Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



I’ve got to learn to say dumb stuff on the radio. 

I already do, sometimes. But I’ve got to do it more. 

This is no knock on anyone who does. It’s praise. Dumb stuff said on the radio starts conversation. It makes the job easier. 

Recent prime examples include: 

*Aaron Rodgers will come to the Steelers as a free agent next season because he talked nice about Mike Tomlin on Pat McAfee’s satellite radio show.

There is zero chance that Rodgers ever plays for the Steelers. The Steelers aren't close enough to a Super Bowl to suit Rodgers' purposes. But the notion gets people talking. (Rodgers isn't leaving Green Bay.)

*The Steelers should give Dwayne Haskins a shot at QB.

No, the Steelers should cut Haskins. He’s a bum who got released by Washington less than two years after being their first-round draft pick. He half-assed warmups this past Sunday, lobbing throws and constantly checking his phone even though he plays if Mason Rudolph gets hurt. There is not one logical reason to give Haskins even a single snap. But the notion gets people talking. 

*Fenway Sports Group is buying the Penguins. They own the Boston Red Sox, too. The Red Sox traded mega-star Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ergo, FSG is likely to trade Sidney Crosby.

Right, because the first thing FSG wants to do is mangle their relationship with Penguins fans. No chance Crosby gets traded (unless he asks). But the notion gets people talking. 

To repeat: I’m not knocking. It works. 

So, here’s my entry: 

*FSG relies on star power and global branding, as displayed by their ownership of Liverpool Football Club. So, to that end, they will finagle a name superstar to the Penguins. 

Which name superstar? Take your pick. Edmonton hasn’t won with Connor McDavid. Toronto hasn’t won with Auston Matthews. Colorado hasn’t won with Nathan MacKinnon. Sooner or later, somebody’s going to be unhappy. Something’s got to give. The Penguins are a destination franchise.

Now, all that is utter crap, much like the idea of Crosby being traded to Colorado, the mantra of TNT’s Paul Bissonnette. 

But if it sounds quasi-logical, go with it. (This technique has largely replaced actual reporting in the oeuvre of many sports “journalists.”)

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images.

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