Kovacevic: Think you can write columns?


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Sergei Gonchar playfully bumps Evgeni Malkin during a playoff skate in Uniondale, N.Y. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

No one calls City Hall to say the sanitation engineers did a swell job of collecting the trash, right?

Similarly, a sports writer's column -- meaning an opinion piece, for those unfamiliar with the small-j journalism term -- tends to solicit, oh, nine critical reactions for each one offering praise. That's just how it goes. Disagreement always will spark stronger emotion than agreement.

So, on that note ... it's my turn to bash you!

Let's call this Reverse-Grind, to borrow from the comic book lexicon: I'll put forth the 10 bullet-point questions below, on an array of topics, and your job is to tackle just one and address it in comments below. Identify the question you've chosen by the number. Use your own voice, do your own research, build your own case as best you can.

Afterward -- and insert all requisite smiley-faces here -- I'll go through and tell everyone why they're a moron or ask if they "watched the same game I did" or wonder out loud if they've ever lifted a weight or played a sport in their lazy life. And if I'm really feeling it, I might even ask whether you're secretly best buds with a certain player or about all the other various personal agendas that influence your writing.

Or, hey, I might like it, too.

Repeating this, now in bold: Just one! Please!

Oh, man. Can't wait.

Let's go ...

1. Aside from Bob Nutting selling the franchise, which isn't happening, what would be the single most impactful move the Pirates could make to become a bona fide World Series contender by, say, 2022?

2. Now that the Steelers addressed inside linebacker, cornerback and wide receiver -- twice over, actually, through both free agency and the draft -- which would be the position most in need of an upgrade or depth by the start of the season?

3. If you were Sergei Gonchar, sitting at a Moscow bar this summer and sipping vodka with Evgeni Malkin, what would be your primary advice for Geno?

4. If the Rays called the Pirates and offered one of Tyler Glasnow or Austin Meadows in a trade for Chris Archer, what would be Neal Huntington's response? Not yours but his.

5. The Steelers send their starting offensive 11 onto field. That includes, obviously, Ben Roethlisberger, James Conner, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Vance McDonald, Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster, David DeCastro and Alejandro Villanueva. Pick the other three players and explain.

6. If you were omnipotent dictator of the NHL, who'd get a stiffer suspension for this Charlie McAvoy head shot on Josh Anderson last night in Columbus: McAvoy himself or the four officials who claimed not to see it, yet still, somehow, assessed a two-minute minor?

7. Attendance is gradually dropping across all professional sports, yet viewership and general interest have never been higher. Other than simply winning or anything competition-related, what's the smartest thing teams could do to pull fans away from their TVs and into stadiums or arenas?

8. Which has a better chance of coming to Pittsburgh someday: Major League Soccer or the NBA?

9. The greatest player in the Pirates' history was Honus Wagner, as historians will almost universally agree. The greatest player in the Penguins' history, beyond dispute, was Mario Lemieux. Does Joe Greene deserve more acclaim as the Steelers' greatest?

10. Ten years from now, I'll be reading pointless non-columns like this on ... what type of device?

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