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The Watering Hole: It's time to address some current issues

March 13, 2014

By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

I try to be happy in my columns, but I usually find something negative to voice my opinion on.

Well, I guess today is no different.

Over the past week, there's been a lot of talk around the sports world, and it gets me frustrated, well, as much as sports can.

So, allow me to clear some things up.

Darrelle Revis, an Aliquippa High School alumni, signed with the New England Patriots Wednesday after he was rented out by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year.

While the Patriots, Browns and Jets were seen to be the favorites to sign him, immediately, every fan base in the NFL thought it was possible for their team to lure Revis to their city.

When it came to Pittsburgh fans, they thought they could get Revis to play in the Black and Gold because he's from the area.

Sigh, it happens every year.

As soon as a star player is released, Steelers fans think that the
player will come to Pittsburgh just because they are "the Steelers."

When it comes to a local player, for some reason, it's always assumed that a professional athlete who makes millions of dollars will take a hometown discount to play for Pittsburgh.

Sorry, that's not how it works.

A talent like Revis did and always will put himself in a position to get paid like a top player in the league.

I mean, at this point, he's made over $80 million in his eight years in the league, which is unheard of for a non-quarterback.

Yes, some players will take the pay cut, but when you see a star hit the market, don't think that just because he's from the city, that he'll be willing to come for less than he's worth.

While we're talking about the Steelers, perhaps we could get some clarity here.

If my math is right, the team has put together back-to-back 8-8 seasons, while missing the playoffs both times.

Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger, Todd Haley and Ike Taylor have been among the scapegoats that fans want to see gone.

But when the team lets Al Woods and Ziggy Hood go, it's suddenly the end of the world.

When Woods, who signed with Tennessee, and Hood, who signed with Jacksonville, signed their new deals, the wonderful world of Twitter was
upset that the Steelers let both of these men go.

Now, just a thought here, but if the team has gone 16-16 in its past 32 games and fans get mad about it, doesn't it make sense to let go of some
of the players who contributed to that record?

If you're mad about the team's record, you can't be mad when they get rid of marginal players.

Shifting gears a little bit, there was a scary scene in Dallas this week when Rich Peverley collapsed on his bench.

Peverley has had heart issues in the past, and he has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

It was reported that after Peverley came to, he actually wanted to go back into the game, which of course, medical personnel wouldn't allow to happen.

Of course, with the latter news being released, it allowed the hockey fans to once again attack the NBA and LeBron James.

There was a meme created with James being carried off the court by teammates with the caption "Carried off the court with a leg cramp."

It then shows Peverley with a caption of "Dies on the bench, is revived and asks to be put back in the game."

Why do NHL fans constantly bash the NBA for being "soft?"

We know that hockey players are as tough as they come and that they play a much tougher game 82 times per year.

NHL fans love to hate the NBA, while NBA fans love to love the NBA.

It boggles my mind.

There's one of T.J. Oshie saying that the real heroes are wearing camo, and of course, it's compared to James saying that he loves to be a game hero that everyone looks up to.

The other famous one is James saying "I" 18 times after the Heat won the NBA Finals last year, while Jonathan Toews said "I" 0 times, but "We" 14 times.

Just watch your sport, cheer your team, and if you don't like the NBA, let it go.

Lastly, there's the term clutch.

Admittedly, I'm in the minority with this, but it's something I can debate until I'm blue in the face.

Skip Bayless of the four-letter network often refers (or at least did the last time I watched him over two years ago) to players as having the "clutch" gene.

The thing is, while we all know there isn't a real thing as a clutch gene, there's no such thing as being clutch.

When you say someone is clutch, you refer to their ability to raise their play in the crucial minutes of a game.

Sorry, I don't buy it.

What I do buy is the theory that there are those who don't perform well in crucial minutes and "choke."

What qualifies someone as being clutch?

Is there enough of a sample size?

That's it for the rant, kids.

I'll be more positive next week.

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