PITTSBURGH - Forgive, forget? You bet we do.
You may recall last winter's headlines about a Pittsburgh Steelers player who had gotten into some trouble in a college town in Georgia.
He was not charged with a crime, but there was a police investigation and credible reports of some unseemly behavior.
The angry prosecutor in Georgia advised the player to "grow up."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a six-game suspension for violation of the league's personal conduct policy.
The suspension was later reduced to four games.
The player made an effort to change his behavior and rehabilitate his image, and it's apparently worked.
The controversy unfolded in March. This is November.
Last week, there were half-page newspaper ads for a series of $9.99 Christmas ornaments that feature Steelers players.
One of the players is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, whose history is referenced above.
Back in March, some people wanted to hang Roethlisberger, but not from the Christmas tree.
One week after widespread griping that the NFL was taking toughness out of the game, three Steelers players left the field in Cincinnati with concussions.
Guess the Bengals didn't get that memo that it was now just glorified flag football.
There's an uncomfortable feeling that Monday night's victory in Cincinnati will be the turning point of the Steelers season.
The loss of tackle Max Starks to a season-ending neck injury is devastating to an offensive line that was already thin.
With back-ups manning too many positions, the Steelers won't be able to run the ball as well as they have, and they won't be able to adequately protect Roethlisberger on a consistent basis.
The second half of the schedule is going to represent a significant challenge.
Coach Mike Tomlin is fond of saying the standard remains the same.
It does, but it's unlikely the performance level will remain the same.
John Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.