The Steelers organization currently is being talked about for all of the wrong reasons. There's a perception that Pittsburgh has become a circus.
Art Rooney II disagrees, "I don't know where it comes from. As far as I am concerned, it is nonsense. We finished a half game of winning the division. ... It’s disappointing, but I’m not sure how that makes you a circus."
Here’s how the Steelers have become synonymous with a circus:
--Le’Veon Bell had been suspended multiple times. A year ago last week he told Jeremy Fowler that he may sit out the season or retire.
--He was arrested w/ Blount before a team flight to Philly for smoking a philly blunt.
--He didn’t show up this year like they thought he would. He consistently moved the goal posts and made some Steelers players look dumb.
--Antonio Brown has allegedly thrown things off a balcony in the direction of a toddler, gone 100 MPH on McKnight road, shown up to camp in a helicopter, been late to appointments at children’s hospital, filmed the locker room after a playoff win, skipped a meeting this year, thrown a ball at the QB’s feet, skipped practice, skipped an MRI, and left a game early in a fur coat. He's also refused to call the team president/owner back and has been in Instagram videos with James Harrison and Chad Ochocinco.
--Last year, Martavis Bryant requested a trade and threw a hissy fit. You know, the guy who had already been suspended multiple times.
--Last year, Mike Tomlin seemed to be looking ahead to the NE Patriots when he talked to Tony Dungy on NBC.
--Mike Mitchell was caught looking ahead to the Patriots and was also spotted yelling outside of the Jaguars locker room prior to the divisional round playoff game.
--The anthem controversy seemed to rock the Steelers more than any other team.
--James Harrison fell asleep in meetings and was cut. The locker room spoke out loudly and intensely.
--Two years ago, Joey Porter attacked a cop on the South Side.
--Todd Haley was kicked out of a bar.
--Ben called out AB and James Washington this year.
I respectfully disagree with Art Rooney II. The Steelers seem to be out of control. I think it’s more on Bell and Brown than anybody else, but I understand why the perception is that the team is a circus.
If the off the field "distractions" aren't a big deal then why have all of the perpetrators been shipped out of town?
Martavis Bryant was traded. Mike Mitchell was cut. Joey Porter's contract was not renewed. Haley's contract, likewise, was not picked up. Bell won't be back, and now Brown will be traded.
Art Rooney II can say the off the field stuff is not a big deal, but the actions prove otherwise.
Call it what you want, but saying Pittsburgh is a circus is anything but "nonsense."