Steelers fans have to choose

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Steelers fans have to pick their poison in the Super Bowl. Which choice is less offensive:

n Watching the San Francisco 49ers claim their sixth Lombardi trophy, tying the Steelers’ total, or:

n Watching Ray Lewis end his career with the Baltimore Ravens by winning a championship? (You know he’ll dance if that happens).

Tough one, isn’t it?

Some hardcores are swearing they won’t even watch the game, but that’s hard to believe. It should be a really good match-up and it’s the last game of the season, too. It’s a long way until September.

Whatever happens on Super Bowl Sunday, there will be no joy in Steelers Nation.

Avoid the hype

If you’ve already had your fill of Ray Lewis retirement stories and the saga of the coaching Harbaugh brothers, the solution is simple.

Avoid ESPN for the next 10 days, and skip the massive pre-game show on CBS. They’ll be the chief offenders in overdoing things before the big game.

You won’t even miss all the NBA highlights on “SportsCenter.”

You want to go?

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ second game of the season started with a fight between Arron Asham of the New York Rangers and the Penguins’ Tanner Glass.

In fact, it started as soon as the game did on Sunday night. Officially, they dropped their gloves two seconds after the puck dropped for the opening faceoff.

Their issue? None really.

“He said, ‘Do you want to go,’ and I said OK,” was the way Glass recounted it later.

Rangers coach John Tortorella all but admitted he started Asham with the idea a fight would jump-start his team.

So they slugged it out for nearly a minute (that’s a long time in a hockey fight), sat out their major penalties, and the game continued without incident.

Sometimes there are reasons for fights – a simmering feud, a flash of anger after a play. Other times, it’s as perfunctory as it was in this case.

The odd thing is two guys can spend that time firing fists at each other’s faces, then completely let it go. At the Civic Arena, the visiting team’s path to the bus went past the Penguins’ locker room. It wasn’t uncommon to see two players who had squared off in the game chatting calmly when their paths crossed while leaving the arena.

It’s a different culture in hockey.

Shut out

The Penguins head into tonight’s home opener 2-0 without a goal from either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.

If scoring from the top two centers is the biggest concern the Penguins have, they’ll have quite a season.

Mehno can be reached at