I’m reminded of a scene from the movie ‘Goodfellas’, at the annual Christmas party directly following the Luftansa heist, Robert Deniro’s character is scolding the other wiseguys for parading around with new expensive gifts. “Just don’t do it” says Deniro, “what, are you an idiot?”, he goes on to say. By now, everyone has heard of the afternoon antics of Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Le’Veon Bell and LaGarrette Blount. Apparently on the way to practice, Bell and Blount decided to spark up the proverbial doobie as they cruised the Ross Township section of Pittsburgh. They must have scored some good shit because they didn’t recognize the fact that a Police Office on a Motorcycle was close enough to smell the pungent Cannabis fuming from Bell’s Camaro. It was a scene reminiscent of former wide receiver Santonio Holmes getting pulled over in the Hill District, whereas Holmes admitted having a couple of blunts in his glove compartment, the Steelers backfield tandem quickly admitted to ownership of a plastic bag filled with approximately 20 grams of Herb.
In the grand scheme of current disciplinary actions on NFL players, it’s safe to say it’s a kinder, gentler Roger Goodell. Players like Aldon Smith of San Fransisco, Josh Gordon of Cleveland, and our boy Ray Rice of the Ratbirds, are receiving suspensions and discipline, but their collective punishments hardly seem to fit the crimes. So it may be a safe guess these two Cheech and Chong impersonators may not miss any significant game time, of course time will tell. The larger issue is how the Rooney’s will handle this most recent embarrassing moment from a star player, every Steelers fan knows their is little tolerance for players who cannot conduct themselves appropriately while under the employ of the organization. It’s no mystery these athletes are partaking in a myriad of libations, living just like any other young person would live, and this goes back through history, from Joe Gilliam, Ernie Holmes, Carlton Hasslerig, Bam Morris, take your pick.
What I find most disconcerting about this incident, it how absolutely stupid Bell and Blount were. Personally I don’t understand how an athlete, let alone a running back, could be smoking marijuana before playing or in this case, running. There was of course the infamous Ricky Williams story, former running back and number one pick for the Miami Dolphins, who retired and publicly affirmed his interest in smoking, versus his disinterest in playing football. I’ve long been one to say hey, whatever works for you go for it, but at the same time, focus on your job and keep your personal habits, personal. If you’re a public figure and you like to drink, hire a limousine on a Saturday night to get you from point A to point B, drink as much as you want. If you want to split a bag of weed with your backfield mate, do it on an off day at your home, pull down the blinds and get as smoked up as you want.
In what is looking to be a breakout season for a new spirited Steelers team, this is the type of stain that may not wash out, but will hopefully just fade away in time with the hope these two genius learn their lesson. They may not get many future chances or leniency from the Steeler organization, where is Santonio Holmes playing these days?