The only time I ever come across Skip Bayless is when I see him retweeted in my Twitter feed, and I almost always scroll past him because he has a long history of having among the worst takes in sports. However, I couldn’t help but take notice of what he had to say about the Pittsburgh Steelers—and a couple of former Steelers—in yesterday’s segment of Undisputed.
In speaking about Antonio Brown’s sub-Tweet of JuJu Smith-Schuster that essentially called his sincerity into question, Bayless first talked about how Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden is probably not happy about it, and will have a short leash for such things as he seems to have left his heart in western Pennsylvania. Le’Veon Bell, too, seems to have an awful lot to say about his past.
“AB and Le’Veon, sooner than later, they’re going to miss being Steelers in Pittsburgh, because it’s a really cool thing. It’s a great thing. It has a great tradition”, Bayless said of the two former All-Pros who now reside in Oakland and with the New York Jets, respectively.
“AB and Le’Veon are going to miss being Steelers in Pittsburgh. … They’re a cornerstone franchise, and they’re a factor every year. AB and Le’Veon are going to miss it if they’re not a factor next year.” — @RealSkipBayless pic.twitter.com/Jpe950pGh1
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) March 28, 2019
“There’s just a lot to miss when you go to the Jets from Pittsburgh, or even go to Oakland. Oakland’s got some tradition, but it’s now ancient tradition, while Pittsburgh just keeps on keeping on. They’re a cornerstone franchise, and they’re a factor every year”, he went on.
“They’re going to miss it if they’re not a factor next year. And I can tell you this: the Steelers are going to be a lot better than the Oakland Raiders are going to be next year, and they’ve got a lot of work to do in Oakland”.
Brown forced his way out of Pittsburgh—as made clear by the audio recordings he made of his conversation with Drew Rosenhaus, his agent—and part of that was going to a team he was willing to play for, noting that they dismissed the Buffalo Bills out of hand.
Both players still, I believe, have the desire to win games, and they will have a harder time accomplishing that with their new teams. Only time will tell, if the Steelers return to their yearly postseason appearances and the Raiders and Jets continue to be sub-.500 teams, how much it all was worth it to them.
Many have been awaiting the regret period for these two players who chose to spurn a Steelers organization that is almost universally regarded as one of the premiere franchises in American sports. Neither of them have ever known what it’s like to play for another one, but they’re about to find out. They got their money guaranteed, but not their professional happiness.