Just when you thought all the excess drama had left the building, some individuals try to pull it back in. Sometimes the drama has substance, other times it is entirely manufactured. Intentionally I am sorry to say. Professional sports are big business and everybody wants their piece of the action. Television channels want their viewers, radio stations and podcasts need their listeners, and newspapers and websites covet their readers. Competition for your attention is intense, and the losers don't survive.
We have all heard the old saying that sex sales, but drama also creates its fair share of conversations, that's for sure. Editors are instructed to capitalize on controversy and to utilize certain keywords and names that will generate public interest. It is a tried and true strategy that works everytime. It is evident everyday here at BTSC. Post a rehashed news report about some current drama, include that special keyword in the title, and watch the views pile up.
Some members of the local media must be desperate for some drama because they have decided to try and generate some. That actually isn't all that surprising. What is surprising is the target chosen in their concerted efforts. They have decided to pursue none other than undisputed fan favorite JuJu Smith Schuster. They are comparing JuJu with the two superstar malcontents that recently departed the facilities because he is social media savvy. They are concerned JuJu is in danger of becoming a 'Me first' player in the mold of his aforementioned predecessors. This is both unjustified and unfair to the young man.
JuJu Smith Schuster is a tremendous performer on the field and has thus far behaved like a quality young man off the field. His smile is infectious and his caring demeanor seems sincere. It is unconscionable to suggest that he will fall for the same pitfalls of stardom that have befallen some who came before him. We shape our own destiny with each decision we make and the other individuals made their choices, which they had every right to do. JuJu deserves that same opportunity.
I feel part of the problem is the fact that the majority of the media members manufacturing this drama have far more in common with me than they do JuJu. The truth is JuJu isn't much older than my own son. Most middle age fathers are not social media savants. We try, but we grew up in an entirely different world. Sometimes it feels like a different planet to be honest. Social media is how young people communicate, and stay connected in this day and age. Many of today's stars had a certain level of followers long before they actually became a household name. Why shouldn't JuJu utilize this platform to it's full potential? It's good for business, JuJu's business. That is not necessarily a bad thing. It very well could work out in the Steelers favor.
JuJu's fan base feels a special connection to the young man because of his accessibility. He doesn't just share the big moments in his life with his followers, he invites them in for the smallest everyday occurrences. He connects with children, the elderly, and the homeless. It is part of his personality and his youthful exuberance, even if it also happens to be positive publicity. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.
JuJu Smith Schuster sells. He sells tickets, merchandise, and products. That ability alone will go a long way toward making JuJu a very wealthy man moving forward. This earning potential could prove beneficial for the Steelers. This young man may realize the long term value of his Steelers legacy. He may just decide against smoking some weed on the way to the airport, or picking fights with local media legends and patio furniture.
Nobody knows what type of individual that JuJu will become, but the choices will be his alone. I like the path he has chosen thus far. The get-off-my-lawn contingent needs to back off and let the kid be a kid.