I've been sayin' it all year, the 2017 Pittsburgh Steelers are "Team Turmoil". They are like an ex-girlfriend of a buddy of mine...they thrive on drama, but are still capable of being legendary. With the James Harrison release adding more strife to be disected by Steeler Nation, my black-and-gold brain is overloaded with off the wall meanderings.
As always, I pass the ravings on to you. But first, I need to render some retractions to and for my mental misgivings in the last edition of this fiasco they let me print.
- Downplaying the incomparability of bacon.
- Failing to drill home the point of how horrendous Home Alone 2 actually was.
- Basically calling Matt Patricia a vagrant.
- Not referencing Kenny Loggins as an all-time great.
- Will from Stranger Things.
- 70s Reggie Jackson, the original straw.
- Trying to bribe JuJu with Oreos, Gogurts and Hot Pockets.
- Referencing David Copperfield instead of Doug Henning.
And now the latest edition of Random Thoughts From a Black-and-Gold Mind.
- Wow! The James Harrison Saga originally thought to be like Star Wars without the cool special effects, is more like a mashup of the Kevin Bacon/Elizabeth a Perkins classic, He Said, She Said and 1979's Kramer vs. Kramer (No, it had nothing to do with Michael Richards cloning himself and subsequently fighting his doppelgänger).
- As for me, my opinion is more like the Kasie West teen-romance book, On The Fence. Deebo wanted to play and wanted out. He didn't get what he wanted and forced his hand on the Steelers. While I don't like his "seagull method" of allegedly shitting on everybody in the room and flying away, I recognize his frustration. It was as obvious as a drunk yinzer at a cotillion. The other side of the hypocycloid, the Steelers were keeping him as an insurance policy and didn't want to sacrifice the today and tomorrow by playing Harrison more. They didn't want to dump him, but finally did when the pot boiled over. I'm hoping this story ends much like the Penguins/Marián Hossa chronicles of 2008-2009.
- The whole rhetoric that followed is much like like the 1992 Extreme LP, III Sides To Every Story (Not nearly as good as Pornograffiti, but it had more redeeming qualities than Gary Cherone's Van Halen experiment). Maurkice Pouncey originally spoke well of No. 92 on Monday, but retracted it two days later (in annoyance that the organization came off as the bad guys) by saying that Harrison tarnished his legacy. Pouncey's comments, while extreme, were valuable to the organization to get the onus off of them. Bud Dupree seemed more like an angry Arnold Jackson trashing older brother Willis. I couldn't help to chuckle though with his assessment that Harrison couldn't give the Pats a strategic advantage because "he wasn't at any meetings". Ben Roethlisberger praised Harrison and Lev Bell stayed away from the controversy altogether. If accounts are true that Harrison was disruptive, I won't excuse that. But accounts may be exaggerated. Like the one stating that the linebacker didn't visit the hospitalized Ryan Shazier that have been refuted by James. As far as his legacy, I don't care what team he is on now and don't think this erases the epic interception return in SB XLIII or his impeccable service to the team.
- The Harrison turn to the dark side leaves Obi-Wan Roethlisberger as The Last Jedi. However, one could argue that Mark Hamil's facial hair in the film of the same name is actually more appealing.
- Resting stars in the finale could backfire and is nothing more than erring on the side of caution. It's kind of like Lethal Weapon III...do you cut the red wire or the blue one. You might be okay or the whole thing could blow up in your face and Danny Glover is on walking duty wearing a girdle. Some camps feel Ben and Bell and others should start, but those guys can't be replaced if hurt. Other factions think they should sit. But if both the Steelers and Patriots lose, home field advantage chances go up in smoke like a pre-2017 Martavis Bryant recreational pastime
- T.J. Watt may be the best Steeler rookie not to win the Joe Greene Great Performance Award. This year, the Steelers had two great first-year performers and a tie would have been acceptable to most in Steeler Nation.
- The winner of that award, JuJu Smith Schuster, continues to be beloved in the Steel City. His admission that his "pick-in" hairstyle is a homage to Kid 'n Play (I particularly enjoyed 1990's House Party myself) was cool, but made me feel old when JJSS mentioned that they were popular way before he was born. Christopher Reid (Kid) made NFL news when he had to apologize for portraying Colin Kaepernick in Jason Whitlock's skit on FS1 in September.
- Mike Hilton is the best player ever to sign a futures contract with the Steelers. He has gotten better reviews than his hotel namesake by Steeler Nation. Here's hoping he never films a sequel to One Night In Paris though.
- Terry Bradshaw's latest book is by Brett Abrams and called From Super Bowl Champion to Television Personslity. I found it to be a good read.
- There is still a lot of nervous feeling about the very-limited news surrounding Ryan Shazier's condition. We should respect his right to privacy and not read into (although it is hard) the infrequency of updates nearly a month later.
- This is the most dialed-in that I've ever noticed Le'Veon Bell to be. Only wanting to talk about the Cleveland game or AB being named team MVP instead of the Patriots was good. Then his dismissing of the rushing crown and highlighting the importance of getting to the Super Bowl showed even more maturity. Looks like "Juice" is finally getting the concept that winning a Super Bowl will make him even more of a valuable commodity.
- Sure the Steelers were playing lowly and battered Houston in Week, but the lift that Joe Haden provides the Steeler secondary is more obvious than the fact that Pauly Shore has never received an Oscar nod.
- The situation between Big Ben Todd Haley is as frostier than a certain snow creature we just spent the last six weeks singing about. Ben asked for and receive his QB coach, Randy Fichtner, to be moved to the sidelines to act as a buffer between BB and his OC. Haley feuded with one of the nicest NFL players ever (Kurt Warner) and they went to a Super Bowl together on 2008. Let's hope that's just Todd's "thing".
- I wonder what Senquez Golson is doing these days.
Until next time, I leave you to ponder the significance of the Lombardi as it relates to the Steelers 2017 campaign and John, Paul, George and even Ringo. The Long and Winding Road from 1970 was the Beatles 20th and final number one single as a group.
The long and winding road, that leads, to your door
Will never disappear, I've seen that road before
It always leads me here, lead me to your door
The wild and windy night, that the rain, washed away
Has left a pool of tears, crying for the day
Why leave me standing here, let me know the way
Many times I've been alone, and many times I've cried
Any way you'll never know, the many ways I've tried
And still they lead me back, to the long winding road
You left me standing here a long long time ago
Don't leave me waiting here, lead me to your door
Take that for what it's worth, Go Steelers and Don't Stop Shalievin'.