I didn’t believe him, even though his friend who provided this tip was in the background making comments about it.
Where would my brother’s friend be getting this information? I mean, unless he has a direct line to Kevin Colbert and/or Mike Tomlin, any information his buddy received had to be secondhand.
Or maybe not.
Anyway, being a jerk, I then texted my brother this:
”My buddy who sells Pitt ornaments behind the casino told me he heard the Steelers were trying to trade Ben and Bell so they can move into the top five and draft [Josh] Rosen.”
If you’re from Pittsburgh, you know that text was yet another take on the ongoing, “My cousin’s brother’s uncle’s wife said her hairdresser said....” joke we locals like to use as it pertains to sports hearsay.
Fast forward to hours later when I was sitting around watching the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft unfold, when breaking news, “The Steelers have traded Martavis Bryant to the Raiders for a third-round pick.”
After swearing, I immediately jumped up and rushed over to my laptop so I could write a news-wire story for our buddy over at Steel Curtain Rising, who was away on business and unable to do it.
Only problem with that was I had to be on the air in like 10 minutes to do The Final Score, the BTSC award-winning podcast I do regularly with Bryan Anthony Davis (I’m predicting we will win something next year at the Grammys).
Right about the time I heard about the Bryant trade, I got this text from my brother:
”BRYANT GONE TO OAKLAND. I TOLD YOU I GOT CONNECTIONS MAN LOL.”
But it was no laughing matter at all, since he also called me to talk about something draft-related as I was trying to type out a story.
And did I mention I had to do a podcast?
After ending the call (I’m sure quite rudely), I dialed in to the podcast to discuss all things related to the Steelers draft with Bryan.
About 20 minutes into the show, it was the Steelers’ turn on the clock and Bryan asked me a question about something. What? I didn’t hear because I was distracted by this text:
”EDMUNDS VIRGINIA TECH IS OUR PICK!”
After getting this text and rudely not listening to Bryan’s on-air question, I told him Edmunds, a safety from Virginia Tech would be the pick...and, unlike a few hours earlier, I was now quite confident my information was credible.
As you now know, after Ryan Shazier’s emotional walk to the podium, he announced to the world what my brother had texted me moments earlier: “With the 28th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select Terrell Edmunds, safety, Virginia Tech.”
After Bryan and I spent the next 30 minutes or so digesting that pick (a rather surprising one that nobody saw coming), I said my goodbyes on the podcast before remembering that I still had to finish the Bryant story. “Bleep it! Had I just believed my brother earlier in the day, I could have gotten a head start on writing this thing!”
The next evening, just moments before the second and third rounds were set to commence, my brother sent yet another insider text:
”MASON RUDOLPH IS ON THE STEELERS 2ND RD BOARD LOL (he likes to text in all caps while also laughing out loud). I GOT THE WORD. I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED.”
I, of course, believed him, even if Rudolph, the Oklahoma State quarterback, wasn’t the actual second-round pick (it was Rudolph’s teammate at OSU, receiver James Washington).
Obviously, Rudolph was quickly snatched up by the Steelers in the third round, an outcome that had to please the front office, considering its apparent love for the young passer.
So there you have it, my brother, the Steelers insider.
I don’t know if it’s very ethical to write about things that your brother hears from his buddy, a buddy who likely isn’t playing golf with Omar Khan on the weekends, but I will leave you with this last little nugget which my brother texted me on draft weekend:
”My buddy was telling me the Steelers wanted to release [Le’Veon] Bell but [Mike] Tomlin wouldn’t let them.”
Don’t believe that?