A lot of people in Columbus seem to show up at Blue Jackets games dressed in the other team’s gear on a nightly basis.

  128. Jim S. says:

    But, all of the games have been televised forever, tickets have been expensive forever, beer and food has always been expensive at the stadium, big screen TVs have been around a long time, and it becomes winter every year.

    The in-stadium experience is now better than ever, too. Isn’t it?

    I think there’s more to it. But, you may be right.

    The economy sucks, and that definitely plays a part.

  129. Jim S. says:

    Malkin is the world’s slowest healing hockey player.

  130. Jim S. says:

    BS Bingo. That’s great.

  131. hockeymonster says:

    They’ll get better with Jarmo at the helm…maybe even in spite of his assistant GM. Ha

  132. hockeymonster says:

    I believe he pulled his hamstring…so if thats the case, much like with groin pulls being extra cautious is the way to go. Even a minor setback can put you out for a month or 2.

  133. Dom says:

    I might be wrong but did the NFL popularity decrease five or so years ago? I don’t remember reading that playoffs games narrowly being blacked out years ago.

    I did read that the Packers were sell their remaining tickets for at least $102. If someone were to pay two tickets and buy drinks/snacks, they’re out $250. That’s an awfully lot to pay just for one game that going to be outside in the cold.

  134. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m surprised it doesn’t have “thinking outside the box.” They did a modified thing on this on Brooklyn 99 in a Thanksgiving episode. Only it was things the nerdiest guy in the precinct would do or say. It was pretty funny.

  135. 21sthebest says:

    Arriba, if you refresh that page you’ll get a new card. I have to believe that “thinking outside the box” will show up eventually.

  136. Jim S. says:

    But, it seems every setback puts him out for a long time now.

    2009/10 – 67/82
    2010/11 – 43/82
    2011/12 – 75/82
    2012/13 – 31/48
    2013/14 – 32/43 (includes tonight)

    I know he had a serious knee injury that could have happened to anyone. But, he seems to be on the shelf a lot with smaller injuries.

    Just when he got rolling this year.

  137. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think you’re minimizing the effect of Big Screen TV’s, Jim. They’ve been around, but a cultural change takes a while. And when I go anymore it seems like with the big screens at games, a lot of the time people are looking at the scoreboard screen (like Tomlin, and players after a big play.). I get lots more views at home, and its a great picture, not some 36″ square tube TV with 400 lines of resolution. And the economy’s been bad for awhile, too. ;-)

  138. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t realize there was more than one. Yep, along with back to the drawing board.

  139. Jim S. says:

    Or, is it Letang? He has played 110 of the Pens’ last 173 regular season games. Lots of money tied up in guys eating all of Mario’s shrimp cocktail up in the owner’s box.

  140. hockeymonster says:

    If you take out the ACL season the other totals aren’t uncommon. He plays big minutes and is a big target. All players of his ilk will have stretches of injuries along with teams wanting to be cautious in regular season.

    Maybe if the NHL protected their stars like the NBA or atleast like the NFL protects punters he and others would be playing more often.

  141. hockeymonster says:

    I hear the red wine is good up there too :)

  142. Jim S. says:

    I prefer to watch football at home also, Arriba. But, if that is the biggest issue, then attendance is going to suck going forward because TVs are just going to get better and better.

    Dom made a point about ticket prices going crazy, which is a good one. I think maybe the NFL is finding out finally how much is too much.

    The part about the economy is true, but the longer it drags on the more those who are still doing well get concerned and pull in the reins.

  143. Dom says:

    DK tackles this in the first question of his chat.

  144. JoeyBats says:

    To quote Coach Obvious…… “…because he’s Dick LeBeau….” ;-)

  145. Jim S. says:

    I haven’t been there (obviously), but I can pretty much guarantee it.

    & I’ll bet those are the JUMBO shrimp, too.

  146. Jim S. says:

    Well, you are the Hockeymonster. So, I’ll take your word for it. I just hope both of those guys are healthy and stay healthy when they get back.

  147. Jandy says:

    Don’t forget the caviar.

  148. Jim S. says:

    I wonder how he proposes taking tickets from people who paid for them and re-selling them to other people. What if they don’t want to sell their tickets? You can already re-sell your tickets on the open market.

  149. Jandy says:

    You could be the Kovacevic of Columbus ;)

  150. 21sthebest says:

    I enjoy watching Steelers game at home Sean. But it’s nothing like being in the Stadium, IMO, especially during a playoff game.

  151. hockeymonster says:

    Dont think Jarmo and Zito want that

  152. 21sthebest says:

    When I read that I didn’t think he meant to resell. He talked about turning them in and redistributing them (I think there’s an Obamacare joke in there somewhere).

  153. Jandy says:

    who asked them?? ;)

  154. Jandy says:

    indeed, he did use the terms “turn in” and “redistribute”

    Still would like to know how that would work…lol

  155. NMR says:


    I’ve read a lot this year on ways the NFL (and NCAA, fwiw) is trying to improve the stadium experience knowing full well that they’re losing attendance.

    Seems the first logical step is adjusting tickets prices.

  156. hockeymonster says:

    Good point…but i think columbus has a MLS team so i’ll need crash course from DK. ;)

  157. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m not suggesting big screen TV’s are the only reason, just an important factor. Ticket prices are also a big factor, no question.

  158. Jandy says:

    Good luck with that…wth is that logo you have there? Ewwww….c’mon Monster Mash, get with it, friend :P

  159. Ticket prices aren’t the reason those who have already bought season tickets are staying away in droves.

  160. Jandy says:

    Music to my eyes (ears)

    Dejan Kovacevic: The last guy of all the athletes I cover I’d ever count out is Pascal Dupuis. Amazing worker. If anyone’s even counting him out for this season, I’ll bet he isn’t.

    Also, bear in mind that knee surgeries are pretty close to 100 percent locks anymore. It’s become a great science. Where once they ended careers, including that of Bobby Orr, they now are afterthoughts, as with Evgeni Malkin.

    Dupuis will be fine.

  161. Jandy says:

    logical assumption

  162. 21sthebest says:

    Easy, if I’m understanding DK correctly. Post them to a web site and somebody snags them.

  163. NFL will drop ticket prices right after Neal Huntington signs Robbie Canoe or Prof. Tanaka after posting the $20 mill.

  164. 21sthebest says:

    From the chat:

    DK: “What I want to know is this: Why hasn’t any other team stepped up for Burnett with that kind of cash?”

    Cuz he’s Favreing! He doesn’t want to hang out in Bradenton for six weeks. I predict his first start is around May 1.

  165. Jandy says:

    Haha! You’re on a roll today, 21 :)

  166. Lad 9 says:

    Someday that box will be known as the “Pierre Larouche Suite” I think he lives in it!

  167. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought they already had that. It’s called Stub Hub, or Vivid Seats or Ticket Liquidator. Plenty of places to get seats if you’re willing to pay the price.

  168. Arriba Wilver says:

    True dat.

  169. Wild Bill says:

    There is also the reality that going to a game can shoot an entire day, depending on distance and other factors. At home, it’s getting something else done before and after the game. (Hopefully, something we like doing.)

  170. Arriba Wilver says:

    But we’re kinda talking playoffs (at least I am).

  171. Dom says:

    Isnt it illegal to sell tickets?

  172. NMR says:

    You know what’s worse than less money?

    No money.

  173. Jim S. says:

    Clemens and Pettitte did that a little, didn’t they? I suggested that option awhile back. Some managers just don’t like doing it.

  174. Jandy says:

    Dom, you’re being cute again :*

  175. Jim S. says:

    What is this new concept you two speak of?

  176. NMR says:

    Isn’t he supposedly the Orioles top pitching target, but they’re waiting to hear whether or not he actually wants to play?

  177. Wild Bill says:

    It’s probably obvious to all of you already, but Lucky has traded down severely in his choice of avatars.

    That is all.

  178. Jim S. says:

    21 will be here all week. Please tip your wait staff!

  179. Jim S. says:


  180. Jandy says:


  181. SeanAY says:

    Well, if someone wants to hook me up with tickets to the next Steelers playoff game, I’ll gladly test the theory out!

    I’m just saying, generally speaking, there is a large portion of the population that can afford season tickets that prefer to watch from home. My dad and uncles used to go to five or six games a year. Now they have company over and drink draft beer from the back porch tap and watch the game on the plasma.

  182. NO chance for ticket price drop.

    That is all.

  183. And AJ Burnett’s agent went to the Winter Meetings because he was attending a class reunion.

  184. Arriba Wilver says:

    Draft beer from the back porch tap?

    How do I get an invite?

  185. 21sthebest says:

    Well I thought of StubHub but the impression that I got was that DK wanted to ensure that there was a behind in all of the seats so I thought he was referring to giving them away.

  186. 21sthebest says:

    I think the market will continue to dictate prices. If attendance falls, you could see tickets decrease in price.

  187. You owed me that one, Bill, from a couple months ago.

  188. SeanAY says:

    It’s like the Steelers’ season ticket list.

    Either put your name on the list or wait until someone dies.

  189. Dom says:

    Nope. Sincere.

  190. Wild Bill says:

    I do try to pay my debts in a timely fashion, my friend.

  191. Milo Hamilton says:

    Both Art Briles & Jim Mora have told Texas no. Translation: They had already decided on someone else. My darkhorse has always been Mike Gundy from Oklahoma State. He’s a man, he’s 46 & he’ll be available tomorrow.

  192. Jandy says:

    Oh mY!

  193. JohninOshkosh says:

    Monday is the 20th anniversary of the greatest redneck moment in American history: Nancy Kerrigan getting whacked.

    I had just moved to Detroit to take a job only 4 days earlier. My farm wife mother had reservations about me moving to the notorious mean streets of Detroit. When Kerrigan got whacked in Detroit, my mother called and said, “see even figure skaters are rough there.”

    She had nothing to fear. Still love the city and their bullpen.

  194. Jandy says:

    Well Domskie, then Stub Hub and a few others would be out of business….I still say you’re cute :)

  195. Jandy says:

    Well, I HOPE Mike Gundy is a man (and NOT a woman).

  196. Dom says:

    Here are my NFL Playoff/super bowl predictions:

    Wild Card Round
    Bengals over Chargers
    Colts over KC
    Saints over Eagles
    49ers over Packers

    Divisional Round
    Pats over Bengals
    Broncos over Colts
    Seattle over Saints
    49ers over Panthers

    Championship Round
    Pats over Broncos
    Seattle over 49ers

    Super Bowl
    Seattle over Pats

  197. Dom says:

    I’m a little embarrassed about missing that…

    Is it still illegal to sell them on the street?

  198. Jandy says:

    It might be, I don’t know…guys?

  199. Joni says:

    Great story. Great avatar :)

  200. Made me smile.

    Made me appreciate their bullpen.

  201. Wild Bill says:

    John, great story, but you just had to go and pull DK’s weenie at the end, didn’t yinz?

  202. Wild Bill says:

    Maybe that was the whole point…I’m slow Friday afternoons.

  203. 21sthebest says:

    Offensive line coach Jack Bicknell fired.

  204. TJA says:

    A friend of mine sent this to me. A nice quote and appropriate to begin another year. Wanted to share:

    “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

    ― Michael Jordan

  205. Wild Bill says:

    What???? After all the juggling the Steelers had to do this year?? What did they want from him, to go in and play tackle or center himself???

  206. Wild Bill says:

    Maybe he actually retired, like Arians.

  207. I won’t criticize PSU basketball anymore. They aren’t as terrible this season.

  208. Or maybe that’s the curse of DK writing a positive column about him.

  209. Dom says:

    You mean “retired” not retired.

  210. NMR says:

    Great. So how do you answer Dejan’s question?

  211. theplanisworking says:

    My Darkhorse is Charlie Strong of Louisville.

  212. Thundercrack says:

    The Phillies new TV deal w Comcast worth avg of $100M/yr, inc minority equity stake in CSN Philly.

    Criticize FC all you want but he was not going to get anywhere close to that.

    Holy crap!! That is a huge advantage for the Phillies….against a lot of teams.

  213. theplanisworking says:

    Bill, Bicknell is a scapegoat.
    Unfortunately, I feel this will mean Haley stays.

    Maybe Bicknell can go to Arians staff, and they can have a few “retirement” laughs.

  214. Thundercrack says:

    Scapegoat for what? The 8-8 record?

  215. Damon says:

    Interesting take:

    As 2014 gets underway, there are still several major free agents still on the market who may be out there for quite some time because of the loss of a draft pick that is tied to their eventual signing — thanks to the qualifying offers they were given by their former teams.

    One of those free agents in limbo is Kendrys Morales. However,’s Buster Olney speculates in his Friday blog that, eventually, there’s a National League team that might be willing to bring the first baseman aboard.

    “You wonder if the price tag for Kendrys Morales will drop so steeply that he might fall within range of the Pittsburgh Pirates, whose strategy this winter has been to follow the working model of the Rays and wait for the market of individual players to fall into an acceptable range.”

    Olney also puts the New York Mets in the same category of teams that “would seem to be in position to barter for a team-friendly deal” with Morales, but if they’re going to give up their second-round pick because of a free agent deal, they may be more inclined to pursue shortstop Stephen Drew.

    Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports says that the Baltimore Orioles might be considering Morales as a first base option, but have also been talking to the New York Mets about Ike Davis. If a deal ends up getting done between those two clubs, Pittsburgh may well be the only suitor left for Morales.

  216. 21sthebest says:

    I really liked how the offense progressed. Ben wasn’t hit much, stayed healthy, the passing game seem to improve and I thought Bell really came along. I wouldn’t think Haley would be fired unless they felt the improvements were in spite of him.

  217. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    No one should be surprised at ANY changes when a team starts out 2-6, and goes 8-8 for the second straight year.
    One can call Bicknell a scapegoat (which technically he might be).
    But….We have no idea what went on behind closed doors in those game planning meetings and practices.
    I don’t think hardly anyone is safe on the Steelers coaching staff…..And hopefully it will be the same for many players.

  218. Rob says:

    Granted, I am not on the inside but I thought of all the Steelers coaches this Bicknell was the safest. I thought he did an amazing job with what he had,

  219. Thundercrack says:

    ‘We have no idea what went on behind closed doors in those game planning meetings and practices.’

    Totally agree with you Daq.

    And if the Steelers only had problems on offense this year, then maybe this would be a ‘scapegoat’ firing. But they also had a ton of problems with the defense and special teams too.

  220. Thundercrack says:

    I can’t see the Pirates giving up the draft pick to sign Morales. And I don’t think they would be too keen to the idea of giving the money to Morales that he may be expecting.

  221. theplanisworking says:

    Wait a minute.
    Where did you get this information from?
    I have been told many, many times here that numbers like these are never correct, that no one has access to these numbers. Its all speculation and guessing.

    If these numbers are accurate, does this mean Frank has to re-state that the Pirates TV deal is still in the top half of all clubs?

  222. NMR says:

    The only free agent tied to draft pick compensation the Pirates hsould even think about giving a second look is Stephen Drew.

    Kendry Morales is not an everyday first baseman.

  223. theplanisworking says:

    And coaches on defense and special teams could be let go also, so lets not draw final conclusions just yet.

    Just funny how the offensive line coach, who worked miracles with all the injuries, and new additions almost every week, and who was regarded “safe”, was fired. Also, this could be a classic case of Tomlin holding something against a coach, like he does against players. Jonathan Dwyer, anyone?

    Smells like scapegoating to me, in my opinion.
    But the Steelers have never, ever done something like this before, correct?

    Talk to Bruce Arians about this.
    The same Bruce Arians who has taken 2 different bad football teams in different franchises to the playoffs…….. working minor miracles each time.

    Yep, Bruce sure is enjoying his “retirement”.

  224. Thundercrack says:

    No Plan, the Pirates could still be in the top half of all clubs even with this deal.

    And I read this blog (here) a lot, and I don’t think I’ve ever read that you were told many, many times that numbers like these are never correct.

    I know that I brought up FC name in my original post, but take that out of the discussion for a minute.
    How are a whole lot of teams supposed to compete against that?

  225. Thundercrack says:

    I saw a post by Gerry Dulac about the firing. During most of the 2nd half of the season ‘offensive assistant Shaun Sarrett was doing a lot of the instruction and daily handling of the offensive line, according to sources – duties normally performed by the offensive line coach. ‘

  226. Dom says:

    Check out this headline: Actress Jennifer Hudson buys assistant a house for Christmas,0,4369255.story

    Gotta love the nice celebrities. My question is, what will the assistant buy Hudson next Christmas?

  227. theplanisworking says:

    TC, you just dont want to acknowledge reading about numbers.

    Several posters have stated many times about the “leaked financials”, TV contracts, etc. and how the numbers are never correct because the Pirates never released them. All the sources, including Forbes were said to be wrong. That is all I am going by.

    And, I only referenced Frank because of his statement at Piratefest. Never did I think, and especially say that the Pirates could ever expect that type of contract. This contract, if true, is Dodger/Yankee/Rangers type of money. And most teams cant compete with that.

  228. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Nor is Gaby Sanchez….In fact, I would call him a poor reserve.

  229. theplanisworking says:

    If that is indeed true, that is one of the stranger things I have ever heard of. If there were so many problems with Bicknell, why wasnt he let go sooner?


  230. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    That’s a VERY interesting report about Shaun Sarrett seeing increased duties as the season went on. A perfect example of what the Steelers “won’t” tell us as they work their way down the schedule.

  231. Thundercrack says:

    Scapegoating for what?

    I am waiting for the theory that GODell called the Steelers and said that the team would either have to lose a draft pick or fire a coach as punishment for Tomlin stepping over the line during the kickoff return.

    Bye-bye Bicknell.

  232. theplanisworking says:

    And I wouldnt give Drew a second look, let alone a draft pick for him.

    I dont know if anyone is worth the risk of draft picks anymore.
    Thats why the FA market was so brisk the past month and a half.

  233. 21sthebest says:

    I have talked about the leaked financials which were audited by independent accountants and are in fact the financials for the Pirates (and for the other 5 teams who had their financials leaked) and I have never once said that the numbers in those financials were wrong. I don’t recall seeing anyone else here talk about those numbers specifically so that’s why I’m responding. And the Pirates confirmed that the leaked financials were in fact their financials.

    I have compared the leaked financials for all six teams and for all years presented to the numbers speculated by Forbes and in some cases Forbes gets some numbers close and in some cases they are not close at all.

    Frankspeak. I took his comments to mean that the local broadcast contract is in the upper half in relation to market size and not to total revenues.

  234. Thundercrack says:

    The Arizona Cardinals are not in the playoffs this year.

  235. Thundercrack says:

    By the way Plan, I’ve seen many reports about this new Philly deal on twitter.
    If you’re not on twitter you could still probably get most of the reports via googling it.

  236. Thundercrack says:

    The team may have still needed an offensive line coach during the season, that could be why they didn’t let him go sooner.

  237. theplanisworking says:

    Sorry, my mistake about the Cardinals……….. they were in contention til the last game. But you get my overall point, the Steelers lied, and said Arians “retired”, when that clearly was not the case, and he did very, very well with both franchises.


    “The team may have still needed an offensive line coach during the season, that could be why they didn’t let him go sooner.”

    That doesnt make too much sense. If they fired Bicknell, they could have promoted Sarrett. I dont see what the problem would be. It is just another strange move by the club.

  238. theplanisworking says:

    By the way TC, I do have Twitter, and I can Google anything.

    You are still missing my point, which is based on the times that it has been said on logs here, and other places, unless the team releases figures, they are always incorrect. They might be close, but they are always wrong. That is my point. So even if I followed on Twitter, or googled until my fingers bled, the numbers would be wrong. That is going by what I have read in previous years.

    personally, I could care less about the Phillies TV deal. I would like to see the Pirates disclose their numbers so we could get a baseline. But they dont have to………. so we have to rely on Frank, which in my opinion, isnt much.

  239. Dom says:

    Is there anyone else worth obtaining?

  240. Thundercrack says:

    Firing the offensive line coach in the middle of the season may have been more of a strange move. (but hey, didn’t they let go of a special teams coach right before the start of a season?) If they promote Sarrett they are then down a coach.

    I don’t think it is strange for Tomlin to think Bicknell was not a good fit for his coaching staft – and deciding to wait until the season was over before he made a change.

  241. theplanisworking says:

    “If they promote Sarrett they are then down a coach.”

    How easy would it be to get another assisstant?
    Shouldnt be too difficult.

    If as Dulac says, Sarrett was doing most of the duties down the stretch, and Tomlin thought Bicknell wasnt a good fit, it seems strange to keep around.

  242. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe you shouldn’t believe everything you read on this blog

  243. Jim S. says:

    Apparently, it was Bicknell’s fault this year, Rob.

    Who is DB coach? Carnell Lake? I’d start there, personally.

  244. NMR says:

    Really gonna keep digging your own hole on this one, aren’t you? :)

  245. theplanisworking says:

    NMR seems to give good Saber stats for players, so if he is around, he may want to offer someone.

    I just dont think that having Gaby open the season at first would be a wise move. Just my opinion, of course.

  246. NMR says:

    Personally, me neither, Plan.

    Don’t trust his bat. But, this would be the exact situation whre you take advantage of the market, IMO.

    I’d much rather have an above average shortstop at below market value than one late 1st round draft pick. Not even close.

  247. theplanisworking says:

    Dont we have Barmes for that very thing???? ;) ;)

  248. NMR says:

    For 1B? Better luck next winter.

    James Loney was the only thing close to an average first basemen available via free agency or trade.

    At this stage of the game, I’d like to see them trade for Daric Barton from the A’s, but I doubt anybody here would think he’s more than a bum. Guy is the best defensive 1B in baseball , strikes out less than league average, and has a career .360 OBP. BUt not many here care about those things.

  249. theplanisworking says:

    I dont know about Lake. I think he did well with what he had. And, Lake probably didnt have Troy up at the line most of the year.

    I say we blame Bylsma! He is in season. ;)

  250. theplanisworking says:

    I dont know about that, NMR.
    Saber numbers are fine, and can be used as a good comparison point between players at a position. Also, defense is, or should be valued at every position.

    What i have a problem with, is the over-reliance on numbers to the nth degree.

    And, If I am at the ballpark, I dont want to sit there, and talk about UZR, or WAR #’s for 9 innings. I still like the “eye test”, and human element to baseball.


    For the record, I was a Loney supporter, but not to be. I would settle for a platoon partner for Gaby, because I just dont think he is an everyday 1B.
    Just me, of course.

  251. pattonbb says:

    2.5 BILLION dollars. BILLION.

  252. NMR says:

    I hear you there, buddy.

    None of my “real” baseball friends (no offense, you guys) even know I have such an affinity for the nerdy stats. Doesn’t make for much conversation to sit in the stands sipping a cold one while rifling off swing rates. I try talking mechanics on here but nobody ever bites.

    Barton would be Gaby’s platoon partner, fwiw, as he’s a lefty.

  253. theplanisworking says:

    Well, get on the “batphone”, and tell Neal to make the deal for Barton.


  254. Jim S. says:

    Gaby will not be the full-time 1b this year. We may not like who they are gathering, but one of them will most likely get the ABs vs. RHP because they would be a better option than Gaby for those ABs. I would trust Lambo or McGuiness at the start of the year with the ABs vs. RHP before I’d give them to Gaby.

    I also think they will get someone to take those ABs.

    You don’t need a full-time 1b. If you can combine a guy who hits RHP well, and a guy who hits LHP well, and they both have decent gloves, a full-time guy is not necessary.

  255. Jim S. says:

    When I saw Cortez Allen playing 5+ yards off the receiver when GB had the ball at about the 5 in the first half of the game 2 weeks ago, then he proceeded to turn his back on the QB and get beaten for about the easiest TD I’ve ever seen, I decided that either he’s an idiot, he has not been coached well whatsoever, or the coverage they asked of him was moronic.

  256. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I think Sanchez has done a pretty good job of digging the hole you’re speaking of.
    But….He comes cheap!

  257. Jim S. says:

    Sounds like you need a new group of friends, NMR. :-)

  258. Jim S. says:

    Those are the things I care about.

  259. Jim S. says:

    It’s all # of eyeballs. Plenty more eyeballs in Philly than Pittsburgh and most cities.

  260. theplanisworking says:

    Jim, I want to agree with you about the Bucs 1B situation. But the only theory I pay much attention to is the Big Bang Theory. But even that is tempered by the fact that Kaley Cuoco got married.

    Another One Bites the Dust. ;)

  261. theplanisworking says:

    All of the above.

    The Steelers have many draft needs on defense, and they are great.

  262. NMR says:

    Whew, I couldn’t disagree more that any of the guys the Pirates accumulated this winter would be better than Gaby Sanchez.

    That is just way understating Gaby’s performance against RHP, IMO.

  263. Rob says:

    I agree with Dejan. This off season and draft is all about defense defense defense.

  264. Rob says:

    He also had to give his best player to the linebackers.

  265. Rob says:

    Sorry ‘plan’ I didn’t see you posted the same thing.

  266. theplanisworking says:

    Its Ok, Rob.
    This blog format is tough to follow sometimes.

    As is the snow white background.
    My suggestion to mute the whiteness was as wasted an idea as was Landry Jones at QB.

  267. Rob says:

    Had nothing to do with the blog and everything to do with my lazy reading.

    As far as the snow, it reminds of the old days when I used to try to watch R rated movies on HBO through the snow and squiggly lines.

  268. Arriba Wilver says:

    A crock pot?

  269. theplanisworking says:


    I like the little snowflakes here, its just the background is too bright white. But, I go with the flow……

  270. Dom says:


  271. theplanisworking says:

    I was maybe thinking Starbucks gift cards?

  272. Jim S. says:

    Kaley is good on that show.

  273. Jim S. says:

    But, why is he a poor reserve? The guy has done what was asked of him. That is, he has hit well vs. LHP and fielded his position pretty well. He is only supposed to get 25% of the starts, and pinch hit.

    When Clint resorted to asking him to do more than that last year is when he did not do very well, IMO. Ask a guy to do more than what he was acquired to do and I don’t see blaming him for not excelling at it.

  274. BillyBaduka says:

    It’s only illegal on the street cause no taxes are paid.

  275. BillyBaduka says:

    Great avatar

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