On Saturday night Joey Porter was a hero for the Steelers, however questionable his tactics may have been. Porter -- an assistant coach -- went on the field with Antonio Brown down with an injury and managed to incite Bengals cornerback Adam Jones into drawing a 15-yard penalty.
The flag moved the Steelers within field-goal range and set them up for a winning Chris Boswell kick. Amid multiple Bengals players and coaches bashing Porter, rumors circulated later about the Steelers giving Porter a game ball for his on-field antics. However it appears those rumors are unfounded.
Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday morning no such game ball was given.
Just so you know, Joey Porter was NOT given a game ball in Cincy.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 12, 2016
A "hashtag breaking" retweet of the report from Burt Lauten of the Steelers would indicate that's precisely the case.
It's not an official statement so much as -- we think -- a sarcastic hashtag, probably meant to mean "of course Porter didn't get a game ball."
The Steelers probably realize Porter going on the field could have cost them a win. If Porter had been flagged for being on the field (totally reasonable, even with plenty of coaches on the field Saturday) it would've offset the 15-yard penalty on Vontaze Burfict (who was suspended three games for his own actions) and put Pittsburgh in position for an exceptionally long field goal. Porter is still facing a fine for being on the field.
Everything worked out for the Steelers but all things considered they're not going to be honoring Porter for his actions on the field when it easily could have backfired quite badly.