Veteran NFL reporter Sal Paolantonio joined PFT Live today to discuss a variety of topics from the perspective of the team on which he’ll focus over the next fortnight.
Among other subjects, I asked Sal about the things we may expect to hear from Steelers chairman Dan Rooney in the coming days, and whether the league may try to muzzle him regarding the ongoing labor situation.
Sal says Rooney will be in Dallas, and that the league won’t bother to try to keep the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland from speaking his mind on topics like, for example, not wanting to expand the regular season from 16 to 18 games.
Paolantonio, who spent five years in the Navy, also took aim at NFLPA executive director De Smith, whose profile in the New York Times began with the quote, “We are at war!”
“I just was repelled by DeMaurice Smith’s usage of a war metaphor to describe that labor dispute,” Paolantonio said. “We’ve got guys — men and women — in the armed services in Afghanistan and Iraq putting their life on the line in real war. You can’t use those kinds of metaphors loosely. I was repelled by that.”
In a battle for the hearts and minds for football fans everywhere, there’s a good chance that Smith’s statement amounts to the biggest fumble that either side has made.