The Steelers abandoned their once revered principles in the handling of the Alameda Ta'amu DUI case. But was there even a "Steeler Way" to begin with, or is it just a myth?
We have heard about the "Steelers Way" for years. Fans have this myth ingrained into their minds that the Steelers are somehow different than all those other heathen NFL franchises. The Pittsburgh Steelers supposedly have some manifest culture that makes the organization better than every other NFL team. The Steelers aren't the Bengals. They aren't the Ravens. The Rooneys and the Men of Steel are a different breed. They handle things differently in Pittsburgh, right?
In the words of Joe Biden, that's a bunch of malarkey.
I hate to break it to you, Steelers Nation, but your franchise is not different. It never has been. The only difference is that the Steelers produce winners. That should be the real meaning of the "Steelers Way." The proverbial slap on the wrist given to rookie defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu only strengthens the argument that the Steelers are no different. If the organization practiced what they preached and what the fans believe, if the Steelers truly placed honor and dignity above all else, Alameda Ta'amu would be searching for a job right now. However, sometimes the whole honor thing doesn't work out. Ask Penn State. I'm fine with it actually, but just don't pretend you're somehow doing things differently than the 31 other teams.
The laundry list of incidents probably isn't necessary, but for emphasis, let's take a trip down memories (we'd like to forget) lane: Jeff Reed, Najeh Davenport, James Harrison, Santonio Holmes, Barrett Brooks, Cedric Wilson, Hines Ward, and the Ben Roethlisberger saga.
In Ta'amu's case, what more could he have done, short of killing a person, to warrant a pink slip? I mean honestly, what Ta'amu allegedly put police and innocent bystanders through early Sunday morning is not only wrong, but something you would likely see in a movie. He could have easily killed someone. He could have easily been killed, either by his reckless driving, or by the police who drew their guns on him but decided not to fire. And this isn't even his first DUI. The Steelers knew he had a history. They picked him anyway knowing his previous issues. He drove drunk again and the team responded with a two-game suspension, a stern talking-to, and a slap on the wrist. So much for honor. So much for being different.
I wish my workplace ran things the "Steelers Way."