PITTSBURGH - Here's the real mystery of the Todd Graham situation:
Why did Arizona State want him so badly?
He went 6-6 with Pitt, alienated fans to the point that empty seats outnumbered the ones that were occupied and proceeded to blame everything on players who just weren't smart or good enough to execute his genius plans.
Then he went behind the backs of his employers and bolted without notice, dumping a job less than a year after he signed a five-year contract.
He quit on the team via email, then refused the answer his phone when anyone from Pitt called.
When a Pitt operative finally knocked on his door, he yelled at the guy to get off his porch and slammed the door.
This is a guy you want running your program?
The scenario brings back memories of a guy whose marriage ended when he took up with another woman.
After 15 years of happiness, he dumped that wife and took up with yet another woman.
Wife No. 2 was weepy about these developments when a friend reminded her: That's how you got him.
The only surprise here is why Arizona State was so anxious to hire Graham.
In a profession filled with contract jumpers who operate with a loose-leaf book of ethics, he's an especially dubious operator.
What makes this even worse is apparently the university president led the charge to hire Graham at ASU.
Who knows, maybe Graham will settle in for a productive long stay at ASU.
But the people there shouldn't be surprised if he suddenly packs his bags and leaves one day.
That's how they got him.
Missing the message
Figuring there are about 22 defensive players per the 32 NFL teams, that means there are more than 700 players making their living playing a defensive position.
Yet James Harrison is one of the few who constantly winds up in trouble with the NFL.
That could mean there's a conspiracy. More likely, it means Harrison either doesn't understand the rules or can't function within them.
Either way, this is now a critical matter for the Steelers.
His penalties aren't just taking money out of Harrison's pocket, they're now taking away one of the team's best players.
Joe Lonnett, who passed away recently, was a baseball man.
That may sound basic, but he would be flattered by the term. He spent a good part of his life in the game and earned the respect and friendship of his peers.
He not only served the Pirates well as a coach, he touched the lives of the players he supervised.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org