Former Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall Enjoying The Simple Life & Waffle House In Arizona

Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall has taken to the Huffington Post via a blog post to share his happiness of being in Arizona.

The Steelers former first-round draft pick, who signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals early in the free-agent signing period, claims that, while only being settled in his new Arizona home for a short time now, that it has been “beautifully quaint, humbling, and simply joyful.”

Mendenhall, who was a bit of a head case during his five years in Pittsburgh, also writes that he enjoys the beautiful weather, the warm people and the local Waffle House in Arizona, among other things. In addition, he claims that he can now breathe in the air of a completely new place and leave all things that are behind him, exactly where they belong.

Mendenhall, who I regard as a heavy thinker, is really cryptic in his post, as one would expect, but he did, however, admit before leaving Pittsburgh that he never felt comfortable there, and that he felt like if he were to remain in Pittsburgh, he would perhaps have to force himself to be someone he wasn\’t.

“By the nature of being in the NFL and being in the locker room, representing the Steelers, you have to be a certain way and things have to be a certain way,” Mendenhall told John Harris of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review back in December following his one-game suspension for conduct detriment to the team for not showing up for the game against the San Diego Chargers after being told he would not play. “Yes, if I want to stay here, I have to be in a certain box.”

Later in his interview with Harris, Mendenhall hinted a little more that he was open to exploring his options as an unrestricted free agent after the 2012 season ended.

“When I first got here, I thought that I wanted play with one team,” said Mendenhall, who also told Harris that change of scenery might rejuvenate his career. “With a lot of how I\’ve been represented football-wise, I\’m closed off and to myself.

“I don\’t say a lot or do a lot, and because of that, people really don\’t know who I am. They really can\’t read me. So it\’s up to others to interpret who I am.

“People want me to act a certain way when I move around Pittsburgh. That\’s when it gets frustrating. Sometimes when people try to project the football player image on me, that\’s when it doesn\’t fit.”

Mendenhall, who rushed for over 3,500 yards in his first five seasons, is mostly remembered by the Steelers fanbase for his comments about 9/11 immediately following the killing of Osama bin Laden as well as his fumble in Super Bowl XLV against the Green Bay Packers. Perhaps those two instances are what he is best trying to put behind him now.

Right now, Mendenhall is probably feeling like he isn\’t boxed up in Arizona, but he is likely to regain that boxed up feeling again if the Cardinals do not fix their offensive line next offseason. We\’ll see just how beautiful Arizona really is to him, and just how warm the people are, if he only rushes for three yards a carry.

Hey, at least Mendenhall has a Waffle House there. Perhaps that was the house that Lebanese author and poet, Khalil Gibran, who Mendenhall quotes in his post, once wrote about. In case you are not familiar with the greasy spoon restaurant chain, they have hash browns that you can get scattered, smothered and covered. That\’s a perfect way, in my opinion, to describe Mendenhall right now.

  • DoctorNoah

    Oh, Rashard. Yes, he’s a deep-thinking, self-conscious young man, struggling with his identity and trying to find his role in the world. Pretty standard for someone who’s smart and in his mid-20’s.

    Unfortunately, we see pundits all over and just because of their prevalence and example in the media, people think they have free reign to express opinions openly and suffer no consequences when those opinions are critical or unpopular. It’s an easy trap to fall in for someone who’s a minor celebrity.

    Frankly, I think his comments that people, despite what bin Laden did, should never celebrate the death of another human being, are very clearheaded and morally sound and supported by every major religion in the world, so it must have been truly frustrating for him to be pilloried in the media, but the real point is that Mendenhall made the mistake of trying to express himself publicly as if that we’re part of his role as a football player.

    You can support charities or churches, you can hold youth camps and make public appearances, but if you see the post-game interviews with good players, hall of famers, etc, they just spout bland platitudes. No one really cares what football players think, but, publicly, they can do a lot of good just through their presence and celebrity. Sorry, Rashard, your opinions, thoughts and dreams are for yourself and your friends and loved ones. Be a football celebrity, hew to that line, and you’ll be remembered well. Best of luck in Arizona. I think you’ll find their expectations are just the same.

  • Buccos9

    I can’t wait to see the reaction if he sends out another follish political tweet.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    He mentioned he had to act a certain way in Pittsburgh. In order to have a ideal organization that is necessary. I hope doing what you want in Arizona works our for you and the team Mendy.

  • I think his passion for Philosophy rivaled his passion for the game of football. Fans like us love players like Harrison, Porter, Ben, Ward, Ike, Bettis because we never question their passion for the game. Mendy was a head scratcher of a player for sure. Good Luck.

  • David Edward

    Yeah, Rashard reminds me a lot of Ricky Williams…neither were the type that would understand what being a Steeler is.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Yeah Steeler fans expect you to not take 4 years to learn how to carry a football & they expect you to not tweet sympathy for an admitted mass murderer BinLaden, you’re right Steeler fans are so picky.

  • zyzak

    As my Irish grandfather once said to me ” it’s great to be a tinker but much better to be a doer and stay off the dole”

  • Buccos9

    It’s surprising that such a deep-thinking guy would not understand that not being dressed for a game doesn’t mean you don’t have to show up at the stadium.

  • He’s right. Arizona is beautiful!

  • TJimmy

    Dave, I don’t see the need to insult the man. He has his issues and he did give Pittsburgh some good memories. I am glad he is finding peace and hope he finds happiness wherever he goes. There is more to life than football

  • steeltown


  • steeltown

    Did he really say “I dont say a lot or do a lot”?? Umm I think there have been instances where you often said too much Mendy

  • steeltown

    Well said

  • Kareem Daniels

    This was a wasted post. I expect more from Steelersdepot

  • Daniel

    Say whatever you want about Mendenhall, the world would be a better place if most people were deep thinkers like is. The guy puts up some interesting blogs, and who are we to stop someone from voicing his opinion (the Osama tweet) or expressing his dissatisfaction (sitting at home instead of being on the sideline)? You think he didn’t know there would be ramifications for that? I’m sure he did, but chose to sit at home and face them when the time comes. I wish Mendenhall the best, and deep down, I hope he gets his career back the direction he wants, and rush for a whole lot of yards (bcos thats how we football fans judge RBs) in Arizona.
    The guy is living a quaint life, and we cant applaud him.
    If he makes it rain at the strip club, we still got a problem with that.
    What a price to pay for ever putting on a steelers jersey!
    We steelers fan gotta calm down sometimes and be humans instead of trying to be some some kind of perfect UFO!

  • sean mcmartin

    The feeling is mutual. He will be remembered for the fumbles and injuries. #1 fumble came in the most important time. In the SB..C-ya deep thinker.

  • steeltown

    If he knew the ramifications of not showing up on game day..and still did it anyway.. thats all the more reason to say ‘good riddance’ to that

  • rizzo29

    No loss for Steelers,better off without him,his heart wasn’t in it here.Go enjoy your waffles and flapjacks, and in a year when your out of football maybe you can buy your own waffle house

  • mcarlier84

    I think you forgott how he was a complete beast in the playoffs that year , and was one of the reasons we went to that superbowl . Not to mention his nice touchdown run brought us back to make a good game out of it. Man wa shit in the backfield directly after the handoff, good job o line. Oh and he rushed for around a thousand yards every year he played a full season. Think Deeper.

  • Pete

    Very well said!

  • Pete

    I think he calculated correctly that such an act would get him what he wanted, an exit.

  • Pete

    I’m with you on that!

  • JohnnyV1

    He’s a young man that still has a lot of living to do, and therefore, a lot of learning ahead. Anyone who has experienced a job, where the company and people just weren’t a good fit, knows that it can be a good thing to move on sometimes. Just glad he’s someone else’s problem now!

  • steeltown

    Agreed… glad we obliged

  • SteelersDepot

    I’m crushed.

  • Fall in line with the rest of the sheep, Daniel!!!

  • Buccos9

    Mendenhall was an unrestricted free agent. He could go wherever he wanted after the season. There was no reason for him not to show up for the game other than childish petulance. Whatever the merits of his views, it was entirely foreseeable that his comments would be inflammatory given the public sensitivities around 9/11. If you wave a red flag in front of the bull, and the bull charges, you have nobody to blame but yourself. He was free to say what he wanted but should not have played the martyr over the predictable response.

  • walter mason

    if you like deserts

  • Chris Ranieri


  • Tom

    Not only can you get the hash browns scattered, smothered, and covered….you can also get them chunked, diced, peppered, capped, and topped!

  • Pete

    What I meant was that after he missed the game, the Steelers seemed to have no interest in working on a deal and bringing him back, It was mutual and frankly I’m glad he’s gone.