The Tomlin Shuffle

by Ben Goldfarb on December 5, 2013

in Sports

As we await word from the Leon County State Attorney’s Office on whether FSU all-everything Heisman candidate Jameis Winston will incur a felony rape charge, we consider a somewhat lesser crime committed by Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

The usual fierce battle between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers took place on Thanksgiving night in Baltimore, and it was hotly contested down to the closing gun. (And yeah, I know the timekeepers stopped using guns sometime during the Carter Administration, when gun control nuts were content to control only starter pistols).

Tomlin’s alleged crime was accidentally on purpose stepping onto the field as Jacoby Jones tiptoed down the sideline on the way to a 73-yard kickoff return to the Pittsburgh 27, which set up a field goal that made the score 16-7. His feet were planted in the white area immediately adjacent to the field with his back to the play. Just as the play approached, Tomlin appeared to take a side-step with his right foot out onto the field. His back was to the action; he claimed to have been watching the Jumbotron.

Here’s a video that Deadspin doctored to show what went on in slow-mo.

Whether the Tomlin shuffle slowed down Jones enough to prevent the touchdown is moot. It is clear that his foot was on the field, so “intent” is the only variable that needs to be smoked out.

Apparently, the NFL has decided that Tomlin acted with willful intent, as they fined him $100,000. Rumor had it that the league was considering docking the Steelers some draft picks, which would be devastating to the so-called rebuilding program.

Consistent with the crappy officiating in the league of late, a fifteen yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty should have been called on Tomlin, but wasn’t. That could have facilitated a touchdown by the Ravens instead of a field goal. However, that’s moot, too, because the blackbirds won anyway.

Speaking of blacks, the Yinzer Tomlin-haters are coming out in force now saying he should be fired for his dumb move. There are two types of people making those nasty comments. The first bunch are the Sanguinarians, who believe the Steelers always should win just because they like the guys on the team and they need someone to blame if they don’t perform. The other bunch are just ugly racists who never wanted Tomlin in the first place because he ain’t white. Screw them. Tomlin never will look like Chuck Noll or Bill Cowher, so get over it. He made some shaky calls in his first year or two, but he’s a decent head coach. Stop acting like racist assholes.

Losing draft picks would be bad. I hope the league reconsiders that. How many of you who played the game were tempted to jump out on the field to “help” your guys contain a play? It happens in the heat of combat.

It ain’t rape. It was a crime of passion.

Joe December 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Geez, maybe we need a new HD screen at Heinz or Tomlin needs glasses. If he was watching the return on the video board, he certainly saw where he was on the sideline (hard not to miss the dividing line between the white sideline area and the green playing surface while you’re wearing black and gold) and certainly saw Jones approaching at something short of light speed directly toward his position. Maybe he was just staring at himself on the screen thinking how cool he looked!

Or maybe the NFL should consider hockey boards. Make the players leap over them for personnel changes!!!! That way no one gets near the field.

Seriously, it was deliberate and he deserves to shell out the big bucks for the fine. As far as potentially giving up a draft pick as further punishment, that may hurt because we are so lousy this year, we’ll be picking somewhere south of the middle of the pack. And we do need that pick. Thanks for the stupidity of your actions Mike.

I’ve been a Steeler’s fan for a long time and don’t mind some of the shenanigans that have occurred on the field between the PLAYERS on both sides in past Ravens games, but to have our head coach do something like this is bullshit.

I think the league should have had him sit a couple of games in addition to the $100 grand fine-he certainly isn’t providing any on-field coaching to help them win games, so the impact of him staying home for a couple of Sundays is inconsequential to the teams W-L record.

The clock is ticking on his stay in the ‘Burgh anyway.

Who are you picking in the tOSU-MSU B1G Championship Game? I’m going with the men from Sparta, ‘er I mean East Lansing, mostly to shut up the fans from Columbus and to watch Urbz have that extremely pained look on his face he gets when he loses and then watch him blame his team in the post-game.

The rest of the conference championship games kinda suck!

The Nittany Turkey December 5, 2013 at 6:15 pm

It was in Baltimore, not Heinz Field. I’ve been to whatever the hell they call that place (M&T Bank Stadium?) many times, and I’ve found the big screen to be more than adequate for my needs trying to watch the Steelers in the midst of a hostile crowd sitting in my friend’s crappy seats behind the south end zone.

Tomlin has younger eyes and he was 100 yards closer to the screen. Perhaps it was too pixellated for him from that close perspective; however, if that would have been the case, then he could have just turned his ass around and watched the play coming his direction.

I think he was probably pissed off at his coverage unit and had given up on the play in a fit of disgust. What would be going through my mind in that situation is: “These assholes can’t mind their lanes and get off blocks, so I’m gonna hafta TRIP the sumbitch! Yeah, that’s it!”

Tomlin needs to internally fine his designated “Get Back” coach for not getting his ass off the field.

It will take a Rooney to fire Tomlin, and I don’t think the liberal Rooneys want to concede failure in this sensitive area, they being ones who pushed the other owners in the direction of hiring more black head coaches. I mean, I’m sure what you’re saying about the clock ticking is true in the minds of the fans, who would like it to be so, but I’m wondering what the Rooneys are thinking.

Notre Dame was able to concede that the Ty Willingham thing was a failure, so maybe the Rooneys will act similarly. Maybe not. Please, God, if they do, don’t bring in Charlie Weis.

I don’t think Moo U. will win the B1G champeenship, but I along with you will be rooting for them just to piss off the arrogant pricks from tOSU. (Why they still act that way after the several SEC clock-cleanings they’ve suffered, I dunno.)

I’d like to see the SSMNC game we’ll never see: FSU vs. Moo — prolific offense vs stifling defense. I think offense would win, but mind-betting and what-ifs never made any money for anybody.

Alas, I’ve got a function to attend on Saturday night that overlaps the big game in Indy, just by a little. I should be caught up with real time by halftime. I don’t think there’s any need to watch the concurrent FSU-Duke game.

—TNT

Steven Stanley December 15, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Fire the idiot now….tomlin has lowered the standard for the steelers…tomlin is a play from behind coach…steelers have never been able to play for 60 minutes with this guy…tomlin was hired because of the color of his skin not because he is a great coach…we dont need tomlins victim mentality in pittsburgh…tomlin is coaching the steelers like obama is running the country all in decline…I dont like people who usetheir race for a excuse of mediocrity..

The Nittany Turkey December 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Seems like he was the reverse on Sunday night. Get a big lead and then sit on it for the entire second half.

I don’t think Tomlin ever used his race as an excuse for mediocrity. That would be as if to say, “Whattya expect from a black guy, yo?” He might have topped out as a DC, though, and since LeBeau runs the defense his way, Tomlin’s stamp is not on the D, such as it is. Meanwhile, whose hare-brained idea was it to hire Todd Haley as OC? If it was with Tomlin’s assent, I’ll lump Tomlin right in with that failed project.

Others might have used Tomlin’s race as an excuse for his mediocrity. Whether you like them or not is not significant. However, it is quite clear that you don’t like Tomlin.

In any case, while I don’t blame the Steelers’ decline and the country’s decline on Tomlin and Obama being shvartzes, I will pin an appropriate amount of the responsibility on each of them as individual leaders. It is undeniably true that neither of them acted alone in ruining his project.

—TNT

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