The Trib and Post Gazette tug of war

I like to consider Pittsburgh a “big city” when it comes to sports. We have professional teams in 3 of the big 4 sports (Please stay away NBA) and multiple nationally recognized sports programs amongst our universities. Why is it that with 2 newspapers we can’t read decent coverage of hockey? Not since Dejan Kovacevic have hockey fans had someone reliable to turn to for news that truly cared about the sport and it’s fan base.

In today’s editions of The Post Gazette and the Tribune Review we have 2 writers who cover hockey. Rob Rossi, who gets thrown under the Free Candy van on a regular basis, and Dave Molinari who writes as much as he needs to get by to collect a check. The story was on Ryan Malone playing for Tampa this season after spending his career in Pittsburgh.

Trib: Malone says Penguins showed ‘no love’
Post Gazette: Malone has no harsh feelings

Dave: “He doesn’t hold it against the Penguins that they didn’t offer him a contract rivaling the seven-year, $31.5 million deal he signed with Tampa Bay in late June, but he also doesn’t have any misgivings about the chain of events that led him to the Lightning.”

Rob: “I’m sure a deal could have been done a long time ago,” said Malone, who in late June sent a two-word text message to the Tribune-Review that read “no love.”

“To me, that’s what I think,” Malone said yesterday. “Being from (Pittsburgh), you have a lot of pride pulling that jersey on. To not get a serious offer was kind of weird. I just figured they had other plans. It was easier to move on then than if something was closer … to happening.”

WTF? Are you freaking kidding me? Either Ryan has a severe personality disorder or someone wasn’t doing their job and my money is on Dave for that one. We have 2 articles on the same topic telling 2 completely different stories. Dave’s piece reads as a quick blurb thrown together of all quotes while trying to catch a plane. Rob’s article is packed full with Malone stats and quotes from various members of the Penguins. In other words, Rob put in an effort and Dave, a graduate of the Bob Smizik School of Bullshit, half assed it. I probably wouldn’t be so critical if this wasn’t a common occurrence between the 2 papers.

I get that Pittsburgh is a “football town” and WPXI can’t start a broadcast without an update on Hines Ward’s emotional state but people we have the greatest hockey market in the NHL! The Pens sold out every home game last season and yet local print media doesn’t seem to care as long as a picture of Sid appears with a Steeler close by. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Steelers, but there needs to be balance to the insanity of Yinzer Nation.

Sites such as The Pens Blog and Faceoff-Factor are engaging hockey fans who are fed up with bush league reporting and are ready to call you on it. The days of just showing up for a period or 2 and catching the rest on TV are gone. The groups who write for these sites are passionate and knowledgeable about the sport. They don’t care what Sid is looking for in a woman, they want to know why Max may be walking with a limp and who’s going to man the 3rd line.

There is absolutely no reason Pittsburgh can’t produce a national authority on hockey. It’s time our local bloggers get respect for doing the jobs that print is failing at.