Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse for the Pittsburgh Steelers…
The Steelers had a nice ten day break after losing to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night. Most players used that time to rest injuries and gear up for next Sunday night’s pivotal game against the Bengals. Rookie NT Alameda Ta’amu decided to use his down time to play Grand Theft Auto. Except in real life.
This story is incredible even by dipshit athlete standards. Ta’amu faces 15 felony and misdemeanor charges after going on what can charitably be described as a drunken rampage late Saturday night. I like to think of myself as a creative guy but I couldn’t begin to come up with some of this stuff. You can read the Yahoo story by clicking here or go to a detailed account from the Post-Gazette here.
A thumbnail sketch of Ta’amu’s night sounds like the plot of Hangover 3. Ta’amu was driving drunk when police officers ordered him to pull over. Instead of complying, he fled by swerving into the oncoming lane, almost running over three police officers in the process. He then crashed into a parked car with a woman inside. What was she doing in a parked car at three in the morning? I don’t know but sounds like my kind of girl.
Wait, it gets better.
Ta’amu, whose SUV must be built like a tank, carried on, hitting several more cars before coming to a stop. Did he surrender? Hell no, he continued fleeing on foot, first stopping to remove his shirt because when you’re running from the cops, you certainly don’t want fabric providing any wind resistance. Anyway, if you saw Ta’amu’s Combine workout, it probably comes as no surprise that the cops quickly caught up with him. Being 6’3 and a taco under 350 pounds, it took several officers and two pairs of handcuffs to eventually subdue him.
“We are disappointed to hear about the situation regarding Alameda Ta’amu. We will gather more facts before providing any further comment.” said see-no-evil/hear-no-evil Steelers GM Kevin Colbert in a press release.
Ta’amu was a fourth round pick in this year’s draft. Most Steeler fans, myself included, were excited by the choice, viewing Ta’amu as Casey Hampton‘s eventual heir apparent at nose tackle. Ta’amu hasn’t played this season and after the Ginger Dictator gets a whiff of what happened, I don’t like his chances of playing at all this year. That is if the Steelers even keep this idiot around.
Before Ta’amu decided to be the latest Steeler to sully the reputation of a once proud franchise, the biggest news over the weekend was the team’s decision to cut ties with second year tight end Weslye Saunders. Saunders was suspended the first month of the season after testing positive for PEDs. It was expected he’d rejoin the team after serving his time since the Steelers were reportedly very high on him. His playing time steadily increased last season to the point many were viewing him as the Aaron Hernandez to Heath Miller’s Rob Gronkowski.
Saunders was probably a 2nd or 3rd round pick coming out of South Carolina until he was suspended his senior year for “violating team rules.” He ended up going undrafted and the Steelers snapped him up. Saunders displayed a world of potential, what with being a 6’5 270 pound tight end with excellent hands in a league that’s suddenly decided big pass catching tight ends are all the rage. Honestly, I thought he could possibly be the second coming of Eric Green.
Turns out I was right in all the wrong ways. Just like Green’s career was derailed by his being a self-destructive goof, it looks like Saunders suffers from the same mental deficiency. Mike Tomlin might say the team is high on 2012 draft pick David Paulson but neither he nor Todd Haley gofer Leonard Pope have anywhere near Saunders’ potential. The only reason the Steelers would’ve cut Saunders is that they looked at his history at SC and getting popped one year into his career and figured he was too much of a character risk going forward.
Failing a PED test and nearly committing multiple acts of vehicular homicide are two totally different things, however. Not to mention Saunders showed something in his first year here, Ta’amu has shown exactly bupkiss. Okay, 350 pound humans who play NT don’t grow on trees so I’m sure the Steelers will think long and hard about cutting Ta’amu but if Saunders was considered a bad apple, Ta’amu is a candy apple with a razor blade inside. Colbert can gather all the fact he wants, I don’t see how you justify turning the South Side into GTA: Steel City.
I’ve said this before and I’ll repeat it for newer readers. I love the Steelers. I’m proud to be a Steeler fan. I wouldn’t be doing a blog if I didn’t bleed Black and Gold. While I love my team, I don’t particularly like a lot their players. Don’t get me wrong, there are many good guys on the team, many who do charity work and are good members of the community but there are quite a few who are entitled assholes or cocky idiots.
And every day, it seems more and more like the good guys are being outnumbered by the bad ones. Instead of Art Rooney II worrying about bringing back Stiller Football by running 45 times per game, perhaps he should worry about something else. Namely, bringing back the Steeler Way when it comes to off the field behavior. Because I’m getting sick of seeing the Steelers turn into the Bengals.