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Paolantonio takes on De Smith’s “war” reference

Helmet-to-Helmet Hits Football

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.

The Steelers.

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.

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57 Responses to “Paolantonio takes on De Smith’s “war” reference”
  1. The James Harrison Foundation says: Jan 24, 2011 3:38 PM

    Dan Rooney for [NFLPA] president!!

  2. oscojoe says: Jan 24, 2011 3:42 PM

    What else would you expect from a Obama protege. Their is no sense of shame with Smith. To him its a political game. Mark my words all his buddies on the democrat side will be putting their two cents worth in soon.

  3. jc1958coo says: Jan 24, 2011 3:44 PM

    i guess it is war when your dealing with ego maniac millionaires & billionaires, can anyone even fanthom that!! when you don’t live in the real world i guess you can’t!!!!!!!!!!!! f@#k em

  4. drednot says: Jan 24, 2011 3:45 PM

    As a 20 year veteran, i couldn’t agree more with Mr. Paolantonio. Thanks Sal!!!

  5. geeeeemen says: Jan 24, 2011 3:46 PM

    I guess Sal Pal doesnt play the card game War either

  6. laxer37 says: Jan 24, 2011 3:47 PM

    Can’t believe there are still educated people that continue to make themselves look foolish bycomparing everday issues to war.

  7. patmacrevis says: Jan 24, 2011 3:48 PM

    Is this guy De Smith a complete tool or what? Who was the brain that decided to hire this corporate lawyer as an NFL players Union Head Honcho? He will only make things worse going forward. WHERE IS GENE UPSHAW WHEN WE NEED HIM MOST- RIP BIG GUY!!

  8. jcustunner says: Jan 24, 2011 3:49 PM

    Someone ought to remind Sal that this is EXACTLY what people use metaphors for. How sensitive do we need to be over the way we use words?

    Every time someone uses “war” as a metaphor, people get up in arms over how insensitive it is. It’s not like he said “We’re at war. Just like the soldiers in Iraq.”

    It’s a conflict. A war of words, if you will. Getting angry over that is a complete waste of time.

    I know the Eagles’ season is over, but lighten up Sal Pal.

  9. omegalh says: Jan 24, 2011 3:55 PM

    laxer37 says:
    Jan 24, 2011 3:47 PM
    Can’t believe there are still educated people that continue to make themselves look foolish bycomparing everday issues to war.

    ——————–

    Can’t believe there are still educated people that continue to make themselves look foolish by getting offended by metaphors and political correctness.

  10. hobartbaker says: Jan 24, 2011 3:56 PM

    “Weddy, set, aim your wifles, men. Show no feaw!”.

  11. duffer58 says: Jan 24, 2011 3:59 PM

    Hey Oscoe Joe what are you talking about? Republicans like yourself are complete idiots.

  12. godofwine330 says: Jan 24, 2011 4:00 PM

    Listen, I am a vet who served over in Kuwait in 2006. I know that he means no disrespect to those serving abroad. People have been using terms like war, battle, battlefield, guns blazing, and such to describe difficult situations for years. Especially in reference to football. Everybody swore off doing it supposedly forever after Pat Tillman was killed…and it only took them 3 weeks to resume like they never stopped.

    People are so sensitive. But as a vet, I have to say that I am in no way offended by these remarks.

  13. eagleswineagleswin says: Jan 24, 2011 4:04 PM

    Laxer, just because someone got an education does not make them smart. I know a lot of fools with degrees. I will take common sense over a college degree any day

  14. lorenz67 says: Jan 24, 2011 4:04 PM

    2 of the 6 definitions of ‘War’ per Merriam-Webster apply directly to the situation Smith is talking about. So everybody can just calm down and get over their touchy feely PC non sense…

  15. bradshawlives says: Jan 24, 2011 4:04 PM

    De Smith is in this to make a name for himself. He’ll write a book when it’s over.

  16. 1920gsh says: Jan 24, 2011 4:04 PM

    @oscojoe:

    Obama protege, really? The guy was one of hundreds of transition team members – he wasn’t even a team lead. He was appointed as an Assistant US Attorney in 1991 – during Bush #1’s term.

    I’ve got no love for De Smith’s tactics or rhetoric, but to suggest that this is part of, or beneficiary of, some grand leftist scheme is downright asinine.

  17. JimmySmith says: Jan 24, 2011 4:06 PM

    Smith wants a lock out to further his career and public profile. Much like the election of Obama, he campaigned on one set of principles, now that he is in power, he is operating on a completely different set of principles at the expense of the players.

    But these elections have consequences. By the time the players realized that they’ve been screwed, Smith will get his much needed publicity and be on to his next political assignment. If we’re lucky, we will only miss one season of football.

  18. benberger says: Jan 24, 2011 4:08 PM

    Sal Paolantonion on Mike Vick, 1/6/11:

    “His pyrotechnics, his shock-and-awe football, have held highlight reels hostage all season. But now he needs to put boots on the ground, he needs to survive and advance in the postseason.”

    (That took about 2 minutes.)

  19. hobartbaker says: Jan 24, 2011 4:11 PM

    DeMo smells a rat. “First you got Antonio (Cromartie) goin’ off on me, now you got PalofAntonio piling on. You think those guys didn’t get together on this?”.

  20. runwright44 says: Jan 24, 2011 4:13 PM

    Who was the brain that decided to hire this corporate lawyer as an NFL players Union Head Honcho?

    Uh, that would be the players.

  21. bravin4evr says: Jan 24, 2011 4:15 PM

    The NFL and The NFLPA could possibly get a deal completed quicker if they get rid of De Smith and Commissioner Goofball!

  22. hobartbaker says: Jan 24, 2011 4:17 PM

    Smith finally issued a terse response to the criticism engendered by the N.Y. Times article.

    “Benito Mussolini and Napoleon Bonaparte were short too.”.

  23. geezohman says: Jan 24, 2011 4:21 PM

    I was in the service, in the Navy also… the term ‘war’ is used in many situations…

    I think everyone is too political correct sometimes… get over it…

    and I buried guys at sea and as I an “Ensign’ I witnessed that worst you could see… a retired navy person who wanted buried at sea… so the funeral home sent him over in a ‘box’… and the Captain was so stupid and the others, they ceremonously lifted the casket and sent it over the side, about 10 miles outside NY harbor… and of course the wood box floated… The Captain was an idiot and started shooting it full of holes with his M16, rough seas… so we lost site of the poor body… I thought I would read about it later in the paper a body washed up on NJ shore…

    So… Saturday Night Live has dissed everything for 40 years… and “is nothing sacred”… no…

    We put up with a guy with a foot fetish… a Raven who settles with the family of a ‘murdered’ relative… a wake and bake receiver…

    Relax… I don’t see petitions from the war heros, maybe you ought to do an article on why there are so much suicides in the service…

    now lets escape from the terrible human artrocities and ‘play ball’, isn’t that what they did after 9/11

  24. theriposter says: Jan 24, 2011 4:22 PM

    And here are the other words being expunged from all masculine verbiage: shoot; blasted; smithereens; wither; wreck; dynamite; blow-up.

    Enough with the PC word policing it’s making me puke. (Oops! Now the bulemic are gunning for me.)

  25. omniscient48 says: Jan 24, 2011 4:32 PM

    Does this mean that the Steelers cannot “blitz” in the Super Bowl? — or that Rodgers cannot throw the “bomb”? — or that there will be no “battle in the trenches”?

  26. kevinoc63 says: Jan 24, 2011 4:32 PM

    What, someone associated with the NFL using a war metaphor? I am shocked! I have never heard such as thing before.

  27. eustus says: Jan 24, 2011 4:33 PM

    Sal has had a longstanding issue with people using the war metaphor. He referenced it more than once in his book, “How Football Explains America.”

    I like Sal, I like his reporting and I like his writing. But his over the top protests whenever anyone uses the war metaphor diminishes his point.

    He can say he doesn’t think it’s classy. He can even say he finds it offensive Saying he’s repelled, like somehow every point Smith has to make is invalid is moronic.

    It’s his crusade and at the end of the day if this is the tipping point on labour negotiations, then people are stupider than I dare think they are.

  28. philcommander says: Jan 24, 2011 4:33 PM

    So if I say that War Is Hell would that be offensive to religious people?

  29. geezohman says: Jan 24, 2011 4:40 PM

    benberger says:
    Jan 24, 2011 4:08 PM
    Sal Paolantonion on Mike Vick, 1/6/11:

    “His pyrotechnics, his shock-and-awe football, have held highlight reels hostage all season. But now he needs to put boots on the ground, he needs to survive and advance in the postseason.”

    (That took about 2 minutes.)

    ===================
    good benberger…

    I’ll add….. Sal who lives in glass house shouldn’t throw stones

  30. malignantsociety says: Jan 24, 2011 4:42 PM

    Well, Sal Paolantonio should also be repelled by your words when you called it a battle.

    The same people who object to using the word “war” in this instance are more than likely the same people who rail against people being “P.C.”.

  31. hobartbaker says: Jan 24, 2011 4:46 PM

    Jim Rome just said “War short pudgy guys in expensive suits flinging hyperbole!”.

  32. oscojoe says: Jan 24, 2011 4:54 PM

    duffer58 says:
    Jan 24, 2011 3:59 PM
    Hey Oscoe Joe what are you talking about? Republicans like yourself are complete idiots.

    ———————————————-

    Typical Liberal duffer 58; I give a rational opinion and all you can do is insult. Hopefully you can grow up some day and partake in a meaningful discussion with out throwing insults at people. You fit in well with the likes of Obama’s & Smith’s.

  33. stairwayto7 says: Jan 24, 2011 4:55 PM

    SalPal was in the Nvy for 5 years? So I guess by his age, he was not in a WAR and was on ship duty and never in a combat area! He needs to stick to making up FACTS AND LET real veterans who put 20+ years in and in a few wars decided!

  34. bigtrav425 says: Jan 24, 2011 5:08 PM

    Sal is nothing more then a Whiny B*tch.If was really as intelligent as he thinks he is,he would of known it was nothing more then a metaphor.What a complete jackass.You would think he gets enough camera time as it is!

  35. halftermguv says: Jan 24, 2011 5:10 PM

    Sal was 100% correct. With troops on the ground on their 6th and 7th tours of duty, references to a contract negotiation between wealthy people is over the line. There are military families facing hard financial hardships and this @sshat is declaring war. Shameless.

  36. tiffpats4eva says: Jan 24, 2011 5:11 PM

    oscojoe says:
    Jan 24, 2011 3:42 PM
    What else would you expect from a Obama protege. Their is no sense of shame with Smith. To him its a political game. Mark my words all his buddies on the democrat side will be putting their two cents worth in soon.
    ************

    Sarah Palin voter says what?

  37. lawyermalloy says: Jan 24, 2011 5:14 PM

    Next this idiot will play the “race” card!

  38. tiffpats4eva says: Jan 24, 2011 5:16 PM

    This is one of the greatest examples of false outrage that I have ever seen. So when linebackers say to each other, “let’s go to battle” before stepping out onto the field, are they also being disrespectful to the troops?

    Surely you can’t compare defensive schemes and making defensive plays to actually fighting a war.

  39. jrs2300 says: Jan 24, 2011 5:25 PM

    This is really silly… So SALPAL are you going to say it’s repalling to all the announcers that says the words
    Throws a Bomb… or
    the defense Blitz…. or
    the offense is on the Attack…. or
    Battle of the offensive and defensive lines…

    This is really silly….

  40. jrs2300 says: Jan 24, 2011 5:26 PM

    This is really silly… So SALPAL are you going to say it’s repalling to all the announcers that says the words
    Throws a Bomb… or
    the defense Blitz…. or
    the offense is on the Attack…. or
    Battle of the offensive and defensive lines…

    This is really silly….

  41. coachglove says: Jan 24, 2011 5:32 PM

    I was unaware that people who served only 5 years weren’t “real” veterans. I was unaware that people who served in non-combat areas aren’t vets either. Damn….that sucks.

  42. southyank7 says: Jan 24, 2011 5:35 PM

    enjoy the super bowl everyone… its the last NFL game we’ll see for awhile…2 NON-football jagoffs are in control & are having a pee-pee measuring contest & playing chicken / russian roulette with something that doesn’t belong to them….goodell & smith now rival our hated, crooked politicians….

  43. lilbendbag says: Jan 24, 2011 5:51 PM

    A 3 You sank my battleship

  44. luke30157 says: Jan 24, 2011 6:07 PM

    Obama Sucks….

  45. nfl4ever says: Jan 24, 2011 6:13 PM

    De Smith is a wannabe tough guy (in a lawyer sense).

    He and he alone scares me more than anyone or anything with regards to the prospect of the season or part of it being lost. This guy strikes me as the type who will take negotiations “personally” and takes himself way too seriously and as a result will (and probably has) set negotiations back as opposed to any progress being made.

    God help us fans!

  46. Dirty D Fo says: Jan 24, 2011 6:16 PM

    As an Infantry Marine — Go F yourself Mr. Smith.

  47. jw731 says: Jan 24, 2011 6:16 PM

    I think people tend to use the term “war”, a little too loosley, and i also think people tend to overeact when the term is used…I had an uncle who was seriously hurt in the Korean war, (only those who weren’t there called it a conflict) and he was my moms baby brother, and she said he was never the same when he came back, physically he was OK after a while, but mentally, he never really recovered…I watched and went to alot of games with him, and he loved football, he often referred to games as battles, or “It’s gonna be a war”, he was a mans man, and thats how he related to things, i would have never ever said what he thought, cause i don’t know what a war is…But if i did, he would not have said…..You can’t say that, i doubt he thought labor negotiatons as war, but i doubt he would have cared if someone said it…….

  48. Dirty D Fo says: Jan 24, 2011 6:25 PM

    Look, there is nothing PC about it. Honestly, I could care less. I am a REAL Iraq and Afghan vet! I didn’t serve during a ‘peace’ time. I have done 3 tours and will gladly do a 4th. I am an 0311 (infantry Marine) – I think the fact this fella’ said it is what actually irritates me. All of the other vets can kiss me ass – you don’t get shot @ on a boat or in the states. Throw all these millionaire douches in Afghanistan right now and let em’ have at it. I’m fine with that. And by the way, when everyone ‘thanks’ the troops.. WE ARE NOT ALL SOLDIERS. I am a Marine, a soldier is an insult.

  49. jgrange says: Jan 24, 2011 6:49 PM

    Definition of WAR

    1
    a (1) : a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations

    Replace states or nations with cities and considering football is a collision/contact sport, I’d say war is not so far off the mark. Although, this had nothing to do with the game that’s played on the field but one in the courtroom. Doesn’t bother me either way.

  50. kingjoe1 says: Jan 24, 2011 7:19 PM

    There is more than one definition of war and it is about high time the media and the like stop castrating anyone who uses the war references. In this case De Smith is using it appropriately and I would love to see him stand up for himself and tell Sally P to get a better education.

    ” struggle or competition between opposing forces”

    All you apologist and attackers out there, know about what you attack or you likely to look stupid.

  51. david7590 says: Jan 24, 2011 7:20 PM

    Who really cares what Rooney thinks?

  52. ErikW65 says: Jan 24, 2011 8:55 PM

    Sal Pal is an excellent reporter. He’s entitled to his opinion.

    But he’s going to get paid regardless if there’s a season or not.

  53. commandercornpone says: Jan 24, 2011 8:58 PM

    duh smith is an idiot, an obama-ite, and itching to get help from over the top.

    and it isnt asinine to say so or say tha the is a blooming idiot with no sense of proportion.

    it’s a bunch of rich people arguing about who gets a slightly bigger check. and most of them are easily replaced.

  54. rcali says: Jan 24, 2011 9:50 PM

    Spare us of all this PC “War” stuff. Everybody needs to grow up and relax.

  55. grogansheroes says: Jan 24, 2011 9:55 PM

    enjoy the super bowl everyone… its the last NFL game we’ll see for awhile…2 NON-football jagoffs are in control & are having a pee-pee measuring contest & playing chicken / russian roulette with something that doesn’t belong to them….goodell & smith now rival our hated, crooked politicians…
    +____________________
    My feelings exactly!!

  56. godofwine330 says: Jan 25, 2011 10:56 AM

    @ lorenz67 says:
    Jan 24, 2011 4:04 PM
    2 of the 6 definitions of ‘War’ per Merriam-Webster apply directly to the situation Smith is talking about. So everybody can just calm down and get over their touchy feely PC non sense…

    *********

    Exactly. This country is so damned PC it isn’t funny. You can’t talk without pissing somebody off and offending their overly sensitive…

    I co0-sign you, bro.

  57. hooterdawg says: Jan 26, 2011 3:27 PM

    Sal Paolantonio is almost washed up. I wasn’t aware that he still works for ESPN. He might freelance for them from a different organization.
    He stopped being relevant about two years ago. Now he just regurgitates stories from other sources.

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