Steelers Mascot Arrested (Yes, I Said "Mascot")

Bye Bye Steely

When did Pittsburgh become the new Cincinnati?

This week saw yet another tally added to the litany of off-season woes when Steely McBeam, our much beloved reviled mascot, was arrested and charged with a DUI. Acting swiftly, the Steelers Cedric Wilson’d his ass before the ink on the police blotter dried. Whether his firing means that we have now lost our second cartoonish figure with an absurdly large chin in as many seasons is not known. What is known is sadly, this is not the worst Pittsburgh mascot related scandal in city history. That honor would go to the Pirate Parrot, who was once busted for selling blow to players back in the early 80’s.

In other Steeler related legal proceedings, Najeh Davenport was found not guilty of all criminal charges in his domestic violence case. The Dump Truck can breathe easy, secure in the knowledge the only black brown mark on his otherwise spotless record will continue to be the incident where he was busted for shitting in his ex-girlfriend’s closet.

This brings me to the topic of the recent controversy over the release of Cedric Wilson on the heels on a similar domestic abuse case being filed against Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison. It seems like there are a number of columnists, both local and national, who are using the situation to expose the Steelers as hypocrites or the same as any other team when it comes to character issues. Mark Madden, a popular local talk show/self-promoting fool, has been particularly vocal about the perceived double-standard.

Well, there is no double-standard. If you spend thirty seconds to analyze the situations and if you know anything about Steeler history, you’d know their behavior this off-season is no different than it has been any other off-season. The Steelers have never, NEVER, been the type of team who cut a player at the first hint of trouble. As noted, Davenport was arrested for domestic abuse and he wasn’t cut on sight. Current wide out Santonio Holmes was arrested for disorderly conduct three weeks after he was drafted. Cedric Wilson was arrested on a prior charge of domestic abuse and he wasn’t cut either.

The Steelers have always shown they are willing to let the legal process play out before making a judgement about a player. The only reason their hand was forced with Wilson was he went into a PUBLIC place and, in front of dozens of impartial witnesses, smacked the taste out of his girlfriend’s mouth. At that point, there is no grey area. At that point, there is no benefit of the doubt.

This has nothing to do with one being an All-Pro and the other being the #4 wide receiver. Pittsburgh has consistently shown that they have no problem cutting talented players if they feel their personal issues or conduct reflects poorly on the organization. We had a fantastic Pro Bowl offensive lineman named Carleton Haselrig. The Steelers cut him when his problems with alcohol and love for driving his motorcycle through McKees Rocks wearing his helmet BACKWARDS left them no choice. Anybody remember Bam Morris? He was our star running back, 1,000 yard rusher, and almost single-handedly won Super Bowl XXX when our quarterback suddenly lost his ability to distinguish black jerseys from white. The Steelers cut him loose when he was caught in Texas with approximately ten pounds of marijuana in his trunk. Guess he got a discount for buying in bulk.

The point is, the Steelers have not tarnished their reputation in any way this off-season. They are simply continuing to employ the standards and policies for personal conduct they always have. As a respectable organization, to even put them in the same category as Cincinnati or Baltimore is beyond laughable. Those organizations have players who’ve been arrested dozens of times and/or actually served jail time for their involvement in shootings. Pittsburgh would never tolerate that which is why we’re still better than them.

I applaud the Rooneys for their fair and even-handed approach to running their organization. Unlike what the pulpit-thumpers or publicity seekers would have you believe, professional athletes are at a greater risk for exaggerated charges and false accusations simply because of who they are. Remember Randy Moss had a restraining order slapped on him the week before the Super Bowl? That went away, didn’t it?

To err is human, to forgive is divine. Except in the case of Steely McBeam. Good riddance to that buffoon. Besides, I hear Dallas is interested in a new mascot. He should be expecting a phone call from Jerry Jones any day now…

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