In Pittsburgh, Alan Robinson reported the Steelers could "be in line to play host to the NFL's season-opening prime time game, one usually staged at the home of the Super Bowl champion," now that the Ravens cannot open at M&T Bank Stadium due to a scheduling conflict with the Orioles. Ravens-Steelers is "widely considered to be the NFL's best ongoing rivalry." The Ravens' other road opponents -- the Browns, Bengals, Lions, Dolphins and Bills -- "wouldn't offer nearly as attractive an opening night TV matchup." Ravens-Steelers games "normally get high TV ratings and often are played at night." The Steelers would "not have any baseball conflicts on Sept. 5 because the Pirates will be on a road trip" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/26).
HELP WANTED: In Buffalo, Bucky Gleason wrote Sabres Owner Terry Pegula "owns the only vote that matters" within the franchise, but it has become "increasingly evident that he's not sure how to proceed" with the team in last place in the Northeast division. Pegula "has good intentions and could become a very good owner, but he needs a reliable advisor." He could "stay true to his affinity for ex-Sabres, upgrade his hockey department and breathe some fresh air through his organization and the community." Team President Ted Black recently has "been running daily business operations, but he's not a hockey guy." Pegula "needs hockey minds making hockey decisions." Gleason listed possible candidates (BUFFALO NEWS, 3/24).
ALL IN THE FAMILY: In Columbus, Jeff Bell conducts a Q&A with Lamar Hunt Jr. regarding his new role with the MLS Crew in the area of corporate partnerships. Hunt: "I'm meeting with decision makers on such things as stadium naming rights and getting to know civic leaders. We're actually considering a couple civic projects we might be involved in as a couple, my wife (Rita) and I." Hunt, when asked how close the Crew is to getting a stadium naming-rights partner, said, "We have had a lot of meetings with a lot of different people, but we have not had any full negotiations with anybody." He added, "We have a couple local champions in Barbasol, OhioHealth and some other sponsors like Cardinal Health. If we can get two or three more local champions, that will push along the naming rights as well" (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST, 3/22 issue).