Notebook: Do you believe in bad karma?

PITTSBURGH – In Monday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel said of Ben Roethlisberger, "He's cursed." The Washington Post on Wednesday ran the headline "Blindsided by Bad Karma" over a Tony Kornheiser column. ...

Kornheiser pondered Ben Roethlisberger this way: "I sit here and ask myself, did his karma turn bad?"

Roethlisberger underwent an appendectomy Sunday. He'll miss the Steelers' opener tonight against the Miami Dolphins, even though he had worked his way back into playing shape following a June 12 motorcycle accident.

Is it bad luck or bad karma? We turned to Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu for an opinion.

Does he believe in karma?

"No," said Polamalu. "Karma's a Hindu belief and a Buddhist belief. Jesus Christ said there's not any karma anymore. He suffered everything for everybody. That's what my beliefs are."

Does Polamalu believe Roethlisberger's bad luck is just that?

"I don't know. I really don't think it's up to you and I to really understand. It's up to Ben to understand what's going on in his life. It's up to him to overcome these adversities that are set before him.

"If you look at anybody who's sick, any kid that's in the Make-A-Wish Foundation for example, it'd be hard to set those circumstances to your own life, but those aren't your circumstances. Those are that person's circumstance. Everything is relative. So in this case it's up to Ben to really realize what's going on in his life and to set his priorities straight, or whatever it is that's in his life."

Roethlisberger is already up and about. He watched Tuesday night's practice on the South Side. He could return for the next game on Monday, Sept. 11 at Jacksonville. Or, he could stay in bed and hide under his covers all day.

ST. PIERRE PROMOTED

The Steelers activated Brian St. Pierre from their practice squad and released special-teams gunner Chidi Iwuoma, who had been on the injury list as probable with a concussion. The Steelers re-signed running back John Kuhn to the practice squad.

THE ANGRY MAN

Andre Frazier was called "The Angry Man" by his linebacker teammates, and he looked the part in the second preseason game when he snapped back at Coach Bill Cowher during a heated exchange on the sideline. Assistant coaches and players help restrain and calm Frazier, who was cut last weekend.

Did the angry exchange have anything to do with Frazier getting cut?

Maybe. Frazier learned two days before the Vikings game that both his mother and sister have cancer. During the game, Cowher had just finished correcting Frazier for a defensive lapse when Frazier snapped. At the time Cowher was not aware of Frazier's family concerns and, according to a source, felt bad about the exchange. Still, he cut him.

"Andre's focus just wasn't there the last few weeks," said the source. "I guess it's understandable."

At the same time Frazier was losing his focus, Arnold Harrison was making steady progress. The Steelers kept Harrison over Frazier, who was one of the team's most surprising rookies last season. Frazier and wide receiver Quincy Morgan were the Steelers' last two cuts of the weekend.

INJURIES

The Steelers upgraded wide receiver Hines Ward (hamstring) and reserve center Chukky Okobi (knee) to probable for tonight's game. They downgraded No. 2 tight end Jerame Tuman (hamstring) to doubtful. Listed as probable are reserve safety Mike Logan (ankle), reserve tackle Willie Colon (hamstring) and right tackle Max Starks (knee).

Miami cornerback Travis Daniels is doubt--, er, questionable with a sprained ankle. Dolphins Coach Nick Saban first told Miami reporters that Daniels was doubtful and, according to the Miami Herald, Daniels "was limping noticeably during practice." Daniels started 14 games at left cornerback as a rookie last season. He had one interception.

Daniels will, or, would be replaced by Andre' Goodman opposite Will Allen for the Dolphins. Goodman was signed away from the Detroit Lions as a free agent last March. He made eight starts in 15 games last season and had a career-high three interceptions, one of a Roethlisberger pass in last season's regular-season finale.

Dolphins first-round pick Jason Allen will not play cornerback tonight. He was moved to safety less than two weeks ago by Coach Nick Saban and expects to play only on special teams against the Steelers.

TEAM CAPTAINS

The Steelers named their six captains for the 2006 season: Ward and guard Alan Faneca are the offensive co-captains; linebackers James Farrior and Joey Porter are the defensive co-captains; and Clint Kriewaldt and Sean Morey are the special-teams co-captains. They were selected by a team vote.

FESTIVITIES

Martina McBride and Rascal Flatts will perform "a ceremony commemorating the Steelers' five Super Bowl titles" before the 8:30 p.m. kickoff at Heinz Field. Also, a Terrible Towel wave will take place prior to be kickoff and will be led by Corey O'Connor, the youngest son of the late Pittsburgh Mayor Bob O'Connor. The Steelers advise fans who want to see the entire ceremony to be in their seats by 8 p.m.


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