NEAR A HOCKEY RINK SET UP ON A FOOTBALL FIELD – He wasn’t honored with the 2016 Chief Award for nothin, folks.
Arthur Moats was recognized in December as “the (Steelers) player that best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation with the media.” As such, it wasn’t surprising when he was trotted out by the Steelers for the
photo opp media availability to promote talk about Saturday’s Stadium Series NHL game at Heinz Field between the Penguins and rival Philadelphia Flyers.
Moats, in his characteristically affable (giddy?) style, held court with more than a dozen media members for more than 7 minutes during the mid-afternoon Wednesday at Heinz Field. Covering topics ranging from the trivial to the ridiculous (with tiny detours to serious in between) Moats held a hockey stick while he stood just outside the left-wing boards on the north end of the hockey rink set up on top of the Heinz Field grass where he and his Steeler teammates went 7-2 this season.
Some of the items Moats touched on…
On if he expects position mate James Harrison back this season at age 39: “Absolutely, absolutely. We all want him to be back, he wants to be back – and you saw the reports that the organization wants him back. So I feel like it’s a perfect match.”
On what his offseason has been like so far: “All of us have been remaining in communication with the guys, making sure we’re are all taking some time to get away from the game. Some of us have visited each other, whether it’s traveling or light lunches and things like that. But ultimately we understand that we have lot of work that needs to get done going forward and we all gotta get the Super Bowl next year.”
On how Harrison would be as a hockey player: “I’m putting him as a goalie, definitely a goalie. He’s so intimidating, he doesn’t even need a mask. He could go out there with no mask and no stick, (and) as soon as he goes, ‘grrrrrrr’ – nobody’s gonna shoot on him. They’ll turn around and go the other way.”
On his personal experience playing hockey (hint: never) and what he thinks of the athleticism of hockey players: “Huge appreciation. The fact that they are going crazy fast and showing their agility on ice… for me, I have skated maybe once in my whole life and I know how difficult that was. I feel like they could easily come out on the (football) field and at least run. I feel when you put the basics of that in there I feel it definitely shows their skill level and also the fact that they are flying around on the ice doing it, taking their hits, shoot, and all with the hand-eye coordination I feel like it definitely shows their skillset.”
On if he recognizes how big hockey is in Pittsburgh: “Any time you come to Pittsburgh you understand the culture here, you understand it’s a huge sports town and also, you understand the Pens and the significance that they have, ultimately you think about them winning the Stanley Cup just last year, you can see the (quality) of hockey that they put out there, it’s not a mediocre product. It’s top-level. So I feel like they definitely warrant what they deserve and what they receive as far as fan support.”
Later, asked to show his stickhandling skills, Moats performed what he called “the jab step,” which is a nonexistent hockey move perhaps best described as a combination of a poke check involving a lunge. Here is an approximation of the move below (I don’t think Mike Sullivan will be drilling his players on it any time soon):