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First call: Jerome Bettis dishes on Antonio Brown drama; Pittsburgh loves Pro Bowl

Tim Benz
AP18281740866855
Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, right, participates in the NFL Crucial Catch cancer awareness event before an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

“First Call” for Wednesday features a state of the Steelers from Jerome Bettis, a soccer assault, Pitt problems and Pro Bowl ratings that were stunningly high in Pittsburgh.


The Bus on A.B.

On Fox, Steelers great Jerome Bettis referred to the 2018 club as a disappointment. He described it as a “championship-caliber team” that “imploded.”

He’s right about that. He’s also right when he says that everyone from the coach to the players to the management are “complicit” in what went wrong, and that each branch of the team needs to work together to find a solution.

It’s the “how” part that the Bus doesn’t exactly clarify, though.

The Hall of Famer also claims he’s holding out hope that the Antonio Brown situation can get worked out so he can see A.B. retire as a Steeler.

Good luck with all that.


Pittsburgh loves the Pro Bowl

Speaking of being part of the problem and not the solution, that was me on Sunday.

Blame me in part for some of these numbers. I watched the fourth quarter of the Pro Bowl. So I contributed toward some of these gaudy Pittsburgh TV ratings for the event.

Only Kansas City — presumably watching to of make sure Patrick Mahomes didn’t get hurt — had more eyeballs on the television watching that dog-and-pony show than Pittsburgh did.

I’ll defend myself by saying at least I only watched it to mock it Monday. I see that as my civic duty.


‘Sincere’ attempt

It looks like Duquesne freshman star point guard Sincere Carry will attempt to play tonight against Rhode Island. He had his knee drained after sitting out the VCU game Saturday.

Carry was missed. The Dukes had their five-game winning streak snapped in an 80-74 loss. They committed 17 turnovers. Backup point guard Brandon Wade was scoreless with three turnovers in a spot start. Tavian Dunn-Martin scored 21 points off the bench.

Head coach Keith Dambrot says Carry is “doing better” but “isn’t out of the woods yet.” Carry practiced Tuesday. URI comes in with a 4-3 conference record in the A-10. The Dukes are 5-2, tied with VCU for third place. George Mason leads the conference at 7-1.

The Rams and Dukes tip off at 7 p.m. on AT&T SportsNet.


Crashing back to Earth?

After Pitt’s upset of Florida State on Jan. 14, a lot of people started to get excited about a Panthers turnaround.

But since then, the Panthers have lost four straight games by an average of 13.5 points. Last night, they fell to Clemson, 82-69.

Xavier Johnson was fantastic, though. The Panthers guard scored 30 on 10-of-14 shooting.

Up next, Pitt hosts Syracuse Saturday at 6 p.m. The Orange just got smoked as well, losing 78-56 at Virginia Tech. They visit Boston College tonight.


That’s using your head

Using your head in soccer is nothing new. But this isn’t how you are supposed to do it.

That’s Giancarlo Favarin. He manages Lucchese, an Italian third-tier club. That dispute was after a match against Alessandria on Sunday.

The head butt thrown by Favarin was against an Alessandria assistant coach. The Guardian reported he also told a player to break the legs of opposing players.

Favarian has been suspended for five months.