Lost in the media’s collective lips-to-buttocks routine regarding Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the contradiction arising from Roethlisberger’s stunning admission to NBC’s Andrea Kremer that last week he had an X-ray “somewhere” and Tomlin’s coy non-denial denial regarding the question of whether Roethlisberger had been X-rayed at all.
Based on the quotes distributed from Tomlin’s Monday press conference, no questions were asked regarding the obvious conflict between Ben’s confession and Tomlin’s “not that I heard” response to pool reporter Peter King.
As we surmised last week, Tomlin likely used ambiguous terms because he suspected that, at some point, Roethlisberger would let it slip that, indeed, he had an X-ray.
Bottom line? The Steelers did their damnedest to cover up Roethlisberger’s true status — not because there as any concern that Roethlisberger wouldn’t play, but in order to prevent an even larger target from being affixed to Roethlisberger’s midsection during Super Bowl XLIII.
Though Tomlin might now say that he didn’t lie because he actually didn’t know about the X-ray, we’d love to borrow Mike Shanahan’s personal polygraph machine for a few minutes.
And while we supported Tomlin being hired and we think Tomlin’s a great coach and we believe that the Steelers are the Team of the Century, stuff like this drives us nuts because it represents an ongoing invitation to gamblers and other potentially shady characters to begin supplementing the income of the guys who scrub the toilets in exchange for inside information that, despite the stated rules of the NFL, isn’t landing on the injury report.
We know that plenty of you will complain about the fact that we’re again complaining about this issue. But our paramount concern is the integrity of the game. And the integrity of the game remains at risk until the NFL takes meaningful action aimed at preventing this kind of crap.


  1. Who gives a rat’s ass (however, if I had a rat’s ass I probably would give it away) on the state of a players’ injury. He either plays in the game or he doesn’t. It is a team sport. Granted the starters are supposed to be the best, but it is the team that plays including backups (not one player). I think the NFL should just drop the official injury report. The game isn’t canceled if the premier player on a team is out, doubtful, probable, arrested, or even ignorant.

  2. paramount concern is the integrity of the game.
    Forget the X rays, focus on the ref’s. Why is it that they feel it is necessary to hand Pittsburgh the Superbowl trophy? Let the best team win.

  3. I’m trying to figure this out, how can the Steelers be the team of the century? Seriously, how can you come to that conclusion? A century is 100 years – and during the last 100 years they do not have the most championships…not even close. And yes, I know this was covered in a previous post, but does anyone remember the Green Bay Packers? I’m not even fan, but they have 12 championships, right?

  4. Question: is this any different than what Bill Belichick or Eric Mangini does when they answer injury inquiries very cryptically?
    If not, do they too “provide an ongoing invitation to gamblers and other potentially shady characters to begin supplementing the income of the guys who scrub the toilets in exchange for inside information that, despite the stated rules of the NFL, isn’t landing on the injury report”?

  5. Tomlin: You want answers?!
    Florio: I want the truth.
    Tomlin: You can’t handle the truth!
    Tomlin: Son, we play a violent game.
    A game played by injured men.
    Who’s gonna play it? You?
    Tomlin: I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly
    fathom. You weep for Rothlesburger and you
    curse the Coaching staff. You have that luxury.
    You have the luxury of not knowing what I
    know: That hiding injuries, while wrong to you,
    probably saves careers by limiting additional damage.
    And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to
    you, reduces injuries and saves careers.
    You don’t want the truth. Because deep
    down, in places you don’t talk about
    in your blog, you want me on that sideline.
    You me need me on that sideline.
    We use words like questionable and probable,
    …we use these words as the
    backbone to a life fighting for something.
    You use ’em as a punchline for yuour blog.
    I have neither the time nor the
    inclination to explain myself to a man who
    rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very
    game I provide, then questions the
    manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer
    you just said thank you and went on your
    way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a
    clipboard and prowl a sideline. Either way, I
    don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to.
    Give it a rest Florio. It’s part of the game. Only a fool tells the opponent out to beat and hurt them where they are injured or weak. Focus your jihad on something worthy of your time.

  6. as long as u have vegas puting up betting odds in the nfl and officials (who will take the bait under the table), the integrity of the game goes out the window everytime.

  7. No one looks twice when a coach not named Belichick does it, so it’s good that at least you are pressing the issue. This isn’t the worst infraction of the season though. Peyton Manning had two surgeries and didn’t appear on any injury reports.
    With that said, Tomlin did the right thing. He protected his player, as should any coach. But if you’re gonna hound one coach, hound them all. Good for you Florio.

  8. “it represents an ongoing invitation to gamblers and other potentially shady characters to begin supplementing the income of the guys who scrub the toilets in exchange for inside information that, despite the stated rules of the NFL, isn’t landing on the injury report.”
    well when that shit starts happening florio, we will all be so happy to know that your on the case. florio, the great protector of the integrity of the nfl. oh where would they be without you?

  9. I would like nothing better than to watch super bowl porn with mike florio, and 8 other guys in my college dorm room.
    J Stew
    Seriously, as a failed journalist due to low pay and censorship, I LOVE me some Florio. Don’t agree with everything, but as I tell 20 people a day, this is the ONLY place to get the inside knowledge that isn’t biased (except for his love of the steal-era).
    I am going to try to get a hook up with the custodian who cleans the Cardinals training room, go 16-0 on my picks next year, and expose this NFL sham of injury reports.
    Or I could just pick every single game of the playoffs before the playoffs start, like I did this year(perfect, except for the super bowl where I had Cards winning 30-27… Argh, the irony.) and no I didn’t pick Cards cause I’m an idiot who sat in sun devil stadium for 20 years(god bless those idiots), I picked them because you will beat a rookie QB at home in a loud stadium, because we had Carolina and let ’em off the hook, and donovan mcnabb is a mental midget( and I picked Philly to beat NY because only reason Giants won Super Bowl XLII was because they played balls out last game of last year and didn’t this year and Giants can’t score in red zone with out Plaxico).
    All this thanks to PFT. If the score had been 30-27 like I called on January 2nd, I would have gone100% in this years playoffs. (that includes AFC.)
    So Florio, porn with 8 other guys it is.
    This website has made me understand football more than I can express. I owe you the deep dark depression I feel because my team lost.

  10. who cares, you are dwelling on nothing, the game is over and if the cards
    thought it was an issue they would have went after him if they could have.
    it means nothing now. if you want to post things that had no bearing on
    the outcome of the game, i had a woody last night post it.

  11. Malblack and Neutral like Sweden – I logged on to say the exact same thing the two of you said, so I won’t say it again. But…
    Florio, give it a rest. Did you happen to notice that Tom Brady appeared on the injury report every. single. week. during their Super Bowl runs? Geez… integrity of the game my a@@. Like someone said above, if you’re going to “out” someone, “out” them all. And consider focusing on the more blatant offenders.

  12. Wow, Tomlin doesn’t even know what’s going on with his players???? Didn’t know Ben had an x-ray. Why is he a head coach? Incompetance!!

  13. I have to laugh reading these comments. There are many Steelers fans, commenting that you need to give it a rest Florio, I wouldnt expect anything else from them. They are the same fans that detest Bill Belichick, for doing the same thing. Because we all know, BB is the only evil doer in the NFL.
    I also agree that the Packers are the team of the Century, they have less Super Bowls, but twice as many Championships in professional football. You cant punish them because the “Super Bowl” started after their reign. Plus, the Steelers have 6 Dicky Lombardi trophies, and who cares about those.

  14. Florio, the rules of the injury report are that if someone is hurt they are listed as out, doubtful, questionable, or probable, not that the teams have to divulge every little test every player takes at the beck and call of the media, to say that should be the rules is asinine.
    Tomlin did the right thing for the health of Roethlisberger in the Super Bowl, I thought you were all about protecting the health of the players? Sounds like you’re more interested in access for the media.

  15. “And we believe the Steelers are the team of the century” So in other words “we” as PFT believe in steroid use? Florio, I thought you knew better than that,especially being a southern lawyer. I thought you would have more common sense.

  16. this is ridiculous. the integrity of the game has nothing to do with avoiding setting up the QB as a target. Roethlisberger played, played the entire game, and played reasonably well. who cares if he had an x-ray a couple of days prior?
    the only people this would affect is the gamblers, and the day we let gambling dictate football is the day football dies.
    knowing about the x-ray in advance would have done NOTHING to change anything, save for maybe make arizona defenders target a specific part of roethlisberger’s body. no good can come of that.

  17. Stlrfan1 thanks for the support but that’s not what I meant.
    Roethlisberger should’ve been on the injury report as probable. He was injured. He had freaking xrays! I was happy to see Florio bringing this up because it’s a double-standard in the league.
    Brady was on the injury reports because he was supposed to be. Seriously. After every game he would get treatment on his shoulder. He even got surgery on his shoulder, if you did not know that. He took painkilllers and anti-inflammatories all the time. Sometimes they would keep him out of practices to give his shoulder more rest. It’s simple, if you have to get treatment for something then that something was injured.
    People were outraged that last year his ankle injury was never reported. But, it was just Belichick protecting him within the rules. The rules say you have to report one injury, and because Brady had two (shoulder and ankle), Belichick did the right thing and chose to report the shoulder.
    What Tomlin should’ve done was put Ben on the injury report as probable, with some other injury he was dealing with (i.e. head/concussion). If he had no other injuries then Tomlin should have been forced to put the ribs.
    Tomlin flatout violated the rules. It would have been great if he manipulated the rules to protect Roethlisberger, but he didn’t do that.

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