THERE WAS A time not so long ago that the Steelers would immediately cross a future player off their list if he had question marks on his resume.
Didn’t matter what the transgression was.
If you made a mistake in your past, you wouldn’t be donning a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey no matter how good you were on the football field.
We referred to it as “The Steelers Way.”
The Steelers Way worked and worked better than any other model available in the NFL to the tune of six Vince Lombardi trophies. We laughed at the Cincinnati Bengals when it seemed like all their players were being arrested.
But like the dinosaur, mastodon and 99-cent gasoline before it, ‘The Steelers Way’ has come and gone and should now be considered extinct.
Maybe it’s the changing times with virtually all talented players having some personal question marks or the Steelers loosening their moral compass, but the Black and Gold have been more accepting of their players getting in trouble with the law since the turn of the century.
We all remember Ben Roethlisberger’s two alleged transgressions a couple of summers ago. We also remember how he idiotically sped all over Pittsburgh on a motorcycle without a helmet before smacking his head off some asphalt.
The Steelers drafted Santonio Holmes out of Ohio State and he promptly was arrested twice in 2006. Then this past year, they took another Buckeye with drug problems -- tackle Mike Adams.
Yes, Adams ‘manned’ up and was accountable for his mistake, but the mistake was still made and gets him included on the list.
Other former Steelers -- Cedric Wilson, Najeh Davenport and Barrett Brooks to name a few -- have also encountered problems with the law.
With the exception of Roethlisberger and Adams, the offenders were jettisoned from the team for their problems, yet when given the opportunity to cut ties with another ‘problem child’ -- rookie defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu -- they didn’t do so.
Ta’amu’s escapade last week further cements “The Steelers Way” demise. Not only did he embarrass the team by his much publicized crashing spree and ensuing 10k with several off-duty police officers, but he embarrassed any Steelers fan stupid enough to be clinging to “The Steelers Way” defense.
It’s shame it has to be this way and we can’t expect the highest moral character out of Steelers.
Hopefully, “The Steelers Way” isn’t extinct, but rather fell out of favor and will come back in style like many fashion trends from the 70s and 80s.
We can only hope for its return and not any other fashion mistakes.
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