Steelers Rivals Making Headlines for Wrong Reasons

A Pittsburgh Steelers rival on the Browns had no remorse during a charity softball game.
Aug 26, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Cleveland Browns running back John Kelly Jr. (41) runs the ball during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Cleveland Browns running back John Kelly Jr. (41) runs the ball during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers' biggest rival caught some eyes this weekend for the wrong reasons as Celeveland Browns tight end David Njoku hosted a charity softball game headlined by appearances from some of his teammates.

But one of those teammates - running back John Kelly Jr. - made what ESPN personality Pat McAfee called "the play of the game." An elderly woman was up to bad and put the ball in play with some assistance. A player near home plate scooped up the ball and tossed it on to first leisurely. Kelly caught the ball and waited just beyond first base for the woman to get all the way down the baseline before stepping on the bag right at the last second to record the out.

Afterwards, Kelly ran all around his side of the infield celebrating with Njoku and his teammates while the woman, who took the play in stride and had fun with it herself, got off the field.

The Steelers will hope Kelly's decision not to let the old woman reach base in her lone at bat of the game provides some karmic justice on the other end, but they'll have to hold onto it until the second half of the 2024 season. Pittsburgh and Cleveland will not play any intradivisional matchups against one another until a three-week span between November 21st and December 8th. It's part of a four-week stretch of games exclusively against AFC North teams and it kicks off what will be a gauntlet of a run for the Steelers over the second half of the year.

If the Steelers are so motivated, they can help take some revenge out on the Browns for this woman and it would be monumental to stack a pair of wins against their rivals from Cleveland. But it will be a tall order for Pittsburgh, who has not swept the Browns in the season series since the 2021 season. They've split the series in each of the two seasons since and will hope to turn their luck around for this woman's sake in 2024.

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Stephen Thompson

STEPHEN THOMPSON

Stephen Thompson graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications and political science from Pitt in April 2022 after spending four years as a sports writer and editor at The Pitt News, the University of Pittsburgh's independent, student-run newspaper. He primarily worked the Pitt men's basketball beat, and filled in on coverage of football, volleyball, softball, gymnastics and lacrosse, in addition to other sports as needed. His work at The Pitt News has won awards from the Pennsylvania News Media Association and Associated College Press. During the spring and summer of 2021, Stephen interned for Pittsburgh Sports Now, covering baseball in western Pennsylvania. Hailing from Washington D.C., family ties have cultivated a love of Boston's professional teams and Pitt athletics, and a fascination with sports in general.