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Thread: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

  1. #31
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    Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

    Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

    By Joe Starkey, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Thursday, March 11, 2010



    It's easy to find the face of the Steelers' storied franchise. Just click on TMZ.com.

    There you will see Ben Roethlisberger clad in a black Satan T-shirt that's Satan, not satin apparently posing for photos with co-eds the night he was accused of sexual assault in a small Georgia college town.

    I'm guessing none of the shots will make the cover of the Steelers' media guide.

    Though bar-hopper Ben might well be innocent, team president Art Rooney II must be more than a little alarmed that his $102 million quarterback has as many sexual assault allegations as Super Bowl rings.

    But let's be honest: The Steelers' carefully cultivated image isn't resting on Roethlisberger's innocence.

    That image has long since crumbled.

    The so-called Steeler Way is dead.

    Don't get me wrong. The Steelers do most things better than nearly everybody. They draft better players, hire better coaches, win more championships.

    But could we please stop pretending that they do so from elevated moral ground?

    Rooney is not granting interviews, so there is no way to gauge his feelings on this latest legal headache. One wonders if he is ashamed of the Steelers' deteriorating image under his watch. Does he know that his players' off-field antics have made the franchise every bit as much a punch line as the Cincinnati Bengals?

    Some people still buy the myth. That was obvious when rumors surfaced last summer of the Steelers having interest in disgraced quarterback Michael Vick.

    The Steelers? They would never bring in a guy like that. That's not the Steeler Way.

    At face value, such assertions were valid. The Steelers had no history of signing troubled, high-profile free agents and weren't going to sign Vick. But the implication that they only employ players of the strongest moral fiber should have insulted any reasonable person's intelligence.

    Let's consider just some of the trouble we've seen since Super Bowl XL.

    Where would you like to start offense, defense or special teams?

    Let's go with receiver Santonio Holmes, who was arrested twice within 25 days of the Steelers drafting him. A disorderly conduct charge out of Miami was dropped. Holmes later was charged with domestic violence and assault against the mother of one of his children.

    In a police affidavit, the woman alleged that Holmes was "choking (her), throwing her to the ground ... and slamming her into a door." Charges were dismissed when Holmes' lawyers assured a Ohio judge that Holmes was participating in counseling through the NFL.

    This past year, Holmes escaped a misdemeanor drug charge when his attorney successfully argued that a traffic stop violated the player's rights.

    Another receiver, Cedrick Wilson, allegedly walked into a bar two years ago and punched his ex-girlfriend in the face. The Steelers, upon cutting Wilson, released a sanctimonious statement saying they hoped the roster move would "send a message that we will not tolerate this type of conduct."

    That was before star linebacker James Harrison, who was arrested for striking the mother of his son around the same time as the Wilson incident, was signed to a $51.5 million contract. Charges were dropped, but Harrison had to undergo anger-management counseling and in his autobiography, it was verified that Harrison struck the woman in the face.

    We could go on. We could talk about the kicker's run-ins with a towel dispenser and policemen, the offensive line coach who accidentally forwarded a pornographic e-mail to league offices, the tight end who allegedly urinated in a parking lot near Heinz Field and even one of the team mascots who was arrested for DUI.

    No need.

    Let's just be truthful: All NFL franchises deal with trouble. All have been known to sacrifice ethics for the sake of winning. That's the point. The Steelers are no different than the rest, though they're having a pretty rough run at the moment.

    You can read all about it on TMZ.com.

  2. #32
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    Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

    I cant believe this guy write for the PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW. I would expect this from a Boston columnist. He's not writing a fact, its an opinion and he should keep it to himself. He is not doing HIS city any good with this negativity, just jumping on the anti-Steeler bandwagon. Art 2 should be all over the paper for letting one of their writers take advantage of Bens crisis to dredge up all the dirty laundry from years past in one fell swoop. There is no need for it.
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  3. #33
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    Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

    Quote Originally Posted by Discipline of Steel
    I cant believe this guy write for the PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW. I would expect this from a Boston columnist. He's not writing a fact, its an opinion and he should keep it to himself. He is not doing HIS city any good with this negativity, just jumping on the anti-Steeler bandwagon. Art 2 should be all over the paper for letting one of their writers take advantage of Bens crisis to dredge up all the dirty laundry from years past in one fell swoop. There is no need for it.
    You know sweeping germs and dirt under the carpet only makes it fester and wax worse. I'm not saying the guy wrote a good article or that he was well-intentioned. I'm saying sometimes a sobering jolt is just what a person/city/organization/whatever/etc/etc. needs to wake up and clean a house which will eventually give off a stench if nothing is done.

  4. #34

    Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

    Starkey's right.

    We've sanctimoniously made fun of the Ravens and the Bengals, and asserted that our Steelers stood on some kind of morally higher ground.

    Now it seems that every few months, I have to explain to my young son why one of our players is in trouble with the law.

    It's obvious what image Ben wants to project. That t-shirt he was wearing says it all.

    If that is the image the team wants to project now, so be it. There won't be any more of their tickets or merchandise bought by this family.

  5. #35
    Hall of Famer Djfan's Avatar
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    Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

    Fortunately this story is not over and Rooney can still act on it. Give it time before you leave the fold.
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  6. #36
    Pro Bowler D Rock's Avatar
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    Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

    Its true. Take off the homer-shades and look at the facts.

    The Steelers do not care if their players are moral saints, so long as they are good players. Now the players that aren't good players....they need to be moral saints or they'll be cut to promote a view of the Steelers that was never based in truth to begin with.

  7. #37
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    Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

    Ben reputation is in the dumpster not the organization.

    Was the organization's reputation in the dumpster when Ernie Holmes was playing sniper with the State Police? Was the organization's reputaion in the dumpster when revelations of steroid use came about? The answer is NO!!!

    Like I have paraphrased before: The name of the front of the jersey (or symbol on the side of the helmet in this case) is more importnat than the name on the back of the jersey."

    Ben is a temporary occupant of a roster spot. We will go through a rough patch but the organization will survive.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  8. #38

    Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

    Some people just can't handle the truth....

  9. #39
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    Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

    Quote Originally Posted by steelfin
    Some people just can't handle the truth....
    They say it hurts...

  10. #40

    Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

    Quote Originally Posted by BradshawsHairdresser
    Starkey's right.

    We've sanctimoniously made fun of the Ravens and the Bengals, and asserted that our Steelers stood on some kind of morally higher ground.

    Now it seems that every few months, I have to explain to my young son why one of our players is in trouble with the law.

    It's obvious what image Ben wants to project. That t-shirt he was wearing says it all.

    If that is the image the team wants to project now, so be it. There won't be any more of their tickets or merchandise bought by this family.
    The fans are the ones that project this morality and superiority. But not all fans. I don't do that because I know it's just a matter of time before it comes back to haunt you.

    As for his shirt, it's just a fscking shirt.

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