Pittsburgh’s True Religion – the Pittsburgh Steelers

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As mentioned in past posts, I am constantly at war with Pittsburgh’s true religion, the golden trinity of the Penguins, the Pirates, and the Steelers. And now, once again, Pittsburgh is battling a question of ethics versus victory on the turf.

Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount could face charges of marijuana possession after being pulled over yesterday afternoon, BUT they were still allowed to play in yesterday’s preseason game. Why the heck did Mike Tomlin think that was a good idea? I’m glad the Steelers lost last night’s game.

What are we telling kids when an unarmed teen is killed unnecessarily in Ferguson, Missouri, but a football player is allowed back on a high school team after violently raping a young girl? Football is America’s true religion, and it is disgusting. Sports are supposed to teach discipline, teamwork, as well as losing and winning graciously, but lately kids are taught from a young age to win at all costs. Parents push their children harder than anyone. And the Steelers are setting yet another bad example for these children. If you’re an athlete, a good one, it’s okay if you make a criminal error because we’ll let you back on the team anyway because we need to win. Bell and Blout were arrested yesterday, but they were still allowed to play in a game. They may face charges, but somehow I doubt those charges will follow them their entire careers. If I was caught with marijuana, I would never set foot in a library as an employee again.

Will writing this post change anything? Probably not. But we need to quit worshiping men like this. True heroes do not kick a football around on the field and then make a fool of themselves off. I am willing to believe that there are true heroes in the sports world, but Bell and Blout do not exemplify my idea of a hero. And neither does Mike Tomlin for not addressing this issue.

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6 thoughts on “Pittsburgh’s True Religion – the Pittsburgh Steelers

  1. Aaron L

    As of 9:30am there have been reports that they have been formally charged with possession and will be subject to the league’s substance abuse policy. Why did Tomlin start them last night? I like to believe that it was because they were not charged and he likes to assess situations slowly and carefully – they were not charged at the time so legally he could play them.
    I don’t want to justify his playing them, but I don’t think that his reasoning was that he needed to win that game (it was a preseason game and it matters as much as the points on Whose Line is it Anyway?).

    I cannot argue with the “religion” comment that we, as western Pennsylvanians and Americans in general, place on football at all levels. Yes, athletes in all professional sports are pressured to play at the highest level – that’s why they they get paid the big bucks. We value the entertainment we get from watching and thus give them huge salaries, which in turn pressures them to play at more demanding levels and thus were are more entertained. It’s a cycle of payments and performance. How many football players would you see leading with their heads to make a big hit if they were only paid $50k a year? I’ve been slowly removing myself from the “religious” fandom state after becoming aware that with the new and improved “safety” equipment, players are taking more risks while playing and nullifying any improvements that the equipment may provide.

    Are libraries’ policies so strict that if you were pulled over for a DUI and possession of an illegal substance you would not be able to work in a library again? Honestly, I’m a little surprised. Does it have to do with the fact that you are working with children?

    On a side note, I’m going to ignore the comment on Ferguson. People seem to be attacking that situation (i.e. even contrasting it to the shootings in Aurora because the white perp was captured alive) when nobody seems to be able to give complete details. It is a shame that he was shot to death, as it is a shame when anyone is killed.

    • Thank you for your well-thought comment. Yes, because I work with children I would get in a lot of trouble for something like that (working with adults for the rest of my life would be a punishment in itself).

      While I understand sports are a part of the entertainment industry and the injuries sustained during games like that are nothing to joke about, it’s player conduct off the field that drives me mad. And it’s not just athletes in professional sports that are pushed to play at the highest level possible. Look at how many kids are led at early ages to believe that sports is more important than anything else, and their parents encourage them to be star athletes, that winning is the only option.

      If athletes are our children’s heroes, then the athletes need to take that seriously. If a ten-year-old boy is looking up to a football player, that player needs to keep that in mind. Millions of people are watching him, and not just on TV Monday nights, and young children are looking up to him. That’s with any sport, any gender, any team.

  2. Fil D

    I think if people realized how little time they had on this Earth, they would probably rethink how much they spend on pro sports. I’d agree that there are some people who hold up pro sports stars to their kids as role models and I think that’s odd, if not wrong, but I don’t know that even a majority of families do this. Maybe it’s more implicit than explicit, though.

    Football IS a religion in this country, and you’ll find many others that are of the non-traditional bent too – celebrity culture being another prominent one. Man is a religious being. He will worship SOMETHING. The question becomes – what do you worship?

    • People like athletes and celebrities are tangible. We can physically see them in ways that we can’t see God. So if we allow these people, human beings just like us, to be idolized, they begin to see themselves above everyone else. Special treatment does nothing to curb this. Technically, athletes are celebrities.

      I don’t want to make an over-generalization about athletes overall. I’ve met plenty of people who considered themselves athletes who were down-to-earth, good people. But I’ve also met some who were so cocky I couldn’t stand to be in their presence.

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