Time And Tide Wait For No Man

The Steelers sure don’t mess around.  When it comes to burning down the forest, they happily dance a crazy man’s dance with a can of gasoline and a box of EZ Strike matches.  Hell, they take the blowtorch in hand and aren’t afraid to use it.

Just ask Hines Ward (35 – soon to be 36), Aaron Smith (35 – soon to be 36) and James Farrior (just turned 37).

This has become the Pittsburgh version of Logan’s Run!

Chris Kemoeatu (29) would seem to run counter to that, but that’s beyond the point.

Those players are the most recent cuts that the Steelers have made in an effort to get younger and get under the salary cap.

Sadly, it was time.

I know a good number of fans were sad to see Ward go.  The others as well, but Ward holds a special place in the heart because of HIS heart.  Everyone wants their heroes to be young forever, but in the game of football, there is a time when the mind is willing but the body betrays.

Ward clearly has lost a step (a step he never really had).  He was never a fast guy or quick guy.  He always had “just enough” to get open, and then his heart and tenacity would take over to extend a play.  That time has passed.

Farrior clearly lost a step.  As heart and soul of the defense, Farrior called the plays and made the adjustments, but watching him at 37 drop into pass coverage in what has become a “pass heavy” league was sad to see.  His time has passed.

Smith clearly lost an arm!  He will go down as one of the best, if not THE best 3-4 DE to ever play the game.  He held that distinction for many years until chest, neck an arm injuries took away his strengh, talent and ability to play the game.  His time has passed.

Kemoeatu… well, at least there will be less holding calls on the o-line from now on.

As with any forest fire, the old trees burn and die.  However, this is not the end.  From the ashes rise new saplings, using in this case knowledge and teachings as fuel to grow tall and strong and take their rightful place as full-fledged trees in the forest.

Saying goodbye to the players we love can be difficult, but know that what was once a talented, aging defense is about to become a talented young defense, able to compete with the speed of youth and the wisdom of their veteran teachers who have now stepped aside.

“Time and tide wait for no man” –  Geoffrey Chaucer

So true…


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2 thoughts on “Time And Tide Wait For No Man”

  1. ray says:

    Great story,lee….its so sad and oh so true….now I know how my dad felt when his version of the steelers started to dismantle…..hopefully we don't go into a decade long funk(like the 80s and early 90s versions of the steelers),all we can do is hope and cheer the new breed of steeler

  2. Franco went and played a season in Seattle. Mike Webster played in K.C. The Steelers are better then anyone when it comes to knowing when to cut a player loose because their time has come. Time and again, they just have a knack of knowing.

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