What We Learned This Week in the NFL Offseason:
- Redskins fans buy out RGIII’s Bed Bath & Beyond wedding registry
- Chad Johnson has arrest warrant; also needs child support cut down
- Patriots visit Newtown, Connecticut
- Larry Foote still pissed about Steelers 8-8 season
- Steelers first OTA’s to begin this week
It’s the NFL offseason, still too soon for training camps, and too far from the draft to have any trades or deals come up to catch everyone’s attention. Sometimes stories come up during the offseason that just leave you scratching your head, sometimes they make you angry, and sometimes they warm your heart even if you hate to admit it. There’s always time to look back on the previous season, especially if it was a particularly frustrating one. And there’s always time to look forward to the new season; to see what’s out there that can improve on the team you love so much.
Speaking of love, it appears that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has found love in his fiancée, Rebecca Liddicoat and the two have done what every other engaged couple does; they registered for their wedding at Bed Bath & Beyond. Unlike every other engaged couple, the Griffins have already had their entire wedding registry bought out by fans of RGIII’s and the team. Seriously? Who are these people that buy wedding presents for their favorite athlete? Now I’m sure not the type of fan who does the whole “I buy tickets and merch so I’m entitled to such and such” or “my money pays your salary so you owe me a good game and/or autograph” routines but I’m sure as hell not going out to spend my hard earned money on a stainless steel toothpick dispenser for a couple that I’m not likely to meet, nor attend their wedding. Clearly I’m somewhere in the middle with the rest of the sane people. At least RGIII was gracious about the gesture, tweeting a “thank you” to his fans with a pic of himself with a ton of boxes.
I am a self-admitted, full-fledged Chad Johnson hater. I don’t hate the man like in the violent sense of the word but back when he was relevant to the NFL and a rival to the Steelers I’d start a “Chad Johnson is overrated” argument with anyone who’d listen without even the slightest bit of provocation. Nowadays, Chad makes it too easy for me. Not only is he still looking for a team to take on his ehem, talents, and his baggage, but he’s also back in some legal trouble again. He’s got a warrant out for his arrest in Miami for a probation violation stemming from his arrest for head-butting his reality D-list star wife, but now he’s headed back to court to have the $5,420 per month child support payments lowered because he claims he can’t afford them. How pathetic can you get? At least he’s still a big deal on Twitter. Way to go buddy, really putting effort into what counts in life.
Now as much as it pains me to write anything positive about the New England Patriots, I have to give them credit for having roughly 30 current and former players, coaches, and cheerleaders host a football camp for kids in Newtown, Conn. this weekend. Over 500 kids registered and attended the camp and even Pats TE Rob Gronkowski put down his Bud Lights and porn stars for the weekend to play with the kids. The camp was held in the town that was shattered when 20 students and six teachers were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Pats owner Robert Kraft hosted the event for the community to show support. Well done Patriots. Now I’ll go back to despising you.
On the topic of despising, Steelers LB Larry Foote said the Steelers have a chip on the shoulder still from not only going 8-8 and missing out on the playoffs, but also watching their rival, Baltimore, take home the Lombardi trophy.
“We’re pissed off we didn’t make the playoffs. On top of that, our rival won the Super Bowl. I know guys are taking it personally. It’s just a whole different mindset to the offseason. I know guys are ready to get back where we need to be.”
I’m glad Foote is pissed. I hope the rest of the team is just as pissed; even the new guys need to be pissed. Whatever the issues of the team were last season, wherever you like to place the blame, the whole picture is just as coach Tomlin usually states. He was an 8-8 coach and the team was an 8-8 team. If anyone on the Steelers is pleased with their 2012-13 contributions, I’d hope they’re no longer on the roster. The Steelers haven’t had an actual losing season since 2003 (which lead to them being able to select Ben Roethlisberger at the 11th pick of the 2004 draft) but an 8-8 season is a far cry from what the team is capable of and what’s expected of them.
Looking forward to the new season once the draft is complete starts with OTA’s and those will begin Tuesday on the South Side. “Football in shorts” is what is typically referred to as there will be no pads or equipment during the workouts. The Steelers have some adjustments to make for the upcoming season which include adjusting to life without James Harrison and Mike Wallace, discovering the running back situation, and welcoming two new position coaches in Jack Bicknell Jr and Richard Mann who will coach the offensive line and wide receivers respectively. Early reports are that safety Troy Polamalu will attend OTA’s for the second straight season. Troy attended last year for the first time but did end up missing 9 games due to injuries. I say bring on the OTA’s, let’s start this friggin season already! I have such an uneasy feeling about it all, but my optimism will always prevail when the Steelers are concerned. Go Steelers!
What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? Would you buy wedding presents for your favorite athlete? What do you think the goals are of the OTA’s? Are you still pissed at going 8-8 like Larry Foote is?