Young, rich, single NFL players better get chicks to sign contracts before taking them out on dates ... at least that's how former Steelers superstar Hines Ward sees it.
The ex Super Bowl champ went on Meredith Vieira's talk show and said single NFL players are being targeted by conniving women. Ward's point seemed to be that these women are falsely accusing players in domestic violence cases.
Pretty bold statement -- and Ward even went on to suggest single players get something in writing with their dates.
As for the Ray Rice case -- Ward took a very strong stance against Ray ever returning to the NFL.
Steelers Antonio Brown
Naked Human Pin Cushion
12/30/2014 8:16 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Here's Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown gearing up for this weekend's big playoff game ... by getting stuck with HUNDREDS of acupuncture needles.
Turns out, several Steelers players SWEAR by the traditional Chinese technique ... including linebacker James Harrison ... who claims it's the ultimate pain reliever.
In fact, some NFL stars can get super competitive when it comes to the treatment -- with Harrison once admitting he told his therapist to stick him with 300 NEEDLES after hearing an NFL running back was routinely treated with 232.
Roethlisberger's the 'Original Cosby'
12/10/2014 11:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Apparently, Chris Rock is not a Ben Roethlisberger fan -- calling the Pittsburgh Steelers QB the "Original Cosby" during a media event in Baltimore last night.
Rock was addressing the crowd before a screening of his new movie "Top 5" when he said, "I was getting ready to say something really bad about Roethlisberger ... he's the original Cosby."
Rock is clearly harkening back a few years -- when two different women accused Big Ben of rape in two different cities.
Roethlisberger was first accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Lake Tahoe back in 2008. He ultimately settled with his accuser and was never charged with a crime.
The second alleged incident went down in Georgia in 2010 ... when Ben allegedly assaulted a woman in a nightclub bathroom. He was investigated by cops but never charged with a crime.
Ben was never accused of drugging the women ... unlike Bill Cosby who has been accused of giving women pills before taking advantage of them.
After Rock cracked the joke ... he realized the comment might spark some controversy -- saying, "That's horrible ... that's gonna go everywhere."
Props to our friends at the Baltimore Sun for getting the video.
Partying with Louis XIII
... $3,000 Per Bottle!
12/2/2014 9:16 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Nothing heals the pain of a loss like a $3,000 bottle of cognac ... just ask the Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers who busted out TWO bottles of Louis XIII at a Pittsburgh casino last night.
James Harrison, along with the rest of the LB crew, hit up Andrew's Steak and Seafood Restaurant at the Rivers Casino ... where they poured the cognac into fancy glasses engraved with their names.
Louis XIII is some of the most expensive cognac in the world -- right now, BevMo is selling the stuff for $3,000 per bottle (if you're a ClubBev member).
Seems the guys polished off the booze ... at least judging by the way they were singing and goofing around at the end of the meal.
Expensive hangovers ... still hurt.
Flirts with Jordin Sparks
After Record-Breaking Performance
11/18/2014 6:44 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Hours after having one of the biggest games of his life, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell wasn't done showing off his moves ... cyber-flirting with Jordin Sparks.
Bell played out of his mind last night -- putting up 204 yards against the Titans ... the most rushing yards by a Steelers player in "Monday Night Football" history.
Well, the recently single Sparks took notice ... posting, "Le'Veon Bell is just a beast. Titans D cannot contain him."
She then reposted Le'Veon's stat line ... adding, "Again, beast."
Bell -- who also appears to be single -- was all about it and tweeted back at Sparks ... "I see @JordinSparks liked the way I played last night."
Total cyber-flirting, right?
For the record, Sparks is a huge football fan (her dad is ex-NFL star Phillippi Sparks) .... and after things ended with Jason Derulo earlier this year ... we asked if Phillippi would be cool with his daughter dating a football player. She gave an interesting answer.
As for the twitter-flirting ... we'll keep an eye on it.
'I Wouldn't Have Had Bieber
at Steelers Prayer Service'
11/10/2014 12:04 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
NFL legend Terry Bradshaw tells TMZ Sports he doesn't believe Justin Bieber jinxed the Pittsburgh Steelers ... but he does have an issue with JB at the team prayer service the night before the game.
As you know ... the Steelers lost to the lowly NY Jets this weekend -- and a lot of people are blaming the "Justin Bieber Curse" since he joined the team for a pregame prayer ceremony Saturday night.
"It's automatically assumed he's a jinx," Bradshaw says. "That's ridiculous."
But it's what Bradshaw said next that was interesting ... "Would Bieber be a disruption? Well, I wouldn't have had him there."
"The only time I recall the Steelers teams I played on letting outsiders worship with us was at the Super Bowl ... and it was with our families because they traveled with us."
Bradshaw says he takes his bible study very seriously -- and believes the purpose of a private prayer ceremony for NFL teams is to keep the focus on god.
So, when a huge megastar like Bieber walks in the room ... "Your focus isn't where it should be."
"If [Bieber] had been a part of the team from the beginning, fine ... but a one-timer, no."
NFL Star James Harrison
Bangs Out Push Ups
With 300 lb. Man On His Back!!
11/4/2014 9:22 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Age means NOTHING to James Harrison -- especially when it comes to brute strength -- 'cause the Steelers linebacker just knocked out a set of push-ups with a 304 lb. lineman on his back!!
The 36-year-old superstar -- one of the oldest guys in the NFL -- let teammate Maurkice Pouncey sit on his back while he got some chest work in during a gym session early Tuesday morning.
Do the math ... 275 (Harrison's weight) + 304 (Pouncey's weight) = STRONG.
Of course, Harrison came out of retirement to rejoin the Steelers this season and absolutely KILLED IT this weekend ... single-handedly terrorizing Ravens QB Joe Flacco all game long.
Then again, James never really stopped working out ... the guy was pushing serious weight in the Steelers gym even before he officially resigned with the team.
BIZARRE PREGAME RITUAL
... Face Down, Legs Up
10/12/2014 9:58 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Well, this is weird.
The entire gang of Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers performed their pre-game ritual with LB coach Joey Porter before Sunday's game against the Browns ... and it was all caught on video.
Here's how it went down ... the LB crew lines up to give Porter a high-five ... each player getting lower to the ground than the guy before him -- culminating with a bizarre tandem leg-raising finale.
It's weird ... but if it works, who are we to judge ... right?
1:30 PM PT -- It didn't work.
NFL/CBS Deceived Everyone
I NEVER Signed on for Football
9/16/2014 11:08 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Rihanna is livid at the NFL and CBS ... claiming the league and the network had no right to make it look like she was part of the Ravens/Steelers Thursday night pre-game show ... and had no right to single her out when it was scrapped.
Sources connected with Rihanna tell TMZ ... the singer was pissed when someone sent her the joint NFL/CBS press release last week, with the headline, "CBS & NFL Network 'Run This Town' for Thursday Night Football Open with Music Featuring Rihanna & Narration by Don Cheadle."
In fact Rihanna never did anything special for the game ... all CBS/NFL did was license a Jay Z song that featured Rihanna.
Rihanna's rep tells TMZ, "Due to the misuse and misrepresentation of Rihanna's name and participation in connection to CBS TNF, CBS was not allowed to license and utilize the song 'Run This Town.' Roc Nation made the decision to not grant the song’s usage."
Translation: Because her name was used to promote the show, she felt she then had the right to block the production.
Rihanna also made it clear on social media Tuesday ... she is also angry that CBS yanked the production and insinuated it was because she was the victim of domestic violence.
CBS's plan was to use the Jay Z song along with a voiceover by Don Cheadle that would be customized for each match up -- but CBS said today the song will NOT be used.
We called CBS and the NFL ... so far, no comment.
Slams CBS for Pulling Her
from Ravens Game
9/16/2014 5:29 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
7:53 AM PT -- CBS released a statement saying they will NOT use Rihanna's performance going forward, saying, "Beginning this Thursday, we will be moving in a different direction with some elements of our Thursday Night Football open. We will be using our newly created Thursday Night Football theme music to open our game broadcast."
It took a few days, but Rihanna is finally lashing out about CBS' decision to yank her musical opening from "Thursday Night Football" last week and air it this week instead ... and let's just say she's not happy.
With the Ray Rice scandal still fresh, and the Ravens set to play the Steelers, CBS opted not to run a taped musical segment featuring Rihanna ... seeing as she had been the victim of high-profile domestic violence.
But with the segment now set to air this week, Rihanna took to Twitter to blast CBS, writing, "CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, F*** you! Y'all are sad for penalizing me for this."
As for what she means by "penalizing" ... it's pretty clear she feels CBS will not allow her to move on from getting beaten by Chris Brown 5 years ago.
She followed that up by writing, "The audacity ..."
Rihanna was in Barbados Monday ... looking extremely good.
Pulls the Plug on Rihanna
For Ravens/Steelers Game
9/11/2014 2:05 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
CBS has pulled the plug on the musical opening of tonight's "Thursday Night Football" -- and it's very clear it's because they don't want to feature Rihanna in the midst of the Ray Rice scandal.
The opening features Rihanna performing a version of "Run This Town" -- while Don Cheadle introduces the teams and dramatically asks who will "run this town" when the game is over.
But with the Ray Rice scandal in full swing, it's clear CBS didn't want to feature another celebrity who was involved in a high-profile domestic violence incident.
CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus says, "We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone coverage."
The musical opening will be replaced by a discussion of Roger Goodell's recent comments about the Ray Rice incident.
Ex-NFL Lineman Alan Faneca
Fat Guy Mentor
to Retired NFL Teammates
2/4/2014 3:49 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Fatness often plagues NFL players after they retire -- but former lineman Alan Faneca tells TMZ Sports he's helping his old teammates win the battle against obesity .... just like he did.
Faneca -- who played 13 NFL seasons while weighing 320 lbs -- has dropped all the way to 213 lbs ... and ran a full marathon in UNDER 4 HOURS this past weekend.
"There's no reason to be 320 and be walking around post-football," Faneca says ... noting that he made the decision to shed the weight after considering the long-term health issues that have plagued NFL big men in the past.
And now that he's successfully slimmed down, Alan says he's passing along his weight loss secrets to some of his old friends from the Steelers, Jets and Cardinals.
"I have had some buddies reach out that have had trouble and struggled," Alan said while appearing on the "TMZ Sports" TV show ... explaining, "If you dont make that transtiton kind of quick, all of the sudden that 320 turns into an ugly 350."
Faneca says he still gets cravings for chocolate chip cookies -- but says he's managed to ween himself off his most dangerous snack item ... a snack that contained 1,000 CALORIES.
Casualty In Real Estate Crash
Takes Huge Hit on FL Mansion
2/4/2014 9:07 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Plaxico Burress just got ROCKED by the real estate market ... 'cause he just unloaded his Florida mansion for HALF of what he paid for it back in 2005, TMZ Sports has learned.
We know ... Plaxico originally bought the 6,872 square-foot mansion in Lighthouse Point, FL back in September 2005 for $3.995 ... but that was right before the bubble burst.
Since then, real estate values in the area have plummeted -- and Plax just sold the place for $2 mil.
Official documents obtained by TMZ Sports show Plax was able to get rid of the house as part of a short sale (where the bank accepts less money than what's owed on the mortgage).
Unclear why Plax decided to sell since the house in incredible ... with a full media screening room, incredible pool, marble everywhere and a 100-foot dock.
Calls to Plaxico were not returned.