Friday, January 30, 2009

Mascot's selfish behavior tarnishes AFC Championship celebration

As the final seconds ticked off the clock of Pittsburgh's 23-14 victory over Baltimore, the Steelers took the field to celebrate their latest AFC Championship. However, there was one notable absentee from the post-game festivities, team mascot Steely McBeam. After the Steelers had all but secured victory in the final quarter, McBeam was seen on the sidelines arguing with Pittsburgh's Public Relations Manager, Burt Lauten. The lengthy and heated exchange ended when McBeam stormed off the field with over a minute left on the game clock.

The argument is believed to have stemmed from the lack of playing time McBeam received during the AFC Championship Game. McBeam was scratched from his starting role of the Halftime Kiss Cam host in favor of Disney Channel's Raven Symone. McBeam's latest display of childish behavior should come as no surprise given his rocky history with the franchise. In March 2008, McBeam replaced all of the Terrible Towels in the Heinz Field giftshops with Steely McBobbleheads resulting in a 2 Kiss Cam suspension. His 2007 domestic battery trial involving on again/off again girlfriend Amy Winehouse forced him to miss the last four games of the regular season. Perhaps his most controversial moment was in 2006 when McBeam claimed to have embraced Islam changing his name to Steely Mouhammed Rabiq Al Jazeer and refusing to acknowledge the American flag during the National Anthem.

Given McBeam's track record it would be no surprise to see the Steelers part with his services in the upcoming offseason. League sources say the Steelers have inquired about upcoming Chicago free agent Da Bear. Pittsburgh could also be looking to build through the draft. ESPN's Mel Kiper projects Pittsburgh picking Ohio State's Brutus Buckeye in his latest Mock Draft.

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