It might be time to rename the Pittsburgh Steelers, who suddenly look a whole lot more like the Stealers than the Steelers.
A day after Le'Veon Bell failed to report to the team, which made him ineligible to play football this season and likely ended his career in Pittsburgh, Steelers players responded by removing Bell's nameplate over his locker and "plundering" the items that his locker contained, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette.
Steelers players removed Le’Veon Bell’s name over his locker and are now plundering it, dividing up his many football shoes and other stuff— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) November 14, 2018
it seemed like his time in Pittsburgh ended without a grand finale or any last-minute fireworks. It felt boring. It lacked surprises.
How wrong we were, because this is the most spectacularly unexpected ending we ever could've gotten.
If you thought Bouchette might've been exaggerating the scene inside the Steelers' locker room, he wasn't. Yahoo's Charles Robinson also witnessed the event. "Ransacked" was his verb of choice. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler provided video footage of the raid, which showed Bud Dupree looking awfully excited to snag some of Bell's cleats. Fowler, who characterized the incursion as "more playful than malicious," also reported that the Steelers players found a mixtape CD that was labeled "Le'Veon Bell #1."
So this is what a playful plunder looks like:
As CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora noted on the Pick Six Podcast, there's still a chance that If Bell does return, he'll be able to get his stuff back from his teammates. If Bell doesn't return, well, he'll probably be able to afford new shoes thanks to a long-term, lucrative contract that a team might give him in free agency. So, in that sense, Bell can't really lose here -- assuming he backed up that mixtape.
The Steelers can't really lose, either, considering they found a more than capable (and much cheaper) replacement in James Conner, they saved nearly $15 million that would've gone to Bell if he had played out the season, and now they're dividing up his personal gear like candy on Halloween.
In the meantime, while Bell waits for free agency to begin and the Steelers prepare for a playoff run, someone upload that mixtape to the internet already.