ESPN – Mike Tomlin was self-deprecating during Friday’s commencement address at Robert Morris University, even working the New England Patriots into his 16-minute dialogue.
“I’ll proceed with a couple of assumptions,” the Pittsburgh Steelers coach said. “And I realize that assumptions are very dangerous. There’s a cliché about assuming, isn’t it? It can make Patriots out of you and me.”
Tomlin was making light of Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live broadcast that caught Tomlin using profane language in the postgame locker room while discussing plans for a matchup with the Patriots in last season’s AFC title game.
Tomlin seemed on high alert for cameras during his speech.
“I’ll proceed with the assumption that, in some form or fashion, one or more of you out there are somehow live-streaming this on the internet,” Tomlin said. “And I’ll behave accordingly.”
Tomlin spent significant time honoring Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, who died April 13, stopping twice to compose himself.
“I can’t give you enough examples to display his level of thoughtfulness,” Tomlin said.
Tomlin, one of the NFL’s highest-paid coaches after 103 wins in 10 years, told the crowd that his first coaching job out of college, as an assistant at VMI, paid $12,000.
“Don’t be shortsighted,” Tomlin said. “Chase your passions.”
(Scroll to about the 5:00 mark for intentional Mike Tomlin humor. It’s not quite his unintentional humor where he says “obviously” 30 times in a press conference, but it’s not too bad, either.)
A few things about this jump out immediately:
First, how yinzer is it to waive terrible towels at a FREAKING COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY? I get that this is in Pittsburgh and Mike Tomlin is the keynote speaker and all, but can’t you people not waive your damn terrible towels for literally two hours? I’m all for the terrible towel, don’t get me wrong. But the first thing I thought of when I saw this was Shooter McGavin yelling at Happy Gilmore’s trashy golf fans to go back to their shanties. This is not a good look for Pittsburgh, and IDGAF that Mike Tomlin’s speaking.
Second, I get that Tomlin’s trying to be self-deprecating by making a joke out of the whole Facebook Live incident in January. However, there’s still that little incident that happened seven days after he initially called the Patriots assholes in January where New England went on to kick the ever living shit out of the Steelers in the AFC Champtionship Game. Just like people don’t forget when you piss your pants in first grade (I admit it), Bill Belichick doesn’t forget when you call him an asshole. Sticking with the Adam Sandler theme here, I can 1,000% see Belichick having a people to kill list on his office wall with Mike Tomlin’s name listed somewhere not too far below Roger Goodell’s.
As if I wasn’t already nervous about Week 14, now I’m concerned about Tomlin’s life.
Finally, is it just me or does Mike Tomlin look hilarious in a cap and gown? I’m much more used to cool Mike Tomlin rocking his black aviators and smug face on the sideline. Commencement Mike Tomlin just looks like a big old nerd.