Depending upon what kind of sports fan you are, the fact that a number of former members of the Pittsburgh Steelers, including prominent former players who left on bad terms, you might be either enraged right now or bemused by it.
It wasn’t so long ago that the Steelers offense was the talk of the NFL, their ‘trio’ in the conversation for being one of the best in the league at the time, if not of all time. There was Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, Antonio Brown at wide receiver, and Le’Veon Bell in the backfield, and surely all three of them would make the Hall of Fame and take the team back to the Super Bowl.
The latter never happened, and the only one of them that is guaranteed to make the Hall of Fame is Roethlisberger, whose legacy is already secured. Brown, of course, would have a shot even if he never did anything again. Bell…not so much.
But at least one of those skill position players will have a Super Bowl ring in a couple of weeks, because they will be on opposite sidelines in Tampa for the game. Brown signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, who will be representing the NFC, while Bell, who started the season with the New York Jets, was picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs, who just put away the Buffalo Bills to represent the AFC.
Brown was originally drafted by the Steelers in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, as the second of two wide receivers taken by them in the class, the other being Emmanuel Sanders in the third round. They advanced to the Super Bowl that season, but lost to the Green Bay Packers.
Bell was drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, and they missed the postseason during his rookie year, but would qualify in each of the next four seasons. They reached the AFC Championship Game in 2016 in the only postseason run for which he was healthy, other than the following year.
The Steelers won a total of three postseason games since Bell was drafted. He just won two since joining the Chiefs. They won a total of five postseason games since Brown was drafted more than a decade ago. the Buccaneers have won three this year, and could win four.
‘Big Ben’, Brown, and Bell were known as the ‘Killer Bs’ of the Steelers’ offense, but they ended up stinging themselves. While neither Brown nor Bell are playing a featured or central role in their current teams’ success, one of them is going to achieve what they long sought: a championship ring.
Much like Sanders did when he left in free agency to join the Denver Broncos.