Ex-Steelers star is still salty about an infamous old Super Bowl play
A former NFL player is getting angry again for something that happened when Peyton Manning was still in Indianapolis.
Rashard Mendenhall, a retired running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, tweeted Sunday about his notorious game-changing fumble against the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV.
“Never fumbled that ball…#SBXLV,” he wrote. “My coaches would feel like a-holes for saying I did it, I never did it” (profanity edited by LBS).
“I was SEPARATED from the ball, 4 yards out in the backfield,” Mendenhall added. “It’s the RB equivalent of a strip bag. There is NOTHING I could have done about it. Respect my career. #Free34″
Mendenhall, who wore number 34 in his NFL career, celebrated his birthday on Sunday. Otherwise, the tweet seemed completely spontaneous.
The breakaway in question took place more than 11 years ago. Mendenhall lost the ball in the opening play of the fourth quarter when it was dropped on a combination hit by Clay Matthews and Ryan Pickett. The Steelers had scored 14 unanswered points at the time to make it a 21-17 game, and they were inside Green Bay territory threatening to take the lead. But the fumble changed the momentum and the Packers held on to win 31-25.
RT to bother all Steelers fans coming out of the weeds 9 years later to say the #Packers “only won because of Mendenhall’s fumble” 😂 #GoPackGo #SBXLV https://t.co/AHVjNdvYT5 pic.twitter.com/be2AZo3zVz
— CheeseheadTV 🧀 (@cheeseheadtv) April 5, 2020
Mendenhall was a rising star at the time and had just had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, including a top-ten season for a Steelers running back with 1,273 yards in 2010. He would also produce a solid 928 on the ground. yards and nine touchdowns the year after the fumble. But Mendenhall only lasted one more season with the Steelers beyond that and fully retired from the NFL in 2014 at just 26 years old.
Now 35, Mendenhall managed to land a ring with Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLIII (the year before his fumble). But he clearly thinks the game unfairly changed the course of his NFL career (even though there were other big reasons Mendenhall passed away).