Tag Archives: Baron Batch

Why I Still Love Football – and the Steelers

james conner

Jarrad Henderson, USA TODAY Sports

A week and a half ago I wrote one of my patented Momma’s Mock Drafts I was out of town from the Monday through Wednesday before the draft, so I wrote a post encompassing Rounds 4-7, planning to then publish Rounds 1-3 on Thursday.

Strangely, I returned to discover no trace of my Round 4-7 post, and had to incorporate what I could remember into a 7-round draft on Thursday. One of the problems with this was that I had such a great ending for the Monday post. It didn’t fit in the middle of a 7-round draft, though, so I axed that part of it, with the intention of expanding upon the idea. Read more

The Sunday Football-Related [Arts] Post: Baron Batch

batch28n-1-webOne of my favorite Steelers during his relatively brief time with the team was Baron Batch. I loved his story, his determination, his writing, and his free spirit.

Since he left the NFL he has reinvented himself as an artist, although I’m quite sure he wouldn’t say it this way. I think he would tell you he has always been an artist, and rediscovered this during his rookie year when he had to rehab from his ACL injury.

He’s much more than an artist, though. I would describe him as a free-thinking entrepreneur, or perhaps as an entrepreneurial free thinker. During his time with the Steelers he carefully saved his money, something I wish more players would have the sense to do, and used some of it to buy a building in Homestead. For those of you unfamiliar with Pittsburgh, Homestead was a very dirty but prosperous place during the heyday of the steel industry. After the demand for steel dropped the area became a classic “rust belt” town.

Read more

A Blast From the Past: Seventh Round Draft Picks

I’ve decided to institute a new series looking at the Steelers past drafts. Given that one can’t properly evaluate a draft pick for at least two or three years, we’ll take the years 2010 – 2013. Why 2010? That was the first year I tried my hand at mock drafts. Just for fun, I’ll give you my mock draft picks as part of this mix.

Since I was writing for Behind the Steel Curtain during these years, I’m going to note some of the reactions from that site to the draft picks. It reminds us all that, as Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette said recently, they all look good on paper. Or, more to the point, we all find reasons to be excited about players the Steelers choose. It’s difficult not to. And yet the majority of draft picks don’t manage to hang on for the term of even their first contract. So let’s look at some of the things we were saying back in the day. Read more

Myths and Archetypes: More on Fan Perceptions

Baron Batch’s portrait of Troy Polamalu

In a comment on yesterday’s article elpalito said:

We want to like the people we root for. We like to dislike the people we root against. It just makes things ‘easier’.

I certainly agree with this. My admitted reluctance to consider any mitigating factors in Vontaze Burfict’s upbringing which might explain, if not excuse, the sort of person he appears to be would have made it clear, if it wasn’t before. But I think it goes deeper than likes and dislikes.

There is an element of myth to how we view football players—particularly in certain cases. The obvious example which comes to mind is Isaac Redman. For those of you who weren’t active on Behind the Steel Curtain during particularly the early years of his Steelers career, it actually became a joke—so much so that I wrote the following about his locker, which I had seen in my tour of the Southside facility:

Isaac Redman’s locker is—well, I don’t know quite how to describe it. It is as if he put everything in the locker with enormous precision, but the force of his personality disrupted the molecules in the various items a bit. Or perhaps the earth tilted very slightly when he walked away. In other words, it was tidy, almost.

What is it about certain players that catches our imagination? It could be because they have done things in their non-football lives that we admire, although this is fairly rare, given the young age they typically enter the NFL. But Alejandro Villanueva would typify this.

Read more

Steeler Nation and The Standard of Expectation

via Pittsburgh Magazine

 by Rebecca Rollett

Long ago, in a galaxy far away (or at least 2011 seems like that at times) I wrote an article about then-rookie running back Baron Batch after he tore his ACL in a “meaningless preseason game” and was out for the season. I ran across it a few days ago when looking for something else, and it contains some thoughts which are perhaps worth re-examining.

This week the Steelers signed free-agent quarterback Michael Vick. I think it is safe to say that seldom have so many tweets gone forth, so many teeth been gnashed, and so many statements made which may perhaps later be regretted over the signing of a 35-year old back-up quarterback.

So what on earth do these two things have to do with one another? I may be wrong, but I think the reactions to these two otherwise entirely unrelated things tell us something about ourselves, if we’re only willing to look.

“The Standard is the Standard.” How many times have we heard this said, seen it written? And what standard are we talking about, anyhow? The typical place this phrase is employed is in regards to the loss of a player. It is often followed by something having to do with the “next man up.” In other words, the coaching staff has a level of expectation for how well the team performs, and the assumption is, whoever you put into the vacated spot is expected to fulfill the obligations of the position in the same manner as the player before him. Read more