Honesty shouldn't be a bad policy

Critics are jumping on Hines Ward and Alan Faneca for things they've said about the Steelers in recent weeks. And Faneca is being taken to task for not showing up at the team's voluntary workouts. In a word, it's wrong.

Why is it that every time a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers says something that doesn't mimic the company line, fans automatically jump on them for being selfish?

Case and point are recent tirades on message boards and local radio shows about Hines Ward and Alan Faneca. Ward is being taken to task for questioning the team's release of linebacker Joey Porter, while Faneca is being ripped for not attending voluntary workouts.

When did it become a necessity to agree with every move your employer makes? And at what point did the word voluntary change its meaning?

Ward has always been a guy who speaks his mind on any subject you ask him about. A simple question like, "What do you think of the weather outside?" will elicit a five-minute response from Ward. And it will be an honest opinion.

That's why reporters appreciate him so much. He'll give you an honest answer to any question.

Do you really believe for a second that other players in that locker room aren't also upset that the Steelers released Porter? Even though his play had slipped in recent years, Porter was viewed as one of the team's leaders, a guy that would leave everything on the field and fight for his teammates.

In eight seasons in Pittsburgh, he earned the respect of every other player in that locker room. It's only natural that they would be upset he was released.

As for Faneca, even in the Post-Gazette's story on March 21 about Faneca skipping the voluntary workouts, reporter Ed Bouchette prefaces his story with, "Under normal circumstances, it might not even be noted."

But since Faneca is heading into a contract year, suddenly, he's the bad guy for not attending a voluntary workout. Automatically it's assumed that he's not there because he wants a new contract.

Yet we don't know for sure that Faneca hasn't missed previous voluntary workout sessions because "under normal circumstances, it might not even be noted."

It would be more meaningful if Faneca was a guy who traditionally showed up to camp in bad shape. But that's never been the case.

Faneca is also being painted as the bad guy because he publicly lobbied for Russ Grimm to be named the team's new head coach instead of Mike Tomlin.

Again, a guy is being taken to task for being honest.

It was the same thing that happened to Faneca when he was asked if he was "excited" about lining up with a rookie quarterback for the rest of the season in 2003. It was a question that was worded poorly and drew a response from Faneca that was played over and over again.

Heck no he wasn't excited about the prospect. Most of the time playing a rookie quarterback is a desperation move by a team that leads to a 4-12 season.

Apparently fans don't want players to be honest when interviewed. They'd rather read or hear that everything with their favorite team is A-OK.

When you have 53 individuals in a workplace, things aren't always going to be that way. Not everybody is always going to be happy.

That doesn't mean that they won't be professional and do their job when called upon.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.


Steel City Insider Top Stories

\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhy is it that every time a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers says something that doesn't mimic the company line, fans automatically jump on them for being selfish?\r\n\r\n

Case and point are recent tirades on message boards and local radio shows about Hines Ward and Alan Faneca. Ward is being taken to task for questioning the team's release of linebacker Joey Porter, while Faneca is being ripped for not attending voluntary workouts.\r\n\r\n

When did it become a necessity to agree with every move your employer makes? And at what point did the word voluntary change its meaning?\r\n\r\n

Ward has always been a guy who speaks his mind on any subject you ask him about. A simple question like, \"What do you think of the weather outside?\" will elicit a five-minute response from Ward. And it will be an honest opinion.\r\n\r\n

That's why reporters appreciate him so much. He'll give you an honest answer to any question.\r\n\r\n

Do you really believe for a second that other players in that locker room aren't also upset that the Steelers released Porter? Even though his play had slipped in recent years, Porter was viewed as one of the team's leaders, a guy that would leave everything on the field and fight for his teammates. \r\n\r\n

In eight seasons in Pittsburgh, he earned the respect of every other player in that locker room. It's only natural that they would be upset he was released.\r\n\r\n

As for Faneca, even in the Post-Gazette's story on March 21 about Faneca skipping the voluntary workouts, reporter Ed Bouchette prefaces his story with, \"Under normal circumstances, it might not even be noted.\"\r\n\r\n

But since Faneca is heading into a contract year, suddenly, he's the bad guy for not attending a voluntary workout. Automatically it's assumed that he's not there because he wants a new contract.\r\n\r\n

Yet we don't know for sure that Faneca hasn't missed previous voluntary workout sessions because \"under normal circumstances, it might not even be noted.\"\r\n\r\n

It would be more meaningful if Faneca was a guy who traditionally showed up to camp in bad shape. But that's never been the case.\r\n\r\n

Faneca is also being painted as the bad guy because he publicly lobbied for Russ Grimm to be named the team's new head coach instead of Mike Tomlin.\r\n\r\n

Again, a guy is being taken to task for being honest.\r\n\r\n

It was the same thing that happened to Faneca when he was asked if he was \"excited\" about lining up with a rookie quarterback for the rest of the season in 2003. It was a question that was worded poorly and drew a response from Faneca that was played over and over again.\r\n\r\n

Heck no he wasn't excited about the prospect. Most of the time playing a rookie quarterback is a desperation move by a team that leads to a 4-12 season.\r\n\r\n

Apparently fans don't want players to be honest when interviewed. They'd rather read or hear that everything with their favorite team is A-OK.\r\n\r\n

When you have 53 individuals in a workplace, things aren't always going to be that way. Not everybody is always going to be happy.\r\n\r\n

That doesn't mean that they won't be professional and do their job when called upon.\r\n\r\n

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