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U mad, bro?: Some Steelers fans still prickly about draft, catering to Ben Roethlisberger; hockey fans hated Caps-Rangers fiasco

May 13—Touchy members of Steelers nation. Disgusted hockey fans. And irate Iron Maiden enthusiasts.

Yup. It’s quite a collection in this week’s “U mad, bro?”

A variety of venom. A prickly potpourri. A bundle of bile!

So let’s get to it.

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“LR” took me to task for my column on T.J. Watt last week. I wrote that Watt isn’t allowed to be injured all year because the Steelers are so thin at outside linebacker.

No. A jinx would be me printing, “T.J. Watt is never going to get hurt.” That would be a jinx.

Wait. Did I just … on, no. My bad.

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Mike has some leftover angst from the Steelers draft. He thinks there was too much of a priority on offense.

“Gotta get those guys that Ben wants. Ben Ben Ben Ben!!!!

Better dismantle the defense, waste payroll on JuJu and burn draft picks on things that precious, precious Ben wants. We must concentrate the entire franchise on the 39 year old, half-conscious QB who refuses to cede control and is blatantly squeezing out every dollar from the Rooney’s.

He’s just coming back to yawn his way through one more season and get one more year of pay. And he’s not going to do anything but stand in the shotgun and throw 3-yard passes.”

Well, Mike, look at it this way. With Najee Harris in the backfield now, maybe they’ll be inclined to run the ball more often and restrict Roethlisberger from checking into so many pass plays when he has the option to do so.

Or maybe Roethlisberger himself will be more inclined to hand off if he doesn’t feel like the pass protection can hold up long enough.

Uh-oh. Did I just jinx that, too?

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Let’s switch things up. Rick didn’t seem to like all those hockey fights in last week’s game between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers.

“Fighting on skates is a stunt! Like learning how to fall or how to bounce off the ropes (in wrestling).

So, how do we stop the childish hockey fights that contribute nothing except wasting time. Have the players instead bang legally on the ice?

That’s not why I watch hockey. If it’s fights I want, I’ll watch UFC.”

That’s the attitude I have, too, Rick. Most hockey fights aren’t worth watching from the perspective of good fighting or solving the reason why they are fighting in the first place.

Three middleweights dropping the gloves in a prearranged line brawl at the start of the game between the Caps and Rangers did nothing to solve Tom Wilson’s shenanigans from the game before that ignited the whole fiasco.

Wilson wasn’t even on the ice at the time. Then, when Wilson gets out there for his first shift, a guy (Brendan Smith), who couldn’t beat him, engages him in a fight. Wilson probably would’ve knocked him cold if that fight lasted another five seconds.

But to your question about opposing players “evening the score” by throwing big hits on the ice, players know that in the backward world of NHL discipline, they are more likely to get suspended for throwing a big hit on the ice that glances a player’s head or chin than the post-whistle antics Wilson pulled in New York.

And there’s something wrong with that.

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Back to that Watt column. Jim read it. And obviously he loved it.

“We all know the situation without (Bud) Dupree and the risks to the defense if Watt gets injured.

Based on your criticism, I assume that Steeler GM Benz would have had a very different 2021 player draft. So, give us your post draft mock for each round and base it on the exact draft that just occurred and players that were actually available to the Steelers in each round.

Looking forward to critiquing your picks.”

Let’s simmer down with the sarcasm, eh? I’ve been plenty complimentary of the Steelers draft since it happened.

Now I write one thing remotely negative, and you get your knickers in a twist. Typical Steelers fan reaction to the slightest suggestion they may not go 17-0.

But hey, since you asked …

They have Devin Bush, Robert Spillane, Marcus Allen and Ulysees Gilbert III at ILB already. So why not address a position of lesser depth at outside linebacker after they chose Dan Moore (Texas A&M/tackle) in the fourth round instead of taking Buddy Johnson?

Or take one of those guys before Moore, since, apparently, they reached on him a bit anyway?

Maybe take Joshua Kaindoh from Florida State? Or either of the two Notre Dame prospects, Daelin Hayes or Adetokunbo Ogundeji? All three of those guys are built like Dupree and have those classic “switch from college end to Steelers outside linebacker” measurables.

They were still on the board when they took Johnson. The two Fighting Irish players were still there when they made that trade to take a backup defensive end (Isaiahh Loudermilk/Wisconsin).

Instead, they waited until the sixth to draft Quincy Roche. He may be good someday. Maybe even better than good. Lots of draft analysts are high on him. Although it strikes me that if the Steelers really thought he was fourth- or fifth-round worthy, they would’ve taken him then.

But, hey, the Baltimore Ravens took Hayes and the Kansas City Chiefs took Kaindoh. And clearly both those teams are stupid, right? It’s not like either of them made it further than the Steelers did in the playo … oh. Wait a minute.

So, if you wanted a different path through the middle rounds to address outside linebacker first, those were some options. Not so hard was it?

Sincerely,

GM Benz

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Finally, I got this tweet from “The Confluence” on a much more important topic: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction snubs.

More specifically, its constant ignoring of hard rock and heavy metal music. I had to transcribe the tweet instead of posting it because the original language was … umm … a little salty.

“The @rockhall continues to be a joke in its disrespect of hard rock and metal.

The (expletive deleted) Go-Go’s (did get in)? Yet Iron Maiden (who didn’t get inducted) continues to sell out stadiums around the world 41 years after its first album.”

Yeah. That’s why I don’t pay much attention to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Just something else to dislike about Cleveland.

Not just Iron Maiden, by the way. But Rage Against the Machine was shutout, too. For who? Carole King?! Although she did do that one song with Slash. I’ll give her credit for that.

But, in leaving out Iron Maiden, all I know is the voters better “Run to the Hills” if they ever bump into a group of fans somewhere. Those in charge have spent a lot of “Wasted Years” failing to induct them into the Hall. And I’d just feel like a “Stranger in a Strange Land” walking through the building with so many missing metal acts who have yet to be included.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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