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NFL – 2011 Has Been An Off-Season to Both Remember and Forget In Pittsburgh

 

To say that the 2011 off-season for the Pittsburgh Steelers being normal is an obvious understatement.

For a franchise that has a history of keeping a low profile and avoiding signing high-profile players, recent events featuring Rashard Mendenhall, Jason Harrison, Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward and Ben Roethlisberger have made the 2011 off-season in Pittsburgh anything but dull.

The 2011 off-season began on a sour note for Pittsburgh with a 31-25 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV, then on May 2nd , Mendenhall would utter the infamous tweet of "How can you hate someone who you’ve never heard speak" referring to the massive celebrations of deceased Al-Qaeda leader, Usama Bin Laden.

 Mendenhall’s tweets would unleash a media firestorm prompting Mendenhall to later re-tract his statements  

Super Bowl MVP, Hines Ward, would participate on the ABC reality-TV dance competition show "Dancing With The Stars" with a partially torn ACL ligament. 

While on the show his dance partner, Kym Johnson would suffer a horrific neck injury while Ward would be briefly detained at gunpoint during a traffic incident for allegedly driving a stolen car in Los Angeles. 

Ward would go on to win the competition. 

Lost in all the media hoopla is soft-spoken safety, Troy Polamalu getting his degree from USC in history.

When the NFL recently expanded rules concerning defenseless players, linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley would lambast NFL commissioner, Roger Goddell calling him an "idiot" and call the new rule, "The Pittsburgh Steelers Rule".  Harrison would later retract his comments, stating that he does not disagree with all the new rule changes.   

Harrison became the media lighting rod and unofficial poster boy for the new rules ensuring player safety during the 2010 season.  He was fined a grand total of $100,000 for the 2010-11 season, the most egregious and notorious being the two hits on Cleveland Browns wide receivers Joshua Cribbs and Mohammed Massaqoui in a 28-10 Pittsburgh victory.

For franchise QB, Roethlisberger who would miss four games for violating the NFL Personal Rule Conduct for allegedly sexually assaulting a Georgia college student, he would help guide the Steelers to Super Bowl XLV, only to lose to Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers. 

Roethlisberger is set to marry Pittsburgh native, Ashley Harlan in July.  

With the NFL lockout going well into its second month and no football in sight, the football-obsessed city of Pittsburgh and Steeler Nation may still get their fix of its favorite team as it has become its own version of "Hard Knocks"      

Email me at robcobb@gmail.com, Follow me on Twitter, (@Robert_Cobb)




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