The NFL draft was supposed to be a birthday present to myself, but those plans were dashed in March. Unbelievably, I was not even invited to the Commissioner’s house. My backup plan was to go to Canton and then on to Latrobe for a few days at training camp. Early in June, I realized that would not happen. I wanted to take in these events myself and form my own thoughts first hand.
I was excited to share my photos and thoughts about the draft, Canton, and camp. The nasty COVID virus wiped it all out. I was so excited to meet Steelers fans from around the nation and watch Steelers rookies have some of their biggest moments in their careers, live at the draft and camp. Now Steelers Nation will get the insight from four pool reporters instead.
For me, living in Nebraska, I rarely listen or read the Steelers mouthpieces. As enjoyable as Craig Wolfley and Tunch Ilkin are on Steelers Nation Radio telling me their fantastic stories from 30 years ago and how they relate now, they are still mainly going to give one side of the story. Bob Labriola and Missy Mathews give out many “what ifs” daily as they toe the company line for Steelers.com. But where is the meat? How often do they say unflattering things about a player? Will they sugar coat Ben Roethlisberger being out of shape or that he looks rusty and old? Will they call out Coach Tomlin for “coach speak”? Will they heap praise on players for making mundane plays?
The problem this year because of the Covid-19 virus is the media will be severely limited and fans will not be allowed at camp. Instead, there will be a practice media pool that includes one pool video camera, one still photographer, and up to four pool reporters at any daily training camp practice sessions that would typically be open to the media. They will not be allowed to do any blogging, texting, tweeting or reporting of any kind while the practice is in session. They will be allowed to do so after the practice is over.
I have not seen who the four reporters will be. My assumption is they will be Steelers media employees and maybe one or two other long-time Steelers reporters. Will we get true insight on who is impressing and who is not?
I want to hear Joe Sixpack Tweeting out that Chukwuma Okorafor had a horrid practice and was destroyed over and over by Dewayne Hendrix and not how Steven Nelson shut down passes from J.T. Barrett to Anthony Johnson from Labriola. I want to read and maybe see some videos of starters not performing up to snuff or backups performing poorly. No doubt we will get plenty of the “rah rah” stuff regarding backups beating on guys who will be on the street in five weeks. That is not what Steelers Nation should want and crave.
Will Steelers fans be treated to unbiased reporting from training camp? Please share your comments below.