No less a source than District 4 Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, sends along the cell phone snapshot above of Steelers WR Antwaan Randle El, making one of his first public appearances since rejoining the team from his exile in the D.C. swamps, at the 14th annual Cops and Kids charity basketball game at Carrick High School. Both Carrick High students and police from Zone 3 played against the Steelers.
Randle El's (and Larry Foote's) resigning was one of the few -- perhaps the only -- recent welcome news to
Steelers Nation, which finds itself dealing with all sorts of cognitive
dissonance-related headaches owing to the quarterback's
alleged malfeasance in the Peach State, and <
Randle El, of course, was an electric part of the Steelers gadget-laden offense during his tenure here, was a hero of Super Bowl XL, and was an excellent punt returner. What he'll do for the theam in his Steelers 2.0 stint remains to be seen. The Steelers already have an excellent receiving corps, so the addition of Randle El and Arnez Battle adds only further depth there. If nothing else, he adds a solid citizen influence to a locker room that sorely needs it right now.
Randle El is truly one of the good guys in football, a fan favorite who was very giving of his time and energy with kids, which I've witnessed personally.
While in college, Randle El was an active member of Big Brothers Big Sisters and kept involved with the organization here in Pittsburgh after his professional career began. Likewise, I have been involved in the organization since 2002. Before I worked in sports, I was invited in August 2005 to be part of a group of Bigs & Littles who travelled to Steelers' Training Camp in Latrobe as a guest of Randle El and his older brother Marcus.
Marcus bought the group lunch on our way out Route 30, and secured sideline passes for the kids, who were in mouth-gaped awe from seeing the Steelers up-close. After practice, Randle El met with the kids and talked with them for awhile, posed for pictures and signed anything and everything put in front of him. It was a few minutes of his day, but for the kids it was the entire world. The picture at the bottom is from that afternoon.
Just a reminder that most of the guys in black & gold aren't out embarrassing themselves -- whatever the circumstances may be -- most are decent guys.