Steelers president Art Rooney is the latest conspiracy theorist in the case of the NFL referees versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rooney was asked whether he believed that the league has targeted the Steelers for illegal hits and he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that “it certainly looks that way.”
“Not that we’re expecting much sympathy from other teams, but I think some of this will be part of the discussion after the season is over,” Rooney said. That’s good because you certainly won’t get any sympathy here.
The idea that the NFL would target a particular team is a topic that gets pondered deep within NFL message boards by fans itching for excuses after their team has lost the previous week. We’ve even seen Ravens fans talk about it with their historically physical defenses. But the fact that Rooney, the president of one of the most historic franchises in sports, would bring it up is absurd.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com really put this absurdity into context.
The mere fact that the league has yet to fine Rooney or Tomlin for engaging in conduct detrimental to the long-term interests of the league via public comments undermining the NFL’s approach to safety proves that, to a certain extent, the NFL still tiptoes on eggshells when it comes to one of the league’s marquee franchises.
There’s been too much whining by the Steelers this week, I can only imagine the excuses that we’ll hear if the Ravens walk away with a win on Sunday night.