Steel Curtain Weekly: The Calm Before the Quest
Checking back in with you, and there isn’t a whole lot of news to report that’s going to make this sound any more interesting to read than it is to write about. What we can take solace in is the fact that mandatory mini-camp is swiftly approaching and the clock is ticking as we look forward to the yearly sleepover at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
The savagely poetic beauty of a sport which would see us watch men crash into each other at full speed can be simplified as a modern day Battledome. 90 men will enter training camp, only 53 can emerge, 22 will start but only a few will be considered elite.
From the start of training camp until the end of the preseason, these players will be at each other’s throats. Spending day after day in the heat desperately trying to overwhelm each other, albeit while still forging a bond as brothers in arms with the same singular goal. Iron sharpens iron and the journey to establish positional dominance and supreme dominance as well prepares them for the season ahead. Respect will be earned, doubt will be answered and belief in each other will be the creed to carry through the journey.
The quest to acquire Lombardi trophies is the goal of the Pittsburgh Steelers every single year. They have been successful a league high six times. Its champions are well known, but every year, new up-and-comers arrive. A running back with the fairy tale story, an outside linebacker of noble NFL lineage, or perhaps a receiver capable who plucked balls from the heavens in the city of angels.
One thing remains for sure, the city of Pittsburgh is used to winners and having just watched the Penguins win the Stanley Cup, the stage has been set for the Steelers to follow suit and bring another championship to the “Steel City.”
Tomlin likes em’ young
I have made no secret of the fact that I’m a big Mike Tomlin fan, as a coach and for what some would say borders on an asshole-ish sense of humor. A slow dry roast of someone is always good for the soul. NFL coaches often keep their emotions and thoughts sealed and almost never do they admit to having a sense of humor. Tomlin pushes the envelope as much as he possibly can.
James Connor told a tale of sheer assholery. Yes, I’m aware you won’t find that particular word in Webster’s Dictionary, but I can assure you once you hear the story, you can’t help but agree.
Connor is the hometown boy who broke records in the ACC and the University of Pittsburgh. He survived Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and in the third round, the Steelers made his dream come true and drafted him. Tomlin was responsible with breaking the news.
Sitting in Buffalo Wild Wings in his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania Connor got a call.
“Where are you, you in Erie?” asked Tomlin, according to Steelers.com. “Get in the car and drive down. We’re not going to reimburse you for your gas mileage.”
After and dramatic pause, Tomlin confirmed, “Man, I’m just joking. Congratulations, man, to you and your family,” Tomlin said. “We’re excited for you. More importantly, we’re excited about you being a Steeler and chasing a championship in 2017, and you’re going to be a big part of that.”
A couple of weeks ago, a video of James Harrison hip thrusting an amazing 675 pounds went viral. Since the video surfaced, he’s been not so randomly drug tested three times in less than a month.
Harrison has a long and ugly history with the NFL League Office and more so with the commissioner Roger Goodell. Harrison has already been fined this offseason for taking place in an arm wrestling event in Las Vegas for charity. Harrison may be a lot of things, but the man busts his ass everyday in the weight room to maintain the ability to play the way he does. Insinuating that he could only do this with the aid of performance enhancing drugs is flattering in one way and extremely disrespectful at the same time.