U mad, bro? Penguins, Steelers, horse-racing fans air frustrations | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

U mad, bro? Penguins, Steelers, horse-racing fans air frustrations

Tim Benz
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin waits to take the ice during the third period of a game against the Montreal Canadiens.

In “U mad, bro?” this week, Pens fans pop off about a lack of toughness and too much trade talk. People sure are touchy about the Kentucky Derby. And some Steelers fans want to pretend Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown no longer exist.

Bob is boiling down all the Penguins’ problems to the good ol’ “they don’t fight enough” analysis.

“The problem with the Pens is a superstar like (Evgeni) Malkin should not have to defend himself and fight, etc. When (Robert) Bortuzzo whacked him late in the year, there was no retaliation by any Pens. They do not stand up for each other. Since (Ryan) Reaves left every team takes liberties with the Pens’ stars. (General Manager Jim) Rutherford needs to retire and hand the club to a GM in waiting. He did some good. But now it’s time to let someone else run the club.”

So you’re saying Rutherford needs to retire when he’s the one who went out and got Reaves in the first place?

Remember, Rutherford was the one who wanted Reaves for exactly the reasons you point out. It was the head coach who decided to never play Reaves.

It sounds like you are blaming the wrong guy. I’d also argue that fretting over a lack of fighting is silly. In fact, they had no real enforcers on the 2016 and 2017 playoff rosters when they won Stanley Cup titles.

A.J. responded to one of my posts discussing the prospect of an Evgeni Malkin trade. He doesn’t think a lot of change is necessary for the Penguins.

A.J., your diagnosis is sound. But I question your treatment.

You are right. The Penguins were stubborn and lazy. And they don’t play with patience and structure.

At least that’s what the coach and general manager said. And I agree with them.

But those are the reasons Rutherford and Mike Sullivan are considering change in the first place. Because the players in question— Malkin, Phil Kessel and Kris Letang — simply won’t change their tactics.

They have been asked to do so a million times. And they just won’t do it.

That’s why roster reconstruction isn’t being deemed “overreaching” by the front office of late.

George did not like my comparison between the Kentucky Derby result and the NFL pass-interference rule change.

“Let me explain this to you slowly … Administering a penalty (which has been part of horse racing for many, many decades) AFTER THE RACE IS OVER, is not ‘exactly’ what the NFL is doing. The NFL is reviewing things DURING the game, not after it is over.”

George, if you are going to write condescendingly, you should at least be accurate.

• When I wrote “after the fact,” that isn’t referring to the end of an NFL game. It’s referring to the end of an NFL play.

• I referenced in the article that replay basically began with horse racing with photo finishes.

• While not in the article, I also said on KDKA-TV that administering penalties in horse racing is nothing new to the sport.

Have I explained this slowly enough to you?

Cathy is all twisted up about the Kentucky Derby.

If you are going to have that reaction, Cathy, might I suggest simply not watching? That’s how I used to watch the Pro Bowl. So that’s why I stopped watching it.

That and the Pro Bowl is a dreadful, sinfully poor impersonation of a football game.

And as far as “the rule,” what rule are you talking about? The rule that was enforced with the replay at the end of the race was written in the name of safety. The more the horses stay in their lanes, the safer the race. So I don’t grasp your complaint.

Unless you are suggesting that the rule that allows horse racing — in any form — should be abolished. And if that’s your argument, I’m going to have to save that for another column.

So I’ll say “neighhhhhhh” to that for now.

I can’t help myself sometimes.

These guys didn’t like my columns on Richie Incognito joining Antonio Brown in Oakland and Le’Veon Bell skipping out on Jets’ off-season workouts.

Incognito worked out Monday afternoon. The story ran Tuesday morning. How is that “old?”

I’m probably going cover the NFL. You OK with that? Contrary to what the Jets have tried to make you believe, they are still a member club within the league.

Look, guys. I get what you are trying to do. This is the old codger, Stiller-fan “if they ain’t here in Picksburgh no more, they is dead to me” routine.

But save it. The Bell story was the most read sports story of the day yesterday and both were in the top-10 of our website overall.

What Brown and Bell do, good or bad, gets reaction. And their departure will be a storyline all season regardless of you pretending to be disinterested.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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