PITTSBURGH - Bill Cowher won a Super Bowl coaching his hometown team, but he's never been as beloved as he is now.
Cowher is the object of nationwide lust among fans who are unhappy with the guy coaching their favorite team.
In no less than four cities - Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit and San Diego - fans have started ''hire Cowher'' websites.
Funny, they used to have websites for him in Pittsburgh, but they weren't nearly as cheerful.
In fact, the local sentiment for Cowher was probably best expressed by a caller to the Nightly Sports Call, who couldn't understand the demand for a guy who won ''only one'' Super Bowl in 15 years on the job.
Ah, the citizens of the Steelers Nation are a spoiled bunch.
Only one Super Bowl? That plays just fine in Detroit, where the Lions can't even win one game this season.
Marv Levy and Bud Grant are in the Hall of Fame without ever winning a Super Bowl.
As much as some fans live in the past, some still don't fully appreciate what happened with the Steelers in the 1970s, and how special a time it was.
They had six years of great drafting (1969-74) that led to six great years on the field (1974-79). When that group of players started scattering, the Steelers were an average team with some really bad years mixed in.
Chuck Noll's record was 93-91 after the last Super Bowl victory, with four playoff appearances in 12 seasons.
It's even tougher to win in the salary cap era, because successful teams break up as players climb the pay scale.
Since the cap system was implemented, only New England's Bill Belichick has won the Super Bowl multiple times.
''Only one'' Super Bowl earns scorn in Pittsburgh, It might get a statue in Cleveland.
Taking a chance
The Pirates had a rare moment in the national spotlight last week by signing two pitchers from India.
Righthander Dinesh Patel and lefty Rinku Singh, both baseball novices, signed after they showed enough raw ability to merit a chance to learn the craft.
Reports say it cost $10,000 or less to get each player to sign a deal.
General manager Neil Huntington would sign an Eskimo if he could play and fit in the budget.
It's a low-risk move for the Pirates, and it will probably come with low reward.
Still, what's wrong with taking a chance? The science of scouting yielded flops like Chad Hermansen, Bryan Bullington and John Van Benschoten, and their combined signing bonuses were $7.55 million.
Huntington reasons that since India has three million males between 16 and 24, there must be a pitcher among them.
Those odds keep people buying Powerball tickets every week.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.