Eli Rogers, remember this word: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (Sept. 4)

by Aubrey Bruce, For New Pittsburgh Courier

Please, before all of you begin Google-ing and consulting your PDRs (physician desk references), please remember that what you are about to read is purely theoretical in nature.

I have heard a lot of hemming and hawing in regards to the untimely relocation of one Antonio Brown, former resident narcissistic clown and present wide receiver (no one knows how long) for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders or whatever their name will be in a year or so. I previously thought (it was later confirmed) that the peculiar greed-like behavior that Mr. Brown exhibited before he boarded the Al Davis express was possibly because he had allegedly been bitten by the “me-me” bug which infected him with the “I only count virus” or the “I-ock syndrome.”

This ailment should not to be confused with the East Nile or the East Pittsburgh virus that is known to be transmitted by mosquitoes, oh, except for the East Pittsburgh virus—that sickness may be transmitted by insects breeding in the standing and stagnant water around the Clairton Coke Works (just joshing, don’t get your dander up).

Now, what you are about to read below is purely accurate in nature.

Several days ago I spoke with Steelers wide receiver James Washington and former receiver Eli Rogers. That was shortly after the death of Coach Darryl Drake. When asked about Coach Drake, perhaps Rogers had seen the handwriting in the bathroom stall that his 2019 days sporting a black and gold uniform were numbered. I wanted to open up my interview with Rogers with a question about Coach Drake. He put that to rest very quickly. “I don’t want to talk about that again. I have said all that I am going to say.”

Quite frankly, I was sort of surprised at his reaction but hey, that’s how it goes when sometimes out of sight may be out of mind. He might have already discussed it, but he had not discussed it with yours truly. I was not going to drudge up old information, heck I was just trying to get some additional insight from a player that I perceived, maybe incorrectly that was close to the late coach. I realize that Rogers may have had more information than the rest of us concerning his own job security but there are certain ways that anyone no matter who that person is or what their vocation may be to deal with pending unemployment or receiving an actual pink slip. When I asked Washington the same question, there was a totally different reaction and response. Washington said in soft almost hallowed tones when it came to reflecting on his former coach: “You could talk to him about more than football, a lot more than football, but one of the things that he let you know that life goes on…We all miss him.”

It is understandable that Rogers was far more worried about his future than his past and I am sure that he meant no blatant disrespect to his former coach. However, if Rogers displayed an indirect indifference to the fresh emotional wound that the team was trying to apply fresh ointment to behind the death of Coach Drake, then he should have reacted with the same callousness when the “Turk” came knocking on his bedroom door asking him for his playbook.

I don’t know much about Eli Rogers except that he was an NFL Pittsburgh Steelers player. I never make an attempt to psychoanalyze a player, because I am not qualified to do so and furthermore that is not my job. However, when specific personality traits jump out at you, these personality flaws must be recorded. I hope that Eli Rogers, for his own sake and for the sake of his future, receives a vaccination against the “I-ock syndrome” because “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Just ask Brother Benjamin.


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