PITTSBURGH - Picking through the Super Bowl leftovers:
n The Green Bay Packers won the game.
You knew that Sunday night from the final score, but the point here is the Packers won. They earned it. The Steelers didn't lose the game.
The Packers are a quality team and they played well.
The deserved the championship.
It's standard procedure for fans to look for scapegoats and there's no question the Steelers made mistakes.
But the Lombardi trophy is in Green Bay because the Packers earned it.
n The 52-yard field goal attempt was a terrible decision.
Because the game was indoors, the kicking conditions were ideal.
But it was also apparent that the Steelers were having problems stopping the Packers.
In that context, it wasn't smart to give them the ball close to midfield.
The prudent thing to do there was punt and pin them deep. Every yard mattered, and the Steelers gave the Packers too many yards when Shaun Suisham missed the kick.
n The missing seat snafu is a rare misstep for the NFL.
It's the kind of horrible mistake you'd expect from a lesser league, like the NHL.
The NFL knew there was a chance those seats wouldn't be ready, but they sold them anyway.
They could have waited and released the "extra" seats just before game time if they were ready. There would have been buyers.
Instead, the NFL sold them on the theory that they would probably be available.
They weren't, and the NFL has to confront a major public relations blunder.
There could also be some lawsuits.
The NFL has some explaining to do about this.
n The labor issue looms.
I might be in the minority in thinking this will be settled, and the results will be a system very similar to the one in place now.
The NFL isn't a league in trouble. The NHL shut down for an entire season because it had to.
There's plenty of money for everyone in pro football. It's just a question of how it's going to be divided.
There will be pressure from the federal government to get a deal done.
The NFL is big business that generates a lot of ancillary money.
There are huge stakes here, and a lot of reasons to make sure the 2011 season starts on time.
n Doug Legursky gets a passing grade as a starting center.
Maybe the silver lining in Maurkice Pouncey's injury is discovering the Legursky can handle a bigger role on an offensive line that needs help?
It's only a small sample, but his work offered promise.
n The Steelers start preparing for another season.
The priorities in player acquisition should be: 1. Secondary, 2. Offensive line and 3. Defensive line.
That won't be easy from the 31st spot in the draft.
That's the price of success, even when it comes up a game short.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org