Rooting for Injuries

Hadn't intended on posting this, but seemed apropos, given the conversation of the day.

Excerpted from We're From the Town with the Great Football Team: A Pittsburgh Steelers Manifesto, written in March '08 (since edited for the Brady injury)


One might think that given my history of knee injuries, I would have more compassion, not be so cavalier about rooting for injuries to opponents of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Actually, I take the opposite tact; my injury history affords me license to root for injury with a clear conscience. It’s insufficient to suggest that one simply root for injury. It’s a more complex situation than that, hence the following analysis:

The Competitive Advantage Injury: The lone cardinal rule of rooting for injuries is to always, always, always, without exception, root for injuries to give the Pittsburgh Steelers a competitive advantage. There’s nothing personal; in fact, it’s the ultimate sign of respect. For example, I like Tom Brady, I have the ultimate respect for Tom Brady…and every single week, I root for Tom Brady to break his fuckin’ leg. I was convinced it would never happen. Then, last September, first quarter of the season’s first game….down goes Brady! It simply demonstrates the old axiom that if we’re diligent, consistent with our efforts, pray about it, that our hard work and prayers are rewarded in the end. Not only is it okay to root for injuries to give our Steelers a competitive advantage; I postulate that it’s required. You are less of a fan if you don’t do it.

And, please spare us the bullshit of not wanting to give the other team and their fans any excuses, any legitimacy to their whining. They can whine all they want, who cares, let ‘em cry. In fact, I rather enjoy it. The only thing that matters are Steelers victories.

Classic rooting for injuries:
The Brady injury…the Pittsburgh t-shirt magnate, Father George, took a lot of grief from the national media on his “Bernard Pollard Fan Club” t-shirts, but he’s a hero amongst Steelers fans. The vitriol undoubtedly helped Father George’s sales as well. Father George sent me a complimentary dozen….very popular items.

The Carson Palmer injury in the ’05 WC Playoff….I was on the ceiling, howling with delight. I knew when he went down, no way were the Steelers losing that game. In his case, I’d like to see it happen to him again…..wimp-ass leaves the stadium before halftime, with his team still in the lead. When I read that account in SI; I had to re-read it, then re-read it again. Way to be a leader, Carson… watch the game from the La-Z-Boy.

The Rodney Harrison injury in ‘05…..Cedric Wilson earned his year’s pay with that one, his best moment ever as a Pittsburgh Steeler. His TD catch in the AFCCG vs. Denver, and his TD against Cinci in the playoffs were close, but for my money, his ending Rodney Harrison’s season stands out.

The expatriate injury:
It was March or so, of ’98. I was watching ESPN report the signing of Yancey Thigpen by the Tennessee Titans. I was filling my living room with invective & vitriol. My then 8-year old daughter, says, “Daddy, what’s wrong?” I say,”That idiot just left the Steelers to sign with the Stupid Tennessee Titans.” She says, “Daddy, do you hope he breaks his leg?” Of course, I denied it, had to lie to my kid, said, “No Honey, and if I ever say that, I don’t really mean it.” But I do mean it….wholeheartedly!!!

I remember Chad Brown being injured….loved it!! Rod Woodson, Carnell Lake…..wished broken legs on them constantly. Neil O’ Donnell…..cast several spells on his sorry ass….’course his sorry ass was mostly on the bench after leaving Pittsburgh, so it didn’t much matter.

Leave Pittsburgh for more dough, better sushi……I don’t give a shit. Fuck you…and I hope you break your fuckin’ leg (you may have sensed that I have a preference for broken legs as the injury of choice).

The expatriate waiver:
Those Steelers that helped us win a Super Bowl, and then left for more dough…..Kimo, Randle El, Chris Hope, Peezy (even though we cut him, it was based on more dough), Clark Haggens, now Nate Washington, BMac. I don’t wish a broken leg on those guys. I do wish that they toil in obscurity for the balance of their careers though….ala Thigpen, ala O’Donnell, et al.

The waiver to the expatriate waiver:
When injury to our ex-Steelers who helped us win One for the Thumb gives us a competitive advantage, then I’m all for it. Honestly, I’m starting to get sick with all the fuss over Peezy. Understand, I’m not big on favorite players…and Peezy was my favorite. But, all this bullshit about people continuing to root for Peezy, cheering for him at Heinz during the ’07 quagmire…bull-shit on that!!

Tell you what I’ll do though. If Peezy again comes to Pittsburgh, and is announced in the starting lineup…if I’m there, I’ll cheer for him….I will!! He buckles up first play, I’m rooting for him to break his fuckin’ leg…..not contradictory at all.

My lone hesitation with that though is that I do want Peezy to break Tom Brady’s fuckin’ leg during his twice yearly tilts with the Pats. He can’t break Brady’s fuckin’ leg if his own leg’s in two.

The asshole injury:
Probably everyone roots for injuries to assholes. Nobody felt bad when Terrell Owens broke his leg. Not much more to be said on that topic.

Limits to rooting for injuries:
Some maniacal fans that I’ve encountered, particularly on the internet, feel differently about this, but I never root for a life-threatening, or a disabling injury. I bordered on saying that I don’t root for career-ending injuries…..I really don’t….but neither do I care if they happen. If Rodney Harrison had never played again, I wouldn’t much care. Matter of fact, when he does play, I have to expend energy rooting for him to be re-injured. It would be more efficient, economize on my energy supply if he just remained on the shelf.

Anyway, to demonstrate my compassion, please consider this. I hate Tedy Bruschi, abhor him, can’t stand the guy and his bullshit Papa Gino ads. He does make plays, at least he used to me, which made me hate him more. I loved when he got put on his ass during the Addai TD run to win the ’06 AFCCG. I can’t even accuse Brushchi of being an illegal from Arizona, of wading across the Rio Grande. I know he’s a Dago like me.

Oh…my compassion…almost forgot. When Bruschi came back from his stroke midway through the ’05 season, I specifically rooted for a non-stroke related injury. Some were rooting for his “heart to explode.” Not me….I was rooting for the standard broken leg on his first play back. It would’ve been great….Tedy walks onto the field to a thunderous standing ovation from the Foxboro nitwits (sports most pronounced assholes…the Pats fan, many of whom I know and am supposed to love), seconds later, he’s on the field, his leg busted in two. I even argued that a broken leg would spare him from the potentially life-threatening injury.

So….there ya have it folks, free yourself, don’t feel guilty about rooting for injuries. As a Steelers fan…’s more than okay, it’s your right, it’s your obligation….it’s your duty!!

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