Big Lead Sports Bar

2/02/2008

"My Big Mouth": The Blame Lies Within

Full Disclosure: I have always had a ton of respect for U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, so I was pleased to see that he brought "Spygate" back into the headlines two days before the Super Bowl.

Even though Spygate has labeled the Patriots as cheaters, I don't think enough blame has been placed on the Steelers for helping create the New England Dynasty.

Yes, it's true...it's damn true that the Steelers have helped perpetuate the Patriots Dynasty. Even though I may be burned as a heretic for pointing an accusatory finger, the Steelers, in some ways, have played significant roles in the last two NFL Super Bowl dynasties.

Case #1 - The Dallas Cowboys - 1990s Edition.

In the 1990 NFL Draft, the Steelers had the 17th pick, and sitting behind the Steelers were the Packers at picks 18 and 19. With new offensive coordinator Joe Walton, the Steelers had their eye on a young tight end who would be a perfect fit for the new offense, and they knew nobody else would take him. So, the Steelers entertained offers at 17, traded down four spots with the Dallas Cowboys, and got a third round pick for their troubles.

The Cowboys used the pick to draft an undersized running back out of Florida named Emmitt Smith. You may have heard of Emmitt Smith from his stint on Dancing with the Stars, but believe it or not, he's also the NFL's All-Time leading rusher.

At 18 and 19, the Packers chose linebacker Tony Bennett and running back Darrell Thompson respectively. At pick 20, the Falcons chose Steve Broussard. Surprisingly, none of these players are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sorry, citizens of Canton, OH, you'll have to wait another year to add these busts.

The Steelers chose Eric Green at number 21, a tight end from Liberty, who was a Pro Bowler and a solid choice before he began to eat too much. The third round pick became OLB Craig Veasey, who played two years with the Steelers and registered 6.5 sacks in his 6 NFL seasons. Not bad if you like an outside linebacker who averages a sack a season.

Most uninspiring rookie card photo ever?

If the Steelers hold onto that pick and take Green at 17, then Smith likely goes to the Packers at 18. From there, we're talking about a Brett Favre/Emmitt Smith/Sterling Sharpe form of the Triplets, and the Green Bay Packers could very well have won 3-4 Super Bowls in the 1990s.

Instead, we got the Triplets of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Smith for 10 years, enough arrogance from Dallas to make you go Britney on your family -- what? too soon? -- and that nauseating proclamation from the the King of the Helmetheads and Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson, "How about them Cowboys!!!"


Case #2 - The New England Patriots - 2000s Edition

Thanks to the game of "What If" I submit to you these plausible, and in some cases ridiculous theories, as to how the Steelers helped the Patriots in the creation of a dynasty.

1. The most obvious: the Steelers had two chances to keep the Patriots Reign of Darkness from ever forming during the 2001 and 2004 AFC championship games. If it wasn't a Troy Edwards penalty, then it was Rodney Harrison picking off Ben Roethlisberger and taking it for a touchdown. Those truths are self-evident.

2. By winning the AFC title game, the Chargers went on to play the Super Bowl against the 49ers and were slaughtered. Because of that ass-whooping, Rodney Harrison and Junior Seau continued to believe they had a chance to win a Super Bowl. If the Steelers had won that game like they should -- I'm looking in your direction Tim McKyer -- then Harrison and Seau would have realized that they were terrible players and either retired or got arrested for some kind of crime like filming midgets having sex and passing it off as kiddie porn. (Ok, long shot, but still plausible.)

3. Bill Cowher didn't do a good enough job in frustrating Mike Vrabel when he was with the Steelers. Vrabel considered retiring from football at one point when he was with the Steelers, and if Cowher had succeeded, New England's defense would be different and maybe not as good. Instead, the Patriots got a highly-motivated linebacker who can catch touchdown passes on the goalline.

4. I refuse to say that drafting Tee Martin over Tom Brady was a mistake at the time. To think that Tom Brady was going to be a great quarterback would be extreme revisionist history, and Martin won a national championship in his one year as Tennessee's starter.

Since I can't go back and change any of these things, I only ask that the Steelers step up and take some blame.

After all, it's the 21st Century: it's always someone else's fault.

3 comments:

Brian said...

I thoughtyou were going to say "go Benoit on your family." Would have fit better.

jar66su said...

hey, if we had thrown to plexico more when he was a stiller maybe he wouldnt have jumped ship and caught the winning TD to beat the pats...

Jason said...

Going Benoit? Love it...should have used it.

I blame Joe Walton for why we lost Plaxico. No particular reason, but I always enjoyed blaming him arbitrarily.