My son in turning ten this coming week. He asked for a Le’Veon Bell jersey and I immediately said, “That’s a good choice. I’ll see what I can do.” So here I am a couple of days later explaining to my son why Bell and his fellow ‘Bong Brother’ LeGarrette Blount are plastered all over ESPN and NFL Network.
There will probably come a time when he can get Bell’s jersey but it probably won’t be next week. I need to see some maturity from Bell and so far I’m seeing anything but.
Blount is now with his fourth team in five years of pro football. To me, that’s a red flag because most teams will overlook certain issues if the product on the field is worth some headaches. Blount clearly wasn’t worth it to those other three teams. Why then was he worth it to the Steelers?
His past was checkered before he even entered the National Football League. This isn’t unique as lots of guys have pasts that are questionable when they enter the league but they typically find a home. Players with a pro career chart like Blount’s are usually called ‘special teamers.’
At the very least, Blount was accountable for himself after the game admitting he let the team down and that he was a ‘distraction.’
This wasn’t the case for Bell who prefaced any comments by saying “he would only answer questions about the game.” Now I could be wrong here, but I don’t believe Bell has issued any sort of apology outside of the team either. At least Blount offered some sort of apology.
Bell’s actions have surprised a lot of people including those at Michigan State where he played in college. “Stunned. Can’t believe it. Wow” were a few of the comments from MSU grads and football fans I spoke with last night. Essentially they didn’t see this coming anymore than we did.
It’s disappointing because of how accepted Bell has been by the faithful in Pittsburgh. He’s well-liked and plays the game hard which is what we all love to see. But somewhere along the way, whether by the influence of Blount or someone else, he’s lost his way.
A lot of people are calling this a mistake. No, this was just dumb. Driving around while marijuana smoke pours from the car is dumb. Trying to make excuses as Bell did once he was pulled over is dumb. Not at least showing some form of shame is dumb too.
Right now my image of Bell is of a guy who isn’t sorry for what he’s done. I’m not sure he’s even sorry he got caught yet. Like I said, I could see this coming with Blount and that’s bad enough but Bell? That’s the real disappointment.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteelDad and the website @SCBlitz. Check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/steelcityblitz and on Fancred.com. You can hear him weekly during the season on Trib-Live Radio
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