There are some, well, minor inconsistencies in former Steeler running back Jerome Bettis’ book (well, the book he probably recited into a tape recorder, and the Four-Letter’s Gene Wojciechowski typed out) regarding Kordell Stewart’s contract being up a year earlier than it was. It seems almost secondary to the tone the Detroit-bred back (couldn’t write a Bettis post without reminding you that he’s from Detroit, people!) regarding the Steelers’ treatment of Stewart, when he got sacked in favor of Tommy Maddox:
“You bench your Pro Bowl quarterback for a guy who had been out of football for years, who hadn’t started an NFL game in 10 seasons?” Bettis wonders in his book. “That just doesn’t happen by accident.
“I think they pulled Kordell partly because they didn’t want to pay him a big salary and signing bonus. It was cheaper for them if he didn’t have success. If he recovered and had a huge year, then the public sentiment would be, ‘Hey, you’ve got to re-sign him for whatever it costs.’ I’m telling you, it was a monetary decision. The Steelers had no interest in paying Kordell his market value.”
I’m a sucker for anything that reveals just how cheap the NFL is, so I wouldn’t blanch for a second if this is actually true in any regard (the Rooneys will deny it, even if true) and sympathetic to Stewart as someone who watched him hurl that Hail Mary against Michigan all those years ago. What’s more amusing is Bettis’ insistence that he faked being injured in pre-season to avoid being cut, because I was just not aware that faking an injury could keep a team from cutting you in camp.
First Tiki talks ish about the Giants, and now the Bus questions the Steeler organization. Taking all those htis for the team for so long must make for a heck of a backlog of grudges. My general opinion of these books is largely mirrored in Dan Jenkins’ novel You Gotta Play Hurt, when Jim Tom Pinch describes writing Semi-Tough:
Famous coaches and famous athletes have very little to say about anything. You have to make it up. My immortal, Billy Clyde Puckett, would say, “That was the Sunday I de-lipped three niggers and stuck two sixes in the Dallas end zone,” and he would be off by two years and six niggers.
I don’t envy Wojciechowski much, although I bet it was easy money.