Notebook: Porter blames media

PITTSBURGH - Joey Porter was fined $10,000 by the NFL for calling Kellen Winslow a "fag" after the last game, and Porter blamed the fine on the media.

"There's been enough publicity about it," Porter said. "You all keep talking about it; you all going to make 'em do something. If you all wouldn't have kept talking about it, it wouldn't have happened. You all need a story so you keep talking about it, keep talking about it, so they say, 'alright, let's fine him then,' because everybody seems to be upset about it. And that's kind of like how I feel it happened."

Porter apologized Monday to everyone but Winslow for the remark, but drew his second fine of the season. He was fined $15,000 for a comment he allegedly made to an official during the loss to the Oakland Raiders.

"The referee thing, I didn't even say it," Porter said. "I honestly wasn't the one who said it, but it didn't matter. That's how the ref explained it. He said I said it, so that is what it is. I'm not the type of person that says, oh, so and so said it. I eat it. It's no big problem. But, you know, I'm marked for that, so it is what it is. I've just got to watch what I say and watch what I do."

Porter said he won't appeal, calling it a waste of time, but he tried to use logic to argue his point with reporters yesterday.

"Guys can get a DUI or fail a drug test and nothing happens, but you say something and you get fined. That just don't make no sense. You'd think if you get a DUI or something you should get fined; you'd think if you fail a drug test you should get fined. But for saying a word? You get fined? Kind of backwards to me. At the same time, it is what it is."


When Dan Rooney first came to know Lamar Hunt, he considered him an enemy.

"Yes, I did, very much so," Rooney said. "When he first came in the league I was a little strained, but I got to see how he operated and how he did things and learned to appreciate him and what he did for the league. But we fought some tough battles with the AFL."

Rooney, of course, was part of the old NFL guard with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Hunt was the founding father of the AFL with the Kansas City Chiefs. He's considered the man most responsible for the merging of the two leagues in 1970.

Rooney, of course, came to respect Hunt, who passed away Wednesday night at the age of 74 from cancer.

"This is a sad day in the National Football League with Lamar Hunt's passing," Rooney said. "He was really a fine person. I thought he brought a lot of class to the National Football League."

Rooney last worked with Hunt in the summer during the search for new commissioner Roger Goodell.

"He was a regular guy," Rooney said. "You wonder how people with that much money, how they can be regular, but he was. You could talk to him. You could kid around with him."


Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme missed another practice Thursday due to his swollen right thumb and increased the chances that Chris Weinke will start again in his place.

Weinke started last week for the Panthers in their loss to the New York Giants. Weinke threw 61 passes for a team-record 423 yards, but fell to 1-16 as a starting quarterback with the loss.

Returning to practice for Carolina was cornerback Ken Lucas. The Panthers' secondary was so depleted earlier this week that Derrick Strait, who was claimed off Chicago's practice squad on Monday, was in the running for a starting spot at cornerback against the Steelers.

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