Steelers Need to Step Up and Let Kids Know They Matter Too

Bryan Hollister@too_old_4stupidAnalyst IJune 2, 2009

WASHINGTON - MAY 21:  U.S. President Barack Obama (4th-R) helps to assemble care packages with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (5th-R) and Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) (3rd-R) on the South Lawn of the White House May 21, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama hosted the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers and wounded warriors from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center with their families in conjunction with packing care packages for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

My apologies up front for the slight political direction this article is headed, but this needs to be said.

On Thursday, May 21, the World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers made the customary visit to the White House to meet the president.

After meeting the President and handing him his own No. 44 jersey—a quaint reference to his being the 44th President—the Steelers and others in attendance made good use of their lunch visit, putting together over 3,000 care packages for service members who have been wounded in battle.

From a public relations standpoint, this could have been, and SHOULD have been, a feel-good story for the fluff portion of the evening news.

However, there is a portion of the day's story that has been suspiciously absent from national news, and one which sullies the experience.

Just prior to the Steelers visit, a group of over 100 excited kindergartners were scheduled to meet the President of the United States and take an actual tour of the White House.

This was a trip that was sure to make a huge impact on these young people's lives.

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It made an impact alright, although doubtfully the impact the current administration would like to have made.

The children and chaperones left their school at 8:30 to make the trip from Stafford County, Virginia to Washington, D.C. for a 10:15 tour time. As is wont to happen, the chartered buses that the kids had paid $20 a seat for got stuck in traffic, and they arrived approximately 10 minutes late.

Apparently "The People's President" only has so much time in his day to fulfill that claim.

The priorities of the President and his administration were made painfully clear:

Spending time with full-grown millionaires who may not have even voted for him to garnish more public approval through a canned photo opportunity, and engaging in an activity he could truly care less about except that it bolsters his public image, is infinitely more important than impacting the lives of children who will be future voters and leaders.

I for one am hopeful that each and every child, and their parents, remember this day until they are able to vote, and act accordingly.

But there is another group of people we haven't heard from in this matter...The Steelers organization has been, thus far, silent on the issue.

I am not faulting the Steelers or the Steelers organization for the snafu; the blame in the matter is as clear as a bell.

What I AM suggesting is that the Steelers take advantage of the opportunity to impact the lives of some very impressionable, very disappointed, future football fans.

Someone needs to show these kids that their feelings matter, and the pat press releases from the White House Press office make me want to gag.

So come on, Steelers: time to step up.

You've got an opportunity here to let these kids know that you are the good guys.

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