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Breakfast with Benz

First call: Did Sidney Crosby spit on Evgeny Kuznetsov?

| Thursday, May 3, 2018, 8:09 a.m.
Sidney Crosby chats with Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Sidney Crosby chats with Evgeny Kuznetsov.

In today's "First Call," did Sidney Crosby actually do that? Also, Yoenis Cespedes puts some shine on the dirt, Ben Roethlisberger prepares to talk and more.


Did Sid spit?

Capitals fans are quick to criticize Penguins fans for hyper-analyzing the video of Tom Wilson's hits to find something illegal.

But apparently that's OK if you are looking to see if Sidney Crosby spit at Evgeny Kuznetsov in a post-whistle argument.

If Crosby did that, it's disgusting, and Crosby should be disciplined. But I need better video than this. As the link points out, I need visual evidence of the "Seinfeld" magic loogie before I convict Sid of spitting.

Also, Crosby has been in the league 12 years. And unlike Wilson's head-hunting, he doesn't have a spitting history. If Sid were to have spit, don't you think he would've done it to someone more worthy of receiving the spittle by now? Someone such as Zac Rinaldo or Scott Hartnell or Zdeno Chara after he punched him in his broken jaw during the 2013 playoffs?

Then again, maybe it was hard to spit with the broken jaw that had just been punched.


From Fuente

Here's an interesting watch from Steelers.com. It's Virginia Tech Coach Justin Fuente. He's doing a full skype sit down interview with Missi Matthews of the team website to talk about first-round pick Terrell Edmunds .

Two major talking points:

He's a good communicator who isn't going to get lost in the defense. That's good. Because if you are like me, you are sick to death of the "communication error" excuse for why the Steelers secondary is blowing big plays all over the field

Second, he's versatile. Fuente discusses how Edmunds is capable of playing either safety spot, either corner spot or linebacker.

Or, as he referred to it, "On the corner, on the roof, or in the alley."

That is some class-A, old-fashioned, authentic frontier football gibberish right there!


Big Ben speaks

Ben Roethlisberger plans to speak about offseason issues such as free agency and the draft.

Specifically the drafting of Mason Rudolph as his perceived successor.

He'll do so on 93.7 FM at noon Friday.

I'll be interested to see if he has made contact with Mason Rudolph yet. It had been reported that they hadn't spoken yet.

Let's hope we avoid the high-school-sophomore-girls "who is going to call who?" nonsense we saw when Todd Haley got hired.

James Washington, the Steelers' second-round wide receiver pick, said he got a call from Roethlisberger shortly after he got drafted. But he missed the call.

Oops. That's a good way to get frozen out of the offense.

Washington then texted Ben back and said they eventually spoke.


More kickoff madness

The NFL continues its illogical obsession with changing the kickoff.

The brains behind the game are meeting May 21-23, and this will be a topic once more.

It's as if the NFL thinks that by paying this much attention to the kickoff, it will assure itself that no one will ever sue the league over a concussion again.

But I suppose this is encouraging. At least rulemakers are coming up with ways to change the kickoff so that the play itself will remain, but in a different form.

That's an improvement over ditching it all together; as if we are playing pickup touch football on Saturday afternoons in the park.

Via ESPN, here are some ideas , all of which seem to center around the notion of making the kickoff safer, al a punts.

• Coverage teams would lose the 5-yard head start they previously had.

• Five players would need to be aligned on each side of the kicker.

• All wedge blocks, including two-man double teams, would be eliminated.

• Eight of the 11 return-team members would be lined up within 15 yards of the restraining line, and blocking would be prohibited within those 15 yards.

• There would be no pre-kick motion.

• Onside kick rules would remain largely unchanged.

That last one makes me laugh. Since few plays are more dangerous than an onside kick. But as we all know, pandering toward player safety is nothing when compared to pandering toward gamblers.

The gamblers will watch games until the bitter end based on meaningless point spreads, and that boosts TV ratings.


Cespedes' bling

We showed you Yoenis Cespedes in First Call a few days ago when he plugged a homer into a garbage can.

Now look at what happened on this slide into second base.

Are those actual diamonds all over the infield?

I tend to agree with the play-by-play team here. I don't think Asdrubal Cabrera was cleaning up the diamonds to make sure Cespedes got his bling back. Those things could cause a wicked bad hop!

And how about the fact that Cespedes gets a new chain, and then goes out and plays again with it anyway?!


She said yes

But how did he say yes?

Forget how this dude got this girl to marry him. How did he get Justin Thomas in on this proposal?

I need the back-story here. That's not the only time recently we've seen athletes get in on the proposal game .

The Bengals and Browns should get in on this act. It's the closest any of their players will come to a ring.


How'd he do that?

Donovan Mitchell continues to be one of the biggest stories in the NBA.

If you missed it, you've got to see this dunk he put back after his own miss.

Mitchell came to an awkward position after a Euro-step miss, and from a dead stop just rises back up for a tip slam of his own miss.

I'm not sure I've ever seen a dunk quite like that one before. That was unique and remarkably athletic.

Utah beat Houston in the game and evened their Western Conference semifinal series at one game apiece.

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