Yesterday's show featured much criticism of Ryan Clark for his low-rent tiff with ESPN 970's Joe Bendel, and of James Harrison for being James Harrison, a man with zero redeeming value outside of football ability.
Realize, though, that jerks like Clark and Harrison do not represent the majority of the Steelers, or the majority of NFL players. A plethora of good citizens mostly comprise the local club, men like Troy Polamalu, James Farrior, Brett Keisel, Chris Hoke, Larry Foote...the list goes on and on.
But men like Clark and Harrison have become representative of the Steelers, and the NFL, because they WON'T SHUT UP. Visibility rules (drools).
The wretched media's got to carry a bit of the blame. Nothing attracts attention like the sound of a jackass braying. When it comes to sexy quotes, idiots are go-to guys. Nobody wants to read (or hear) vanilla.
But the majority of fingers must be pointed at the perpetrators of idiocy themselves. Clark is AMAZING. He chided Bendel because, Clark said, Bendel couldn't con him into spewing stupidity. Then, by way of gloating, Clark SPEWED STUPIDITY: "You gonna jump on me? You gonna jump on me? You gonna jump on me?" SHUT THE **** UP.
Clark and Harrison seem to hate the media. So they should do themselves a favor: DON'T TALK TO THE MEDIA.
Clark and Harrison give good quote, but so what? The media would benefit by avoiding the jousts with Clark, and the stares from Harrison. Clark and Harrison would get that much less recognition, but isn't that price worth paying if it means not dealing with people they don't respect?
So, don't talk to the media. What you say is less than insignificant. You're jocks, not Malcolm X. The world little notes, nor long remembers.
Harrison might embrace this notion. Clark, not so much. Clark is an attention junkie on a level with Hines Ward. Clark's so addicted, he might start tying himself off with a microphone cord. Interviews give him a chance to be condescending and (he thinks) clever. Clark loves to hear himself blab.
Clark also gets paid by Brand X to talk on the radio. Are those few extra bucks worth fraternizing with people he feels are beneath him? But you know how it is with prostitutes: The second trick is a lot easier.
In the middle of yesterday's foolishness, I actually thought: IT MIGHT BE FUN TO JUST TALK ABOUT FOOTBALL. Just a fleeting notion.
But it's difficult to ignore the off-the-field crap. That's the point. Clark, Harrison and their ilk EMBARRASS THE STEELERS. They FORCE the conversation AWAY FROM FOOTBALL. How do you think Polamalu felt when he witnessed the Clark/Bendel fiasco? How did Farrior react?
It's not up to the media to ignore lunacy, to do PR for the Steelers. Let the Steelers do their own PR. They need to muzzle their malcontents.
If Dan Rooney and Mike Tomlin won't get a grip, the players should. But Clark and Harrison are AMONG THE PERCEIVED LEADERS. Yikes.
How hard is it to love these guys sometimes? Seriously, how do you do it?