It’s been an ugly time for the Steelers, especially on social media.
There have been so many social media beefs involving current and former Steelers lately, if he had the talent to do so, Le’Veon Bell could write and produce a rap song about them.
But I’m not here to talk about Steelers-related news I’ve witnessed on social media in recent days. Actually, I am. And the news isn’t negative. In fact, if it were any more inspirational, any movie producer worth his or her salt would throw away the script—"There’s no possible way this ever happened."
I’m talking about the incredible physical progress—the leaps and bounds (quite literally)—made by former (and, perhaps, future) Steelers inside linebacker, Ryan Shazier.
About a year ago, when Bryan Anthony Davis and I co-hosted a special draft-night edition of The Hangover, and we watched on our TVs as Shazier walked to the podium to announce the Steelers 2018 first-round pick, it was very emotional—a tear-jerker if there ever was one.
At the same time, however, it was also a little sad. Here was Shazier, almost five months removed from a spinal injury that left him temporarily paralyzed from the waist-down—an injury that required surgery—walking, sure, but with great struggle—not to mention the assistance of his fiancee.
Obviously, in the grand-scheme of things, this was quite encouraging. When you’re wondering if you will ever walk again, any progress in that department is a blessing. But the sight of Shazier walking with a great deal of struggle was sad for a different reason: his desire to resume his career as a top-flight inside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Watching Shazier continue to struggle to walk all last summer and over the course of the season made you realize he would likely have to reevaluate his goals.
But here we are today, and Ryan Shazier is doing box jumps. And the box jumps come just months after he was first seen doing dead-lifts.I’m not sure if you know what a dead-lift is, but not only does it involve the lifting of a lot of weight, it requires you to have a strong and sturdy spine.
Many people have said they just want Shazier to be able to walk again, to have a normal existence. However, his dreams are apparently still greater than that. His goals for himself are different than what we have in mind for the rest of his life.
At a time when most of the news involving the Steelers—particularly on social media—is negative, here is Shazier giving us something 100 percent positive. No person in his or her right mind would ever troll the comments section of any story or video involving his great progress—not unless they were looking for a beat-down by the entire World Wide Web.
A rational person might rain on this picnic by reiterating their fear of Shazier trying to play again. I get that, but I’m starting to think there really will be a script written about the Ryan Shazier story some day, a script no movie producer worth his or her salt would ever dare throw away.