The Steeler blame game

| Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

In his Jan. 16 letter, Jack Juris states the New England Patriots Spygate affair didn't result in the loss of draft picks. That is incorrect. The Patriots had to forfeit their 2008 first-round pick.

He also feels the Steelers are the most scrutinized team in the NFL. Based on the list of teams that have lost draft picks since 1980, that argument loses some steam.

Eleven teams have forfeited picks for incidents including tampering with players, salary cap violations, illegal tryouts and contract violations. One of those incidents involved the Steelers — they lost a third-round pick for violating the salary cap in 1998.

The Broncos, 49ers, Raiders and Patriots have been penalized twice each.

The paranoia and blame-game mindset of some Steeler fans escalates when our beloved Black and Gold fail to make the playoffs.

Many fans blame the Kansas City kicker for missing the field goal that would have gotten the Steelers into the playoffs. Many more blame the referees who missed the penalty on the field goal attempt.

To lay blame, the Steelers themselves — including coach Mike Tomlin — know they need only look in the mirror. They know full well that had they beaten bottom feeders Minnesota, Oakland or Tennessee, they'd have been in the playoffs.

They know that bad performances on the field, not a conspiracy, kept them on the outside looking in.

Delaney Stewart


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