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Atlanta Dan
12-22-2006, 12:38 PM
I am linking to an article by Dr.Z at SI.com, one of my favorite NFL writers. The article is described as follows:

The following column by Dr. Z is a compendium of insights and experieces gleaned from 40 years of covering the NFL. While the story's main character is a composite, he is a representation of a real NFL offensive lineman and the real on- and off-the-field experiences of playing in the NFL.

While the column is about the NFL in general, the italicized excerpts address several recurring topics on this board regarding the Steelers:

Topic #1

Coaches always are ready to appoint leaders, and usually they're locker room hotshots, guys who want to call a players only meeting every 20 minutes, and not many people pay attention to them. But the players can find their own leaders, and usually they're black, which figures because 70 percent of the league is black. Look at the great teams, the Super Bowl champions, and I'll bet you that most of them had one thing in common, strong black leadership.

White leadership usually is an on-field thing, and most of the time it'll come from a great quarterback, a field leader. But off the field? Can he get some wildass black rookie, some kid who's never had any real discipline in his life, and grab him by the throat and tell him, "You're screwing up, man?" Well, maybe your white quarterback can with a white kid, but nothing works better on a young black player than a head to head with a black guy who's got some skins on the wall, a few Pro Bowls, maybe a Super Bowl ring. If he can't listen to him, he can't listen to anybody.

As far as Super Bowl teams having leaders, we all know about Bettis. With regard to this season, while Ben did outreach to Holmes in pre-season and Holmes apparently blew him off, Holmes has subsequently stayed out of trouble. Any bets on whether Hines Ward had some sitdowns with Santonio?

Topic #2

So I go out there and try to do my job. I've got a pretty high boiling point, but I'll go off, too. Yeah, I got a big fine once. This guy was Hollywooding me. He got a sack off me, then he forced an interception, and he was doing all that chest pounding and muscle flexing and pointing at me and then at his belly...see what a fat slob I'm playing against, that kind of stuff. And I was getting pretty upset, and there was this one play where the guard next to me had him jacked up and his side was to me and I just came down hard on the back of his knee.

"You bastard!" he screamed at me, but he was through for the day.

Hopefuly Antonio Smith will read this before he spends any more time planning his next INT celebration.

Topic #3

How the league reacts to what you say is kind of weird, too. That guy on the Steelers calls the Browns' tight end a fag and it costs him $10,000. But remember a few years ago when that guy on the Giants called a head coach a homo? I don't remember a fine for that one. Maybe the league office didn't know what it meant. Funny, huh?

No elaboration required.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/dr_z/12/20/insider/index.html

BigDuke6
12-23-2006, 01:30 PM
The NFL disciplinary committe needs an overhaul.