Less than a fortnight ago, Steelers Nation held its collective breath over rumors that Ben Roethlisberger would be traded.
The rumors surfaced when the Steelers traded for Byron Leftwich. The Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac reported that the Steelers were not actively trying to move their franchise quarterback, he also was clear that the STeeler were refusing to rule out a trade.
That was enough to get the rumor mills started.
Over the next 24 hours, all sorts of stories circulated indicating that the Steelers were trying to move Roethlisberger for a 10th round pick, that a deal with the Oakland Raiders was imminent (not that Al Davis wouldn’t simply fuel those flames for fun.)
The chat interface on PG Plus contained a non-stop stream of fans – most fretting that the Steelers were making a horrible mistake, while others endeared by the prospect that would about to put principle first.
Sound and Fury Signifying….
The Post-Gazette refused to traffic in rumors. Although it would have been nice had they issued some update earlier in the day, the Ed Bouchette’s report at mid-afternoon said it all.
Writing on PG Plus he indicated that he had just arrived at the Steelers headquarters, that the coaches were trickling in, that Kevin Colbert had just arrived, and that Art Rooney II was on his way in.
This of course showed that no trade was in the works.
This also represented a another victory for old fashioned journalism.
Just like they had during the “Bruce Arians Will He Stay or Will He Go” escapade, Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac stuck to the story that they could tell based on verifiable facts. They were not trying to move Roethlisberger, and the few non-Steelers GMs they consulted verified the information emanating from the South Side.
Kudos for them. This was the right thing to do but, given the magnetism that negative stories have in the age of the internet, it would have been easy for the Post Gazette to play up the trade rumors.
….Probably a Message to Roethlisberger
Roethlisberger was reportedly unhappy that the Steelers declined to disavow any trade rumors (gee, life rough Ben).
But as Bouchette indicated both before and after the non-event, Art Rooney II let the rumors hang because wanted to make Ben feel uncomfortable and hopefully to understand that he is not larger than the team.
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