The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.
Even training camp looked much different from the norm, and a big part of that was the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. Their first football game of the year was to be the opener against the New York Giants.
As the season progresses, however, there will be a number of questions that arise on a daily basis, and we will do our best to try to raise attention to them as they come along, in an effort to both point them out and to create discussion
Questions like, how will the players who are in new positions this year going to perform? Will the rookies be able to contribute significantly? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: What will the Steelers (and possibly the New York Giants) do before the game pertaining to the social issues that have come under the spotlight in recent months?
The 2020 NFL season officially opened on Thursday night with a 34-20 win by the Kansas City Chiefs over the Houston Texans. Before the game began, however, the Texans remained in the locker room while the national anthems were played. On the Chiefs’ sideline, we saw kneeling. Yesterday, we saw a variety of actions taken by a variety of teams, with the Dolphins, for example, also choosing like the Texans to remain in the locker room.
Remaining in the locker room—or in their case, the tunnel—was what the Steelers did as a team prior to the Week 3 loss in overtime to the Chicago Bears in 2017, aside from Alejandro Villanueva, which ended up causing major backlash.
It’s pretty much inevitable that somebody will do something. The Chiefs and the Texans gathered in the middle of the field before the game to show a moment of unity. The Steelers and the Giants are two of the premiere franchises in NFL history, and they have the national spotlight.
Something will happen. What will it be? Head coach Mike Tomlin has repeatedly said that he will support any actions taken by his players as long as those actions are taken thoughtfully and with class. Many may or may not like whatever takes place, but we can only imagine that it will be acknowledged in some form or fashion.