Asked if he thought his dancing was any factor in the outcome of the team’s most recent game—a 26-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football—Smith-Schuster was defiant:
“One thing I’ll tell you is I’m not going to stop being myself. I’m going to be the JuJu I came in to be—authentic.”
As such, he said has no plans to stop doing his pregame dance routines at midfield, which he posts online using TikTok, “a new platform that I’ve used to touch my fans and grow [my brand],” he added.
Smith-Schuster noted that the Bills game was not the first contest in which he did a pregame dance routine, saying, “This is something I’ve been doing since the start of the season—midseason. I even did it on the Cowboys logo. So it’s not just their logo, but the Steelers logo. And I plan to just keep doing it. I’m just having fun being myself.”
Added Motivation for Opposing Teams?
Never mind that Buffalo Bills players indicated that Smith-Schuster’s logo dance provided them with “extra fire” to beat the Steelers. And that the Dallas Cowboys were offended by Smith-Schuster’s antics, going out of their way to prevent him from celebrating a touchdown on the Dallas star at midfield.
It’s also worth noting that Smith-Schuster takes into account circumstances when determining whether he celebrates a touchdown catch, as he did when he eschewed a celebration after scoring against the Bills.
“When you’re down like that, why dance?” he said on Tuesday. “At that point, I am just thinking about, hey, score, try and get the ball back and score again.”
So why not take into account the circumstances when considering whether to keep dancing for the remainder of this season, when the Steelers are trying to author a Super Bowl run and don’t need a distraction while trying to put an end to a two-game losing streak?
Mike Tomlin on JuJu Smith-Schuster’s Logo Dancing
As for Mike Tomlin’s reaction to JuJu Smith-Schuster dancing on the Buffalo Bills logo:
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s the first I heard of that,” said the Steelers head coach when asked about it by reporter Jeff Hathorn.
Then he tried to dismiss the idea that it had any impact in terms of providing extra motivation for the Bills, saying, “it had very little relevance in terms of how the game was played.”
Perhaps. But by dancing on the other team’s logo, Smith-Schuster is giving the opposition something to rally around, which can’t help—and can only hurt—the Steelers.
Now it’s going to be a focus of the pregame show on Monday night, especially since it’s another nationally-televised game. At this point, is wouldn’t be a surprise if Smith-Schuster’s dancing sparked a pregame altercation, especially since this is a rivalry game against a 2-10-1 Cincinnati Bengals team that has little to lose by trying to provoke a confrontation.
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