DISCLAIMER: What follows is a piece of fiction. Any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, is an amazing coincidence...
Pittsburgh, PA, March 24:
Pittsburgh is abuzz with the latest Steelers news - that the situation at Place Kicker has finally been resolved, and soccer sensation David Beckham will be joining the Boys in Black and Gold for the 2011 season. The tireless staff here at Behind The Steel Curtain could not rest until we had interviewed the principals in this exciting drama, so here's your chance to read all about it. I expect that most of you saw the interview with Kevin Colbert that announced the acquisition, but in case any of you missed it I will quote his reply to the question of what first turned his attention to David Beckham as a possible solution:
KEVIN COLBERT: Well, as we all know, washed-up soccer stars that still kick well are a great fit for American football place kickers. In discussions with the coaching staff we came to the conclusion that this description probably fits Mr. Beckham better than any other current soccer player. We called his agent to see if he was available, and after considerable negotiating Beckham was persuaded to come and try out for us. The rest is history.
Well, this is fascinating news, and of course we wanted to hear from Coach Tomlin on the subject. As usual he had some interesting takes on the situation:
MIKE TOMLIN: Wins. Wins and losses are black and white and it’s pure, it’s purity.
BTSC: We're certainly on board with that! Do you expect Beckham to just kick field goals and so on, or will he be the punter as well?
MT: We're going to be thoughtfully non-rhythmic here. The arrow is pointing up with him.
BTSC: Ah. Well, are you afraid that Beckham might not be easily assimilated into the team?
MT: I don't live in my fear. I just play to win. We're going to have to become one with ourselves, if you will, individually and collectively.
BTSC: Beckham has been a somewhat controversial figure during his career. Do you expect that to change in Pittsburgh?
MT: Lots of people ride the waves of disruption that he provides. I'm not concerned about avoiding anything that happened three years ago or worried about letdowns or things of that nature. I'm always moving to new challenges. I'm a moving on kind of guy.
Well, we know that we can always count on Coach Tomlin to give us really important-sounding quotes. But since this isn't just an off-season fluff sort of piece, we decided to talk to the man of the hour himself, David Beckham:
BTSC: It's a thrill to speak with you, Mr. Beckham. How do -
DAVID BECKHAM: The spotlight will always be on me, but it's something I'm learning to live with as the years go by. I have come to accept that if I have a new haircut it is front page news.
BTSC: Oh indeed, But how do you anticipate the challenges with the Steelers differing from those in a soccer game?
DB: One thing will not change -- we will be going out to win. People don't think I've got the brains to be that clever, [but] the football side of things is much better now and I'm pleased with how it's going.
BTSC: Have you met with any of the other players yet? Did you feel welcome?
DB: The way the players are with each other, everyone gets on, there's no problems at all, it's the best atmosphere I've ever had. Confidence is very high. To have the players and the atmosphere we have will help us a lot.
BTSC: So what was it like to kick at Heinz Field for the first time?
DB: It is going to put a lot of strain on my back. I have got this obsessive compulsive disorder where I have to have everything in a straight line, or everything has to be in pairs.
BTSC: What was your first thought when you were contacted by the Steelers?
DB: The buzz is still with me. I get goose bumps.
BTSC: So you're excited to be wearing the Black and Gold?
DB: Well, the black is fine, but when I looked at a few of the unis I thought the first yellow was harsh and the second even harsher. Beckham is the player who works more than anyone here and he plays in a position that is not his. He makes sacrifices for the team. He does not play just to sell shirts.
BTSC: I'm so sorry - I didn't mean to imply -
DB: Sorted, see you and good luck.
Well, I guess that was the end of the interview, as the sound abruptly ceased, but fortunately his wife, Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, picked up the phone and we were able to get in a few words with her:
VICTORIA BECKHAM: Who is this, anyway? (aside) David, what's this all about?
BTSC: Hello, Mrs. Beckham, this is Behind The Steel Curtain calling, and we -
VB: Oh, is this about the costumes for the Playboy shoot? Because David says that he won't go naked.
BTSC: No, no, this is Behind The Steel Curtain, the premiere Steelers fansite. We were thrilled to hear that your husband has signed with the Steelers and wondered how you feel about moving to Pittsburgh?
VB: I want a big house with a moat and dragons and a fort to keep people out.
BTSC: Ah - but how do you think you'll like the city? After all, there is a rich cultural life in Pittsburgh, aside from it being the greatest sports town in the nation. For example, the Carnegie Library system is amazing. Do you like libraries?
VB: I haven't read a book in my life.
BTSC: Well, let's move on to the Steelers. What do you see as Mr. Beckham's role on the team?
VB: What's David's role? David looks good, that's what David does.
BTSC: (struggling to keep hint of desperation out of voice) How do you feel about your husband changing games? Do you like American football?
VB: I don't know much about football. I know what a goal is, which is surely the main thing about football.
BTSC: Well, we know how busy you are, but we wondered if you could share a few tidbits about your husband for our readers:
VB: He likes to borrow my knickers. He's got more personality than people think and he's very deep and spiritual. He always knows how to dress, that was part of his appeal originally. Oh, and I was just kidding about the knickers...
BTSC: Well, thank you for your time, and we look forward to seeing you at Steelers games.
VB: Well, I look forward to meeting my fans. You're a true fan when you cry or pass out. When the paramedics are called it's a good sign. It shows real determination as a fan. I expect to see the people around me being carted off in droves.
And there you have it, folks. This should be interesting...
(Author's note - essentially all quotes attributed to the allegedly fictitious characters were in fact uttered by them, although possibly in a slightly different context...]