The voices in my head talk a lot of football. Actually, they yell a good bit of it. Their names are Me (rational to a fault, and devious), Myself (homer extraordinaire) and I (dumber than a brick of Jell-O), and they usually get along like a honey badger gets along with, well, anything else. This week, they have a chat about beating up on the Ravens, and (hopefully) beating up on the Jaguars.
How about that win over the Ravens — in Baltimore?!
I: It was exciting!
Me: That it was, Little Buddy. [Pats I on the head] That it was.
I: Were you happy?
Me: Of course. You know how much I love the Steelers — and how much I love watching them beat the Ravens.
I: [Points at Myself] He looks happy, too.
Me: Yeah, he does. I feel the same way. [Watches, and cringes] Although I haven’t ever wanted to “twerk” before. [Yells to Myself] Dude, don’t do that! This is a family-friendly thought stream!
Myself: [Runs up to Me with a wild-eyed look, gets in his face and shouts] WOOOOOOO!!
Me: [Sarcastically, while wiping his face] Nice. Your Ric Flair impression is spot on.
Myself: [Runs away]
I: Um... [Taps Me on the shoulder]
I: [Points off in the distance]
Me: [Squints to see better] Is he...mooning us? Why, yes...either that, or he shaved really quickly.
I: It’s an improvement.
Me: Little Buddy...he looks exactly like us.
I: [Stares blankly] So?
I: Ummm...now he’s breaking things.
Me: Let him go, Little Buddy.
I: But he’s going to hurt someone.
Me: Without a doubt. Himself, most likely.
I: Should’t we stop him then?
Me: Do you remember the time he put your hand in warm water while you were sleeping?
I: ...maybe he’ll break his leg.
So, was that a statement game for this team?
I: Umm...what’s a statement game?
Myself: [Walks over, panting] It’s when the winning team gives a speech to the crowd at halftime.
Me: [Stifles a laugh]
I: [Looks confused] But...how do they give a speech at halftime when we don’t know who wins until the end of the game?
Myself: That’s the fun part, kid. They have to guess. If they guess wrong, the refs have to commit seppuku.
I: What’s “sudoku”?
Me: [Facepalms] Not “sudoku”. “Seppuku.”
I: That’s what I said: “sudoku”.
Myself: “Sudoku” is a game played with the numbers one through nine.
I: [Looks thoroughly confused] Statement games make no sense.
Me: This is the dumbest conversation we have ever had.
Myself: You really think so?
Me: [Thinks for a moment] No. Back to the Mysterious Question Guy’s inquiry: yes, I think it was a statement game. Baltimore isn’t really that good this year, but the Steelers were on the road, against their biggest rival, and dominated in every imaginable way.
Myself: [In a gently warning tone] You can ride the hype train, but you gotta get out of the engine, Bro.
Me: [Ignores Myself] The best part was Le’Veon Bell. He’s finally looking like the guy we saw last season. He had a lot of great runs Sunday where his amazing patience was on full display.
Myself: [More sternly] I’m warning you...
Me: [Continues to ignore Myself] Heck, he won the FedEx Ground Player of the Week. Another game like that and I think we can officially say there’s no one better in the league right n—
Myself: [Angrily] Enough with the hyperbole, Jackwagon! Stop crapping where I eat!
Me: [Grins evilly] ...the defense rocked, too.
Alright, so how do the Steelers keep it going against the Jaguars?
Me: [Eyes Myself warily] Well, they can start by maintaining discipline on defense. They made some early mistakes against the Ravens, but corrected them well. The Jaguars have been able to put up points from time to time so far this year. Granted, that was against the Texans and Ravens, but still. [Glances at Myself, who is still fuming] This is only their second home game of the season, so Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t even had a chance to get going. He’s never as good on the road as he is at home, so I expect him to have a fine game this week. [Sees that Myself is still beet-red] Dude, I was messing with you.
Myself: [Breathes heavily with clenched teeth] I take my role in this partnership seriously.
Myself: [Takes a deep breath] Okay. My take: stick with what works. The Jagoffs—
Me: Jaguars. But nicely played. [High-fives Myself]
Myself: Thank you. As I was saying, the Jags have a terrible run defense. The worst. Maybe the worst ever. Grandma could run on them for at least four yards per carry.
Me: Well, she’s pretty nimble.
Myself: I just hope the Steelers’ offensive coordinator doesn’t try to get all “cute” with his play calls, like he usually does against crap teams. Todd Haley, run the dadgum ball, you bubble-screen-loving freak job. Fullbacks are your friends.
Me: Nicely said.
Myself: [Looks at I, then back at Me and whispers] Why has he been standing perfectly still for the last three minutes?
Me: You scared him with that outburst earlier. I think he thinks that, if he doesn’t move, you can’t see him.
Myself: And I bet he thinks if he closes his eyes, he becomes invisible?
Myself: Is he getting dumber with age?
Me: That implies he was smarter than this at some point. I have no recollection of that ever being the case.
Myself: Good point. Throw something at him, see if he moves.
Me: That’s cruel.
Myself: Only if he doesn’t move. [Picks up a football] Here, use this.
Me: I’m not going to throw that at him. Don’t you dare do it either.
Myself: Too late! [Chucks the ball at I and hits him square in the nether regions]
Me: You can be a real jerk sometimes.
Myself: Part of the job description, Bro. I’m the annoying one, remember?
Me: How could I ever forget?
Myself: He, um...he still hasn’t moved. Or made a sound, for that matter.
Me: [Walks over to I] Little Buddy? Are you okay?
I: [Whimpers quietly without moving]
Me: Count backward from 10 for me.
Myself: I think he just committed Sudoku.