The home stretch of the NFL season is here and the Steelers are 8-2 and competing for the top seed in the AFC tournament come January. With the super season upon us, my black-and-gold mind is as stuffed as your gobbler and I feel compelled to pass my ravings on to you. But first I mash my misgivings and swallow my giblets for getting overly cranberry saucy in last week's edition for the following transgressions.
- Likening Dan McCullers to the Kool-Aid Man
- Insinuating that Casey Hampton visits salad bars
- Mentioning the acting career of Alanis Morrisette without digging in deeper to her getting slimed on You Can't Do That On Television.
- Paul Giamatti's "Pig Vomit" character from Private Parts. Lumping PV in the same category of despicability with Jerry Jones was plain wrong.
- Reminding anybody of the unholy acting union of the two Coreys.
- Insinuating that coked-out yuppies were Gloria Estefan fans in 1986
- David Trout
- The Brady Bunch GIF. Nude pics of Alice may have been more appealing.
- Not including Bob Marley video and sound.
Now that those renegade ramblings have been offered up for reconciliation, let's proceed with Random Thoughts From a Black and Gold Mind.
- Steelers Nation may be the most spoiled fan base in the NFL. We are very much like Hillary Banks from Fresh Prince of Bel Air—Steelers supporters don't settle for anything less than perfection. Listening to the fans, you’d think that Pittsburgh is 2-8 and not 8-2. If they do win a Super Bowl, I wonder how many pessimistic takes will still be floating around?
- Tony Dungy's assessment that the Steelers are very immature is right on the mark. There are a lot of divas on this team with a me-first attitude. I'm half-expecting Parks and Recreation's Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford to suit up next for the Steelers. There are a lot of bodies tossed under the Greyhound as well. It’s Team Turmoil 2017, but it's working for some odd reason. Until it doesn't. But they’re still 8-2.
- The hardest part about writing Random Thoughts week to week is keeping it fresh. Sometimes I reach to be entertaining when I'm out of ideas. I'm still apologizing for my recent comparison to David DeCastro and an adult cinema legend from a few weeks ago. And I'll never forget the jeers I sustained for likening Bill Belichick to the worst portion of a woman's 28 days. Because of my brain-block at times, I'm wondering if JuJu Smith-Schuster has faced the same conundrum when it comes to his touchdown celebrations. JJSS has given us classics like "hide and seek", "the Kamehameha Wave" from Dragon Ball Z and "the stationary bike lockup" in Detroit. But the mocking of AJ Green choking Jalen Ramsey a few weeks back was as imaginative as Pittsburgh Dad. Even the rookie from USC admitted how bad it was and pledges to do better next time. I'm not sure if that's the most imperative thing that needs to be improved by the Steelers, but oh to be young again.
- The many editions of Ben Roethlisberger keep on refreshing. Unfortunately, we all know “Road Ben”. Also the beloved “Primetime Ben”, “Home Ben” and the ultimate mashup...”Primetime Home Ben”. Then there’s “Cowboy/Gunslinger Ben” and the foil of reporters, “Passive/Aggressive Ben”. But now “P/A Ben,” like a mogwai wet and fed after midnight in 1984’s Gremlins, has morphed into “Grumpy Old Ben”. GOB is entertaining me to no end. Nowadays, he's like Danny Devito's Louie DePalma from Taxi. He says what he feels and has less of a filter than your great-grandad at a Thanksgiving dinner bellowing "The Turkey's dry, I speak the truth!".
- Marcus Gilbert's four-game suspension hurts, but he hasn't played a lot in 2017. Thankfully Chris Hubbard has improved from his initial foray into the starting lineup thus season. I'm curious about the motivation and circumstances surrounding his PED involvement, however we may never be granted that info.
- It was nice to see the Steelers continuing their tradition of helping those in need for Thanksgiving. What’s most encouraging is that big names like Mike Tomlin, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and Cameron Heyward were involved in the philanthropy and not just rookies and practice-squad guys.
- What's the deal with tofurkey? It's the John Harbaugh of Thanksgiving entrees.
- The Steelers’ remaining schedule is, by no means, Commodore-esque. In no way is it easy like Sunday Morning. However, four of six at home is as inviting as a supermodel to a nerd's high school prom.
- Don't look now, but the Ravens are currently the sixth seed and the Bengals are actually still in playoff contention. The Wild Card is most definitely a possibility for both. These teams may be just like your IRA, they’ll take a long while to roll over.
- No Andrew Luck two weeks ago and no Aaron Rodgers this weekend. Is that really a good thing? I wonder if getting a pass on facing these Pro Bowl passers will hurt down the stretch.
- "Dilly Dilly" is the new Omaha signal in the NFL. Loved the inside joke that we all became privy to. David DeCastro let it be known that Al Villanueva's love of the Bud Light commercial was the inspiration behind Ben shouting it out against Tennessee. Here's hoping that Big Al doesn't take a shine to the annoying "Ba-Bam!!" Eggo commercial with the girl from Disney Channel's KC Undercover.
- Speaking of Eggo commercials, we need a tie-in with Stranger Things yesterday.
- 25 years ago this week (11/22/92), I had the privelige to cover the Steelers on the sideline and the post-game presser for a game against Indianapolis at Three Rivers Stadium. With a TV camera on my shoulder, I was faced with a real dilemma in the third quarter of the game when Dwight Stone came barreling right at me. I could get the shot/absorb a hit that would have leveled me or I could have scurried away like a frightened pig at a bacon festival. All these years later, I'm still disappointed in myself that I didn't man-up and take the bump. I met Stone about four years ago and told him the story. He was concerned that he hurt me and was glad that I ran. Still, I really should have taken the hit.
- And finally....I wonder what Mark Zeno is doing these days.
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and I hope Steelers Nation enjoys their Sunday Night as well. Please ponder the significance of these excerpts from Adam Sandler's Thanksgiving Song as you loosen your belt and pass out in your chair...
Eat that turkey
All night long
Fifty million Elvis fans
Can't be wrong
Turkey lurkey doo and
Turkey lurkey dap
I eat that turkey
Then I take a nap
Thanksgiving is a special night
Jimmy Walker used to say Dynomite
Turkey for the girls and
Turkey for the boys
My favorite kind of pants
Gobble gobble goo and
Gobble gobble gickel
I wish turkey
Only cost a nickel
Oh I love turkey on Thanksgiving
Take that for what it's worth and go Steelers!