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Random Thoughts From a Black-and-Gold Mind: #SHALIEVE Edition

A more subdued edition of Random Thoughts in the wake of the Ryan Shazier injury.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Random Thoughts From a Black-and-Gold is engineered to be an insightful, but snarky, and joyous column. With the Ryan Shazier injury, there is a black cloud of concern hanging over my black-and-gold mind, much like the scene in Independence Day when the alien ship covered the whole earth and left the likes of Jud Hirsch and Harvey Fierstein in complete darkness.

With that being said, I'm offering up a less snarky and joyous Random Thoughts. Next week, we will return to the apologies and typical shenanigans. But this week, let's explore our thoughts on the week that was.

  • This thought isn't random at all. I pray to see Ryan Shazier walk on to the grass at Heinz Field again. Not in battle uniform, just as a man to be honored by a fanbase that appreciates him, cries for him, cheers for him, prays for him and hopes for him. Once again, the operative word is WALKS. #SHALIEVE.
  • I wasn't in the halftime locker room on Monday in Cincinnati, but I've got to believe that Mike Tomlin gave amazing perspective to a team that seemed absolutely demoralized in the first half. It's got to be the mentoring performance of the year.
  • This is going to be unpopular. But I agree with JuJu's suspension. I absolutely love the guy and love his "Hines Ward" toughness. I also loved his dedication to his team when administering the hit. I actually don't think the actual hit on Vontaze Burfict was dirty and I don't believe he would have been flagged for said infraction. However, the taunting was what most-likely got him flagged. I understand that Bengals have stood over our players and taunted and didn't get flagged. I hated that. I understand why No. 19 stood over Burfict. But if it was the other way around, I would have went crazy and would have been calling for flag and suspension as well. But with the landscape of the dark cloud already over the night, and the Rob Gronkowski play from the day before resulting in a concussion, I knew it was going to be called. JuJu is not a dirty player (far from it) and screw Jon Gruden for the insinuation. I think he takes his suspension like a man and comes back angrier against New England. With all that said, if somebody wants to buys me a "Karma" t-shirt, I'll take a XXL.
  • Speaking of Gruden...the guy is tough to listen to. Between killing names such as "Randall Gay" and "JoJo Schuster Smith", and his intense man love for Vontaze Burfict...I was aghast he gets paid so much. I wonder if he spent the night at Burfict's bedside acting as his nursemaid. Give me Cris Collinsworth any day.
  • I've always appreciated Vince Williams. But now I list him as one of my favorite players. His workman-like effort, and his true passion, make him a perfect Steeler to me.
  • The amount of support for Shazier from his Steeler brothers, and other NFL players, points to the fraternal nature of brotherhood of the NFL.
  • Mike Mitchell is right and Mike Mitchell is wrong. The league is barely letting these guys play in a manner that the NFL celebrated with videos glorifying it as they did 20 years ago. But they have to find away to reduce major injuries. But don't mistake it as league concern for the puppets that play for them. The league doesn't care about players as much as they care about getting sued.
  • Here is why, while although I have professional dislike, I respect the Baltimore Ravens. Their team message of support for No. 50 was encouraging. Raven Nesters and Steeler Nation have a mutual respect for each other and a shared disdain for Cincinnati. A large number of the jungle fanbase online were very disrespectful and calling Shazier's situation as deserving.

Until next time, think about these lyrics from Poison...

And it just makes me wonder

Why so many lose, so few win

And give me something to believe in

And give me something to believe in

If there's a Lord above

You take the high road

And I'll take the low road

And give me something to believe in

And give me something to believe in

Yeah sometimes I wish I didn't know now

The things I didn't know then, yeah

And give me something to believe in.

Take that for what it's worth, and God Speed Ryan Shazier.