Not to beat a dead horse or anything but the controversy of Steelers Center Maurkice Pouncey, along with his brother, Mike’s hats which read “Free Hernandez” still hasn’t gone away. As Craig brought to you yesterday, Ron Cook from the PPG wrote a commentary about athletes’ apologies in today’s Twitter age. If you’ve ever listened to 93.7 The Fan and heard Cook during his show, you’d know he’s a pretty snarky, cynical, well-seasoned journalist who sometimes can’t change with the times. Cook writes that it’s hard to feel that athlete’s apologies these days are sincere because they typically happen about 24-48 hours following whatever dumb thing the athlete did in the first place to cause controversy and most of the time, happen on Twitter. He feels that Maurkice’s apology Monday afternoon for wearing the “Free Hernandez” hat was most likely prompted by the Steelers organization, and not because Pouncey genuinely felt bad for what he did. Personally, I find it difficult to read a story written by a journalist whom freely admits that he doesn’t have a Twitter page and doesn’t follow anything on Twitter on how athletes should behave on Twitter. If Cook wants to stay relevant with the times, he had better jump on the bandwagon or leave his opinions to himself. In my MMQB, before Pouncey ever made an apology, I said that I thought it wasn’t something that needed overreacting as some were actually calling for Pouncey’s release because of the incident.
I’ve stated before that I think social media can be the downfall of the NFL. As much as it brings fans closer to the players than ever before, it’s a dangerous double-edged sword that allows just about anything to be magnified beyond reason. Several athletes tweeted reactions following the “Not Guilty” verdict for the high profile George Zimmerman murder trial this past weekend. Several of them had to give apologies following reactions to their reactions. I’ve seen how the smallest thing can take over social media like a tidal wave of reaction and I’m not always sure that all athletes realize the significance of that when it comes to when they want to share their personal views on a subject. As much as they want hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter to validate their self-esteem, they need to recognize the responsibility of now being in the position to potentially piss off hundreds of thousands of people with one 140-character thought, opinion, picture, or feeling. Is that completely fair? Probably not. But that’s the world we are living in now. How is it fair to want that closeness to your favorite athletes by getting to see pictures of them with their families, their random daily routines, and insights to their personalities but not want them to be able to share their opinions or feelings at the same time? Was it stupid and inconsiderate to Odin Lloyd’s family for the Pouncey twins to be photographed in public wearing hats that read “Free Hernandez” as if the whole murder case was some kind of joke? Of course it was. But do we really need to criticize Pouncey to the point of prompting a public apology and then criticize the sincerity of the apology too?
A Day in the Life of Jonathan Dwyer
For some personal insight that’s guaranteed to be noncontroversial, the Steelers website is doing a series of “A Day in the Life” with several Steelers players for the offseason. Yesterday’s edition was for RB Jonathan Dwyer. You get to see him with his family, including his new baby and his brother playing college baseball.
Roethlisberger’s #7 Ranking of QB’s
Neal Coolong of Behind The Steel Curtain puts ESPN’s Ron Jaworski’s rating of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger as the seventh best quarterback in the league into numeric perspective. Put as must stock as you want into Jaw’s rankings. Clearly he’s swayed by the flavors of the month but putting Joe Flacco ahead of Roethlisberger and ranking Colts QB Andrew Luck in the top 10. Jaws didn’t put any stock into Super Bowl wins when he made this list as Roethlisberger and Eli Manning (each with 2 Super Bowl victories under their belt) are ranked 7th, and 8th, respectively. But when you’re over the outrage of someone saying that there are six quarterbacks in the NFL better than Ben Roethlisberger, perhaps you’ll notice the #7 ranking could be an omen, as Neal points out. Not only is it Ben’s jersey number, but it’s the number Super Bowl victory the Black & Gold will be hunting for this season. Maybe this is the year for Lucky #7 after all?
What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation?