Over the last 72 hours I’ve discovered a lot about myself as a writer for one of the great Steelers’ websites online today and I’ve also discovered a lot about the power of social media and the fact that sometimes people just don’t get it. One thing for sure in the days following one of the more embarrassing losses I can remember is that I have so much to say that I think I’m better off just bullet-pointing rather than trying to rap philosophically on one particular subject.
On Wes Saunders Being Released… The biggest reason Leonard Pope wasn’t the guy sent packing was because the team would have owed him about $840,000 as a veteran. The reason why rookie David Paulson wasn’t the one cut is because it is obvious that Mike Tomlin and the Steelers like what they’ve seen out of the 7th-round draft pick from Oregon. I admit, I liked the kid and saw him as a bit of a steal that late in the draft, but I’m not sure I thought he would be placed ahead of Wes Saunders on a depth chart.
Something else has to be at play here. Did Saunders fail another test? Did he return from his four week hiatus out of shape and not up to date on his playbook? Or is this Paulson kid really that good? I’m sure the question will be asked rather quickly on Tuesday at Coach Tomlin’s weekly press conference. Of course I’m also sure that he’ll completely avoid any of the details.
On Rashard Mendenhall’s Comments… Believe it or not, this isn’t my real job writing and commenting on the Steelers. Shocker right? I actually have a degree in political science so I know just about everything there is to know about Constitutional law. Rashard Mendenhall first and foremost has a right few people in this world have and that is freedom of speech. When Mendy made his comments regarding the death of Osama bin Laden, I might have disagreed with his take, but I’ll be damned if anyone was going to question his right to say it.
Here we are again and now Mendy is telling Steelers’ fans how to behave and how to act and how to ‘be a fan.’ First and foremost he is exercising a very important right in our country once again and it cannot be misunderstood. The problem with free speech is not that it protects what we say, it’s that it also protects our speech when we really don’t have a clue about a damn thing we are talking about.
If you don’t know by now, we here at steeleraddicts.com are not fair-weather fans and we are not homers. We love and I do mean ‘love’ our Steelers but we will criticize when we see fit and if fans don’t like it then don’t read us. There is at least one or two other websites out there that will blow sunshine up your rear even when the team performs horribly. Mendenhall had not business making his comments for numerous reasons. First of all, this fan base stood by him during his recovery and welcomed him back with open arms as he returned against the Eagles.
Mendenhall’s comments also show a lack of maturity and knowledge about fans in general and most specifically, Steelers’ fans. Sure, there are plenty of Steelers’ fans who put on a jersey 16 times a year and then don’t care a lick for them the rest of the year, but I think he underestimates how many of us put more time and effort into this team than he ever will. Just because we criticize doesn’t mean we don’t care about he and his teammates. Unfortunately the world of professional sports in the 21st century is a 24/7 proposition for many of us but apparently Mendenhall doesn’t realize this or is too immature to notice.
On We ‘Should’ Win… Mike Wallace had a comment following the loss the other night I found almost sad and fitting at the same time. He said something along the lines of “we have to win these games. These are games we should win.” To me, there’s more there than you might think and it surprises me with the way Mike Tomlin does things. We “should” win? Is this not the NFL of Roger Goodell where parity among all other things is sacred? The Pittsburgh Steelers should never enter a game thinking they ‘should’ win. No one has promised them anything. No one has suggested that because on paper they are better that a win ‘should’ be expected. This is football at the professional level. Winning isn’t a ‘should’ endeavor. It’s a ‘go play off your ass off harder than the other team’ endeavor. Perhaps ‘expecting’ things is part of the problem for this team.