Sunday night, as the Steelers closed out their AFC Championship win, Willis McGahee was crunched over the middle by Steelers safety Ryan Clark. Clark's hit recoiled McGahee's entire body, and the running back went limp. Medical crews rushed on to the field. Players from both teams leaned over McGahee before taking a knee on the field. Some players started praying. The crowd was silent, except for the scattered "Good luck, Willis!" coming out of the Steelers partisans. McGahee is apparently fine and will recover from the hit with no long-term injuries.
It was a frightening moment, but one that ultimately showcased the level of class two teams can have even when they purportedly hate one another. Classy stuff, all the way around ... except for in the Steelers sound booth, where the crew made the inexplicable decision to play typical timeout music -- in this case, "Down On The Corner," by Creedance Clearwater Revival, and "Smooth" by Santana and Rob Thomas. And people are none too pleased with the decision:
Said the source: “There is a player on the field who may have suffered a life changing injury and the Steelers are playing party music. There are about five teams in the league that would engage in such horrific behavior. All others would cease all entertainment. “‘Down on the corner’ . . . uh, there’s a man down on the field. About twenty-five to twenty-seven teams would cease all entertainment. Oh, now it’s a Santana song. This is beyond offensive. . . . Most teams would fire them on the spot. It’s disgusting.”
That quote comes from Pro Football Talk, who agrees with their source that the Steelers' oversight was disrespectful and incongruous. They're both right. It was. One doubts that the music was played to intentionally slight McGahee. It's far more likely that the Steelers just don't have a seperate protocol for music and stadium when a player appears to be seriously injured. All the same, it was weird and wrong, and we imagine Pittsburgh will prevent it from ever happening again.
Now, if only we could do the same -- across every sporting event, league, and team -- to the decision to ever play anything ever sung by Rob Thomas. Wishful thinking, that.