Reporting Colin Dunlap
PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — There are two ways to look at this recent pandemic, you know the deal, we’ll call it Steelers-blabbery.
Just to rehash what all went down in a tidy thumbnail, here’s the “Steelers-blabbery for Dummies” version:
– A Steelers player anonymously told 93.7 The Fan host and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook Sunday story linebacker LaMarr Woodley “was awful” last season and “[Woodley] tells us he works out, but we didn’t see it. He wasn’t in shape. That has to be a reason why he was always hurt.”
– Monday, Steelers safety Ryan Clark admonished the anonymous source on NFL Network, citing the Baltimore Ravens as an example of having “brotherhood” the Steelers lack.
– Linebacker Larry Foote joined The Fan Morning Show on 93.7 The Fan Tuesday and said he felt it could have been a coach who was Cook’s anonymous source, rather than a player.
– Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, a member of that Young Mensa Family, then took his turn on Wednesday, this time on ESPN, saying, “Our team was a team last year where guys [weren’t] really together. And as we know in the NFL, you’ve got to have a band of brothers. Everyone’s got to be together and it’s got to fizzle down from the leadership. And for guys that throw a guy like LaMarr Woodley – a Pro Bowl player – under the bus, it just shows you the men we had in our locker room … it goes to show you that we weren’t a team in 2012. Those are some of the things we’ve got to iron out.”
– On The Fan Morning Show Friday, Brown reiterated his point about the fractures in the 2012 locker room, describing the unit as, “Out of the ordinary, [not] what I’m used to being around the Steelers for my first two years. It was a really different feeling, a different team.” Brown also spoke about what seems to be an imminent move of parting ways with Mike Wallace.
Got all that? Good.
With the cattiness and petulance, this all feels like an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210.
Steelers-blabbery: 5, Common sense: 0.
Again, there are two ways to look at this.
First, there’s this: my advice moving forward to all these guys is to keep it up.
Yak. Yak. Yak.
And then yak some more.
Know why? It makes for incredible talk show fodder. It makes for incredible column fodder. Any media member in this town should be rooting openly for this black-and-gold blabfest to linger because, simply put, no one moves the interest needle in Western Pennsylvania like the Steelers.
And nothing moves the general interest needle like a good, true conflict.
That said, Steelers plus conflict equals boon this time of year when news emanating from the city’s professional football team is generally much quieter.
That’s one way to look at it, and, admittedly, a selfish way.
Here is how you should look at it if you are a true fan of these Steelers: you should want this all to stop. Now.
It’s too late to undo all that was said, but for the sake of not airing any more dirty laundry, for the sake of not embarrassing the Steelers brand, history and all that logo on one side of the helmet allegedly exemplifies, you should want all these guys to zip it.
Enough is truly enough.
Through all this Steelers-blabbery, it has become starkly obvious that a fracture within this team is at least part of the reason why the Steelers went 8-8 last season.
We get it, the point has been made.
The part that is puzzling is that the Steelers-blabbery is seemingly easy to stop. Because of logistical reasons, with Steelers players spread all over the country at this time of year, it would be impossible to have a team meeting. But, I find it impossible that someone whose surname is Rooney doesn’t have contact information for each and every member of this football team.
The message, sent from a Rooney, right now, should be short and sweet to every member of this team moving forward, “stop saying things that are embarrassing our organization, stop making our private matters public.”
Remember Steelers Nation, this isn’t Woodley’s organization, it isn’t Clark’s, Brown’s or that anonymous source’s, nor does it belong to any person who wears a shoulder pads and helmet.
This is the Rooney’s organization. If they want all this to stop, the thought here is they could simply step in.
Or they could do nothing, sit on their hands and watch this private matter continue to play out in public, soap opera form like everyone else has.
Hell, doing nothing gives guys like me something to talk about.
Former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sports Writer Colin Dunlap is the featured sports columnist for CBSPittsburgh.com. He can be heard weeknights from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.”