There aren’t a lot of people out there who would openly admit to liking drama. Even the people who create a lot of the drama would tend to claim that they don’t like it. And from the perspective of most people, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had an awful lot of drama for a professional sports franchise in ways that have had nothing to do with the sport itself.
Perhaps that’s why they have already had two different players, presumably independent of one another, refer to their team as the Kardashians, a family that is the epitome of ‘reality television’ drama, which has come to be synonymous with ‘drama’.
The latest was second-year wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who said yesterday during his rounds at the Super Bowl, “I think everyone has to stop being divas. I think we need to stop being the Kardashians and just play ball”.
With the 22-year-old certainly has his interests outside of football, such as gaming, when it comes to his job he has proven from day one that he his no-nonsense when it matters most. He may give birth to a football, but that only comes after he crosses the goal line with said football.
And Smith-Schuster has been unwillingly thrust into the center of the drama because of the position that he plays on the team and his rapid ascension, which many believe his teammate, Antonio Brown, seems to feel has come at his expense.
Brown had been ‘the guy’ in Pittsburgh for several years on his way to making NFL history. He had caught at least 100 passes for at least 1250 yards with at least nine touchdowns every year for the past six years, which is a ridiculous run of production.
But with Smith-Schuster showing the ability to put up similar numbers, and with how well-loved he is both by his teammates and the fans, many believe that Brown is feeling underappreciated, cemented by the fact that the second-year wide receiver was voted team MVP.
Jesse James has also previously invoked the Kardashians to categorize the Steelers’ off-field headlines, which he and many others in the locker room have been clear in stating that they wish to move past going forward.
Ironically, the NFL does have a reality show called Hard Knocks, which unfortunate as it is to say Pittsburgh would be great for in terms of producing television content. Smith-Schuster didn’t name names when he was asked about who he was referring to as divas, but I think there are a couple of safe guesses. The squeaky wheels get the grease.