Training camp is cool and everything, but the first exhibition game for the Steelers officially marks my NFL Groundhog Day. Just like that furry fella in Punxy seeing his showdown n'at, the season is just around the corner. With that my black and gold medulla oblongata is in a February 2 kind of frenzy of its' own. Because of that, I pass the ravings on to you.
But first, I have to beg forgiveness for the fistful of faux pas I perpetrated last time around. So I lay down a shag carpet of shame to and for the following that felt offense.
- Tim Tebow and Swiss cheese
- Forcing WWE videos on Flipsteeler and anyone else that doesn't see the brilliance of an Olympic hero spraying down grown men with a hose full of milk
- Confusing Aditi Kinkhabwala from NFL Network with a Kid Rock song
- Belittling the political aspirations of the aforementioned Kid Rock
- The downplaying of a wife proposing a ménage trois and excluding the husband as merely cause for deep concern. Sorry BigAl727.
- Ralphie from A Christmas Story
- Annoying brian1973 with a Like A Rock reference. I thought everybody loved Bob Seger.
- Rick Moser
- And seriously...never mentioning how much I value my readers, both those who comment (positive or negative) and those who just read. You all keep me motivated. Thank you.
Now for Random Thoughts from a Black and Gold Mind
- As thrilled as I was to learn about Martavis Bryant being cleared to participate in camp and preseason games, I'm still nervous about his possibly missing regular season contests. The NFL's incremental reinstatement process is painful. It's like waiting to pass a kidney stone (I've had eight in 18 years). You know it's going to appear, but the "any day now" stare into the strainer and the accompanied discomfort is brutal.
- I know I've said it before about the Steelers WR position, but I've never seen this many weapons in one group since Misters' Orange, Brown, White, Blonde, Pink and Blue bandied about in a row in "Reservoir Dogs". With Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant (if cleared by the league) absolute locks as far as talent goes, JuJu Smith Schuster, Justin Hunter and Eli Rogers seem to be front-runners to round out a stable of five. Darius Heyward-Bey is still a valuable special-teamer and could stretch it to six. Unfortunately, Cannan Severin was red-tagged and that could leave Sammie Coates, Demarcus Ayers and Cobi Hamilton not "stuck in the middle with you".
- I received some flack for being tough on Joshua Dobbs for his uneven performance on Friday at the Giants. I noted that he improved as time went by, but it was still against lesser talent. I think that Dobbs could be a valuable backup QB and I honestly don't think that he was brought in to actually be the heir to the Roethlisberger throne. But the kid from Tennessee showed some great moxie and resilience in his first NFL outing. Anything could happen. I hope it does for No. 5.
- So much has been said about Le'Veon Bell's absence from camp. The Steelers are actually being more vocal than in past years. Doubtful that it would happen, but could frustrations boil to the point that either Colbrt or Tomlin echo Chuck Noll's famous "Franco who?" comment of 1984?
- Speaking of Le'Veon Bell...if he's betting on himself to secure a gigantic deal, shouldn't he be hedging his bets and attend all team meetings and practices to ensure he achieves even more and gets every penny possible? I just don't understand his logic.
- I want to see much more of Mike Hilton on my tv screen. His performance against the Giants was much better viewing than videos of another Hilton that surfaced 10-12 years back.
- The thought of a combination of T.J. Watt and James Harrison at ROLB is pretty awesome to me. It's like the Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney duets of 1982 and 1983....awesome. I already have an idea for a reboot of the first Jacko and Mac single...."The QB Is Mine".
- Lost in the excitement of Watt's debut was the defensive performance of "J-Wobble". Javon Hargrave looked even better as a sophomore than his solid rookie performance. If healthy, the Steelers will boast one of the league's top 3-4 defensive lines.
- I wonder what Mike Merriweather is doing these days.
Until next time, remember the brilliant words of Elvis Costello from 1983's Everyday I Write The Book...
Even in a perfect world where everyone was equal
I'd still own the film rights and be working on the sequel.
Everyday, Everyday, Everday I write the book.
Take that for what it's worth and Go Steelers.