Joey Porter is one of my favorite players in the NFL because he speaks on it and gives out ferocious speed smacks. He was a Steeler line backer personified before heading to Miami and has 11 1/2 sacks this season. Well, it seems he has an issue with our boy (yeah right) Matt Jones playing while a cocaine suspension looms over his head. When asked during a conference call about the fines the NFL is dolling out regarding defenders giving out that cold rock stuff he took the opportunity to speak on Jones:
“If I knew the answers, I’d still have 20 more thousand dollars,” said Porter, who was fined $20,000 last month for criticizing referee Ed Hochuli after a loss to Houston. “But I’m still trying to figure out how a guy gets caught with cocaine in his car and still plays the game and nothing happens.
“He got caught with cocaine and Matt Jones is still playing football. How does he get away with that? And then you fine people $20,000 for making comments to the media about the refs. The guy got caught with cocaine.”
It’s about time a player had the balls to speak up. Say what you want about Porter, but he tells no lies here.
This is something I wrote September 21, 2006. I’m posting it here before the server goes down on MichaelTillery.com.
Joey Porter, do your thing bruh! You are the consummate competitor, a brave warrior and a Super Bowl champion amongst NFL men. A ferociously exciting and potentially legendary entity on one of the most tradition rich franchises in sports. Your vivacious and courageous personality is such a rarity in sports in an era where athletes are sure to toe the line when it comes to endorsements-while cowardly sweating all the way.
Sports writers need something to grab and engage the reader. The positive journalist will decipher your words so the reader’s self assurance remains intact-depending on your intent. Others will twist your words into a fiery pop culture society driven ball of mainstream hatred. Give you a mic and you are on stage. Your future in broadcasting is secure for you give it to them raw, real and uncut. Straight no chaser. We all nod our head to the beat of your words.
The combination of your consciousness and athleticism is akin to Charlie “Bird” Parker on stage blowing for hours-perspiring profusely and giving the captivated crowd goose bumps bordering on intimidation.
Eyes closed, passion crazed and tapping his feet charismatically on the stage dusty. To some you incite anger. On the field you give others pain. Your consistent leadership gives your teammates comfort and on the other hand drives offensive coordinators insane.
In the season opener, Porter sacks Daunte Culpepper to move past vicious sack master and former Pittsburgh great, Greg Lloyd, for fifth place in Steeler history with 54. Later undercuts Miami backup receiver, Wes Welker, for a 42 yard pick six to seal a 28-17 Pittsburgh victory. After the victory, Porter gives head coach Bill Cowher a kiss that will go down in infamy. The Steelers are a true team and regardless of their violent, but technically sound defensive identity, they obviously have no problem showing genuine affection for one another. Other sports franchises should take notice, because this is how you win.
Never one to shy away from what is considered my many to be controversy, Porter uses his words to gain an advantage on the competition. He pumps up his team, while getting into the head of the opposition. He backs up his words with clutch and steady play in games that usually result in Steeler victories. 2001. Porter gets into it during pre-game warm ups with Buc Nate Webster and responded in typical “55 Live” like fashion. He had a team high four of ten Steeler sacks in a 17-10 victory in a game where former Steeler safety Lee Flowers afterward called the Bucs “paper champions” because nine of their starters were selected for the Pro Bowl. Flowers thought the Bucs talked too much and that vocal notoriety is the reason why they were so immensely represented in Hawaii.
Porter was ejected from a 2004 game against the Cleveland Browns after getting into a fist fight with Browns running back William Green. Green was also ejected for this altercation. Porter is known to taunt other teams, as in the Green altercation.
Before Pittsburgh’s 2005 divisional playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts, Porter commented: “They don’t want to just sit there, line up and play football. They want to try to catch you off guard. They don’t want to play smash-mouth football, they want to trick you. …They want to catch you substituting. Know what I mean? They don’t want to just call a play, get up there and run a play. They want to make you think. They want it to be a thinking game instead of a football game.”
After the Indianapolis game, Porter claimed that the referees had unfairly called an interception by Troy Palamalu an incomplete pass because they favored the Colts, stating, “The whole world wanted Indy to win so bad, they were going to do whatever they had to do.” Although Porter was expected to be fined for these comments, he never was, probably because NFL later condemned the official’s decision.
In the weeks before the Super Bowl, Porter’s blood was heated by premature comments made by Seattle Seahawk tight end, Jerramy Stevens. Stevens was quoted as saying that “The story of Jerome Bettis returning to his hometown-Detroit–is heartwarming, but it’s going be a sad day when he doesn’t walk away with that trophy.” Porter responded by saying that comments such as those made by Stevens only helped him to prepare for the upcoming game. The Steelers won 21-10. Despite catching one touchdown pass, Stevens dropped three catchable balls, leading many football analysts to believe that Porter’s trash-talk had shaken his confidence.
Leading up to the Steelers’ traditional Super Bowl Champions visit to the White House on June 2, 2006, Porter generated headlines by suggesting that he would criticize President Bush. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted him as saying: “Yeah, I got something to say to Bush, I’m going to have a swagger when I walk in there, too,” Porter said, laughing loudly. “I’m looking forward to it. I have something to tell him, too. I don’t like the way things are running right now. I feel like he has to give me some of my money back, so I got something to tell Bush.” The Steelers later released a statement saying that Porter had been joking and that he meant no disrespect. At the White House, in an effort to downplay the controversy, he was put as far as possible from the president on the bleachers behind him, in the back row on the right, wearing sunglasses.
Wow! The NFL marketing machine at it’s best. Porter gets fined for every game he wears his yellow gloves. Even though they are the team’s color, the league still does not allow his yellow gloves to be worn. He was shot on the left side of his buttocks in 2003, in Denver in a bar parking lot after a college game between Colorado and his alma mater, Colorado State. He was one of six injured in a situation where he was minding his own business. One of the victims, Christopher Wilford, 28, died.
Maybe indirectly the death has driven Porter to seize the moment and leave no stone unturned. He is the best all around linebacker in the league. His discipline for fundamentals, drive, intensity, skill as well as his desire to succeed should be translated into a blueprint for young men aspiring to become defensive players. He and Clark Haggans-who also went to Colorado State-have a friendship that has lasted a decade. They have a wager-along with the other members of Pittsburgh’s defense-as to who will lead the team in sacks. They push each other and will probably do anything for each other.
Football is just a game, but Porter has proved that football is life and is one of the most popular players in the league regardless of his braggadocio. Yes, the mics are shoved in his face more than any other Steeler player, but he takes those opportunities to fuel passion not only with his team, but throughout the city of Pittsburgh. Football is better off with someone of Porter’s stature. He is the anti Terrell Owens, a teammate for the ages. Similar to Charles Barkley, teams would rather line up with him, than against him.
Do your thing “55 Live,” do your thing!
Hey, they converted on the field goal right? What’s wrong with a little hype?