Just as I thought, the news about the Pittsburgh Steelers slowed down dramatically in this lull between training activities. However, I found a few things that may interest everyone.
Bengals Ask for More “Hard Knocks”
Adam Schein of the NFL Network posted an article on NFL.com saying that he liked the fact that the Bengals has agreed to do HBO’s Hard Knocks this year. This is their second time doing the series. They were the featured team when the show debuted in 2009. Schein points out the show certainly increases the spotlight on the players an franchise. Mike Florio of NBC’s ProFootballTalk.com, notes that the cut scenes won’t be dropped this year and “Hard Knocks” has aired some dirty laundry for the Bengals before. Ok, I have to admit, I’ve never seen a full episode of Hard Knocks. I rarely have the premium channels so I don’t usually have access to it. I always thought it would be such a distraction for the players and staff and seemed like a big mistake (Jets or Dolphins ring a bell?) Adam Schein may be in favor of it for the Bengals but I am confounded. Just when I thought the Cincinnati Bengals were getting it together and going to be a real factor in the AFC North, they go and do something crazy. I thought during this off season that the Bengal were posturing themselves well to continue to compete. They have one of the best young wide receivers in the game and they picked up some potential talent in the draft. Then they managed to get James Harrison on their roster. I don’t know how much Harrison has left in the tank, but he also has the potential to take their defense up a notch. It’s still all speculation on whether the Bengals will be competitive this year, but if they bring a circus to town and it affects their performance, they only have themselves to blame. Since the Steelers have to play them twice a year, I hope Cincinnati isn’t as good as they look on paper. I hope the Steelers give them some “hard knocks” on the field.
Ready for some “Cruisin?”
The Steelers have combined with the Leadership League to put together a fully chartered ocean cruise on the Royal Caribbean Line in 2014, according to Steelers.com. Next March, this cruise will depart Tampa, Florida and cruise around with a mix of current and former Steelers and Steeler Nation. OK, I don’t like to go on boats, so I’m not the right one to ask about this. Check the article out if you want details. If I know anything about Steeler Nation, I won’t be surprised if this sells out in a matter of weeks.
What did I miss, What did I get wrong?
It seems the Pittsburgh beat reporters are getting a well-deserved break before things ramp up for the football season. There were no new articles posted on the Post-Gazette or on the Trib sites. Hopefully, there will be some tomorrow.
I will wrap this up as I ponder this day 29 years ago, when I showed up at the crack of dawn at one of the Pittsburgh MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) to take my oath of enlistment and fly out to Lackland AFB. It was the beginning of an eye-opening experience. Through the years (22 on Active Duty and 6 and counting as a retiree/spouse) I got to know from personal experience just how large and passionate Steeler Nation is. It isn’t limited to the ‘Burgh and western PA, but it embodies the ethics and drive of the area. I have also come to know how much outsiders don’t understand why the Terrible Towel is so important and why Steelers fan are so focused to the point of being obnoxious and obsessed. There are haters out there, that’s for sure. I’ve met some. However, I’ve never been swayed from rooting for my Pittsburgh teams. Win or lose, frustration or joy, I’m die-hard. Dare I hope that the Pirates will continue to give us something to cheer about? Dare I hope that the Steelers will get another ring? I do. That’s being a fan. I can be critical and still hope. Go Steelers!