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Explaining the current state of the NFL and Steelers to a person who’s been in a coma for a while

A satirical look at a weird time for the NFL and your Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

“Welcome back. It’s been a while.”

“How long was I in a coma?

“Thirteen years. It is now 2020.”

“Wow, that’s a long time. Whoa, wait! Why are you wearing a mask? Why are you so far away from me? Do I have some sort a contagious disease?”

“No, the world does. We have to wear masks and socially distance now.”

“Socially distance? What the hell is that? Anyway, is this virus anything like the scary kind you always see in the movies?”

“Yes…No…Well, sort of.”

“Well, after 13 years, I’m glad to be awake in any kind of world, even one with a scary virus. Anyway, I don’t know if it’s the mask, but you look down. What’s wrong?”

“It’s Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.”

“You mean, he’s still their quarterback? Hey, remember that time he didn’t tip me when I worked at Diesel?”

“What’s PFF?”

“Pro Football Focus.”

“Still not following.”

“It’s a website that analyzes and gra…. you know what, never mind! He’s ranked 22nd!”


“Maybe you’re right. What’s really bugging me is the Steelers and their scheduling situation. They were supposed to play on Thanksgiving, then it was Sunday, then it was Tuesday, then it was played on Wednesday at 3:40 p.m. It’s bad enough the NFL took away their bye. Now, they’ve taken away their mini bye! I mean, they’re 11-0, but the league is doing whatever it can to make life miserable for them.”

“So, they didn’t get a bye?”

“They did, but it was in Week 4.”

“So, they did get a bye? Looks to me like they got two byes. When was their last game before Wednesday?”

“November 22.”

“So, they really did get two byes, then.”

“Look, never mind, okay! They were supposed to play on Thanksgiving night, and I was really looking forward to it. But a Wednesday afternoon game just screwed everything up. I got to see the second half of their game, but that was it!”

“So, who did they play, the Lions or Cowboys?”

“No, the Ravens. The NFL has a tripleheader on Thanksgiving, now, and the Steelers and Ravens were supposed to be the featured attraction in primetime. And as for your “They got two byes,” Mr. “I’ve been in a coma for 13 years,” they have to play the Washington Football Team next Monday at 5p.m. I know you’ve had a long rest, but that will be a really short rest for them.”

“Who is the Washington Football Team? You mean the Redskins?”

“Shhhhhh! You can’t say that name anymore. It’s the Washington Football Team now. The team finally decided to change its nickname because it was deemed to be insensitive to Native Americans. Stay right there in your bed, I’ll cue up some highlights on my smartphone from their game on Thanksgiving so you can see for yourself. Here, catch!”

“Whoa, what is this? Is this like a mini-TV?”

“No, I just said it’s a smartphone. It’s a cellphone, but you can surf the Internet, listen to songs, etc.”

“Wow, this is so cool! How do you guys get anything done?”

“We don’t, really. Now, will you just watch those highlights!”

“Why haven’t they decided on a new name yet, and why do their new uniforms look like the Chiefs? Hey, did they change their name, too?”

“No, it’s complicated.”

“They really do look an awful lot like the Chiefs uniforms. I wonder why they did that?”

“I don’t know. I think Daniel Snyder is trolling us.”

“What’s trolling?”

“Never mind.”

“Hey, is that Tony Romo calling the game?”

“Yep, he’s the best there is at in-game analysis, right now.”

“Really, the guy that screwed up the field goal in the playoff game? Wow. I guess that no-good Phil Simms is gone. I could never stand him. He always wanted the Steelers to lose. Say, does Romo hate the Steelers?”

“He didn’t at first, but now you can tell he always wants the other team to win.”

“Bummer. Hey, why did the NFL decide to move the game against the Ravens to 3:40 p.m. on a Wednesday? That seems really odd.”

“Because NBC wanted to air some show about lighting a Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center in primetime.”

“Really? I thought the NFL had the best ratings on TV.”

“It does, even better than before your coma.”

“So, why did they keep that game out of primetime just for some Christmas thing? Is it sort of like how the USA Network airs the annual dog show in place of Monday Night Raw or how the WWE had to change its name because of the World Wildlife Fund?”

“That’s one more pro wrestling analogy than I would have used, but, yes, same kind of thing.”

“Man, I always thought it was kind of dumb to decorate your tree too early.”

“Hey, don’t get political!”

“Hey, wait a minute, why are they re-scheduling so many games and at so many odd days and hours? I mean, what’s with that next game being at 5p.m. on a Monday? Does the NFL just do this on a whim, now?”

“You know that virus the world currently has? Well, the NFL is trying to play its season amid that, and there have been some problems.”

“Like what?”

“Well, the league put all of these safety measures in place, and it’s hard getting everyone on the same page. For starters, players and coaches are supposed to wear masks at certain times, but they, like the rest of society, are divided over masks and how effective they are. This is partially responsible for some outbreaks within certain teams.”

“Really? Do surgeons still wear masks?”

“Don’t get me started.”

“Wait a minute, is everyone who is involved with the NFL tested on a regular basis? If they test negative, why do they have to wear masks around the facilities?”

“I said, don’t get me started! Don’t you know you’re not supposed to talk about politics around the holidays?”

“This is political?”

“Believe it or not, yes.”

“Oh, who says we’re not supposed to talk about politics around the holidays?”

“It’s a thing now.”


“Social media.”

“What’s that?”

“You don’t want to know. By the way, I wouldn’t upgrade from that flip-phone if I were you.”

“Who did you just text?”

“Nobody. I just made a prop bet about what will happen during the National Anthem before this Sunday’s slate of games.”

“What do you mean? What could happen?”

“You’ll see.”

“Hey, what’s the big deal about these game changes and byes? The Steelers are 11-0. That’s a great thing! I’ve been in a coma for a while, but I’m pretty sure that’s never happened in the history of the franchise.”


“So, what’s the big deal?”

“Look, it’s complicated, okay? The Steelers have a chance to get back to the Super Bowl for the first time in a decade.”

“They went to the Super Bowl in 2010?”

“Yeah, but they lost. They were there two years earlier and won.”

“Holy cow, I missed a lot while I was in a coma! I’m so happy to be awake for this epic finish to the 2020 season!”

“Look, you just don’t understand! A lot has changed since 2007!”

“I guess, but 11-0 is so great!”

“Will you stop saying that! Besides, that no-good John Harbaugh tried to screw the Steelers by having the last game delayed.”

“I’ve always hated that guy.”

“But how could you……did you have an out of body experience when you were in a coma?”