PITTSBURGH - Here's a little midweek news and commentary:
n Hines Ward signs on for "Dancing With The Stars."
Well, that's one type of off-season training.
Ward isn't long and lean like a lot of dancers, but he has some moves. It's also guaranteed that he'll put in the practice/rehearsal time to make sure he's ready for the cameras.
If nothing else, this shows the kind of crossover fame some Steelers have.
The show has included football players in the past - Jerry Rice, Emmit Smith, Jason?Taylor,?Warren?Sapp - but they're always players whose names are known to those who aren't necessarily big football fans.
One thing is certain: You know that he'll be smiling throughout his part of the competition.
If he can get up from teeth-rattling hits with a smile on his face, dancing should be easy.
n Matt Clement coaches Butler High School to the WPIAL basketball playoffs.
Clement was a major league pitcher for several teams, most notably the Chicago Cubs.
He's a Butler native who always came home in the winter and always planned to raise his family there.
He played basketball in high school and hoped to catch on as a junior high coach.
Instead, he wound up with the varsity job in a large school district.
You wonder if this won't happen with more retired players.
There was a time when former players had to get on with new careers after they were done playing.
These days, a lot of players retire with piles of money and lifetime financial security.
They don't need to work, but they're too young and competitive to stay at home and just run the van pool for their kids.
Clement seems to have found the ideal part-time job.
Maybe other ex-players will take a similar path.
n Arena Football season opens next week.
The Pittsburgh Power have found local radio and TV outlets, which is an important first step.
Having the games broadcast exposes the product and gives the games a sense of importance.
The TV broadcasts should help hook some casual fans who are looking for something to do between Steelers seasons.
n MLB loans the New York Mets $25 million.
The owners of the Mets were snared in the Bernie Madoff scandal.
Next thing anyone knew, they announced part of the team was up for sale. Then they borrowed some money from MLB rather than a bank.
This has raised some suspicions, and it should.
For most of us, $25 million is a fortune. But it isn't that much relative to a major league franchise in the largest market.
Are the Mets have problems paying their bills?
There could be something big happening here.
John Mehno can be reached at email@example.com.