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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No big deal

Once again, Pro Football Talk is trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill, picking up on a story from the Tribune-Review over a federal lawsuit filed this week.

Here's the story:

"Last August, photos emerged of a gun-shooting party at a state police facility in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, during which at least 14 members of the Steelers used ammo provided by authorities and illegal assault weapons from the evidence room.

The photos showed players posing with various weapons.

Said one unnamed official at the time: "It's a state police firing range used for state police to train. When we're there, it's downright military. But at this event, it's chaos. Everybody's throwing contraband assault weapons around like they're toys; it's like they're having G.I. Joe tryouts. Not only is this totally unethical, but it's totally illegal."

The incident spawned a federal lawsuit from the employee who blew the whistle on the situation, claiming that it raised serious safety problems. The process has revealed that, amazingly, the state police entrusted the internal investigation to the man who organized the shooting party.

And so it's no surprise that Major Frank Monaco concluded that the event broke no rules, and that the controversy was "much ado about nothing."

"They shot with personally owned weapons with the troopers. Not state weapons. Not state ammunition," Monaco said, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

But the incident occurred while the Steelers were at training camp, a place to which firearms routinely aren't brought. "I was given a shotgun. It wasn't mine. It wasn't my ammunition," Steelers tackle Max Starks told the Tribune-Review.

And in a strange twist, the commissioner of the state police at the time now works for the NFL, as a security official. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Tribune-Review that Jeff Miller had "no knowledge of the firing range incident until roughly two years after it occurred."

Though the Steelers players face no charges or discipline from the league, it's another example of the separate set of rules that apply to athletes and celebrities."

End of story.

It apparently doesn't occur to Mike Florio, the head honcho at PFT, that the Steelers players could have been using guns personally owned by State Troopers, not the players themselves. And even if they were guns owned by the players, so what? This is still the United States, after all.

If the range in question is where I think it is - just a few miles from the St. Vincent campus - they could have easily checked their weapons there before heading on to camp.

But, instead of thinking this through, Florio goes for the headlines - and internet hits.


Anonymous said...

Florio is an idiot. Always has been, always will be

kelly said...

Florio is a total idiot.

Anonymous said...

Dale, you nailed it. Florio is a buffoon who is more interested in stirring the pot and generating comments (positive or negative) than he is in reporting the truth. His reporting of the Big Ben debacle proved that ratings are his only interested (and also demonstrated his poor legal instincts, despite his background).

Anonymous said...

I don't read Florio and if even if the Trib is a rag, they did report that photos show at least some guns being used carried stickers indicating the guns were state property.

The ammo used was also apparently state property.

Tom Corbett is putting politicians in jail for using state phones and state computers for non-state business, i.e., campaign work. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

The Steelers are off until training camp. Look out ladies, the horny Steelers with their assault rifles, motorcycles and party busses are roaming the area.