If you ask almost any General Manager in the National Football League, they’ll tell you that no month on the calendar worries them more than July does. This has nothing to do with being harmed by fireworks either. This is the month where NFL Training Camps will open up and in the weeks prior, many players, especially the younger ones, like to party and have fun before focusing on football.
Pittsburgh Steelers’ Center Maurkice Pouncey and his brother Mike held their annual birthday bash Friday night in Miami. According to several outlets, including this one from South Florida, the brothers were accused of assaulting a man and possibly a woman. A man named Ricky Vasquez tweeted and Instagramed a number of posts about being assaulted by the two brothers.
As of 2:40pm Eastern time Saturday, Pro Football Talk cited a source with knowledge of the investigation who claims the Pouncey Twins were not involved in the alleged assault.
Mr. Vasquez would not be the first person in the world to fabricate a story in an effort to gain financially from professional athletes. If that is indeed what he is attempting to do then shame on him, but to be honest, he did pick a couple of pretty easy targets. It was at this same birthday bash a year ago where Maurkice and Mike Pouncey donned their “Free Aaron Hernandez” hats in the days following their former college teammate’s arrest for murder.
In other words, the Pouncey’s aren’t exactly going to stun anyone with their brilliant common sense and here is yet another case in point.
I’m not suggesting that any young athlete making millions of dollars can’t party and have a good time, but doesn’t some real, honest to goodness common sense have to come into play for these two guys at some point?
Mike Pouncey is coming off a series of months where he was not exactly put in a brilliant light following the investigation into the Miami Dolphins’ locker room. If you recall, Pouncey was one of the ring leaders of former guard Richie Incognito’s bullying system.
More recently, he underwent surgery on his hip which will keep him out of action well into the regular season. Shouldn’t he be more concerned with getting better?
Then we have Maurkice who is coming off a year in which he played less than ten snaps before blowing out his ACL and missing the season. The Steelers’ front office obviously felt he was worth a major contract extension regardless of his injury or off-field issues. They gave him a five-year extension worth $44 million making him the highest paid center in the league.
While the contract is very team-friendly, I wasn’t a fan and I’m still not. I think Pouncey is a very athletic center but I also believe he gets pushed around at the point of attack and lets in far too much pressure up the middle. That isn’t what this is about though.
This is about making choices and decisions that do not put you in a position to be anywhere near this type of stuff. Think about it; what good can really come out of being in a Miami nightclub in the wee hours of the morning? There is far more ‘bad’ that can happen than good and that’s what the Pouncey’s just don’t seem to understand.
Obviously, I hope the report from Pro Football Talk is accurate. I don’t want any negative attention on the Steelers or any other team for that matter. Whether Mike or Maurice Pouncey did anything wrong still isn’t the point.
It’s about putting yourself in the best possible position to be good to yourself, your team and the fans. Many players get this concept but obviously, some don’t.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard weekly on Trib-Live Radio talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.