Something occurred to me when I was driving home from my friend’s Super Bowl party not long after the Rams vanquished the Bengals in Big Game 56...
There won’t be football for a very long time now.
I didn’t mourn the Steelers blowout loss to the Chiefs in the AFC Wild Card Game on January 16 like I normally would such a traumatic end to a season. Why? For one thing, I kind of expected it. Kind of? Heck, I prepared myself for the absolute worst going in and received just that. For a second thing, I knew Pittsburgh just wasn’t a true contender, despite the absolute miracle of making the postseason. In fact, since making the playoffs was such a miraculous feat, I knew everything that happened after was just going to be gravy, even if it was gross and nasty gravy. Third, Ben Roethlisberger retired not long after that, which gave everyone who loves the Steelers a week or so to thank him and pay tribute to his remarkable 18-year career, and also bash Tom Brady for having the audacity to steal Roethlisberger’s spotlight away from him by also calling it a career.
But the fourth, and most important, reason I didn’t mourn the end of the Steelers 2021-2022 season was because I had another month of football to watch! No, it wouldn’t involve the Steelers, but NFL action of any kind is fine by me. While the Steelers season is like a streaming show you must binge until it’s over, the NFL Playoffs are like the extras, which I guess would be on YouTube since, you know, we don’t have DVDs anymore. Any extra tidbit that is even remotely related to your show keeps you going until you run out of stuff to click on.
Last Sunday, during my longish ride home after the Super Bowl party, was when I realized it was time to focus on a new show.
I don’t want to do that yet, but can you blame me?
I did my best to endure those six-plus months of the 2021 Steelers offseason, a time that included Combine stuff, free agent stuff, draft stuff, more free agent stuff and even social media stuff, mostly Devin Bush and his mean words. I mean, my goodness, I participated in live mock drafts. I did multiple simulated mock drafts. I wrote articles about Sean Davis and maybe even Joe Haeg.
I wrote down my thoughts on the May 12 schedule reveal and somehow managed to get them published.
I fought tooth and nail with people who were offended by Bush’s cat-video comments and even JuJu Smith-Schuster’s milkcrate challenge.
I was a real trooper, all things considered.
Now you’re telling me I have to do all of that stuff again during the 2022 offseason? Fine, but just know that I’m only doing it because each passing article and/or podcast that I produce about quarterbacks, quarterbacks, quarterbacks, the hiring of Brian Flores, the fallout from [insert player here]’s social media stuff and more quarterbacks will bring me closer to the start of the 2022 season.
It’s going to be a tough stretch, for sure, but I know I will be able to survive these next six months or so. There will be a time this summer when something that I’m doing, I could be passing by an empty high school football field or simply watching soccer on television for some ungodly reason, jolts me to the wonderful realization that football season, the American kind and not that rest-of-the-world brand, is right around the corner!
This happens to me just about every summer and it reminds me just how much I love the game of football.
As I watched the Steelers upset the Bills in Week 1, I knew right then and there I had just experienced the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year.
The moment wasn’t lost on me then, and this rather sad moment isn’t lost on me now.
Football is great.
No football sucks.
This might be the sucky part of the year, but football will be back before I know it, and I’ll be there waiting for it with open arms.
I always am.