This is your thread to talk about … well, whatever you want.
– I don’t know if it’s because we’re bored due to the lack of actual football news to discuss, or because people really, really care about athletes and their views on global politics, but Rashard Mendenhall’s Twitter comments were still a hot topic of discussion in Pittsburgh through the weekend. One of the most accurate assessments (in my mind) that I heard basically came down to this: Mendenhall is free to share his opinions, you’re free to be offended by them and you’re also free to ignore them. And Champion is free to drop his endorsement deal. So why are we still talking about it?
The discussion on Sunday (and perhaps this was happening earlier in the week, when I was still ignoring it) started to revolve around the old argument of athletes as role models and how we “relate” to them. On one hand, I can see why people look at these guys in that light, while I can also see why it’s dangerous and, more often than that not, not a good idea.
To make it simple (and perhaps overly simple) I pretty much ask three things from athletes: 1) Stay out of jail, just because it’s the decent thing to do to be a functioning member of society. 2) Play hard when you’re on the field/ice/court. 3) Entertain me.
That’s about it.
Sure, I’ve always had favorite players (and hey, I still do) but I’ve never really tried to relate myself to them or use them as “role models” with one possible exception: The only athlete that I’ve ever looked at and thought to myself, “Hey, I can really relate to that guy” is Johan Franzen of the Detroit Red Wings. Though I like to think I’ve improved in this area, I am a terrible public speaker and am painfully shy around new people. If I’m at a party with 50 people I wait for one of them to initiate a conversation with me, and even then I tend to be on the uncomfortable side for a while. It’s an anxiety thing. Last year an article came out in a Swedish magazine about Franzen where he talks about how he had a similar anxiety problem, how it almost ended his career before it began, and how he was afraid to score goals as a rookie because he hated the idea of having to speak publicly about it after the game. That’s something about an athlete I can relate to, and that I can look at and say, “Hey, that guy can teach me something.” But that’s about it.
– Here’s a cool look at the draft day process from Kevin Colbert. [Steelers.com]
– And here’s what Dewayne Washington is up to these days. My favorite part is how he admits that he’s not only a Steelers fan, but that he and his son lock themselves in their theatre room to watch games. [Steelers.com]
– For some more current football news, the Pittsburgh Power improved to 4-4 on Saturday night with a 51-41 win against the defending champion Spokane Shock. Go Power. [Pittsburgh Power]
– And for your random YouTube: Here’s a 35-yard touchdown run from Tim Worley…