Jun 26, 2013; North Attleborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots former tight end Aaron Hernandez (left) is arraigned in Attleboro District Court. Hernandez is charged with first degree murder in the death of Odin Lloyd. Mandatory Credit: The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Some Steeler and non Steeler thoughts for today

We’re down to a matter of weeks now before thirty two teams begin their training camps in preparation towards the hunt to a Superbowl trophy. Now that we are in the heat of summer, my thoughts turn to some Steeler and non Steeler matters.

What is wrong with Aaron Hernandez?
Obviously once a gangsta always a gangsta. Again another young athlete with the world at his feet surrounds himself with guns and bad company and tosses everything away. Of course there is much more to this story which will unfold over the coming weeks and months, but when will it finally sink in to these guys? I really and truly think 95% of today’s athletes are idiots or morons or are just plain stupid. Hernandez was bordering on stardom…now he’s bordering on life in prison. Truly a thug and an idiot.

Goodell has failed
It’s no secret I don’t like Roger Goodell and while I don’t blame the Hernandez thing on him, it seems almost daily some NFL player is being arrested. Clearly his message of law and order has fallen on deaf (and dumb) ears. The more he had tried to tighten his grip, the more things are slipping through his fingers. The NFL is in a serious crisis right now regarding players, guns, etc. Nothing Goodell is doing seems to work. I have no answers on what will work, maybe banning teams from drafting a kid with any type of record might convince some of these guys to change their lifestyle. One thing is for sure, Goodell better do some soul searching. His NFL is on trouble.

Bye Bye David Stern
As much as I dislike Goodell, I still think David Stern ranks with the worst commissioners ever. He’s like that nerdy science teacher that caught a lucky break and became cool man on campus. Watching the NBA draft the other night I almost died from heart failure when Jalen Rose called Stern, “maybe the best commissioner in history.” Are you serious Jalen? If any commish has let the inmates run the asylum it’s Stern. From the Lebron James televised ‘decision’ to the Dwight Howard garbage, Stern has never been, well….stern with his league. It was Bird, Magic and Jordan who made the NBA what it is today, not Stern. He just happened to be the man in charge when they were taking the league by storm. I am so glad he is done, I won’t miss his smug little face at the podium at the 2014 draft.

Speaking of the NBA draft
I enjoy watching the NBA draft as much as I do the NFL draft. Aside from Bill Simmons (who annoyed me to almost Mike Mayock levels), it’s usually a fun night where anything can happen. I’m amazed though at how many of these guys won’t make it ever as an NBA player, even the “lottery” picks have been busts over the years. I do hope Shane Battier is not on hand to do player interviews next year, he was so bland and lifeless it made me cringe. Battier and Simmons aside, the NBA draft is fun to watch.

I like the Steelers QB depth
I will not miss Charlie Batch. I will not miss Byron Leftwich either. Those two were two of the worst back up QBs I can remember. Now, with Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones (sorry John Parker Wilson), I feel much better about the depth behind Big Ben. Gradkowski is a gamer who can actually throw fairly well and Jones to me is the QB of the future. I hope the only time we see them on the field is when the Steelers are blowing someone out, but even if it is for an injury to Ben, I’m much more at ease with either Gradkwoski or Jones coming in.

Last ride of Dick, Troy and Ryan?
Much as I hate to say it, Dick Lebeau can’t coach forever. I’m not as fond of him as I once was, I hate the fact that rookies must ride the pine due to his schemes but the man was a genius in his prime. The Steelers didn’t generate a lot of sacks last year and the number of turnovers they generate have dropped dramatically. I think this could be his last year in Steel town, and quite frankly they should be.
As for Polamalu and Ryan Clark, they could be cap casualties next off season. If you thought 2011 and 2012 were bad for the team and the salary cap, 2013 could be worse. If the team chooses to sign one, it wouldn’t shock me if it’s Clark, not Polamalu.

The top 100 players of 2013
Who cares????
Truly NFL network, I know the players vote on it, but I’ve heard from several outlets that even the players don’t care about the list. It’s just further proof that the NFL network is useless in the off season. With an entire trove of NFL films history at their disposal and classic games from the 80′s and even 70′s to choose from, we keep being fed garbage. Sound FX? Who watches that crap? Top tens marathons until the sun comes up, NFL a.m stretched into the afternoon, ‘Hard Knocks’ from five years ago…what is this network doing? How about showing us those old NFL Games of the Week or This Week in the NFL or NFL yearbooks? And how about going back a tad further for those ‘classic games’. A game from 2011 is not a classic. How about some truly classic games from the 20th century? Even the NBA, NHL and MLB networks show vintage games and films, it’s time someone at the NFL network got a clue.

Gary Knafelc
Anyone see what he said about today’s NFL and retired players? I think he’s spot on.

So I guess that’s enough rambling about what’s been on my mind sports wise over the last few days. What is on your mind Steeler fans? I want to hear it.

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  • Carl Eagan

    Goodell is by far the worst commissioner the NFL has ever had. Unfortunately owners Like Roney lack the integrety to admit to a mistake and get rid of him. So we have Roger and his boy toys targeting the Saints and Steeler’s and all the other players can get away with everything and anything. The cowboys player who murdered a teammate because he was speeding while drunk last year still hasn’t been suspended. Stallworth who murdered someone in Miami while driving drunk was never suspended. Ray Lewis who stabbed a man in the back and then committed perjury while testifying against his friends was never suspended he was even over hyped by good old Roger.However Big Ben was suspended for an accusation by a whore wearing a shirt saying F*ck Me that changed her story count em 6 times in less than 12 hours. Saints players were suspended because they were gasp hitting people as hard they they could during a game of tackle football. Hey recall that Roger didn’t do or say anything when the Saints were allowed to illegally hit Farve during the playoff game, guess Roger didn’t like Bret.

    • Dom DiTolla

      While I don’t care for Goodell either, I think that you have a few factual mistakes embedded in your rant:

      In case you didn’t remember, Stallworth was actually suspended for the entire 2009 season in the aftermath of his accident. Moreover, he lucked out in court because it was determined that the pedestrian he hit was not in the cross-walk at the time. He served his suspension and that was all.

      Once the Cowboys activate Brent I am sure that the league will punish him. Then again, he might be in the slammer for a while if he does not get his act together. Since he has yet to play (or suit up for Dallas) since the vehicular manslaughter incident, he is not above a future suspension which will come if he ever does return to the NFL.

      Also, where is there evidence that it was indeed Ray Lewis who physically stabbed one of the two victims from the post-Super Bowl brawl in Atlanta in 2000? Were you in his party? He did obstruct the police investigation and turn on his friends, but neither him nor his friends were found guilty of murder.

      Is it a tragedy that two people died? Of course. But that does not mean Lewis “stabbed” them as you said. Also, Lewis wasn’t suspended at the time because he was not subject to the same personal-conduct policy that the players are under Goodell.

      It’s incidents like the ones with Lewis which led to the league cracking down on shenanigans. Which in turn is why a two-time Super Bowl-winner and face of the franchise like Roethlisberger was punished as harshly as he was.

      Although no charges were filed, Big Ben was obviously doing something morally reprehensible and disgraced his name and one of the league’s premier franchises in the process. Thus, the league made him pay for his idiocy with a harsh suspension (4 games reduced to 2 is what it should have been).

      Also, Saints players (and coaches) were not suspended because they “hit people as hard as they could,” either. They were actually punished for “non-contract bonuses,” the fact that the franchise covered their bounty system up, and continued to do employ it after the league told them not to do so.

      While I don’t care whether teams do that type of stuff or not, these owners at the League do not want to get hit with future lawsuits regarding head injuries. Thus, it was in their best interests to stop what was going on and cover their bases against losses of profits down the road.