PITTSBURGH - Troy Polamalu called his wife from the Pittsburgh Steelers sideline last week, which cost him a $10,000 fine from the NFL.
This means his October cell phone tab will be somewhere around the amount the average text-happy teenager runs up.
Polamalu called home to assure his wife he was OK after leaving the game with concussion-like symptoms.
Although the NFL has systems in place that allow the sideline to communicate with players and the coaches booth, electronic equipment is otherwise banned.
Before the fine was announced, coach Mike Tomlin pleaded for common sense to prevail.
That failed, and Polamalu's take-home pay will reflect the cost of being a responsible husband.
The craziest thing about this is he's the one guy who could easily conceal a Bluetooth in his hair.
Sometimes it just doesn't pay to be honest.
Off the clock
There was much hand-wringing over the revelation that some Boston Red Sox pitchers - rumored to be Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey -?were in the clubhouse drinking beer and eating take-out chicken during games.
You can blast them for the beer, but how could they resist a fresh box of Popeye's, especially during one those five-hour Red Sox-Yankees games?
One of the great things about being a starting pitcher is having little to do in the four days between starts.
A lot of pitchers have taken advantage of that down time long before the Red Sox chilled their first six pack.
There's a story in Pirates lore about a pitcher who was relaxing between starts.
A game went extra innings and the Pirates were running short of pitchers. Manager Chuck Tanner sent word that the pitcher should be ready for emergency duty.
The pitcher hadn't been in the dugout, so the assumption was that he was in the clubhouse or the bullpen.
Wrong on both counts. He was on Mount Washington, waiting for the post-game fireworks display.
The pitcher knew what North Side traffic patterns were like, so he'd left early and headed for the best vantage point for the fireworks.
He was fined when management found out, but he'd gotten away with it many times.
The locked out NBA claims only eight of its 30 teams made money last season.
Either someone's lying, or a salary cap system isn't the cure-all a lot of people think it is.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org