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Morning Java: The Bus’ final stop?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Friday column expresses at least a measure of reservation about James Franklin at Penn State, but not enough to call against his becoming coach.

How do you feel about Franklin, the baggage he’d bring and what it might mean for the Nittany Lions?

News coverage of the coaching search is by beat man Chris Adamski. And until there’s a resolution to this process, which actually has been very quick but still seems so long, that’s the file that will keep getting updated on our site.

>> The Pro Football Hall of Fame reduced its field to 15, again including Jerome Bettis. Alan Robinson reports.

And unlike one its Hall of Fame peers, it did so without a national outcry of angst and navel-gazing by its voters. It just did the job.

Anyway, if you look over that list, Bettis looks like he’s at least got a shot at one of the five inductee spots. Myself, I’d take Michael Strahan, Walter Jones, Charles Haley, Derrick Brooks and … well, either Bettis or Marvin Harrison. That’s not an attempt to identify who I’d want in but, rather, who I think will get in, and it really isn’t easy.

The catch is, Canton likes players to stand in line by position, if you will. In other words, if you’re a receiver, you wait your turn for the receivers ahead of you to get in, barring someone exceptional. That’s one reason I like Jerome’s chance. He’s the No. 6 rusher of all time, and the only backs in history among the top 11 who aren’t in the Hall are Bettis and LaDainian Tomlinson, who isn’t eligible yet. Well, L.T. will get in, and so will Jerome. Just a matter of time.

But hey, never mind all that. Who wants to talk about the potential inductees when we can put on a witch hunt for that one nutcase who dared to turn in a ballot we didn’t like?

Here’s the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s official page.

And for more Steelers, Robinson has an insightful blog item about Ben Roethlisberger’s contract status.

>> Really enjoyed the underlying tale of this Olli Maatta feature by Josh Yohe, who’s with the Penguins in Edmonton for their faceoff tonight with the Oilers.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Oilers news from the Edmonton Journal.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> Pitt’s young power forwards prepare for Wake Forest at the Pete tomorrow. Kevin Gorman reports.

>> The Pirates’ minicamp ended yesterday morning, but Rob Biertempfel and Chris Horner filed one final video from Bradenton about minor-league depth …

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m. And at noon, we’ll do our weekly chat right here on this blog. As always, as soon as you see the post, you can submit entries in the chat field. (Not the comments section, please.)

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.

Comments

  1. Drew71 says:

    “Three if you count the Browns”.

    Very nice.

    Somebody hit you with a funny stick.

  2. theplanisworking says:

    I desperately want Jerome to get in this year. I think he has a shot, but I just get a feeling he won’t make it, which would be a shame.

    Someone at NFL.com doesn’t think so either………………

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000311460/article/walter-jones-leads-list-of-hall-of-fame-finalists

  3. Dan1283 says:

    I think the Bus has a better shot than Marvin Harrison. Harrison on the surface is a lock but there is a real mess in his recent history with a drug dealer found dead after visiting his sports bar and Harrison’s gun having been used as the murder weapon. The victim named Harrison as the shooter before he tied (take his credibility for what it’s worth). That’s how I remember the story at least, and I think there’s still a lot of suspicion surrounding him. Anyone interested can easily Google the Deadspin story. I gotta think that’s going to keep him out for a few years at least.

    DK: That might well be, but the PFHOF voters are instructed to vote based solely on performance.

  4. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    The Bus should’ve been in the HOF last year instead of that big ball of goo….Warren Sapp.
    But I agree….Bettis may sit it out longer because of the continuous effort to keep the number of Steelers (since the 70′s) to a minimum.

  5. Jandy says:

    Loved the article on Maatta by Josh Yohe. He brings a lot to the Trib.
    As a fan, it’s sweet to read about how much Maatta is capable of, and that his coaches appreciate that too.

    More snow here in Central PA, with a coating of ice to come…weather advisory until 3pm. Yuck.

  6. Jandy says:

    Don’t be jealous, Drew Dahling :)

  7. Good column. Not my place to comment, as I’m not a PSU fan or alum. But being down here, 90 miles from the Vandy campus, for 16 years, it’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that Vanderbilt is the best college football team in Tennessee and it has been for 2 years now. Penn State might have a home run in this guy.

  8. JAL says:

    JAL’s Why Worrry Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkFcQRiFL68

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 MLB Important Dates

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/schedule/important_dates.jsp

    4 Pirates Prospects Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2014

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Who Can Be Invited to Spring Training?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/first-pitch-who-can-be-invited-to-spring-training.html

    The Hall of Fame is Dead

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/the-hall-of-fame-is-dead.html

    Winter Leagues: Marte Returns to Lineup, Polanco’s Return Delayed

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/winter-leagues-marte-returns-to-lineup-polancos-return-delayed.html

    6 Rumbunter

    Remembering That Luis Heredia Moment

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/01/09/remembering-luis-heredia-moment/

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Searage: A.J. Burnett likely to retire

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/1/9/5291446/searage-a-j-burnett-likely-to-retire

    8 Green Weenie

    1/8-9: Gene Freese, Brian Boehringer, The Goose, Bye Bye Burleigh, Jeromy Burnitz

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/01/18-9-gene-freese-brian-boehringer-goose.html

    9 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Play It Safe And Boring With Logo Shuffle

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/01/09/pittsburgh-pirates-play-safe-boring-logo-shuffle/

    10 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Make Logo Change, No One Notices

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/01/09/pittsburgh-pirates-make-logo-change-no-one-notices/

    11 SB Nation

    Three things about baseball and sanctimony

    http://www.sbnation.com/2014/1/9/5290856/three-things-about-baseball-and-sanctimony

  9. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 MLB

    Spring Training schedule, workout dates released

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/spring-training-schedule-workout-dates-released-by-major-league-baseball?ymd=20140109&content_id=66444296&vkey=news_mlb

    13 Philadelphia Daily News

    Bill Conlin, Daily News sports columnist whose career ended in disgrace, dies at 79

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140109_HED_TOO_LONG__Bill_Conlin__Daily_News_sports_columnist_whose_career_ended_in_disgrac.html

    14 Contra Costa Times

    Baseball Hall of Fame voting process won’t change, for now

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/national-sport-news/ci_24880614/baseball-hall-fame-voting-process-wont-change-now

    15 Bluefield Daily Telegraph

    Baseball fans got a treat when Maddux came to town

    http://www.bdtonline.com/sportscolumn/x1022873294/Baseball-fans-got-a-treat-when-Maddux-came-to-town

    16 Boston Globe

    Verlander has core muscle repair surgery

    http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/2014/01/09/verlander-has-core-muscle-repair-surgery/RryRZi27ZxhUR2F4jmVOTN/story.html

    17 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bird Bytes: About Peralta and PEDs

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bird-bytes-about-peralta-and-peds/article_1451db8b-583b-5507-9b88-4aa42c643eae.html

    18 Press Enterprise

    BASEBALL: Which current players are destined for Cooperstown?

    http://blog.pe.com/jim-alexander/2014/01/09/baseball-which-current-players-are-destined-for-cooperstown/

    19 Fangraphs

    Some Final Thoughts on the Hall of Fame Process

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/some-final-thoughts-on-the-hall-of-fame-process/

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    What Percentage of Scouts Played Pro Ball?

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22539

  10. Jandy says:

    Good call, Revvie!

  11. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    The state of the Steelers Part Four: can the Steelers thrive within a sport in crisis?

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/1/9/5287562/steelers-2014-offseason

    2014 NFL Draft Prospects: Mike Evans locates the ball at a high level, helps limitations in route-running

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/steelers-nfl-draft-prospects-scouting-video-2014/2014/1/9/5282306/2014-nfl-draft-prospects-mike-evans

    22 Steelers Gab

    Rooney Says Extension For Roethlisberger Will Happen

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2014/01/09/ronney-says-extension-for-roethlisberger-will-happen/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Goal & Shot Contributions: Suarez, Rooney, Aguero & Toure’s Lead

    http://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/premier-league-goal-shot-contributions-liverpool-man-utd-man-city

    24 World Soccer

    Michel Platini unhappy over Jerome Valcke’s Qatar 2022 intervention

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/columnists/platini-valcke

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Thursday: Bottom 6, Please Wake Up

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/1/9/5291334/pens-points-thursday

    Song Why Worry Everly Brothers with Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler (who wrote the song)

  12. Drew71 says:

    “Three if you count the Browns”.

    What did that column have to with baseball?

  13. bpn8pitt says:

    I kind of understand PSU’s interest in Franklin. But I don’t understand Franklins interest in PSU. They have two years to go on the bowl ban and still some scholarship restrictions. The Big Ten is going to be ruled by Ohio State, Michigan, MSU and others in the immediate future…Are you still all sure this job is what you all think it is and will be? 1994.

  14. JAL says:

    Tomorrow morning at 11 am I will be having a conversation with Mary Matalin and James Carville. Event will be covered by C-Span.

  15. Jandy says:

    uh oh, don’t get caught in the middle ;)
    Really though, sounds like an interesting, wild time for you.

  16. brandie says:

    It is a butterface job. Scandal aside, it is not all it is cracked up to be.

  17. JAL says:

    Should be fun, mostly will dealing with their new book. Not much politics

  18. Jandy says:

    Ahhh that will be even MORE fun then :)

  19. Drew71 says:

    Congrats and, by the way, very interesting.

    Just read some of the book’s write-ups. Unlike their past stuff, this is not a book of political analysis, not history. Rather, it is about resolving differences of ALL types in a relationship.

    It is was two pseudo-psychologists or self-help gurus, I’d run for the hills. But from these quirky, interesting and main stream people, I’m interested.

    Congrats again and enjoy.

  20. JAL says:

    Read advance copy of the book, cats nay be a bigger isue than politics–Matalin love them, Carville doesn’t like cats.

  21. One can only hope that PSU will find nothing against James Franklin and that he’s clean, since Penn State can certainly ill afford association with another scandal.

  22. BillyBaduka says:

    That’s really cool. I would like to see it.

    Will it air at 11:00 tomorrow or a later date? Washington this week is on 10-noon on Sat. CSPAN 2 has book reviews and Book Notes on beginning at Noon but I don’t see Matilin and Carville mentioned.

    I’d really like to see your work in action and find the M/C relationship fascinating so if you know when it will air, please let us know the airtime and show title if you have them. Thanks, congrats and good luck.

  23. Wild Bill says:

    Dejan’s column on Franklin is very well written, as always. My initial observation is that large institutions, be they universities or legislatures, or corporations, etc. all know that they time is going to come when bad apples are found in their midst – and the worst of these are sexual predators.

    The measure of people in these settings is how they handle those moments when they arrive. The irony for me is that all evidence so far indicates that Coach Franklin (who may have learned from Penn State’ misery) handled that type of moment much better than State originally did. And yet, some think he’s not worthy of being the next coach. ( I am not putting DK in this group.)

    If The search group did it’s job and vetted Franklin well – and God knows they had reason to – then maybe they have found the right team leader for these times in which we live. I’d like to hope so. Franklin should also know the damage theses situations can cause and be very character oriented in his recruiting. But this is not a perfect world, and as one who deals with human beings on a daily basis, I know that large groups will never be totally safe.

  24. NMR says:

    Worked out pretty well for O’Brien, didn’t it?

  25. Wild Bill says:

    Apologies for typos, love that auto correct.

  26. Drew71 says:

    All this talk of books on Dejan’s blog.

    Whoda thunk it.

  27. Joey Mellons says:

    Hahaha, I also loved that dig at the Brownies. Classic.

  28. 33 DAYS UNTIL PIRATE PITCHERS & CATCHERS REPORT TO BRADENTON (MINUS THEIR LEADER?) AND PIRATE CITY FOR SPRING TRAINING

  29. Jandy says:

    LOL Wild One….your typos aren’t nearly as bad as mine are….no worries :)

  30. Great opportunity, JAL!!!

    With those two you can just act like the Ringmaster at the circus and let them do their thing! They are entertaining.

    Congratulations! (but . . . . no questions on soccer!)

  31. bpn8pitt says:

    On the flipside, You know people look at Franklin’s record at Vandy, and marvel at it. Wow, Vandy with their limitations, SEC and the like…They played some garbage teams, non conference wise.

  32. Dom says:

    The Dolphins are requesting an interview with Omar Kahn to be their GM.

  33. NMR says:

    As does, PSU. In an easier conference, overall. Franklin might see a bigger program with easier path to success. And by success, I mean eventually landing that NFL job I’d imagine he’s looking for.

  34. Steve in VA says:

    Here are my comments on the day:

    On Franklin: Looks to be a great hire for PSU. I think the incident involving his former players is irrelevent. He did the right thing and kicked them off the team I dont know what more you could ask for in that situtation. What I dont understand is why would you want to go from a SEC school to PSU. Seems kind of like lateral move to me going from being coach of the whipping boy of the SEC to being coach of the whipping boy of the Big Ten, and lets be honest SEC>>>>B1G. Also if PSU wanted to avoid being used as a spring board for a NFL job again then I would go another direction.

    -On the bus: I would love to see him get into the HOF but I just dont think it will happen. Taking off the Steelers blinders, do HOF running backs serve as the back up to the likes of Amos Zereoue, Duce Staley and Willie Parker? NO! Also, his carreer yards per carry average is under 4. I also think if ben didnt make that shoestring tackle in the AFC Championship game we would have a much different view of the Bus’s legacy.

  35. JAL says:

    I have no idea when it will. C-Span said live on C-Span 2 but not on schedule yet.

  36. Patrick(RI) says:

    Well said, but I wonder if it is possible to build a good fb team without attracting the type of people who get accused of that sort of crime, and on what sort of moral grounds is it worth it to the university?

  37. Wild Bill says:

    Maybe, Steve, you make the move because Vandy is now at the highest point it will ever be, and PSU is at the lowest point it will ever be, and – as you point out, it’s still a “lateral move”.

    Franklin is a Pa. guy who clearly is not looking not at the present, but at the potential of the future. I also don’t agree with your characterization of State as a whipping boy of the Big Ten. State was hardly AT&T he bottom of the league standings.

  38. Wild Bill says:

    Lol “at the bottom”

  39. Jim S. says:

    I thought it was a car wash. Doesn’t matter. There are a lot of things unresolved about that situation, and I would think it might keep him out – at least awhile. As for voters being instructed to limit their vote just to on field performance, I know that is the rule. But, would any of them vote for OJ again?

  40. Jim S. says:

    Good point. O’Brien has made the job attractive again.

  41. Jim S. says:

    Talking sports, JAL? I know Carville is a huge Loo-zi-anna sports junkie. I have found him entertaining on sat radion talking sports from time to time.

  42. Jim S. says:

    Have they seen our cap situation?

  43. The Gunner says:

    can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Wild Bill says:

    It’s a good question, Patrick. Seems to me that all NCAA athletes at every level should have required seminars as to what is appropriate conduct. Maybe all students should as a part of student orientation. But I’m not sure what else you can do; students come from every conceivable background.

  45. Thundercrack says:

    Anticipating the move to movie talk.

    (he hates those too doesn’t he. Or was that TV?)

  46. Dom says:

    I don’t think that’s Kahn’s fault, is it?

  47. Jim S. says:

    I think Bus is a HOF. All the guys with more yards are in, so it would seem he is in line for it. But, I just have a feeling it won’t happen this year. I think there is a bias against his average yards per carry. I know that sounds weird, but I think a lot of people consider him a compiler, that he only got so many yards because of a ton of carries. Flashy stats seem to rule the day.

    I bet Brian Urlacher would say he belongs … right after he pulled the rest of the turf out of his helmet.

    I hope the same thing doesn’t happen to Hines when he is due. All he did was produce. And destroy people twice his size. And smile about it.

  48. Jim S. says:

    I thought that was his job – to negotiate the contracts and manage the cap.

    I guess no one is responsible for it.

  49. Jim S. says:

    Anybody that watched OSU and Michigan (the traditional powers) in their bowl games is likely to think PSU can rise again in this conference. MSU was king of the hill this year, but they have never been able to remain dominant for a long stretch before. Doesn’t seem to me that guys with big egos, as all these guys must have to get this far, would see the task of getting PSU consistently back to the top 4 of the B1G would be impossible.

    I believe OSU is something along the lines of 1-9 or 1-10 vs. SEC in bowl games.

  50. JAL says:

    From the producer

    It’s going to be LIVE on C-SPAN2. We’ll re-air it over following
    weekends.

    So live at 11 am tomorrow with re-airs later

  51. Dom says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but his job was to get the payroll under the cap while keeping Woodley, Ike, Ben, etc under contract. His job was not to decide if it is best to keep Woodley but to find a way to keep him on the roster.

  52. Patrick(RI) says:

    A couple of years ago, Sports Illustrated did a story, in league with CBS News, which uncovered some “astonishing” stats on big time fb crime. The NCAA guy admitted they were unacceptable and promised action. I don’t know if anything was ever done, but at that time, virtually no one vetted prospective players for criminal records and coaches claimed no knowledge. I agree, a solution is problematic when you need over 100 guys to compete at all. BB is easier, of course, where you only need 14, but I recall Lute Olsen’s technique: if he did not like a player’s attitude, lifestyle and ability to fit into a healthy group, he just passed, no matter what the talent — perhaps a good plan?

  53. Lad 9 says:

    I would agree with DK’s take on the HOF with the exception of Charles Haley. I just don’t consider a HOF guy for several reasons. Would take both Harrison and the Bus.

  54. Every college these days, or so it seems, pads its schedule with garbage teams. Take the Pitt basketball team, for instance.

  55. Jim S. says:

    I like the “PA guy” angle, Wild Bill. Could be a big factor.

    Also, as I said above, the B1G is not exactly a juggernaut right now. OSU was not a particularly strong team this year, and neither has MI been for a long time now. MSU seems to be rising, but they are no guarantee to remain dominant. WI and NE are strong, but hardly so strong that they can’t be challenged. I think he knows this isn’t the SEC. No reason a confident guy would not think he could continue the task of climbing back up the hill that O’Brien began.

  56. Jim S. says:

    Why not Haley, Lad? He was a bit nomadic.

  57. Jandy says:

    Gotta love that smile!

  58. hockeymonster says:

    Just one more reason to label maatta untouchable. Much like with crosby, when the work ethic is that good he becomes standard for the whole organ-I-zation.

  59. Jim S. says:

    Lucky:

    It is amazing that Tennessee, with all of its resources, history and great recruits within range of the school, has fallen and it can’t get up. Talk about a sleeping giant.

  60. O’Brien came straight from the NFL and didn’t have a scandal to worry about, like James Franklin at Vanderbilt apparently does right now.

  61. Jim S. says:

    If he was being groomed as a GM of the future, I would think he had input. They did a lot of bad extensions over the last several years. If he had no input other than to execute what he was told, then why would anyone interview him for a GM slot?

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you, Dom. I think you are saying that he was not a football operations guy. He was on the business side. But, if he thinks he has prepared well to be a GM isn’t he going to need to try to prove that by saying he actually had input on the roster, the cap, etc? If I were an owner, I know I’d be asking those questions.

    And, I doubt I’d be hiring him for my GM.

  62. Jim S. says:

    5 years ago everyone seemed deathly afraid of losing Khan because he was thought of as a “cap wizard.” Does anyone fear losing him so much now? Maybe the bloom is off that rose, fair or not.

  63. NMR says:

    Astonishing columns written By Christine Brennan and Dennis Dodd on PSU and Franklin.

    PSU shouldn’t hire him because of what it may do to their imagine? Are you kidding?

    What in the hell kind of message would PSU be sending by refusing to hire a guy who has handled a rape accusation the RIGHT way?

  64. Jandy says:

    I’m in agreement!

  65. Jandy says:

    All good points, Jim.

  66. Jandy says:

    Some people (I use the term loosely) just don’t get it.

  67. Arriba Wilver says:

    His claim to fame was negotiating contracts and managing the cap. But he’s been on other teams’ radar for a GM position for at least a couple years. I used to dred that they would lose him. Now . . . Not so much.

  68. JohninOshkosh says:

    Totally agree. Brennan’ s column was a dog. But, predictable. I think she was more offended about the coach’s managerial thoughts about assistant coaches’ wives than the rape situation. Incidentally, Larry David had an entire “Curb Your Enthusiasm” about that kind of thinking about attractive partners.

    PSU got a good hire here.

  69. For sure, Jim. I have a Tennessee fan in the office next to me. He is beside himself about the Vols. It’s been good for the office though. Monday mornings have been easier to stomach not having to listen to how wonderful Tennessee is.

    He’s a basketball fan, too, but being thick in UK muck around here, he doesn’t say much about the BB team.

  70. Arriba Wilver says:

    Great minds, Jim. ;-)

  71. theplanisworking says:

    Congrats!!! That should be a handful, huh?

    I met Carville once.
    I just wonder how much they are an “act”. He seems pleasant off-camera. Good Luck to you.

  72. theplanisworking says:

    AND STILL NO 1BMAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  73. theplanisworking says:

    I am beginning to wonder if the color of Franklin’s skin is not creeping into the discussion, NMR.
    Sorta like what happened at texas with Strong and that booster, McCombs?

    When people have to start creating excuses not to hire someone, well………

    Great point about handling the rape allegations the RIGHT way.

  74. bpn8pitt says:

    Its been 20 years since Penn State won the Big Ten.

    Twenty.

  75. tpbco says:

    Jim

    Out of curiosity, which “bad extensions” are your refering to?

    That is without the benefit of 20/20 hindsight…

    I ask this because I sure don’t remember many complaining at the time.

  76. NMR says:

    Classic example of self-fulfilling “jounalism”.

    In 2011, writers like Brennan and Dodd wrote that exposing Sandusky would’ve tarnished the image of Penn State and Joe Paterno, thus being motive for cover-up.

    Two years later, they personally tarnish the image of a football coach who, to their knowledge, has admittedly done every last thing he should have in a similar situation.

    Terribly irresponsible.

  77. Wild Bill says:

    Works for me, Patrick.

  78. Dom says:

    Good points all around. I feel as a whole the steelers only made a small handful of bad moves at the time they were made. Keeping Woodley was the right move years ago. They obviously couldn’t have predicted that he’d miss as many games as he was going to playing the upcoming few seasons.

    If Kahn was responsible for not resigning Keenan Lewis and that free safety who’s name I cant remember that also left, then I wouldn’t miss him as much as I would have years ago.

  79. Arriba Wilver says:

    No scandal?

    O’Brien had yelled at Tom Brady!

  80. NMR says:

    I’ll be honest, you know I’m not a “football guy”. I never heard of James Franklin until about a week ago. I won’t say I was surprised to find out that Penn State would hire a coach that wasn’t white, but I do think that it is a good thing considering the relative diversity (lack there of) within the school.

    I don’t know if these people would think differently if he were a white man, but their behavior is certainly odd.

  81. bpn8pitt says:

    *vacated.

    Thats okay, though. Penn Staters seem to ignore that “rape” word.

  82. tpbco says:

    Just to add to the record….

    I’m a little closer to the facts, given that I am living near Houston.

    Don’t know McCombs from the man in the moon, but it has been reported down here that when he owned the San Antonio Spurs, he did have a black head coach – don’t follow the NBA at all so the name didn’t stick, but was apparently pretty well known. Also, when he owned the Vikings, his head coach was Dennis Green…which many complained he kept around way too long.

    It’s been my impression he was more butt hurt over not being “consulted” over who (he pushed hard for John Gruden), given his “billionare donor” status, rather than any other issue. The mind set down here is certainly one of…intitlement, if you donate 9 figures to dear old UT.

    JMO

  83. We can only hope that James Franklin is as clean as his supporters and the Assistant US Attorney General in Nashville claim he is, although two respected college sportswriters said this morning that Penn State should avoid him because of that rape scandal.

  84. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nobody’s “creating excuses.” As DK said in his column, it’s a “bold move” by Penn State. I personally agree with it, and Brennan’s out to lunch, but that’s different than creating excuses. It’s been an issue since the first time his name came up.

  85. tpbco says:

    Make that Entitlement….

  86. Jandy says:

    we knew what you meant :)

  87. Jandy says:

    If those two respected sportswriters are Christine Brennan and Dennis Dodd, better rethink that…

  88. Joni says:

    I like the connection between Maatta and Crosby and their work ethic. Just like Crosby asked Zatkoff for pointers on Tuesday’s shootout, Maatta asks for assistance after problematic games. How else are your going to get better and contribute more to your team?

    I wondered if Maatta was worried about the Olympics during during his dip in play (in addition to fatigue). I remember that Malkin’s play was less than fabulous when the Russian scouts came for a look-see. The good news is that Maatta seemed confident during play after he heard he made the Olympic team.

    It occurs to me now why I appreciate Maatta’s contributions so much, thanks in part to Josh Yohe’s article and Coach Reirdon’s comments. Maatta is completely in the moment; not overly worried about what is going to happen next and willing to shake off whatever negative thing that happened earlier. How rare. And not just for a hockey player.

  89. tpbco says:

    Could really care less who penn state hires. To me, the issue revolving around Frankin is more of timing, than anything he did or didn’t do or know, since the case has not been heard. A year from now he could very well be a great hire for them, but with the cloud of the rape case hanging over the situation, it does add an element of risk to the hire.

    Not sure he (or anybody else) is so good that it’s worth it to them…

  90. tpbco says:

    Either too much or not enouogh coffee….

  91. Jandy says:

    LOL not enuff :P

  92. theplanisworking says:

    Does make you wonder, huh?

  93. buggee says:

    I love how we’re collectively regarded by Mister DK as “Lunatics”. It’s cool to be a part of something.

    Us Lunatics have been given license to shower the PFHOF elecorial assembly with volley after volley of innumerable shuttlecocks if they don’t elect Jerome (Dancing Shoes) Bettis in. That man needs a bust in there. Please don’t make it lifesized though.

    Jonesing for hockey again. Shovel the driveway or watch hockey? clean up cat doo-doo or watch hockey? grill up some weiners and homemade chili in subzero weather or watch hockey? I can’t seem to multitask when it comes to watching hockey.

    Haven’t seen much on here about the Pitt hoops team. They’ve been entertaining to watch and might actually go somewhere this season. Wouldn’t that be a hoot(er) if they won the ACC? (Sorry Jandylicious).

    Happy new Year. Sorry, jet lag. Etch it then fill it with Japanese shuttlecocks.

  94. Jandy says:

    LOL buggee, you fellow Lunatic :P No need for sorries…hooters, shuttlecocks, or missionary trips, it’s all good, my friend :)

    By the way, you need to hook up with theplanisworking for hoops!

  95. Jandy says:

    Going to lunch in a few with hubby :)
    Catch you Loonies in a bit.

  96. Arriba Wilver says:

    There’s been quite a bit on Pitt hoops, but it’s kind of concentrated around the game threads and the day after Java’s. Especially since the ACC season opened.

  97. Penn State’s dilemma right now is that, naturally, the last thing PSU needs is that rape scandal Coach Franklin would bring with him, as opposed to the success that he’s brought to Vanderbilt, which that college hadn’t enjoyed in years.

  98. NMR says:

    Feel better about yourself now?

  99. Drew71 says:

    Well THAT didnt make sense.

    I was trying to say:

    “Penn State might have a home run in this guy.”

    What did that column have to do with baseball.

  100. Arriba Wilver says:

    I liked it better the first time.

  101. Milo Hamilton says:

    If you have a few minutes, I recommend this on the Vanderbilt rape case. No opinion here, just a recitation of the facts as known at the time.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/bobbyallyn/an-ugly-rape-case-involving-vanderbilts-football-team-could

  102. pattonbb says:

    well said, Jandy.

  103. bpn8pitt says:

    No, Nmr….To put this a better way… Penn State football, Bill Obrien, and now James Franklin, IMO opinion anyway, They are all overrated. Severely overrated. And in 5 years when Penn States a few years removed from punishment with their third coach removed from Joepa, after a couple of middling 7-8 win seasons, hopefully more people will realize it.

  104. NMR says:

    My goodness, that poor girl. I’ll never understand how people can dehumanize someone like that.

    Maybe I’m being obtuse, but what are they insinuating Franklin did wrong? All it says is that someone associaed with the victim believes Franklin saw the video.

  105. NMR says:

    Glad you have your priorities straight! Have a good day!

  106. Milo Hamilton says:

    The only accusation & it’s unsubstantiated, is that a player or players showed Franklin the video & he told them to delete it. Also, both sides have been trying to get texts & e-mails from Franklin, his coaches & the players in question from the time of the incident and have met a stone wall. Court documents have been filed in that matter. I also read that attorneys are working on a subpoena for Franklin today while he’s still currently employed in Nashville.

  107. Jandy says:

    Oh. My. Goodness.
    How vile. :(

  108. NMR says:

    Both sides? Your link seems to be saying that only the defense hasn’t been given access to texts by the authorites. I could be reading that wrong, though.

    I don’t want any part of the guy if he withheld information from authorities.

  109. Jandy says:

    indeed!

  110. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m assuming Penn State did the due diligence. That assumption could be wrong, though.

  111. NMR says:

    I mentioned that yesterday citing their work to uncover improprieties that led to one of their presidential candidates being fired from his previous employer.

    I would hope – hope – they have put the same level of effort into looking at their football coaching candidates.

    That being said, my alma mater has a long way to go before I change “hope” back to “trust”.

  112. Arriba Wilver says:

    Vandenburg sounds like a prince, huh? It was a girl he had been dating. And it appears it is his lawyer from California who seems to be doing the trying to smear everyone else including Franklin.

  113. Lad 9 says:

    I always thought he was a one trick pony (albeit a good one) to an extreme, in that he was not a complete player. He did not play the run well to my memory. Plus in the locker room he was an absolute nightmare – one of the biggest aholes to ever play sports IMHO – and no matter what the guidelines say, I can’t get around that.

  114. Jandy says:

    Indeed. I’d love to get my size 9 wides and stick them somewhere!

  115. Jandy says:

    Tell us how you REALLY feel! ;)
    Nice to see you Rad Lad!

  116. JoeyBats says:

    Great example Jim! ……………Brian Urlacher will NEVER….EVER….forget “The Bus” :-)

    Mr. Bettis belongs in the H of F…………..NOW.

  117. Jim S. says:

    Good point. He got to the QB and not much else.

  118. Lad 9 says:

    JANDY! How are you? Don’t know about you, but I am very ready for a great sports weekend (ready forany weekend actually). Got my kid’s high school game tonight, followed by the Pens, then going to Pitt – Wake Forest, the NFL, the Pens again, the NFL on Sunday and college hoops interspersed throughout. Awesome!

    Hope all is well in Altoona. Love that avatar of the granddaughter. I took one step closer to that – my little girl got engaged on Christmas Day!

  119. Jim S. says:

    Did you meet Carville at a Carvel, plan?

  120. NMR says:

    Sounds like DK had fun with today’s chat. I enjoyed it.

  121. JohninOshkosh says:

    The defense is doing its due diligence.

    Ask Governor Christie about e-mails. There’s gold in them deletions.

  122. Jim S. says:

    TV also. Except for Breaking Bad, I believe.

  123. Jandy says:

    I know I did too :)

  124. Jim S. says:

    There are several that I think we can all recite, tpb. But, aren’t they subject to criticism after the fact? I mean, aren’t they supposed to get them right in the first place, without being able to say “A lot of people would have done the same thing” when they don’t work out?

  125. Jim S. says:

    That is the only conclusion I can come up with for it, AW! :-)

  126. Arriba Wilver says:

    He also gave a shout out to Homeland, which I have to assume he didn’t see this year, because I’m a fan and this year pretty much sucked other than the last episode.

  127. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree again, Jim. We’re dopes, and we’re not getting paid for our opinions. These guys are getting paid to get it right, not to do what the fans or media would do or agree with.

  128. Jandy says:

    From the Pens’ website:

    MORNING SKATE INFO
    From the looks of the morning skate, Engelland will be on the fourth line as a winger. Also, Bortuzzo appears to be back in the lineup while either Maatta or Despres will be scratched. But none of that is official. The Penguins used the following workflow at their morning skate…

    Kunitz-Crosby-Gibbons
    Jokinen-Malkin-Neal
    Pyatt-Sutter-Glass
    Adams-Vitale-Engelland
    (Sill)

    Orpik-Bortuzzo
    Scuderi-Letang
    Maatta-Niskanen-Despres

  129. pattonbb says:

    ++++

  130. theplanisworking says:

    I have never been in a Carvel, Jim.

    Carnival? Yes.
    Caravan? Yes.
    Confused? Yes.

    Baskin-Robbins? Yes there too. ;)

  131. And now, it seems as if Vanderbilt wants James Franklin to stay, no doubt because of the success that he’s brought to that college in recent years, so we won’t know for sure until tomorrow what he’ll do.

  132. Dom says:

    My picks for this upcoming divisional round are as follows:
    Denver over San Diego.
    New England over Indy.
    San Francisco over Carolina.
    Seattle over New Orleans.

  133. Jim S. says:

    Thanks for providing it, Milo. Some of it wasn’t so easy to read.

    I’m not accusing Franklin of anything. But, I’m also not going to sing his praises until we know for sure that he handled everything correctly. I sure hope he did not view a video of a rape and then tell someone to delete it. I will trust him on that for now. Hopefully, the truth will come out.

    He may have thought his comment about needing to see a prospective Asst Coach’s wife to see if she is D-1 material before he gets hired doesn’t sound like the sort of comment that should just be laughed off. I’m no prude, but I think it suggests he might not have a great deal of respect for women. It was extremely insensitive, at the very least.

  134. Milo Hamilton says:

    Penn St. press conference is tomorrow at 4:15. Just like them to hide it while ____________________________ is going on.

  135. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, he seems like a real peach. Puts all his faith in God. Hopefully, justice will be served.

    If that young lady actually is continuing her education at Vanderbilt, she has a ton of courage.

  136. Wild Bill says:

    Just got very confused by Skip Bayless on ESPN’s First Take. He is a Vandy graduate. He said that he hopes James Franklin will stay at Vanderbilt. He also said that Penn State should not hire him, because someone with the sort of allegations that have been made about Franklin should not be hired by Penn State.

    So, if you have problems with the allegations against the guy, why do you still want him at Vanderbilt?

    I guess PSU should only hire Jandy, when she’s in her Mother Theresa alter ego.

    I’m confused.

  137. Jandy says:

    Amazing what you can do when you want to realize for your dreams. I applaud her!

  138. Dom says:

    What’s is also going on then?

  139. hockeymonster says:

    Does adams have to play in every game? We’ll need him in playoffs so why not give him a night off from blocking shots? Giving Sill a shot to see how he defends against some high draft picks could be beneficial, especially with game tomorrow night in calgary. And nice to see Engo at RW again. Bortuzzo with orpik will be like unleashing a caged animal. Hope he keeps his head while dropping the hammer. Seeing Despres and Maatta BOTH in lineup against oiler offense would be entertaining as well. Why not give Nisky a night off with back to back tomorrow?

  140. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Wild One, but I’d never make it at Penn State. The first one to p*ss me off would get my size 9 wides taken to them, and they’d fire me! ;)

  141. Milo Hamilton says:

    I prefer his brother the chef.

  142. Jandy says:

    All good questions!

  143. Bizrow says:

    Is Steve Pederson from Pitt helping PSU with this hiring??

    Just sayin…..

  144. Wild Bill says:

    Just a guess, but 4:15 allows for the contract approval in the morning, followed by the new coach flying to State in time for the presser?

  145. Wild Bill says:

    It really isn’t necessary to genuflect before the altar of the great NFL.

  146. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s a running Bucco gag. That’s why I put the blank, you can fill it in any way you want. By the way, water main break inside your old high school. Leaves me with a free Friday night.

  147. Wild Bill says:

    Sorry Milo, I’m even thicker than usual on my day off.

    How are the Rams this year, when the plumbing works?

  148. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s been a struggle since Rich Falter quit & Micah Mason graduated. They were 1-21 last year but things are looking up. They’ve already quadrupled last year’s win total. Have a make up at Valley tomorrow afternoon, always a good game.

  149. Wild Bill says:

    Used to be a dangerous game, in more ways than one.

  150. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ve made enough friends on both sides that I think I’m safe. And I went to Burrell. :)

  151. Wild Bill says:

    Burrell used to be smaller than both of them; now might be larger than both of them?

  152. Milo Hamilton says:

    In the middle. Highlands drops to AA on football next year. Probably Quad when you went there.

  153. Wild Bill says:

    Too bad pitchers wouldn’t let him sneak up on them.

  154. Wild Bill says:

    Wow, that’s quite a drop. We were quad a. Guess the economics of the area went bad big time.

  155. Jim S. says:

    I’ve never thought Skip makes a lot of sense.

  156. NMR says:

    Did you read his explanation on the wives comment?

    He used the old baseball scout logic! If a prospect has a good looking girl, it means he’s confident.

    Dumb? Obviously. But I don’t think it actually was directed at women.

  157. Jim S. says:

    I agree x 4, Dom.

  158. Jim S. says:

    I’m not so sure. I know where he says he was going with that comment, but it seems like pretty outdated thinking by 2014.

  159. Jim S. says:

    For sure! I hope she gets all the support she needs. Doesn’t sound as though she is letting anything stop her.

  160. NMR says:

    With a bow?! How is that even possible?

  161. NMR says:

    Oh, incredibly. And I highly doubt it is even accurate.

    Locker room mentality.

  162. Jim S. says:

    Vladimir Putin could answer that, I’m sure.

  163. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’ve got one of his menus signed by him from his Chicago restaurant. My wife and I went there for our fifteenth anniversary. He came out to our table and everything. Nice guy.

  164. tpbco says:

    FYI, great article on SI website….suggesting that Sidney Crosby, is in fact…..underated.

    I’m sure it’s a big hit in philly, boston and detroit.

  165. Jim S. says:

    Nice, Milo! I’ve met Rick also. He’s a good guy, and a great chef!

  166. Jim S. says:

    Ditto, Osh! My wife and I met him at the Kohler resort once. We stayed at the American Club one weekend. Wine and food tasting all weekend. My company had a sponsorship with Wine & Food Magazine, and I got to go. Bayliss was very personable.

  167. Jim S. says:

    Jameis Winston has moved on to FSU Baseball season. Slated to be Closer and DH.

    I wonder if he knows not everyone can get those last 3 outs. I know this because Mitch Williams says it at least 3x a week on MLB Network.

    That is all.

  168. Jim S. says:

    I wonder how many guys threaten to knock his teeth in if he says that about their wives.

  169. JohninOshkosh says:

    It’s like I always say, “Everyone has a good time in Wisconsin.”

  170. NMR says:

    Haha, great point.

  171. NMR says:

    Can he play SS? Or is it 1B now?

  172. BillyBaduka says:

    Thanks! I’ll check it out.

  173. BillyBaduka says:

    I don’t disagree that their cap is more of a mess than they let on.

    In their defense though, most of those big contracts were signed pre- (new) CBA.

    I think that they expected the cap to continue to rise, a reasonable expectation.

    While it may have been a bit short sighted to not realize that reducing the player’s share would result in a lower cap, I don’t think many, if any, thought the cap would be less in 2013 than it was in 2009.

    I’m not saying this gives them a pass but I do think that once they get out from under the pre CBA new contracts they will be fine from a cap and ability to bring guys in perspective.

  174. Jim S. says:

    Supposedly, they are saving his legs as much as possible by making him a DH.

    On MLB Radio the other night, they were saying he has a big league arm.

  175. Jim S. says:

    I always do. The people of WI are among the easiest to get along with and most courteous people anywhere in the Midwest. They remind me of the people of Indianapolis, where we lived for a couple of years.

 
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