Junker: 14 NFL teams have never won a Super Bowl
-- Think about this as you ponder all things Super Bowl. Nearly half of the current NFL teams, 14, have never won one, including two of the four teams in the same division as the Steelers (Browns and Bengals) In fact Cleveland is one of four teams in the league that have never even played in one including Detroit, the only one of the four that's been around for all 45 Super Bowl games. Steeler fans all know the six Lombardi's they've won is impressive. But when you consider it in those terms, even more-so. The Steelers have six Super Bowl wins, the other teams in their division have combined for one. That's because no team in the division can ever get past them on the way to the Super Bowl. With the Steelers boasting a perfect record against divisional foes in the playoffs, the only way another team in their division has made the Super Bowl is to avoid Pittsburgh in the postseason. Or how about this: the Steelers have won six Super Bowls, the rest of the AFC has won 15 combined.
-- If Robert Morris would have beaten Long Island last Thursday, the Colonials, Duquesne and Pitt would all have been in first place or tied for first place in their respective conferences at the same time. That's never happened this late in a season before. In fact Duquesne has never been 5-0 in the Atlantic 10 before and even Pitt, with all of their success the last decade, has never been 7-0 in the Big East before.
The local Division I teams are enjoying a collective success this season that should have fans of all teams relatively happy. Pitt, Duquesne and Robert Morris are a combined 41-16 overall and 17-3 in their respective conferences. Throw in West Virginia and Penn State and the numbers go to 63-29 overall and and 23-9 in conference play before Sunday's games. Pitt looks like a real national championship contender. West Virginia is also ranked and Penn State even has received votes in recent weeks after back-to-back wins over ranked teams and a three point loss to number one Ohio State in Columbus.
And the women's programs at those five schools are doing well too. West Virginia is ranked 9th in both polls and coach Suzie McConnell-Serio has the Duquesne women on the verge of being ranked as well. The combined record for the same local five schools in women's basketball is 69-25 overall and 20-8 in their conferences. Of the 10 men's and women's teams, only Robert Morris men have a losing overall record at 9-10. And only Penn State men (3-4) and PItt women (1-4) have losing conference records.
-- Could the all-star break be coming at a better time for the Penguins? In the eight games captain Sidney Crosby has missed with a concussion, the team is just 4-4 and they've only scored 18 goals. Of course there is no guarantee that another week off will help him return to the lineup. Concussions are tricky and nothing to mess with. And of course Evgeni Malkin's knee injury is complicating matters even more. And while it would have been great to see four Penguins play in the all-star game, here's hoping both Crosby and Malkin sit it out.
-- In a sport like hockey where guys regularly play with broken bones and freshly sutured wounds, the fact that Evgeni Malkin is bothered by a sinus infection seems inconsequential when discussing his quality of, or ability, to play for the Penguins. His tricky knee is one thing, a sinus infection is another.
-- One of the latest auction items available from Mellon Arena is the toilet from Mario Lemieux's private suite. Anyone who puts a bid in on that is just plain sick.