Tomlin Uses Humor To Address Live-Streaming Incident During Commencement Speech

Even if a large contingent of people might believe that it would be in the best interests of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization to fire Head Coach Mike Tomlin, who has served in that capacity for the past 10 seasons, even his most stringent critics cannot deny some of the bona fides on his resume.

He does, after all, have a Super Bowl ring, and has been to the game twice—the AFC Championship game now three times. He has won over 100 games in 10 seasons, and has among the best winning percentages all-time among coaches to reach that number of victories.

So his on-field accomplishments should not be in doubt—even when they are—but that is not the only role that Tomlin takes quite seriously. As a father himself, the 45-year-old prides himself in taking upon the role of stewardship for future generations, and that extends not only to the young players that he coaches during the football season, but all who cross his path and seek an opportunity to learn.

That is why his greatest concern following the revelation of the dreaded ‘Facebook Live’ incident in which a recorded stream courtesy of wide receiver Antonio Brown captured Tomlin making some choice statements was the manner in which it would be viewed by young people.

That was intended to be a private moment for his players, a moment of unity, and it ended up backfiring on him because it was made public. So he apologized for his actions as they were made public, calling his language “regrettable” and talked about the value of the “platform” they have as members of the NFL, which is “not something we take lightly”.

I certainly think that that all played a role in why, when Tomlin was given an opportunity to give the commencement address recently at Robert Morris University, he used that as an outlet to utilize humor and poke fun at the incident while attempting to communicate his wisdom to a new generation.

During his speech, he noted that he will “proceed with a couple of assumptions”, before saying, “I know that assumptions are very dangerous. There’s a cliché about assuming”, pausing before quipping, “it can make Patriots out of you and me”.

He was of course alluding to the fact that he referenced the Patriots as “assholes” for having been extended extra rest time between their Divisional Round game and the AFC Championship game against the Steelers. It serves the double purpose of suggesting that it may have only fueled New England when they got wind of his word.

So he continued, noting that he will work under the assumption that, “in some form or fashion, one or more of you out there are somehow live-streaming this on the internet”, a reference that I should hope I don’t need to expand upon.

“And I’ll behave accordingly”, he said.

It was, I believe, an eloquent way of addressing an elephant in the room that perhaps most didn’t even notice was there, but it’s evident that Tomlin felt it was important to note it for the sake of his credibility in speaking to young people.

Of course, Stephen A. Smith had a problem with it. Enjoy.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Steven

    Class Act

  • NCSteel

    Funny stuff, dude has a sense of humor, thats for sure.
    Regarding the Patriots…Rush the QB, hit the QB. Sack the QB.
    Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat……….

  • Pete Stankowski

    Coach Tomlin is a class act and there are numerous amounts of Steelers fans that love having him as the Steelers coach. Not perfect, because a perfect coach doesn’t exist.
    Go Steelers!

  • Jeff McNeill

    He always says he doesn’t live I in his fears.

  • steelersfan

    If anything I thought it was self deprecating humor . Man people need to take the sticks out their a**. Great speech

  • 2winz

    Stephen A. Smith is right in what he says.. beat the patriots before you start talking trash and saying things like “they have not faced me in the playoffs yet”

  • Steve Johnson

    Agreed, I recall Tomlin saying that back in January. It’s ok to joke, no need to turn into another Coach Ryan though. I think sometimes Tomlin can be too giddy, not serious enough about the game. Preparation, Focus and Adjustments, sometimes it appears his teams are a joke. Get serious when needed, joke when needed. Never joke around with the Patriots. They say a team adopts the Head Coach Mentality. Enough said.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I’m surprised by the number of people interpreting Tomlin’s comment as “trash talk”. I thought it was obvious that he was poking fun at himself. If you listen to the full speech I think it puts it into better context that he was talking about being thoughtful in what you do and say and how you treat others.

  • 2winz

    well no, i am not referring to what he said in the locker room when AB recorded. thats why i think the other 2 guys are right as well and that you are too. im talking about when he went to the media and said that the pats have not faced tomlin in the postseason, and then goes and stinks up thejoint. thats where I agree with Stephen A. Smith.. dont talk about that or raising hell in december Tomlin until after you do it. I know Tomlin was not talking trash in his speech there

  • 2winz

    exactly, its ok to joke about a rivalry when its even.. but not when its one-sided and youre the one always losing

  • Edjhjr

    S.A SMITH, sellout , he is entertainer looking to keep his paycheck. He uses race, politics, and the most easily manipulated, (an alarming number of people) to keep himself in business

  • frasefra

    Agreed, I couldn’t even finish watching the 5 minute clip. Mr. Smith is an embarrassing dullard.

  • will

    Exactly……..the “elephant” was forced into the room and acknowledged directly because of Antonio “the video” Brown. Here we are four months later…the Divisional round game is long past…..and Tomlin still feels compelled to reference this event in his remarks to these young graduates….all courtesy of Antonio Brown. Violating team rules has long lasting consequences. Undermining your coach has long lasting consequences. “Thinking before acting” is a maturity trait that AB has not developed.