Dec 19, 2011; San Francisco, CA.; 49ers cornerback Tarrell Brown (25) intercepts a pass intended for former Steelers receiver Mike Wallace (17) The 49ers defeated the Steelers 20-3. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Wallace Burns Down Clemente Bridge On Way Out of Pittsburgh: Insults City, Former Teammates

I really haven’t written directly about the loss of Mike Wallace this off season except that he was one of several key productive players that the Steelers lost.  Even though I felt he was a key player I was not upset in the least that the Steelers lost him.  Why would I, a die hard Steelers fan who may not ever get over the loss of James Harrison, not care at all about losing the 4th year wide receiver who is considered the fastest and most dangerous deep threat in the league? Also I know that many (and maybe closer to most) Steelers fans, feel the same way. Does that really make any sense? Something is wrong.

Steelers Nation Unusually Quiet

Usually the Steelers fans are up in arms over such a loss in talent but in Wallace’s case, most are not. I personally don’t know of one Steelers fan who is. The Brown fans I know (where I live it is either Browns or Steelers) don’t even use the loss of Wallace in their annual and futile arguments that the Steelers won’t be as good as the Browns this year. In the Steelers fan blogs or Pittsburgh media I don’t recall reading one column protesting the loss of Wallace. Why?

The Rest Of The NFL Will Soon Discover  Mike Wallace Really Is The Cliche: One Trick Pony

With Wallace being the prize catch of the 2013 off season in free agency (5 year $60 million dollar contract) the NFL spotlight will be magnified on Wallace this upcoming season. It may take a while but eventually it will be clear to the Dolphins fans and the rest of the NFL why the Steelers and their fans are not upset over losing Wallace. The NFL and its followers are now just starting to see and hear the beginnings of what the Steelers already know: Mike Wallace isn’t as good a receiver as the rest of the league thinks. Mike Wallace is a cancer, a malcontent with a bad attitude.

Mike Wallace A Leader In Miami?

In his second year in Pittsburgh he became the leader of the self titled “Young Money Crew” which included fellow wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. According to USA Today’s Gary Michones, Wallace  borrowed the name from Lil Wayne’s rap group who like Wallace is from New Orleans:

“That’s my dawg,” says Wallace. “Yeah, we got a lot of money. We’re Young Money (too).”

Within the “Young Money Crew” Wallace’s self proclaimed nickname is “Fast Money.” It appears that what drives Mike Wallace is money. How impressive.

In the last month since Wallace’s arrival in Miami he has offended many with his comments on different topics.  Apparently since signing this years largest off season free agent contract Wallace seems to be feeling a sense of importance and that his opinion somehow now matters. In the  aftermath of current NBA player Jason Collins recent admission that Collins was gay, Mike Wallace went to Twitter and stated:

“All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH (shakin’ my head) …”

 Or as recently reported by  Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald, Wallace said he didn’t feel at home in Pittsburgh:

“In Pittsburgh, I knew I was [in] a six-month lease every time, a furnished apartment, I’d just bring my bag and be ready to go. Down here, I have to buy me a house, get settled in.”

Add in other comments by Wallace that Ryan Tannehill could be as good as Ben Roethlisberger and that Tannehill has a stronger arm than Roethlisberger. Then consider this quote Wallace told the Miami Herald about the Dolphins and not so subtly about the Steelers:

“Everybody has a college mentality around here,”. “It’s a lot different than where I came from. Everybody’s hungry. Everybody wants to get better, get to where we need to be — that’s a winning record.”

Wallace Maybe Not One Trick Pony After-all, Displays Another Talent: Burning Bridges

 So what Wallace meant  in his backhanded not so clever comments were: “Fast Money” didn’t like the city of Pittsburgh.  “Fast Money” only stayed in Pittsburgh the 6 months he had to. “Fast Money” got out of town as soon as it was not required for “Fast Money” to be there. “Fast Money” never had any intention of re-signing or settling in Pittsburgh. “Fast Money” thinks the Steelers are old, have no enthusiasm or spirit. “Fast Money” thinks his former teammates are satisfied, not hungry and don’t have the desire to get better. “Fast Money” thinks Tannehill can be as good as Roethlisberger. “Fast Money” thinks Tannehill has a stronger arm than Roethlisberger.

 

Despite His Speed Wallace Hasn’t Created Any Room To Run His Mouth

The Steelers instituted a new offense before the 2012 season. Wallace who considered himself the best receiver on the team chose to hold out until the last week of the pre-season before signing his one year restricted tender.  A tender Wallace could have signed at any time in the off season and reported to camp with his teammates to learn the new system. Selfish. Is that something a college football player say at Ole Miss would have done?  Or was it pouting because the Steelers Gave Antonio Brown a new contract and not him? The result of his protest caused Wallace to take months to catch up as he struggled with consistency from his prolonged holdout.

Steelers fans got sick of watching Wallace, who was no longer the Steelers top receiving target, pout and brood on the sidelines in 2012. Sick of his poor body language. It was obvious that he was not happy with his role in the offense but “Fast Money” was the one who chose to report at the last minute. Last year Steelers fans didn’t need to hear what they already knew but midway through the 2012 season “Fast Money” dropped another bomb (pun intended) to the Pittsburgh Tribune review:

“I’ve never been a guy who dropped balls or just lose focus, the first 3 years I was always involved, so you just warmed up in games, and were just into it. But when you don’t get the ball for two and a half quarters, you lose focus. But that’s the type of offense this is. We’re spreading it around, so you’re not going to get as many targets. When you get them, you have to make the best of them.”

According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette former Steelers great Joe Greene allegedly retired from his front-office position with the Steelers this off-season because he felt that there is:

“a different attitude with the players” in the current era and that it would “be unfair for [him] to call someone out, not knowing who that person is,” but added, that when he was on the team as a player, “locker room information and  knowledge didn’t get outside the locker room.”

Most took this as Greene talking about “Fast Money”.  The same week as Greene retired, Steelers current player Ryan Clark on ESPN’s First Take said:

“The culture we have now is about money. The Steelers were a team that kept that away from the organization as long as possible.”

That is until they drafted the leader of the “Young Money Crew”. Clark said the new draft picks come in already thinking about money. However Clark now see’s a change in attitude in the Steelers locker room.  It just so happens that “Fast Money” is no longer there. How coincidental. Does anyone think Clark wasn’t talking about Wallace?

Does Miami Know What They Are Getting For $12 Million A Year?

Salary Cap reasons was just one of many reasons the Steelers had in not re-signing Wallace. Besides all of the money talk, selfishness, brooding and complaining is the actual play of Wallace. Sure he is the fastest receiver in the league and teams will often put up with diva player who produces. But the Steelers didn’t and it is widely accepted in league circles they let Wallace walk for salary cap purposes. Not so “fast”. If the Steelers felt that strongly about Wallace they would have made more of an effort to get him signed. So why didn’t they?

The Steelers didn’t want to pay big money to a receiver who makes most of his catches against his body, on his hip or shoulders. Why would the Steelers want to pay big money to a receiver who the next time he goes up in the air and out fights a defensive back for a reception will be the first time? Why would they want to pay big money to a receiver who the next time turns into a defender to break up an interception when the defensive back gets the position on him will be the first time? Why would they want to pay big money to a receiver who the next time he chases down and tackles a defensive back after an interception will be the first time? Why would they want to pay big money to a receiver who the next time he goes high over the middle to make a catch while taking a big hit, will be the first time? Why would they want to pay big money to a receiver who the next time he dives for a pass will be the first time?

It is too bad Wallace (right) didn’t take in all of what Hines Ward (left) had to offer.  Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently what Hines Ward had to offer to Wallace as a mentor didn’t take with “Fast Money” after Ward retired. Wallace appears to have wasted the 3 years he had with one of the greatest and most complete receivers ever. However what the Steelers and their fans did learn from Mike Wallace’s 4 years with the Steelers is that he is fast and he wants money. “Fast Money” the former leader of the “Young Money Crew” is now in Miami ready to unpack his duffel bag, spend some money and put down some roots.

It is too bad “Fast Money” didn’t take all of what Pittsburgh had to offer: One of the NFL’s best organizations year in and year out. One of the most competitive teams with some of the league’s best players including one of the league’s best quarterbacks. The league’s best fan base in one of the best cities with hard working grounded people who appreciate the same from their athletes.  Wallace  could of been a great one. Instead he chose to take the money and run. Fast.

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Tags: "Fast Money" Miami Dolphins Mike Wallace Pittsburgh Steelers

  • JWoo

    Awesome post, Jim. great points indeed that, what team/fanbase would really have no comment whatsover in losing what is arguably the best deep threat in a pass-happy league? or that in losing such a player, that team/fanbase actually believes its receiving corps has gotten BETTER with the subtraction?! tells you pretty much all you need to know; this guy is a total cancer just so glad he’s not on our roster anymore – rather funny that we aren’t even to training camp yet and he’s had to publicly apologize for the public embarrassment he’s smearing all over Miami’s organization and teammates down there…

  • Douglas Winston

    I guess you never played football. These guys careers are short any moment it could be over from a hit. His first priority should be getting paid what he is worth. After football he still will have a family to take care of and he should make sure that they are secure from a financial prospective. He could easily go out on the field tomorrow an his career could easily be over from one hit.

    • christian rajkovic

      Don’t tell Craig that, he thinks Wallace should have taken whatever the Steelers offered him. That’s what REAL Steelers players do. Haha

  • christian rajkovic

    All Steelers fans have done is take shots at Wallace since he signed with the Dolphins haha. Now a writer is going to write an article that is nothing but a rip job about Wallace. Steelers fans are the worst fan base in the NFL. You people look like sad, pathetic, whining babies. Get over it, he didn’t want to be a Steeler.

    • gdog0411

      Thank you dude!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Craig

      We’ve been taking shots at Wallace well before he signed. Him leaving only proved most of what a bunch of Steeler fans were already preaching. Dolphin fans just don’t want anyone to crap on their ‘parade’ when they think they got it made this offseason in free agency. Good luck with ‘butterfingers.’

      • christian rajkovic

        This has nothing to do with the Dolphins lol. You’re proving what I said to be true, you sad little cry baby haha. Oh and you’re soooo right, the Dolphins built their team through free agency haha. They signed 3 players to 1 year deals. They signed Ellerbee and Wheeler, but cut the other 2 free agent lbs and are saving money there. So basically they went out and got Mike Wallace, they were missing a deep threat and really needed one. They got the best one in the NFL.

  • Mark Allen Harrison

    So what was the controversial statement? “All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH (shakin’ my head) …” All the political correct were upset, this is pro football!!! Glad to have him in a Dolphin uniform; Tannehill is go to shake it up down here and you are going to be sorry…

    • Craig

      Shake it up and going to be sorry… LOL’s. Sorry, but I seriously doubt Mike Wallace and the other FA pickups will make this team better than the 7-9 team they were a season ago and certainly doubt they will make ANY Steeler fan feel sorry.

      • christian rajkovic

        No, you will keep pretending like the Steelers didn’t offer him 50 million, and not that Wallace actually turned your old crappy team down haha.

        • Pete Peterson

          Christian keep drinking the Kool-Aid and hold on to him your 6 years, you guys have been less than mediocre for a while now so don’t throw any “crappy team” stuff at us, remember every year we start with more hope than the Fins have in the last decade. You wanted him you got him, congrats now deal with him and all his baggage, you will apologize to our topnotch organization in the near future!

  • richard

    People act like the Steelers didn’t offer Wallace a contract , they did and Wallace decided against it. Did he have holes in his game, parts that needed work to get better, of course most players do. Will Pittsburgh miss Wallace no they won’t, not because of anything that has to do with him , but because it is part of todays NFL. Players move around, they change teams that is what free agency is , a players chance to do what they wish with their careers. I hope Wallace does well and is happy in Miami, but I won’t blast him for doing what he felt he had to do.

  • willog

    Let me see. Jim Conroy: who might that be? Is he a voice actor? or a republican campaign manager? Or an Albany, NY banker? Or a Phoenix, Arizona wine and spirits guy? Or a Miami/Ft. Lauderdale consumer electronics guy? How about a Canadian football player?

    Wikipedia gives information on all of the above noted people called “Jim Conroy”. It seem that there are a lot of them. Actually, there wasn’t any mention of a sports journalist. Frankly, in Florida there is not a really visible profile about this aspiring sports reporter

    Regardless of who he is, Jim Conroy seems to need an incendiary topic to gain attention to his article. What better way than to attack one of the premier free agent wide receivers that moved to a team that is willing to pay for the value of his services. Me thinks, as the great bard would say, the lady protesteth too much.

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