The Friday Show Prep

posted by Steve Bortstein -

LeVeon Bell 2

For all the talk surrounding the drama in the locker room of the New England Patriots, it appears the Pittsburgh Steelers are really in need of some reality TV time as well.

Word came down yesterday that Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is making waves talking about next year's contract status, going so far as to suggest he may sit out next season, and would even consider retirement if the team opts to franchise tag him again.

According to ESPN, Bell played on a $12.1 million franchise tag this season, and that number is projected to increase to around $14.5 million for next season. Teams can tag a player between Feb. 20 and March 6, after which they would have until July 16 to work out a long-term contract.

The 25-year-old Bell told ESPN this week to consider Bell's value. 

"Just get the numbers straight, exactly where we want them. I'm not going to settle for anything. I know what I do and what I bring to the table. I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at."

Because this is exactly what the Steelers coaching staff and other players in the locker room need to be hearing about just days ahead of an important divisional round clash with a Jacksonville Jaguars team that's already beaten Pittsburgh in their home stadium once already this season.

With there still being some doubt as to the future of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, in addition to all the other distractions which crop up during a postseason run, the storyline of Bell is unnecessary and ill-timed at best.

NFL Divisional Round Predictions (Vegas Style)

Saturday
EAGLES (+3) over Falcons
PATRIOTS (-13.5) over Titans

Sunday
Saints (+4.5) over VIKINGS
Jaguars (+7.5) over STEELERS 

Don't thank me till they win.

This may take a moment... 

There's a pretty good chance I've met some of you (particularly locally) who read my blog, listen to my show or entertain my time via social media or in actual conversation.

There's also an exceptionally logical notion that I've never met you.

So allow me a moment to express the comments made this week by POTUS.

I'm just going to assume you've heard about them by now, because they do not bear repeating. The above photo-shopped image is more than enough.

Like many of us living in America who either haven't taken the time to study the genealogy or the origins of your family name, there may be some mystery as to where your ancestors emigrated from in coming to this country. 

Take a moment - it doesn't have to be right now - and do a search, be it through family records or any of the wide array of online resources in which to find information about your family's heritage.

The search(es) may take some time, and they may be surprising.

But during those searches, remember those words POTUS spoke this week in front of lawmakers and legislators, and ask yourself how you would feel if the place from where your family once called home was referred to in that context.

And if you're fortunate enough (or delusional) to believe that POTUS wouldn't think that way about your family's original homeland, then consider the families of the other 323.1 million Americans and the origins of their families.

Because what was said yesterday is merely an echo of things this man has said in public time and again.

Since the moment he officially declared himself a candidate for the position of the leader of the free world and through his criticisms of a large number of people from Mexico, his repeated attacks against the people from a number of Middle Eastern countries, his repeated references to the people who attacked innocent Americans in Charlottesville and their families, all building up to the most recent comments.

I'd like to say I'm surprised. I'm not.

I'd like to say we'll be hearing some people push back on those comments, particularly those within his so-called base. We won't.

I'd like to believe we're better than this......  Part of that is up to you.

One final thought

While I may not agree with all the public push back from coaches around the NBA supporting Lakers head coach Luke Walton and disparaging both ESPN and LaVar Ball for his nonsensical comments, I have to wonder why we didn't hear a thing from upper management of the Lakers.

As divisive and oftentimes reprehensible I think of Ball and his rhetoric, I can only imagine the stances taken by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr or Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, or even the words from Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy would have resonated much louder and with a great deal more clarity if they'd also been echoed by Lakers executives with names like Johnson or Buss.

Their silence is questionable at best, and repugnant at its worst.

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