I know what you’re going to say, “Oh, here he goes with another one of his self-aggrandizing articles,” (the very mean social media taught me that word).
You’re correct, it is, and that’s because I have every right. You see, my birthday was on Sunday. Maybe you didn’t know that because Mother’s Day, as it does every six years or so, stole the spotlight from me.
Hey, I usually don’t mind Mother’s Day falling on my birthday—if it wasn’t for me, my mother wouldn’t have that holiday to celebrate. But what did bother me about my most-recent birthday was that, yet again, it fell on a Sunday, and it didn’t include a Steelers regular season game to enjoy.
When you consider how many times the NFL has made the Steelers play games on specific holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, just once you’d think they would be scheduled to play a game on Mother’s Day, which, if it fell just right, would be my actual birthday—May 12. Other famous celebrities who share that birthday include Tony Hawk, Steve Winwood and the guy from those American Pie movies. But as far as I can tell, none of those people are from Pittsburgh. None of those people are Steelers fans—Not even Kim Fields.
I am. I’ve been a die hard fan for, well, 47 years now. I remember the first time my birthday fell on a Sunday. It was 1974. The Steelers were not even two years removed from the Immaculate Reception—the play that won them their first ever postseason game vs. the Raiders at old Three Rivers Stadium and put their franchise on a fast-track to becoming the best dynasty there ever was (I was there, and there was no way the ball hit the ground). Would I, just months prior to Pittsburgh’s first Super Bowl victory, get to witness a sneak preview from my crib? Nope.
What about a year later? Not only were the Steelers the reigning champions, May 12, my 3rd birthday, was on a Monday. You know what that could have meant? Monday Night Football, back when it was must see TV. Back when Howard Cosell was the king of sports controversy. Just think of the ratings. The NFL didn’t, I guess.
I can go on and on about this. My 30th birthday was a Sunday—no Steelers game. My 41st birthday was a Sunday—lots of “likes” for Mom on Facebook, but no Steelers game to numb the pain I was feeling for having to play second fiddle.
You know how sometimes you get to describe your birthday present like this: “Yeah, I got two Steelers tickets, and the game was that day, so we hopped in my dad’s car and drove down to Heinz Field.”?
Just once I’d like to have that experience, but I can’t. Why? Does Roger Goodell not see the potential in scheduling a Mother’s Day game for the Steelers, the franchise with the best female fans in the NFL? I mean, it’s an actual fact.
Finally, I’d like to hold out hope for my next birthday, but since 2020 is a Leap Year, there will be no chance the NFL schedules a game on a Tuesday. I guess I’ll be in my 50’s by the time I get to hope for this again.
They say the schedule is spit out randomly by a computer. Yeah, right. Forty-seven years and no Steelers games on May 12 when that date is a Sunday—or even a Monday or Thursday night? Concrete proof that the scheduling of games is rigged.