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Random Thoughts From a Black-and-Gold Mind: Exceptionalism and Necessary Roughness edition

BTSC’s resident nut job shares with you, the reader, the contents of his cranium leading up to the Steelers Week 2 home opener.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With the Pittsburgh Steelers coming off of a disappointing 21-21 tie with the Cleveland Browns, my black-and-gold brain is suffering from saturation of insanity. Like always, I pass the ravings on to all of you. But first, I must beg those I have offended for a pasture of pardons for the following transgressions.

  • Comparing the rookie salary cap to After M*A*S*H* and the McDLT
  • The mention of other possible marinara sauce nicknames for anybody other than Ramon Foster
  • Dreaming up bizarre attractions at the forthcoming Steeler Experience at Kennywood Park
  • Making fun of my wife
  • Making fun of my ex-wife
  • Poking at the Madden Cover Jinx
  • Lying about not believing in jinxes
  • Suggesting trading a TE to the Chargers
  • Anybody like me who paid money for a Martavis Bryant jersey
  • The Lovin’ Spoonfull
  • Mitch Lyons

And now now the most recent edition of Random Thoughts From a Black-and-Gold Mind.

  • Before I get started, I just recently lost my Twitter virginity (I know March isn’t that recent). Just like in my real life experiences, I must not be doing it right. Nobody is gentle and hardly anybody wants to partake in it with me. I have 14 followers. Please follow me @btscbad. (Jeez, I think Charles Manson had an easier time getting followers back in the 60s and the only thing I’m killing is the art of punctuation). If I can get up to 300 followers by next week, I’ll pick one of my new “minyinz” randomly and give them a legitimate prize. Wow! I didn’t come off this desperate in high school.
  • In Cleveland, the tie is equivalent to a win. In the Steel City, not so much. It’s like the scene in 1991’s Necessary Roughness when the Texas State Armadillos gleefully celebrated a last-minute tie while the Kansas Jayhawks all endured the trauma and humiliation of tying an 0-9 team that just suffered football’s death penalty.
  • One of our podcast callers on “The Steelers Hangover” mentioned he was in a sports bar in Georgia and the usually pro-Steeler crowd had a lot less black-and-gold enthusiasm than usual and seemed more to be rooting for Cleveland. It could be the exposure of orange-and-brown on HBO’s Hard Knocks or maybe the general public outside of Pittsburgh is siding more with Lev Bell.
  • The Steelers need to not overuse James Conner as a “thumb-to-the-nose” in the direction of their missing, nightclub-dwelling RB. I’m afraid they are trying entirely too hard to get Conner stats to send a message to Le’Veon Bell that he’s easily replaced. Much like the episode of Family Ties when Michael J. Fox convinced Gina Davis to be his date to make his ex jealous...or something like that. Stevan Ridley is there. Give him some reps.
  • Speaking of Bell, It seems like a divorce of epic proportions at this point. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner seemed less acrimonious in 1990’s The War of the Roses. I don’t expect to see No. 26 until Week 10, and I don’t know how much I’d even bet on that at this point.
  • Maybe in the same manner that the QB sneak was done because of Todd Haley’s existence on the home sideline.
  • I’m a huge fan of Antonio Brown, but I could do without his threatening people over social media. I agree with the annoyance. I abhor how people hide behind their keyboards criticize whatever they darn well please with the firewall of distance protecting them. My policy is to only type what I’d be brave enough to say to someone’s face. Not too many others do. If I were face to face with No. 84, I’d say “You are’re better than that kind of response to the haters.”
  • Brown did issue an apology, so that’s good. But his comments afterward were laced with the word “exceptionalism” to describe himself. Vince Williams proclaimed “exceptionalism” to be the word of the day in a tweet on Friday.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster had a Fan Huddle on Steelers Nation Unite on Friday. Once again, he was amazing with the fans and soon will become the face of the franchise. JJSS talked his friendship with James Conner, new end zone celebrations upcoming, his dog Boujee and his love for being a Steeler and wanting to retire as one. But please, can somebody please explain to me what “lit” means. Like Hall and Oates, I’m clearly Out Of Touch.
  • Speaking of James Conner, I’m at a loss describing his hair cut. He kind of looks like an extra from the original Road Warrior meets Bruno Mars. I do kind of like it though. I couldn’t pull it off, but James makes it work.
  • Even though T.J. Watt lost half a sack this week to Javon Hargrave, his 3.5 QB takedowns make me think that No. 90 could be in the hunt for the 2018 sackmaster title.
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images
  • Cam Heyward’s comment to Artie Burns regarding No. 25’s altercation with Todd Haley was classic. Cam recounted the conversation on WDVE this week. “Look Artie, Todd has been thrown out of lots of places, but he isn’t getting thrown out of the stadium”. Pretty funny advice.
  • Just read two pretty good NFL books. Although it’s about the quarterback of the hated Patriots, I found 12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady’s Fight for Redemption by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge to be a pretty interesting read. It didn’t really change my perception of Tom, but it made me think a whole lot more than I expected about inconsistencies presented by the NFL. I also got to read Doug Peterson’s memoir, Fearless: How an Underdog Became a Champion. I instantly became a fan of the Eagle’s coach and Super Bowl Champion. I felt like it was a blueprint and a teaching manual for winning football, instead of a book of brags. Check them both out.
  • Four Steelers Bill Cowher, Thomas Everett, Hines Ward and Alan Faneca are Hall of Fame finalists. Who goes in first? Who deserves to go in first?

And finally...

  • I wonder what Scott Campbell is doing these days.

That’s all for me. As you ponder the significance of anything you read here today, keep in mind the lyrics of the aforementioned last number one single of the great career of Hall and Oates.

Shake it up is all that we know

Using the bodies up as we go

I’m waking up to fantasy

The shades all around aren’t the colors we used to see

Broken ice still melts in the sun

And times that are broken can often be one again

We’re soul alone

And soul really matters to me

Take a look around

You’re out of touch

I’m out of time

But I’m out of my head when you’re not around

Take that for what it’s worth, Go Steelers and Don’t Stop Shalievin’.