While much was made of the charitable work the Pittsburgh Steelers did when they drafted cornerback Justin Layne in the third-round of the 2019 NFL Draft, not every player selected each year is lucky enough to have their name called by Pittsburgh.
For Layne, the Steelers decision to pick him corrected decades of pain his family had endured as Cleveland Browns fans. Instantly cleansed of their attachment to the mistake by the lake with his selection, the Layne family were inspired to rid themselves of any Browns merchandise and repaint rooms in their house adorned in Cleveland colors moments after Justin was chosen by Pittsburgh.
Sadly for Baltimore Ravens fourth-round pick Ben Powers, draft weekend would not be so kind to his family, a group of die hard Steelers fans likely hoping the football gods would shine on them the same way they had for Layne and his family the day before. But not only would fate not smile on them, it would be cruel, sending Powers to a team that surely broke the heart of several family members.
The Powers’ Pittsburgh roots can be traced back to the former Oklahoma product’s grandmother, a clearly intelligent lady who had firmly rooted the family’s allegiances with the Steelers. Now her grandson is a Raven, the whole family has tragically been forced to turn their backs on the Black and Gold and embrace the putrid colors of Baltimore.
Speaking to staff writer Clifton Brown from the Ravens official team website, the rookie offensive lineman explained just how tough the decision to reject the Steelers had been for the rest of his family.
“Yup, in about 30 seconds. All that Steelers stuff disappeared. They’ve got a lot of stuff in storage.”
For a man who goes by the twitter handle of @BigBen_72, it must have been devastating to find himself drafted by the Ravens and there can be little doubt that Powers was trying to put on a brave face to mask his disappointment when speaking those bold words to the reporter.
But as sad as this tale is of a family who have had their football dreams ruined by the decision of one NFL team, fans should console themselves with the knowledge of the great work the Steelers continue to do for players like Layne and his family.