´ Steel Curtain Rising: Watch Tower: The Steelers in Fact TRADED Huey Richardson

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Watch Tower: The Steelers in Fact TRADED Huey Richardson

You’ve got to love how little incorrect factoids, if repeated enough, become true if they’re repeated enough.

This reality predates the world wide web by a few millennia, of course, but the internet has only served to intensify this one of life’s little annoyances.

Case in point, the Steelers 1991 first round draft pick Huey Richardson.

Huey Richardson was a monumental bust, with due apologies to all other Steelers picks who might share that label.

Drafted 15th in the 1991 NFL Draft after the Steelers 9-7 non-playoff season, Richardson saw spot duty in five games as a rookie, recording 2 tackles. This was after a training camp that saw Richardson break his nose – in non-contact drills.

By the inaugural edition of Camp Cowher in Latrobe during the summer of 1992, The Chin had seen enough.

Here’s where the tale gets complicated, as indicated by a recent Post-Gazette article. Commenting on past Steelers drafts that ended with a “1” they noted the Richardson pick observing:

Linebacker Huey Richardson, chosen in the first round, ranks among their biggest busts. Bill Cowher cut him the following training camp.

The problem lies with the last sentence.

Cowher wanted Richardson out, and wanted to send a message to his team that he was only going to keep the best players. No scholarship seasons for high draft picks. Then Director of Football Operations Tom Donahoe fully backed the rookie coach.

But the Steelers, however, did not cut Huey Richardson.

The Steelers traded Huey Richardson to the Washington Redskins for a 7th round draft pick. The Steelers in fact used that pick in the 1993 NFL draft to grab Jeff Zgonina (who only stuck with the team for 2 years, but ended up playing until 2009, starting for a few years in St. Louis, among other stops.)

Richardson would play four games for the Redskins, who gave up on him. Dick Haley, the man who scouted him in Pittsburgh, brought him to the New York Jets, where he played for a another 7 games until they gave up. At some point he also was worked out by the Miami Dolphins, where Joe Greene was coaching.

Snowball Effect

This admittedly falls close to being a nit picky on the part of the Watch Tower, but it’s a simple fact that one can easily verify by virtue of the internet….

But that’s the problem. Google “Huey Richardson cut” and “Huey Richardson trade” and “Huey Richardson cut” draws about 100,000 more entries than “Huey Richardson trade.”

That’s not a huge difference, except for there are 1.8 million references to a sports transaction that never in fact took place…. No one is of course hurt by the perpetuation of this inaccuracy, but this happens with far more serious stuff all the time....

Speaking of Corrections What About the Steelers 2001 vs. Steelers 2002 Drafts...?

A few lines down from the bit about Richardson, the PG offers this reflection on the Steelers 2001 draft, the draft that brought a Big Snack to Steelers Nation:

Chris Hope is a good safety still playing with the Tennessee Titans. Larry Foote became a starter at inside linebacker for six years and returned to the Steelers last season as a backup

The only problem here is that Chris Hope and Larry Foote were taken in the 2002 draft, perhaps the best all-around draft of the Colbert Era.

Thanks for visiting. To read more analysis of the media that cover the Steelers, click here to read more from Steel Curtain Rising's Watch Tower.

3 comments:

t1mmy10 said...

once again, ed bouchette puts in the hard effort to get the true facts. it's like when he quoted a webmd subsidiary website to get an initial time frame for sweed's possible return when he first tore is achilles tendon...instead of picking up the phone and speaking with any of the legitimate ortho surgeons in pgh.

don't worry though, he was probably too busy reporting the impt stuff on his pay site that even ppg subscribers have to pay extra to regularly access.

KT said...

Tim,

Thanks for the insight. I had not known that about the achilles issue.

However, let's be fair to Bouchette. I have both praised and critiqued him in equal turns in the Watch Tower, but this not an occasion for either.

The article from the PG cited did not have Bouchette (or Dulac's) name on it.

Its a little blurb which could have easily been put together by an intern or something like that.

I have flagged this issue to the attention of someone at the PG who I am pretty sure will get back to me at some point.

The point isn't to come down too hard on the PG. This is an easy enough error to make.

I had tons and tons of conversations in sports bars during the 90's explaining that Richardson had been traded. It was to no avail, as the "Richardson was cut" factoid had already taken a life on of its own.

When it comes to sports trivial, let me be honest with myself, this kind of mistake is of little consequence.

But it does happen with larger stuff which was the overall point.

Once again, thanks for contributing to the conversation.

t1mmy10 said...

my bad. i had assumed it was bouchette just because it was the PPG. if i had known it wasn't him I wouldn't have came down as hard. i realize it's a minor mistake that anyone can make, but i guess i just have a smaller tolerance for bouchette. no doubt he has the most inside knowledge on the steelers in all of pgh besides an actual member of the organization, but he's never afraid to make fun of fans who follow the team just for fun. meanwhile, he's hardly mistake free...even costing the steelers their surprise qb start in week 1 (documented by both pft and rotoworld.com).

btw i really enjoy the watch tower posts.