Despite his importance to the Steelers team and their offense, you didn’t want to talk about the situation.
Despite the holdout that lent itself to an uncertainty about how his absence would affect Pittsburgh’s championship aspirations, you were tired of talking about it.
Despite everyone else on the planet talking about it on a daily basis as if it were a relevant and important topic, you didn’t want to read about it.
“Should the Steelers draft a running back in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft?” we often asked via various articles last winter and spring after Pittsburgh placed the franchise tag on him for a second straight year. “Do we need another article about this?” you rhetorically asked in various comments to said articles.
“Steelers superstar running back [redacted] says he won’t participate in OTAs, mini-camp or training camp again this year,” wrote ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler last spring. “Why do we need to know about that?” you asked last spring.
“Will James Conner benefit from the absence of Steelers superstar running back [redacted] as the team prepares for the 2018 regular season?” a lot of us asked via various training camp articles this past summer. “I sure hope so,” you said in response to these various articles. “Also, do we have to keep talking about this?”
“It is being reported by many well-connected NFL insiders that [redacted] could sit out the Steelers Week 1 match-up against the Browns at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium,” one of the breaking news types from BTSC wrote in early September. “You mean we’re still talking about this?” you rhetorically responded in many comments to said article.
“Can the Steelers offense function with James Conner as the workhorse running back this week against the Browns?” many of us asked in various opinion pieces in the wake of the news that [redacted] would not be reporting to the Steelers prior to their Week 1 match-up with the Browns at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium. “I have much confidence in James Conner,” you said in various comments to said articles. “Also, do we still have to keep reading about [redacted]?”
“Hey, let’s have a round-table discussion about Steelers star running back [redacted] on our NFL studio show,” said a lot of network executives as the [redacted] holdout continued through the first half of the 2018 regular season. “Yes, but why are we having round-table discussions about [redacted] on this site?” you often asked as the holdout continued through the first half of the 2018 regular season.
“Credible sources indicate that [redacted] could report to the Steelers facilities during the team’s bye week,” wrote someone from BTSC when it was initially reported by major outlets who thought it was news. “Is this even news anymore?” you rhetorically responded to our article about their article.
“Look, this whole thing is just dividing the fan base,” you often said. “To continue to write articles about it just fans the flames for further vitriol between us.”
Fair enough. Just take a look at some excerpts of various disagreements among the readers regarding the [redacted] situation:
“I don’t think he’s worth $15 million. I think the Steelers should use that money to replenish other parts of the roster.”
“Oh yeah, well I do think the Steelers should give him what he wants. He’s a generational talent.”
“He is not a generational talent.”
“Yes he is.”
The responses to our postings of [redacted] articles on Facebook were even worse:
“Coach Tomlinson never has his team prepared to play against inferior opponents!”
“No way, not until they stand!”
“Go Steelers, all the way from Mexico City!”
OK, here we are, and Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline for [redacted] to report to the Steelers in order to be eligible to play in the 2018 regular season has come and gone. [Redacted] did not report, which means we will not have to talk about him anymore.
No more articles about trading [redacted]. No more articles about his importance. No more articles about his absence. No more articles about his social media activities. No more articles about his contract situation.
Most importantly, no more division.
“Do we have to keep talking about this?”
At long last, the answer is “no.”
We can finally move on from this totally irrelevant yet somehow divisive topic.