Have you ever found yourself in a situation where it suddenly dawns on you that no matter what you do you just can't win? I found myself in just such a situation quite a few years back.
I had just went through a KFC drive thru window to pick up supper for the family on my way home from work. I was about to pull out of the parking lot when a car ignored all the right aways and almost drove into the side of my vehicle. Startled to say the least, I threw up my hands as if to say "What's your problem?" as the car flew by the front of my own.
Suddenly the other car slammed on their brakes and the driver jumps out to confront me. Much to my surprise, it was a little person and he must have been having a bad day. He was mad at the world, but he seemed especially angry towards me. He was using foul language like I had never heard, I believe he was actually making up words as he went along. All the while, everyone who was lined up in the drive thru lane was getting a free show to go with their impending dinner. Some of their faces seemed horrified by what they were witnessing, while some seemed to find the proceedings to be hilarious.
I admit I initially exited my vehicle in anger to confront the other driver, but once I realized the situation I was mainly shocked and confused. Then suddenly it all became incredibly funny and I couldn't stop laughing. My laughter seemed to infuriate him even further and his rather harsh language intensified. I noticed he was backing up as I walked closer to him and then he seemed to recognize the magnitude of the situation. He stopped his incessant cussing and his facial expression revealed his concern about my intentions.
I told him, "Listen up, little fella. You need to be more careful next time cause we just about had an accident, and I wouldn't jump out of the car cursing like that either. The next guy might not be as nice as me." He never said a word, but when I got about half way back to my vehicle he cussed me one more time and quickly drove away.
That was my definition of a no win situation. Anything I would have done would have reflected poorly on me. As I stated earlier, there was a drive thru full of witnesses and I feel certain someone was catching the festivities on their phone. Imagine trying to explain getting arrested to your family or boss when they see you assaulting a little person on the nightly news. That is a lose lose situation .
The Pittsburgh Steelers face a similar situation this week. They face what amounts to a must win game against an inferior, wounded opponent in the Raiders. The Raiders have a severely weakened roster and a disjointed locker room. They are playing out the string and most games they are just looking for an excuse to quit. Get an early lead in the game and you will probably break their fragile will to compete. Let them hang around, like the Chiefs managed to do last week, and you may have a fight on your hands.
Turnovers, penalties, and self inflicted wounds can level any playing field. Add in the Steelers struggles on the West Coast, especially in Oakland, and the Steelers should have no problem being properly motivated and focused.
If the Steelers blow the Raiders out, it will accomplish nothing in some people's eyes. They only did their job, what they should do against any weakened opponent. Some will point out how they still haven't beaten a team this season that presently has a winning record.
If the Steelers struggle to put the Raiders away in a close, hard fought victory, the naysayers will point out that if they can barely beat the lowly Raiders how are they going to be able to compete against the Patriots and Saints, just to earn a chance to make the playoffs. Even if they sneak in the playoffs they will have no chance to advance.
If the Steelers manage to lose this game.....I don't even want to think about that.