The Super Bowl was an epic battle between two worthy teams and when it was all said and told, the New England Patriots came out the 2014 NFL Champions and really solidified themselves as the team of the 2000’s thus far.
They’re a great franchise but boy was it hard to watch them hoist another Lombardi.
Harder yet though was to see LeGarrette Blount be a part of the championship celebration. It’s sickening to know that he beat the system and was rewarded for it and honestly, the Steelers look very much the fool for letting it happen.
We all know the theory that the Pats illegally contacted Blount while on the Steelers and were able to convince him to get his release from the team. Whether or not that’s true is irrelevant. The Steelers shouldn’t have allowed it to happen. Yes, Blount was a bad teammate, a bad influence on LeVeon Bell and should absolutely never have been signed. Yet, once he was on this team, the Steelers should have taken charge from the get go. They never really made Blount step up and be accountable for the marijuana arrest, they let him run rogue instead.
When Blount started acting out and specifically when he walked off the field before the end of the game that cold November night, the black and gold shouldn’t have just released him, they should have sat him, suspended him without pay and sent a message to the team that nobody will turn their backs on this team and be allowed to bail out on the mission at hand. Nobody is bigger than the team and anybody who didn’t want to get on board with the teams’ goals can sit at home without pay.
Instead, they released him, rewarding his behavior. All Blount did was go on to sign with the Pats three days later and ultimately win a championship. What lesson did he learn, act like a jerk and win? Who wouldn’t follow suit? It’s a horrible message to send to players on the team and around the league in general and the Steelers are at fault.
Top that off and think about what Blount could have done for the Steelers had they kept him. He could have saved LeVeon Bell from the heavy work load he had to endure through the remainder of the season and Blount certainly would have been a welcome sight in the playoff game vs. the Ravens. He was and is a very capable back.
It’s hard to think that had he been suspended without pay for a few games that he wouldn’t return with a little motivation and something to prove. The Steelers could have released him after the season had they wanted to but to release him with no backup plan and with no regard for the message they sent was egregious.
So in the end, the Steelers were bounced in the playoffs in round one because they had no backup for Bell, Blount goes on and gets a ring and the Steelers look like fools. Blount 1, Pittsburgh 0.
Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association www.steelnationassociation.com- Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.