With the Pittsburgh Steelers suffering a Mile High low last week and television and radio outlets diving headfirst into holiday-themed programming, my black-and-gold tinted tongue seems stuck-on-the-frozen-flagpole-of-life. As always, I feel compelled to pass the ravings on to you. But first, I must offer up apologies for any offense that was taken after my last submission. So, a Red Ryder of remorse goes out to and for the following...
- The Academy of Arts and Sciences
- George and Harry Bailey
- Tyrone Carter
- Yinzers with undeniable pronunciation maladies
- Judd Nelson’s John Bender and the cast and characters of 1985’s The Breakfast Club
- Coining the term “pierogie-ocity”
- Hermione Granger and Muggles everywhere
- The Go-Go’s
And now for the latest edition of Random Thoughts from a Black-and-Gold Mind.
- The undercarriage of the bus (and I’m not talking Jerome Bettis-that’s just disturbing) needs looked at for possible repairs after a Ben Roethlisberger throw-under of epic proportions, much like when Ralphie blamed his buddy, Schwartz, for teaching him “the queen mother of dirty words”. The only difference is that the Steelers can possibly use this experience as motivation, while poor Schwartz was beaten within inch of his young life.
- Ben feels he’s earned the right to call out his teammates. He has a point. He’s the captain and a 15-year vet. His targets are grown men. This can possibly be the last loss of the season and these words can be a rallying point or a triple-dog-dare to his teammates. Or it can shatter the season into tiny pieces much like a leg lamp hitting the floor.
- If you are Ryan Switzer, is being labeled a “tough, little booger” by your quarterback flattery or just plain insulting? Switzer is a class act and I’m sure the description is a feather in his cap, but it’s nothing you want to hashtag. It’s a good thing No. 10 is married, because “I’m a tough, little booger” isn’t exactly the best pickup line in a bar on the strip.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster proclaimed this week that he wants to retire a Steeler. Unlike another player that had recently spouted that same phrase, No. 19 seems very genuine.
- JJSS is the only player in NFL history to have two TDs of at least 97 yards. That could one day result in ‘‘a major award”.
- Chuks Okorafor should be commended for protecting his signal-caller from a Scut Farkus/Grover Dill-type bullying by keeping Von Miller and Bradley Chubb (mostly) at bay last week. If No. 76 was available to guard the door of the Parker house in “A Christmas Story”, the Bumpus hounds would have never destroyed their neighbors’ Christmas feast that ultimately chased them to Chinese cuisine.
- The Steelers need to generate more turnovers desperately. This stat needs an upgrade in order for this team to go far in the playoffs. If not, it could be a letdown of “don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine” proportions.
- The Steelers pass rush has a great opportunity to get to Phillip Rivers on Sunday Night Football. Rivers is as mobile as Ralphie’s brother Randy in a snowsuit. T.J. Watt, Javon Hargrave, Vince Williams and company can do some damage if they get penetration.
- Melvin Gordon’s injury doesn’t reduce the threat of the Chargers run game. Austin Ekeler, the 5’10” scatback, averages 5.8 ypc and has 32 receptions on the 2018 campaign. If the Steelers handle him carelessly, another No. 30 from the state of Colorado could “shoot the Steelers’ eyes out”.
- James Harrison will be taking part in the 10th anniversary celebration of the Super Bowl XLIII team Sunday night at Heinz Field. You may be disappointed with his exit much in the way you were chagrined when you learned that the actor that played Flick (Scott Schwartz) appeared in pornos. But regardless of the circumstances regarding his departure from the team a year ago, I hope that he’s shown the respect that he deserves for his contributions to that championship.
- I wonder what Greg Garrity is doing these days.
Untill next time, I urge Steeler Nation to ponder the significance of this quote from the 1983 Christmas classic that was referenced ad nauseum in this very column and how it pertains to staying up late to watch the Steelers in prime time.
“Only one thing in the world could’ve dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.”
Take that for what it’s worth, Don’t Stop Shalievin’ and Go Steelers.