Not a fan of cheating!

A-Rod

There is something that has been bothering me since I first knew what the word meant. The word Steroids! So, I thought I’d share my thoughts and opinions of what I think should be done with athletes who have taken performance-enhancing drugs. They should be booted! That is right; they should be banned from sports forever.

I just never understood how you can be so good in high school and get a free ride to college. Then in college you are still on top of your game, but for some reason think you should use the substance. If God gave you the ability to play the sport than you should stop right there and be happy. You should count your blessings and know how many people in the world would love to be you. Being able to play the game and being able to suit up to be out there doing what you love is what others strive for in life. Yet, they have to work hard every day for less money and they hate their job. They do it because they need to put food on the table.

The very first time I ever really cared about the word steroids was when, Barry Bonds who I loved as a player and person, was using it. I remember when I was younger, I would play back yard baseball and yell out his name before hitting the ball. Of course it was me wanting to be just like him, I asked my parents if I could get an earring. My parents said no, and I had to pull out the story of how Bonds is a role model and wears an earring with a cross hanging from it. My parents ended up saying yes after that statement.

After finding out how Bonds and other have cheated the system it really hurt the baseball game and people were on eBay trying to get rid of Bonds baseball cards. Nobody wanted to wear a uniform with his name on it. Nobody really cared about him anymore quite frankly. Then the lies of course had to be told by Bonds which really hurt me as a fan.

barry bonds

So, the only player that I ever cared about in baseball was the most talked about because of cheating. Yet, he was good enough to be mentioned way before those days of using it. Why couldn’t Bonds just be happy and take the good with the bad like everybody else does in the world. The word selfish is a hard word to say to a person face to face, but I am sure it is harder when you look in the mirror and say it to yourself. That is what Bonds and the others have to say to themselves when they look at their past.

The National Football league is my favorite sport. Of course I would think more people would cheat in that sport than any other. Did you know a poll came out stating nearly 1 in 10 retired National Football League players polled in a confidential survey said they had used now-banned anabolic steroids while still playing? That floored me! Did you take notice that the ex-players stated now-banned steroids? Of course the players would say the words now-banned, because they do not want to be called a cheater and have their reputations tarnished.

shawn

If you ever get bored watching a football game, don’t ever turn it off. All you need to do is watch the offense linemen and the defense linemen hit one another. Well, did you know the ex-players poll shows that 16.3 percent of offensive linemen and 14.8 percent of defensive linemen admitted to using steroids? So, when watching you might be thinking you could be watching a brief sumo match getting ready to go down, but honestly it could be steroids verses steroids.

So for me as a football fan it really is a hurtful thing to talk about. The player that I might be watching could be using the substance and really has no business of being in the league. They could be a player that I really prayed hard for in life because of their story and to find out they are the biggest cheater to ever play the game five years from now. Revelations like that are devastating to fans.

How many players don’t get drafted in the NFL? That question does matter to me. There could be a player that didn’t have their name called out or receive a phone call from a head coach, but was still good enough to make it in the NFL and be good. How many times have you seen free agents shine? In 2004, Willie Parker was an undrafted free agent. Parker finished his career with 5,378 yards, averaged 4.3 yards a carry, and 24 touchdowns. I say that’s pretty good despite not having been drafted!

I could list numerous names of individuals we are well aware of who used steroids during their athletic careers. As well, I’m sure we could all list the names of those who we suspect may be using the drug to enhace their performance.

If you think that using steroids will help with the risk of not getting hurt, that is so far from the truth. Steroids are really known to cause joint and ligament injuries.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=nfl-players-who-use-steroids-have-m-2009-02-20

Whatever the case may be for a player of any sport to use performance-enhancing drugs, no reason is an acceptable reason for me.

If you’re an athlete who is currently using a drug to get better or come back from an injury faster, please know that I hope you quit now. I hope that you understand the ability to play the game is a gift from God, and that if you are suppose to be faster or have any other talents that help you surpass your peers God would have given those abilities to you.

Mark<

If you are a fan that really does not care if a player is using a drug to cheat, that is truly sad.

I just wish a player can come out and say I am sorry! I am sorry that a kid wanted so bad to play football but did it the right way and we cheated to be in the league. So therefore he never got his chance, since he was on the list as a free agent. I am sorry that I got into the Hall Of Fame while good honest players kept getting on the list, but never got to be placed as one of the greatest players to play the game. I am sorry that I faked you fans out by charging $200.00 for my autograph, when truly it should have been me getting your autograph for loving me. Loving me when I did wrong! I am sorry that I fooled my mother and my father for they were so proud of me but had no idea that I disgraced the family by putting my name out there that I was a cheater.

That is what I would love to hear! A grow man saying I am wrong and I am sorry! Instead, you hear I didn’t know that was wrong. I had no idea it was against the National Football League’s rules. You also hear months of lies until finally they say “I am sorry.” The I’m sorry usually only comes after there is overwhelming evidence to prove that not only was he a cheater but also a liar.

Are you kidding me?

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So yeah, it is tough to talk about this and know that somebody I look up to or admire for being great could be just a lame guy on and off the field.

So, I hope that in the end that next kid being told they are great in high school and challenged to get better, will look in the mirror before doing such a thing and say “By the grace of God, I am who they think I am, I am me!” Let us see you for you and let us see your God-given talents no matter which sport you are playing.

God Bless,
Muia

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GOODBYE TO MAX STARKS!

Max Starks

We all have players that we dislike or that we love. When we love a player we will support them no matter what others may think of them. I would consider Max Starks somebody I really love having on the team. Standing at 6-8 and 370 pounds he was among the largest in the NFL. With his size was a big heart! We can blame injuries or his age for the release, but whatever it is, I wish we would have been able to keep him as a player with the Steelers. When a release of a player or a trade comes of somebody we really enjoy on our team it is hard to take. I wrote down on a recent blog that Starks would be back, and I had to believe that until I was told otherwise. Now the signing of a one year deal to the San Diego Chargers sealed the thought of “What If” and now the news is truly hard to swallow. Good old Max Starks will be protecting another 2004 first round pick quarterback Philip Rivers. This time it will be a hot temper guy but has the passion and desire to win. I hope Starks will be able to start and do his best to stay healthy even if he is on another team than the Steelers. When players leave and retire from another team it always seems that the ex Steeler player acknowledge the Steelers was the team they loved the most. With Starks winning two Superbowls with the Steelers and nine years of service, I would think Starks be the same way.

I wish Starks a successful season at his job. However, of course not the Chargers!

If you like to help Starks out with his charitable fund please go to

http://www.maxstarks.com/charitable-fund

God Bless- Muia

THINGS YOU MIGHT LIKE TO KNOW!

There are four sites that I like to share with you! If you have the time and are interested please check them all out. I think you really would like to know more about these sites and the people that are associated with them. They work hard and put tons of effort into what they are doing and I love their passion! So I thought I share. ENJOY!

PITTSBURGH SPORTSLINE
Hosted by Allen Levine with Co-Hosts Smokin’ Jim Frazier, and Chip Haynor

On Monday nights you can find these guys at Cips Sports Bar.

3024 W Liberty Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15216

On every Tuesday from 7-8PM on BPTV you can view the Live Sports Talk Show. You can also watch the shows on http://www.youtube.com Type in PITTSBURGH SPORTSLINE or AL LEVINE to watch.

These guys are very kind and very funny! I really enjoy watching them and speaking to them. They talk all sports! The talks can be about Steelers, Pirates, Pens, or the local boxing. They are very knowledgeable in all fields of sports. Every show I have watched, they have had a local person come on the show and talk about their talents. This show allows people to be seen by their community and advance in what they do. That to me is giving back to the community.

http://www.facebook.com/PittsburghSportsline

STEELERS TERRIBLE PODCAST
Hosted by Dave Bryan and Co-Host David Todd

Dave Bryan from Steelers Depot and David Todd from Hammer Speaks. They both join together on Terrible Podcast and talk about Steelers. Sometimes they have a guest speaker but it is mostly those two together. They give opinions about the game and players of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

http://tunein.com/topic/?TopicId=46819390

MOTTSAMILLION
I have known Mike Mott since 2001. When we would play basketball or football he would rap. I always remember saying, I wonder if he would pursue what he loves. Well, he has a full time job and does this part time and I am going to support him. I think he sounds like the rapper “Wale.”

Recently Mott was ranked 5th in West Virginia.

My favorite song of his is: “whatcha gonna do”

http://www.reverbnation.com/mottsamillion#!/mottsamillion/songs


Check him out and become a fan!

JARED DREAM VACATION
Jared is also a friend that I have known for a while that has been like a brother towards me. When I got sick he was trying so hard to get a fund raiser started so I can send my family to Disney World. Now, he is a travel consultant who can help his clients experience the magic of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the Disneyland Resort in California, the Disney Cruise Line, and the amazing guided tours of Adventures by Disney. When you book a Disney vacation with Jared, you get free vacation planning assistance and the best part of all; you pay the same price booking with him as you would booking directly with Disney. So for no additional fees he can answer any questions you may have, make dining reservations, help you celebrate special occasions, make daily itineraries that keep you out of long lines, and make sure you and your family meet all of your favorite characters.

Jaredsdreamvacations@gmail.com

http://jaredsdreamvacations.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/free-dining-is-back/

Who is Steelers Blogs?

Steelers

Well, I thought I would share a little about who I am and what I feel. I have spoken to some people regarding my personal life of a challenge I recently had and was told that I should share that story. So recently, I have been thinking why not?

My name is Joseph Muia and I live in Stephens City VA. If you never heard of it, it is just South of Winchester VA. I am married to my precious wife Stacey who was born in Uniontown PA. Yes she is a die-hard Steelers fan as well. We have a son name Anthony who is the best thing that ever happened to us.

How did I become a Steelers fan? I remember watching football with my dad when I was seven years old and my father turn the television station and Pittsburgh Steelers happened to be on the other channel. I said “Dad who is that?” He stated, “The Pittsburgh Steelers, they are a great team.” I had no idea what being great was, but I knew I love their colors. When my father turned the station back to the Redskins I remember saying to myself, I rather watch the other team because they were looking pretty cool. My dad every so often would switch back to that channel and I got to view them more and more. The more I saw them play the more I fell in love. I was twelve or thirteen when my Uncle Phil got me a TV as a Christmas present. That was when I was able to view them every Sunday until Baltimore Ravens came to Maryland. God I hate those Ravens!

So my passion is deep for the Steelers but I honestly I can’t say that I am the most die-hard fan out there. I have viewed profiles after profiles and the things I have seen and read truly made me smile and happy to be part of the Steelers fan base. As well, be connected with good people every day talking about the love we have for the team and players.

So now the story I have shared with others that they wanted me to talk about. In July 2010, I was sitting at work and I started to receive twitching and shooting pains through my whole body. I didn’t want to tell my wife for she would want me to go to the emergency room. So I kept quiet. My brother-in-law and his family came to visit. They were leaving the next morning to travel to North Carolina. That evening my brother-in-law challenged me for a basketball game. I am not the best player but I can hold my own against him. I started to shoot air balls and couldn’t run the court against him. He beat me three games in a row. On the way back home, I mentioned I was tired and felt sick. Of course just beating me on the basketball court my brother-in-law thought it was just an excuse of why I lost to him.

The next morning I could barely move. I said goodbye to my brother-in-law and his family as they left early in the morning and tried to go back to sleep. After two hour or so I told my wife who decided to take me to the emergency room. The doctors at Winchester Hospital stated it was a 24 hour virus that is affecting the muscles. The next day I felt ten times worse and couldn’t lift my leg higher than 6 inches off the floor. At one moment my left leg was paralyze and couldn’t move it.

After 48 hours and I just seem to be getting worse. I called my primary doctor on Monday morning who fit me in right way. The doctor totally thought something wasn’t right and told me to go see a Neurologist doctor. Right way they fit me to visit with the doctor to see what is truly wrong with me. Well, test had to be run but my new doctor who I never met was pushing that it was a rare disease called Paraneoplastic. After running twenty one different tests and taking time to get the results back it was confirmed, I had Paraneoplastic.

Telling me a word I never ever heard before did not mean anything to me. It was when the doctor started to tell me what it is, when I started to know that I was in a world of trouble. To sum it up Paraneoplastic is a disease that comes when cancer is present in your body. Your body has cells that fight off infections and when it senses something is wrong, they attack that cancer cell. However, with Parneoplastic the tumor cell is so small that your body fights against itself. So your body is attacking your muscles tissues which could total disable you. The life span with this disease is two to five years. Most people don’t make it that long and the side effects are very bad. They are so bad that it can make you bedridden, wheel chair bound, or walker bound. You can have slur speech, memory loss, vision problems, and sensory loss in limbs.

So here I was told by the doctor that I have two to five years to live and will most likely not able to do the things I love to do anymore. The thing called bucket list before you die might not be something I am able to do since my body is fighting itself. So now the second opinion would come from Mayo Clinic from Rochester Minnesota. Again, it was proven that I have Paraneoplastic.

So, now the phone calls of where I should go and who should be my doctor. We called a local doctor who stated he didn’t want me. That he has never heard of this condition and wanted me to get the best cancer doctor. So lucky for me was I was able to get fitted in John Hopkins. With that the name of my doctor was revealed to me. It would be one of the best doctors in the Nation. I thought how lucky can I be?

When I met the doctor he was shock how good I looked. Yet when looking at the blood test he knew right away it was true. So he reached out to another best doctor in the nation and joined hands with him. This doctor happened to be living in Spain at this time teaching about the disease.

With both doctors calling the shots I would go thru tons of X-Rays, MRI’s, and Cat Scans but no luck to find the tumor. Still I had that though of two to five years in my head. Nobody would tell me otherwise. The reason they never did say anything is because they didn’t know any other way but to go off what they knew of people not making it past five years.

During this whole time, I was having the worse pain in my life. I would have up to four hundred twitches and three hundred shooting pains a day. They would hit anywhere on my body at any given time. Honestly on a scale they would hit so hard that I would rate them from a six to a nine on a pain scale. Felt like a nail driven in my side. It would feel so bad at times that I literally thought somebody was screwing a screwdriver in my neck or arms. The pain was real and you couldn’t do anything to stop them but to scream out and cry or brace for impact.

So if you are told you are given two to five years and you are having pains every single day, what makes you want to live? What makes you go to work? What drives you to greatness? For me, it was my family! It was watching my wife not give up. It was my son who was a little over a year old holding me and giving me kisses when I was in pain. To know that they needed me just as much as I needed them, it allowed me not to cry of where I was in life and let the disease win. So I decided since the disease wants to win and I wanted to win it would be a hard tough battle but in the end, I will be the champ. I just needed one thing to do though because all the time I worried more about my family instead of myself, and that was to take time out for me to cry. So I never will forget it on December 16th it hit me and I allowed myself to cry for hours. I had my pity party and that was the last one I was going to have. This disease will not beat me! I will join with Christ and we will walk hand to hand and fight it together. After all, I am not living Joseph world! I am living God’s world. So knowing that everybody at some point will have to carry their cross I finally accepted what I had and what I would do to win.

So, I got up every morning and went to my son room. I made sure he got up and fed before I drove him to daycare. I continued to work my eight hour shift at work and come home. The pains would follow me the whole day and I even cried at work. I will never forget one day we was in Wal-Mart my family and I and a pain hit me so bad that I had to grab the banana stand, and I said “DEAR GOD, O’ LORD!” There was a young girl and she looked at me so hard. The look though was more like I was a crazy person. Then I realize, I think she thought I was saying those words like praising God for the banana to be in front of my eyes.

If my son would wake up in the middle of the night, I made sure I dealt with him and not my wife. My wife would get mad because she felt I had to rest and she would do it all for our son. I know she would have done anything because she is a great wife and mother. I had a reason of why I wanted to do it all and that was to show the disease you don’t have control over me. I am not going to quit and have you eat my muscles. I will over power you! I am not going to cry and ask God “Why me?” I mean for real, why not me? What did I do that is so special that I get the gift to live the best world than you? We are all sinners and we all have to carry our cross. I even got to a point where I said “Lord, if I am carrying my cross, please let me carry all my family and friends cross as well.” I will honestly say the pain got worse for me when that happened. I guess it is true in the bible, ask and you will receive. I did ask and I got the pain and more crosses nailed to mine.

After more visits and tons of testing to try to find the tumor it was told by John Hopkins doctors that they can’t find it. That they would believe that I don’t have cancer. The tumor we were in search for was most likely a benign. So cancer would not be in my body but a tumor would be and my body will still detect something is wrong. So I would still have paraneoplastic and my body would still fight itself. So I would continue the shooting pains and twitching until the tumor is found or my body destroys it.

I don’t know the exact day but I got the worse back pains I ever had in my life. I was taken by my wife to the emergency room and they only gave me two bags of IV. They released me and at the time we happened to be in Uniontown PA to see her family. Now before this every day I would receive some kind of love by somebody. I would get a hug, phone call, prayer, by tons of people and they kept saying God would heal me. I noticed when I got back from the ER that I wasn’t having pains. I was not even having twitching anymore.

When I went back to John Hopkins and I would be visiting with a new doctor because the other two has past me on to him. They were done with me and now this new one would take charge. When I told him what happened to me in Uniontown PA the doctor stated he thought God healed me.

So, what is going on with me today? Well, I still tested positive for paraneoplastic and very rare do I have twitching or a shooting pain. John Hopkins stated I am less than 1% in the nation to have this disese without cancer. Now remember just with this disease I you could have or be bedridden, slur speech, memory lost, wheel chair bound, or walker bound. Instead, I am working a full time job. I am able to talk your ear off about Steelers and play with my son and wife in the back yard.

So thing are truly good my way and I was told by many to share this story with you. So I thought it might help somebody when times are down not to give up on their faith. With you walking with Christ and knowing that you will win, you can be a champ! If you fall down and say I am going to lose this battle than I would say you will lose. If you stand on your feet and say I have to live because I have so much to do left in this world and I love my life and I will carry this cross. You will win! Yet don’t forget though, when it is your time it is your time because again like I said before, we are not living our world. We are living his world.

Always put your best foot forward though and do your best to live the right way in life. For so many of my family and friends were watching of how I would handle the two to five years and the pain of feeling like nails driving into my skin, and what they saw was somebody never giving up and somebody continue to live their normal life just like they did before finding out they had this disease.

For the people that are wondering, I even got to play basketball against my brother-in-law who could not beat me. That is the way it should be. The times might get low for me or the Steelers but in the end we will show how much we are truly winners!

GOD BLESS

Muia

2013 Steelers 53 Man Roster Projection

Pittsburgh_Steelers_throwback_helmet_2007

I thought I would give this a try of projecting Pittsburgh Steelers 53 man roster. Bleacher Report has recently wrote their projection, and I had to disagree with them. I thought, why not just make my own up and laugh later of how I got it right and how I got it wrong.

QB

1. BEN ROETHLISBERGER
2. BRUCE GRADKOWSKI
3. LANDRY JONES

RB

4. LE’VON BELL
5. JONATHAN DWYER
6. LAROD STEPHENS-HOWLING

FB

7. WILL JOHNSON

WR

8. ANTONIO BROWN
9. EMMANUEL SANDERS
10. MARKUS WHEATON
11. PLAXICO BURRESS
12. JERRICHO COTCHERY

TE

13. H. MILLER
14. MATT SPAETH
15. DAVID JOHNSON
16. DAVID PAULSON

LT

17. MIKE ADAMS
18. MAX STARKS

LG

19. RAMON FOSTER

C

20. MAUKICE POUNCEY
21. MIKE GOLIC JR.

RG

22. DAVID DECASTRO

RT

23. MARCUS GILBERT
24. KELVIN BEACHUM

LE

25. ZIGGY HOOD
26. AL WOODS

DT

27. STEVEN MCLENDON
28. CASEY HAMPTON
29. ALAMEDA TA’AMU

RE

30. BRETT KEISEL
31. CAMERON HEYWARD

LOLB

32. LAMARR WOODLEY
33. CHRIS CARTER

MLB

34. LARRY FOOTE
35. STEVENSON SYLVESTER

RILB

36. LAWRENCE TIMMONS
37. MARSHALL MCFADDEN

ROLB
38. JASON WORILDS
39. JARVIS JONES
40. ADRIAN ROBINSON JR.

CB

41. IKE TAYLOR
42. CORTEZ ALLEN
43. WILLIAM GAY
44. DEMARCUS VAN DYKE
45. JOSH VICTORIAN

SS

46. TROY POLAMALU
47. SHAMARKO THOMAS
48. DAMON CROMARTIE-SMITH

FS

49. RYAN CLARK
50. ROBERT GOLDEN

K

51. SHAUN SUISHAM

P

52. DREW BUTLER

LS

53. GREG WARREN

IR—– SEAN SPENCE

PRACTICE SQUAD

BARON BATCH, JUSTIN BROWN, DAVID GILREATH, NICK WILLIAMS, VINCE WILLIAM, CHARLIE BATCH, TERRY HAWTHORNE, HEBRON FANGUPO

Key Notes:

I know this is so early but this is just a guess. So now, the key notes of why I believe this is the outcome.

Landry Jones will be the future quarterback for the Steelers. I don’t think Steelers would risk putting Jones on the practice squad. That leaves Charlie on the practice squad there to coach Jones during the week and on Sundays. No team would take a chance to pick up Batch. So that is my feeling of why Batch will be on practice squad. A long shot, but it might happen.

Why is Isaac Redman off my list? His performance decline last year and showed once again he is injury prone. Yes Jonathan Dwyer is as well, but Dwyer had more yards and was the leader rusher for the team. Dwyer performance seems to go higher every year with the team while Redman performance seems to be on a decline. What gives Dwyer the edge is Dwyer performance raising and experience due to the fact he is able to stay on the field more than Redman. I personally don’t see Steelers keeping one of these backs with the signing of Bell. The rumor though was Dwyer almost got dealt during the NFL Draft. I think though it will be Redman getting dealt before preseason is over to another team for next year draft pick.

Todd Haley really wanted to use Chris Rainey speed and of course he is no longer on the team. Baron Batch is quick, but does not seem to be anymore than a third string running back. It always seemed Batch would just run right into the blockers. If there was an opening Batch would miss the opening because of rushing with the play. I don’t believe Batch used his speed to his advantage. The only reason for this to happen would be Batch not being patient and letting the blockers do their job. This means for me, Larod Stephens-Howling will be replacing Batch for third string. That would force Batch to practice squad.

Max Starks was the only player to play all of the 16 games last year. Starks brings not only leadership, but experience to left and right tackle. Steelers will sign Starks at the minimum salary. Note that!

BIG SNACK, Casey Hampton making the team again! That is right, NOTE THAT! Sure it can happen because of depth. We have no clue who and what Alameda Ta’amu is about. I am saying that because Ta’amu never even played one down yet in the NFL. High potential is Steven McLendon but to me over rated at this point. Maybe he will play more snaps and show me his potential but according to his skills he has shown, I don’t see his true talent. When McLendon can take up space and have two offense guys guard him than I will be happy. Casey Hampton is old but still has two guys defending him and that lets the MLB and OLB able to do what they need to do. So, that is why I was so into drafting a nose tackle early in the draft.

This is the hardest thing to talk about for me is the cornerback position. After Ike Taylor and Cortez Allen it is truly up for grabs. So thinking long and hard, I finally made a decision. I think Curtis Brown will be cut as well Justin King. I look for Josh Victorian and DeMarcus Van Dyke to hold a depth chart spot. Terry Hawthorne would drop to the practice squad. The coaches were impressed of Josh Victorian short time playing last year and yes, he was beaten in two games but that was old rust. So I am sure the readers are saying “Oh whatever, Curtis Brown will not be cut?” Maybe not, but dag he gets beat a lot and no speed to catch up to the play. One thing for sure he can never play cornerback in replace of Taylor and Allen. Just watch him play one on one with good wide receivers. The point to make is that Brown is not even jumping out of coverage to intercept the ball. He is just out of coverage already before the ball is even in the air. After being with us this long he should be making progress and I feel he is on a down slide.

Well, that should sum up my opinion. Please note that I don’t hate or dislike any Steelers player. That would include the players that have been arrested or any other issues. I just might hate their decisions they made in life. I will always have the passion as all Steelers fans have. No matter if they are a past or present player I am like a five year old kid at a toy store. Just smiling when talking with them or meeting them. I really love writing about the Steelers and I hope you all enjoy reading about the Steelers.

God bless always….

Introducing Rookie Shamarko Thomas!!!

15039SUSSShamarkoThomas_original_original_crop_exact

Last Wednesday, I was viewing the Mock Drafts, and wondering who should the Pittsburgh Steelers be picking in the draft. I had names in my head of where players should be drafted, and how the Steelers could use them on their team. While looking at different Mock Drafts and learning players strongest and weakness playing abilities, I would also see what character they were on and off the field. While doing so I read a story that touched my heart. A player that was very good at playing football and had tough times that came in his life at a young age, yet he never gave up. It left a big impression of him in my heart that I wrote his name down on a piece of paper at work, and said “God, Let the Steelers draft this man!”

So let me introduce you to our fourth round pick, 111th overall who played football at Syracuse as a safety, Shamarko Thomas!!!

A player during the combine, who the announcer stated is like a Missile. While listening to the press conference by Carnell Lake, Lake stated “Thomas would have been first round if he was two more inches taller”. That is why Lake thinks teams passed on drafting Thomas. So let us draft a smaller player if that is how they feel. Size is one thing but heart is another! When you have a heart and a linebacker’s mentality with good thickness throughout your frame, make jarring stops by flowing through traffic and lining up your target, you will be respected. Don’t let height fool you of how high a man can leap. At the combine for the vertical jump, Thomas and LSU’s Eric Reid tied for first at their position with respective 40.5-inch verticals. So, experts are comparing Thomas to Troy Polamalu and ex Colt player Bob Sanders. There is so much to say about Thomas’ ability to play the safety position. Yet Thomas is capable of playing other positions and Lake acknowledged that in his press conference.

So with so much ability on the field and so much heart, who is Sharmarko Thomas off the field? I would say a man that has a big heart. When tradegy hits home it sometimes can make you stronger or weaker. Thomas never knew his real father but his step-dad Abdul Shabazz was his father figure. On July 10, 2010 just after he picked up a new part for his motorcycle his step-dad was returning home when a 20-year-old driver lost control of the wheel, swerved out of his lane, and crashed into him. Shabazz was wearing a helmet, but died on impact. He never made it to the hospital. He was pronounced dead. After he passed away his mother Ebeth Shabazz fought to keep the family afloat. In addition to raising six kids, she attended dental school and worked at McDonald’s. Thomas called her his best friend and his source of inspiration. One day, she just told me, “Shamarko, you wanna be great, you gotta work harder than everybody. You gotta be better than all the competition,” Thomas said. “Her favorite quote was ‘work hard until your hands and your feet fall off.’” Thomas and his mother spoke frequently, but one phone conversation in April 2011 sticks out. At the time, Thomas thought it was just another talk. But what his mother said ultimately changed his life forever. “She was like, ‘If anything ever happens to me, I just want you to know you’re my chosen one. I want you to promise me that you are going to try your hardest and your best to make it,’” Thomas said. “I told my mom I’m going to make it and take care of my whole family.”

One day later, on April 18, and nine months after the passing of his father, Thomas received a voicemail from his younger brother. His mother was dead. She went to bed early to prepare for a trip to Chicago to visit her ailing grandmother, but she never woke up. She died from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the myocardium becomes too thick, making it harder for the heart to pump blood. She had unknowingly battled the condition for years; it has few symptoms and often goes undiagnosed. When Thomas heard the news, he sobbed so violently that his friend in the upstairs apartment rushed to console him. Football, once his singular focus, took a distant back seat. Thomas was forced to grow up, to transform from a carefree teenager into a man. He could have easily crumbled. Instead, he sought out his grandmother and his faith. “When my momma passed, I’m like, ‘God is punishing me again,’ but I remember my grandma always said, ‘Don’t ever say God is punishing you. He’s rewarding you,’” Thomas said. “He’s making you sacrifice. God don’t put you through what you can’t handle”

The young man that stated he often went without meals so his siblings would have enough to eat. Would now take the parenting role. What shocked me most about Thomas was he could of left Syracuse for the NFL his junior year. Instead he decided to come back to college for his senior year. I would say that Thomas showed his true character when he came back for his senior year. It showed he trusted God and was patient to let God take the wheel. So, yes I would believe that Thomas’ grandmother got it right, God is rewarding him!

So this year, no matter if you are a Steelers fan or not, you have to love where somebody could of given up on life but never did. You have to look at how hard they fought to get where they are in life. Some would go in a deep depression but Thomas instead stepped up to the plate as not only a brother, but also as a fatherly figure to his younger siblings. I myself have to thank God that the Steelers drafted somebody that is world class and to teach us about not giving up. When things go wrong in your life, which they will at times, just remember to hold your head high and think of this story. As well, think of the words and wisdom of Thomas’ grandmother who told him that God was not punishing him but rather was going to reward him. We all have to carry our cross sometime and sometimes it is while we are here on earth. So please, be as excited for this young man as I am!

Let’s welcome him to the Pittsburgh Steelers and make Thomas proud to call us family. He truly deserves to be acknowledge for his sacrifices and perseverance.

God Bless always!

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Jersey Numbers for Rookies and Free Agent Signings

Hello Steelers Nation! The Pittsburgh Steelers released the numbers that the rookies and free agent signings will be wearing for this upcoming season.

Player and Jersey Number

ROOKIES

Jarvis Jones—95
Le’Von Bell—26
Markus Wheaton—11
Nick Williams—91
Shamarko Thomas—29
Landry Jones—3
Terry Hawthorne—30
Justin Brown—15
Vince Williams—44

FREE AGENT SIGNINGS

JOHN PARKER WILSON—4
BRUCE GRAKOWSKI—-5
WILLIMA GAY—22
LAROD STEPHENS-HOWLING—34
MATT SPAETH—87

I can’t wait to see these guys lace up their cleats and put their helmets on!!!!