"We are never getting back together," Emmanuel Sanders. Not that it’s a great loss, but it didn't have to be this way, and Steelers fans have seen this before. He’s not unique. Players leave here all the time of a wide variance of talent. The difference is they generally don’t sound off about their former quarterbacks all while themselves look like the bitter ex-girlfriend who just got dumped.
Sanders leaves after a fairly mediocre season. He could just leave and we’d eventually leave it alone, but he had to get a dig in. Had to be in the spotlight in Pittsburgh one last time. A while later, he has the chance to rectify that comment, but he digs in even more.
He has the right to his opinion, but that’s not what the smart person who considers the bigger picture does. And really as if we all don’t know that Peyton Manning is one of the best to ever play the game. Regardless, throwing anyone under the bus is kind of sad and reeks of desperation.
The commentary is laced with the notion that Ben is not a very humble guy specifically pointing out that Peyton stays after practice contrary to his success. I am not totally sure what that has to do with anything and furthermore I would say the fact that you are even spouting off about someone you don’t play with anymore is self-explanatory to how humble YOU are. Since obviously your opinion about Ben is one that we care so much about. Who DOES that?
Enter Joey Porter. J-Peezy. The attitude of the Steelers’ early-2000s teams. He also leaves via free agency. He doesn't get to Miami in 2007 talking about how much better he has it. He finishes off his career, recognizing the value a beloved member of Steeler Nation is in the eyes of fans.
He gets to formally retire with the team in an informal ceremony during training camp in 2012. After a year of coaching experience, he’s brought on as a defensive assistant coach, getting to work with an outstanding group of young talent. He carries a certain level of passion and love for the game which we can only hope will be branded on these young players.
He recognizes where he came from. He respected the team and its fans. He was Steelers football. He clearly still is. He left his heart in Pittsburgh and came back to get it. It’s a love story and clearly not a one sided one.
Sanders certainly isn't Joey Porter, but he handled the whole situation far more poorly than any mediocre player leaving town should have done.
Who knows, maybe if football does not work out Sanders can try and co-write some for Taylor Swift. He is apparently very well versed in the art of bitter break-ups.