“Your mission Jim, should you decide to accept it…As always, should you or any of your IM Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in ten seconds.”
In the hit 1960s television series “Mission Impossible,” secret agent Jim Phelps would always receive the instructions for his next mission from a pre-recorded message that would self-destruct shortly after the message was completed in order to ensure that the content could not be intercepted, copied or otherwise compromised.
Before, during and after the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2018 season there was and continues to be plenty of “drama, drama bo-bama, banana fana, fo-fama, fe-fi, yo-mama, drama” to go around. The aforementioned was part of a hit song titled “The Name Game” written and recorded by one hit wonder, R&B singer Shirley Ellis and Lincoln Chase in 1965. Ms. Ellis scored on the one hit jackpot.
In Pittsburgh, there’s been games played like the Le’Veon Bell Sweepstakes, the Antonio Brown Powerball and the Ben Roethlisberger “Secret Agent” Lottery. All three players are getting paid but it seems that only one player is recognized and appreciated for his skillset and value to the Steelers by the majority of Steelers fans. On March 15, Steven Ruiz posted this article on USA Today— “Ex-Steeler claims Ben Roethlisberger deliberately fumbled to protest play call.”
Ruiz writes the following: “By trading Antonio Brown and letting Le’Veon Bell (become a free agent), the Steelers have solved all of their locker room problems. Right? Well, maybe not. Roethlisberger, who played a role in the Antonio Brown drama, is still in Pittsburgh and there’s no reason to believe that he’ll refrain from throwing his teammates under the bus. Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko spoke with two former Steelers who explained how Roethlisberger’s personality may have contributed to the mess in Pittsburgh. One of those players, Josh Harris, who played in Pittsburgh during the 2014 season, has claimed Roethlisberger once intentionally fumbled a ball because he did not agree with then-offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s play call. Harris recently tweeted the following. “2014 week 17 we were playing the Bengals. Todd Haley called a run play with very little time left in the game. Ben wanted to kneel. He rolled his eyes in the huddle. He then purposely fumbles the ball. I had to recover it. At that moment I knew what kinda person he was.”
In a recent column I wrote the following: “During the 2017 NFL postseason the Steelers lost their playoff matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, 45-42, and everyone put the yoke of defeat around the neck of the Steelers defense and many of the ‘talking heads’ did not even seriously consider the fact that Roethlisberger committed a fumble that was returned for a touchdown (near the end of the first half, no less) and threw an interception less than 20 yards from his own end zone early in the first quarter. The Steelers lost by three points but the Jaguars scored 14 points as a direct result of Roethlisberger’s miscues. After that fiasco disguised as a game, Roethlisberger stated publicly that he was “massively frustrated” by a few of the play-calling decisions of the coaching staff (Todd Haley), echoing the sentiments of Steelers Nation. That disloyal, self-serving temper seemed to covertly suggest that an undeserved pink slip should have been issued to Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Haley was never really welcomed by Roethlisberger after former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians sought greener pastures becoming the headmaster of the Cardinals in Tempe, Ariz.”
Why is it so hard to imagine Ben Roethlisberger or any other player in any other sport to maybe perform less enthusiastically for a coach or coaches that they are not really fond of? Is Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin next on Roethlisberger’s ‘hit list’?
H’mm, is this maybe a little food for the palate of possibility?
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