What a difference a year makes. On April 28, 2012, I tweeted the following: "On my birthday, I wish for a BIG, FAT...Nose Tackle to eventually step in whenever @HamptonsGut has to hang up the cleats. #steelernation."
A few minutes later, many Steelers fans got their wish along with me as the Steelers traded up in the 4th round to select Alameda Ta'Amu with the 109th pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. The Steelers gave up their original 4th round pick (119th overall) and a sixth-round pick (193rd overall) to Washington for the right to select Ta'Amu at that spot.
Nearly a year later, after Ta'Amu had been suspended by the Steelers, cut from their roster and re-signed, Ta'Amu pleaded guilty to three counts of reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and DUI - as a result of his arrest on October 14, 2012. His actions of October 14 resulted in property damage in excess of $22,000 as well as personal injury to a woman who had been sitting inside a parked car...
A PARKED car!
Ta'Amu is quoted by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as saying, "I know what I've done is wrong."
Do you Mr. Ta'Amu? Do you really? Then tell us why you would possibly think it would be a wise idea to post a picture on Twitter of you on the driver's side of a motor vehicle while your companion is sitting next to you holding a bottle of whiskey as reported by Dave Bryan of Steelers Depot.
Or why, as you’ve later tried to explain, you wouldn’t have taken the time to review the picture first, think about it, and then decide whether to send the tweet. How many sober people on twitter have drafted a tweet and then, just before hitting send, decided it wouldn’t be a wise idea? Not to say you weren’t sober when you sent your tweet, but many inebriated souls have posted tweets they surely regretted minutes, hours or days later. What’s your excuse?
Oh, here it is, here’s an excerpt from one of your follow up tweets: “…Didn't look at his pic before sending my tweet…”
The damage is done, sir. You can try to play it off with a million follow up tweets, but it's already done. In this age of instant news, you can't retract your mistakes. You have to be smarter than that. If you want to play in the NFL, it takes more than talent. It takes some intelligence too. According to most accounts, playing in Dick LeBeau's 3-4 defense takes a fair amount of intelligence as well. You'll need every healthy brain cell you possess in order to excel in that league and that defense.
Please Mr. Ta'Amu, for your own sake, please stop and think before you tweet. In fact, just think before you act. Count to ten, and if in those 10 breaths your life isn't in danger, you don't have to take immediate action. You can do it after giving it some thought. You may even forget to do something after counting to ten, in which case, it probably wasn't all that important. Of course, if you can't even count to one without fearing for your life, act immediately!
I've read many of your tweets. You seem to care very much about your family and others close to you. While you may walk away unscathed from your recent tweet, unlike the woman in the parked car on the South Side of Pittsburgh on 10/14/12, you must make a conscious effort to think before you act. If you won't do it for your fans, or for yourself, and not even for the love of God, PLEASE do it for those family members whom you love and who love you so much. Please be a good example and a hero for those in your life who look up to you as an uncle or father. Your life and so many lives around you depend on your ability to know right from wrong.