Published September 20, 2013
The Pittsburgh Steelers are 0-2 for the first time since 2002. They're rushing attack is 31st (out of 32 teams) in the NFL. Mike Wallace (and his speed) is gone; Troy Polamalu (and his decade-plus of NFL wear & tear) is still around. Ben Roethlisberger is spending more time scrambling for survival than looking downfield for open targets.
On Thursday, the team's veterans and captains apparently found the cause of all their ills. Ping-Pong, of course.
According to several reports, during a meeting among the veterans, a rule was passed that players with less than four years of NFL experience were banned from playing table tennis or pool in the locker room. While this looks like a silly rule akin to mild hazing, some of these tweets by Jory Rand of KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, the veterans are claiming to have the young guys' best interest -- on and off the field -- in mind.
1 change to come out of Steelers veterans meeting yesterday is younger players arent allowed to play pool or ping-pong during business hours
Jory Rand (@JoryRand) September 19, 2013 The signs say anyone with less than 4 years NFL experience cannot play locker room pool or ping pong during business hours.
Jory Rand (@JoryRand) September 19, 2013 I asked Ryan Clark if the signs were new. "Did you see them there yesterday?" He would only add it was their meeting not a public meeting.
Jory Rand (@JoryRand) September 19, 2013 Antonio Brown: "I think the older guys are cracking down and making sure guys on the clock are business savvy while they're here."
Jory Rand (@JoryRand) September 19, 2013 Brown: "...as far as their assignment, being ready to work, attentive to detail, not just enjoying all the recreation things around here."
Jory Rand (@JoryRand) September 19, 2013 But not everybody was unhappy with the decision.
If Forest Gump taught me anything it's that taking away a man's ping pong makes him run faster. Well done by the Steelers.
-- Steve Kubitz (@Munkie91087) September 19, 2013 Ultimately, though, the concensus was this is a misguided attempt at instilling discipline.
Steelers can no longer play ping pong but they can still allow their quarterback to get sacked 5 times a game. Done
-- MAD CHAD (@MadChad412) September 19, 2013