HOUSTON – Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …
>> My Monday column looks at the sorry Steelers and this crossroads they’ve reached.
>> Pet peeve of NFL locker rooms: Players are only too happy to discuss every minute detail of a victory. But when it’s a loss, especially one like this, the most common quote you hear is, “I need to look at the film,” or “We need to look at the film.”
No one needs to look at any film to know how the Steelers played in that game. It will highlight specific failings — a really long list, headed by that ridiculous 19-play opening drive — but it won’t illuminate anything in the general sense.
>> Sad is this sounds, I’m not so sure the Steelers aren’t better off for the long term if Ben Roethlisberger sits out this week, even if his injured ankle improves. The man looks like he could get carried off the field on a stretcher on any given play.
>> I swear, people here — around the stadium, around my hotel — are acting like they won the Super Bowl. It was the fourth game of the season, according to my schedule.
>> Try to picture the scene in Major League Baseball’s offices when someone looked through all their umpire evaluations for 2011 and decided — on merit — that Jerry Meals should work the playoffs.
Good for MLB and Meals that both were embarrassed by his work last night in Philadelphia.
Sure, it was one play out of thousands that an umpire makes in a year. But it was one of the top two or three most controversial calls anywhere all summer, certainly one of the very, very few that drew a public statement acknowledging the mistake. It wasn’t just that it was a bad call. It wasn’t just that it came in a 19-inning setting where umpires are as tired as anyone and can be tempted to end games to end their worknights. It’s that he was lazy in being out of position for that call.
>> If you missed our outstanding look into the new Evgeni Malkin yesterday by Rob Rossi, you made a mistake that still can be correct. You’ll want this knowledge as you head into Thursday, trust me.
>> I’ll be flying back home in the afternoon, but I will make my weekly appearance on the online-only TribLIVE Radio today at 11:30 a.m. your time.