PITTSBURGH - Midweek news and commentary:
n Hines Ward is still winning on "Dancing With The Stars."
And people think the NFL season is too long.
I haven't watched the show and don't plan to, but it's good that Ward is staying busy (and staying in shape) during the NFL lockout.
He recently made an appearance with Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show," which only adds to his crossover fame.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Ward get some national commercials out of this.
The "DWTS" audience is not the usual Sunday afternoon NFL audience, so he has wide appeal.
That smile makes him a natural to pitch someone's product.
Expect to see more, not less, of Ward even as the NFL remains idle.
* The NFL lockout continues to be contested in court.
I said it from the start and I have no reason to change my opinion:
I believe the NFL season will start on time.
There's no public outrage now because the NFL is in hibernation at this time of year anyway.
Sure, people follow the draft and mini-camp, but none of those activities measures up to a full weekend slate of games.
If that becomes an issue, the pressure will be intense to get some games on TV and in the stadiums.
The pressure will come in part from the federal government. Times are tough enough with a bad economy and gas at $4 a gallon.
People need distractions, and America loves the NFL.
* Sidney Crosby is not working out.
It's May. Don't worry about it.
If he's still not working out in August, then there's a problem.
This is his time to recover and get back to normal so he can tackle training camp in September.
Meanwhile, it looks like the Tampa Bay Lightning was no fluke.
* Kansas City Royals reliever Vin Mazzaro was charged with 14 runs in less than three innings of a 19-1 loss to Cleveland.
In that kind of blowout, a manager will usually surrender and use a non-pitcher to mop up.
Trouble was, Mazzaro was in the game in the third inning and there was too much to mop up.
Oh well, look at the bright side: If he has about 30 scoreless appearances, he can get his earned run average back to a respectable number.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org