PITTSBURGH¬óJoel Mikita, a Steelers fan and extremely loyal follower of professional football, seeks out the NFL's explicit permission before engaging in any sort of activity or conversation he thinks they may not approve of, the commissioner's office of the National Football League reported Wednesday. "When we first received a letter from Mr. Mikita in January 1995 requesting permission to record the AFC Championship game because he had to work that Sunday, we thought it was a considerate gesture and of course granted him approval," said NFL Standards And Practices chairman Mark Helowitz. "But since then, it's gotten a little out of hand. We have a team of lawyers working around the clock inventing forms and drawing up new regulations for him, informing him if it's okay to tell his buddy the final score of last night's game, or if he's allowed to say bad things about the Eagles coaching staff, or if he can tape a game with his TiVo, and if so, whether or not we care if he fast-forwards through the commercials." Helowitz added that amidst all the requests, there was one "really sweet one" seven years ago in which Mikita asked for written permission to ask his longtime girlfriend Michelle to marry him.