PITTSBURGH - The only thing Pittsburgh Steelers fans enjoy as much as rooting for their favorite team is worrying about their favorite team.
Last week the Steelers impressively beat a successful New England team, yet a guy called the post-game TV show to nitpick some aspect of Ben Roethlisberger's game.
Being a Steelers fan is never being truly happy. There's always some reason for concern.
In that spirit, and in deference to the free time built in by tonight's late kickoff and the annual autumn clock change, here's something to ponder:
The Steelers' inactive list in recent weeks has included some very familiar names:
James Farrior, Hines Ward, James Harrison, Casey Hampton, Chris Hoke and Chris Kemoeatu, to name a half dozen.
Could this be a preview of a heavy roster overhaul for next season, win or lose?
As back-ups play and show the staff what they can do, are the proverbial skids greased for veterans in an inevitable payroll purge?
Ward still serves a purpose, but it's not one that's worth the $4.6 million salary he's getting this year.
Ward is the fourth or fifth option on a lot of pass plays, but he's still being paid like a star.
The issue isn't whether the Rooneys have the money, but rather whether the Steelers can afford a big cap hit from a player whose role is diminishing every week.
Younger and cheaper is always better in a cap system, and the Steelers are well-equipped to move forward without Ward and some other veterans.
When the time came to disassemble the teams of the 1970s, sentiment got in the way.
The salary cap doesn't allow for sentiment, so cold decisions will be made.
But first, it's OK to worry about how that patchwork offensive line matches up against Terrell Suggs tonight.
Grounding the Flyers?
The NHL is proposing realignment that separates the Penguins from the Philadelphia Flyers.
Is the Penguins success working against them? The NHL knows the Penguins sell out every game, no matter if their opponent is the Flyers or Nashville.
Constant sellouts are the rule in Philadelphia, too.
Pitt's basketball team beat LaRoche, 101-33, last week.
It was the sorriest LaRoche performance since Andy hit .206 for the Pirates a couple of years ago.
Mehno can be reached at: email@example.com