(Note) This is guy has been right on all year. He picked the Steelers to win all 3 of their playoff games, and I don't think he's a Steeler hatah)
Posted on Sat, Feb. 04, 2006
Porter employs truth to get even Stevens
By Patrick McManamon
Joey Porter claims to have done us all a favor.
Porter said Thursday -- the last day of media interviews -- that he simply brought truth back to Super Bowl XL.
How truth could be missing from such an All-American event is baffling, but apparently that's the truth. Porter -- Pittsburgh's talented and talky linebacker -- admitted that for days he had been biting his tongue, saying all the things that he's supposed to say and avoiding saying what he really thought.
An innocent comment by Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens apparently allowed Porter's floodgates of honesty and integrity to open fully.
Stevens was asked earlier in the week about Steelers big back Jerome Bettis playing Super Bowl XL in his hometown. Stevens called it a ``heartwarming story,'' but added that it would be disappointing Bettis wouldn't take the trophy back to Pittsburgh.
Shock of shocks, Stevens hinted that his team would win.
Stevens later went on to pump up his teammate, left tackle Walter Jones.
Jones happens to be one of the best offensive linemen in the league. He could steer a Ford Explorer wide of a quarterback. So Stevens said Porter might not have as much success against Jones as he had in previous games against other tackles.
Again, this is no big deal.
But Porter took it as such.
Or at least he said he did.
He blasted back at Stevens, firing insult after insult at him. He called Stevens soft. Said he was a bust of a first-round draft pick. Added that Stevens had no business talking the way he did. And stressed that while he didn't quibble with what Stevens said, he did have an argument with the fact that it was Stevens talking.
``I don't think he is worth enough to talk like that,'' Porter said.
``I just feel like I told the truth,'' Stevens said.
Truth in this case must be in the words of the belittler.
``This is his fourth year in the league and you have never heard anything about him until right now,'' Porter said. ``He is just starting to play. He was a first-rounder. You aren't too good if you are a first-rounder and you barely play four years -- that is just my opinion.
``If you are a first-rounder, you are supposed to come in and play immediately. You are barely getting on the field in your fourth year?''
There is a code in the NFL, and it states that those who don't play should not talk -- and that includes those who are not playing because of injury.
Guys follow that code.
Stevens had a pretty good season, though, with a career-high 45 catches for 554 yards, a Seattle record for tight ends. He also had a career-high and single-season team record (for tight ends) with five touchdowns.
Not too bad.
But 11 of his 20 career starts came this year. Before this season, he hadn't started more than five games in any one of his first three years. And he was the 28th overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft.
Porter is one of those guys you love to have on your team, but hate if he's on the other team. Several Browns have expressed disdain for him, though they understand that he can play.
Porter baits people in pregame warmups, and he looks for a reason to get fired up.
Apparently, he found that reason this week -- though it's a little odd that anyone playing in a Super Bowl would need any extra incentive.
To Porter, though, a bigger issue exists. This is about truth.
``It is better if you say it out front like he did so that we don't have to front like we like each other,'' he said. ``They don't like me over there. They are acting like they like me because they are supposed to say these good things about me because that is what the coach is telling them to do. With what he said, now the true feelings are out and they are going to hear my true feelings.
``We don't have to play the game about, `Yeah, they are great over there; yeah, he is great over there.' We don't have to do that anymore. It is official.''
Kind of makes you wonder what the point was of wandering around for hours on Media Day asking questions. If it's just gonna be pablum, can't we all just stay home an extra day?
Bettis shrugged off Stevens' remarks. ``Their job is to make sure it's not a big block party after the game; our job is to make sure everybody gets a ticket,'' he said. But Bettis defended his teammate.
``You all ask us to tell you something, and when we kind of skate around the truth, that's accepted,'' Bettis said. ``But when we tell you what we believe to be the truth, I think we've been criticized. So, it's a shame that he spoke out on what he believes and he's being criticized. But, it is what it is. He understands that. He's going to accept that burden of responsibility.''
Bettis is actually right on the money on one point.
The media comes to the Super Bowl every year looking for a story. When players say the usual drivel -- er, stuff -- the media says they're boring. When they speak their mind, the media says they're too controversial.
It's a no-win situation in many ways.
So give Porter his due for standing up for truth, justice and the American way.
He's the one who's going to have to back up his words Sunday night, and words have not won a game in the league since the dawn of civilization.
In Porter's case, truth really does set you free.