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10 Things I Think I Thought while looking for the Steelers game during the bye week

When you keep looking for a game which doesn’t exist, your mind can wander.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Game or no game the mind keeps working. Here are ten thoughts I had while not being able to watch the Steelers this Sunday.

  1. This first thought came up just short of making last week’s thoughts. I thought, “Joe Mixon’s ‘Lambeau Leap’ came up just a bit short. Kinda like the Bengals’ effort.”
  2. What does the NFL hope to gain from these London games? Jersey sales? The sale of broadcast rights? A franchised league overseas? There is something fundamentally wrong with a world where a city full of Londoners can watch a game they have no interest in this weekend while I have no game to watch at all.
  3. Which reminds me of this truth. I’m often asked if I’m a football fan, a fan of the NFL. My answer is always the same, “Not at all. I’m a Pittsburgh Steeler fan. Once they are eliminated from contention, I pay no attention to the rest of the season.”
  4. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Once the Steelers are out of it there remains one more issue — will the Patriots win another trophy? After Steelers winning the Super Bowl the next most important thing is the Patriots not winning the Super Bowl.
  5. As much as I dislike bye week, I do like what it did for us. Moving from 3rd in the division to 1st without so much as snapping the ball? That’s a good weekend. I’d be willing to have a bye next week too, if it meant we’d automatically advance to the AFC championship game.
  6. As a professor I used to tell my students, “You are free to challenge any grade I give you. If you do, however, and I take a deeper look, I’m free to lower your grade if I think it should be lowered.” I wish the commish would take the same perspective with Mike Brown regarding Burfict’s fine. “You know Mike, you’re right. I think I did err in handing down that fine on your loose cannon linebacker. Having given it more thought, no fine. Suspension for the rest of the season.”
  7. Marvin Lewis is not a terrible football coach. His Bengals teams are usually competitive and have often made the playoffs. He’s just not a good enough football coach to actually win a playoff game.
  8. My beautiful, dear wife came across a one item packing list I made for our trip last weekend. It said “towels.” She said, “Why did you think you needed to pack towels?” “Dear, I wanted to be sure not to forget our Terrible Towels.”
  9. I’m guessing the Bengals will figure out a way to lose on their bye week.
  10. It’s happened before, wherein the Steelers had a terrific season, even won the Super Bowl, in years they lost some real stinkers. It happens to other teams too. The year the 49ers went 15-1 their one loss was to a not very good Steeler team. Here’s hoping that come January we’ll be laughing at ourselves for worrying so much. Of course, we may look back on these hopeful days as a bout of embarrassing optimism. You never know. That’s why they play the games...except on bye week.