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The Internal Steelers Struggle: Week 1 vs. the Browns

Some say the first sign of insanity is talking to yourself. Others say it’s when you start answering. Personally, I draw the line at fighting with myself about Steelers football.

Divisional Round - Pittsburgh Steelers v Denver Broncos Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Herein lies the inner monologue between Me (my rational side), Myself (the homer in me) and I (we try not to talk about him), when thinking about football, Steelers style. Today, we talk about the team’s latest acquisitions, predictions for the season, and other topics for Week One of the 2017 NFL season.

The Steelers were uncharacteristically active over the last week, trading for tight end Vance McDonald and safety J.J. Wilcox, while signing cornerback Joe Haden. How will they do in week one?

Me: Jesse James is listed as the starting tight end, so I wouldn’t expect McDonald to do a whole lot ri-

Myself: Get real! He’s the next Heath Miller!

Me: -ght now. [Glares at Myself, which is an impressive physical feat] It’s going to take him a few weeks to really get into the playbook, and to earn the trust of the coaching staff.

Myself: Come on. He’s got GREAT HANDS! We said so ourself [because that becomes a word when you are speaking in the plural, yet entirely in the first person] last week. Ignore all the people who tried to correct me...err...us...um...you...nosotros! When in doubt, say it in Italian!

Me: That’s Spanish, moron. We don’t speak Italian.

I: Qualcuno mi avrebbe dovuto dire.

Me & Myself: [blank stare]

I: I like turtles.

Me: ...Aaaaaaanyway. Haden will start opposite Artie Burns at cornerback. That’s pretty much because 1) he’s still a decent cover corner, and 2) the rest of the corners are William Gay, who seems right now like he couldn’t locate a football, even if armed with a map, a compass and GPS; Coty Sensabaugh, who isn’t bad, but is less exciting in a football sense than Ben Stein; and Brian Allen, who is an athletic freak but slightly more raw than beef that’s still mooing. Oh, and Mike Hilton, but he’ll be too busy sacking the crap out of Deshone Kizer, or Cody Kessler, or Brock Manziel, or Vinny Couch-averde, or whoever the heck Cleveland decides to trot out for target practice.

Myself: [Glares silently for a full five seconds] [Quietly asks] What the heck was that?

Me: What was what?

Myself: [Slowly and menacingly] I’m the hype man around here. Leave the homeristic hyperbole to the professionals. Okay?

Me: ...okay...

Myself: Thank you. [Mumbling] Jerk.

Me: Idiot.

Myself: I heard that.

Me: I said it LOUD.

I: The Steelers are nine-and-a-half point favorites. With this offense, I’d say they cover the spread. It’s the 47-point over/under I’m worried about.

Me: [Blinks]

Myself: Ninety-seven percent of the time, he’s dumber than a brick. But every now and then, he’s like Rain Man and John Nash wrapped into one moronically beautiful mind. Amazing.

I: [Coughs violently] I just choked on my own spit.

Myself: Aaaaand he’s back.

It’s the opening week. Any predictions for the 2017 season?

Myself: NINETEEN AND OH, BABY!

Me: What Derpy, Sr. means is the Steelers should be pretty good.

Myself: Noooooooo, I said 19-0. That’s not [makes air quotes with fingers] “pretty good”, that’s spectacular. Which is synonymous with The Steeler Way.

Me: Careful, man. This is deep water, even for you. And you’re the same guy who thought He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named was still good enough to come back in Super Bowl XXX, even after sending two gift-wrapped interceptions, a bouquet of Valentine’s Day roses and his eternal, undying love to former Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown.

Myself: Fine, you make a prediction.

Me: Okay. I’d say...13-3. Top seed in the AFC. We beat the Raiders in the Divisional round, then the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game — in Pittsburgh, this time. We win the Super Bowl over the Packers.

Myself: [Mumbles and rolls eyes] Typical fair-weather fan.

Me: Excuse me?

Myself: You heard me. People like you are always giving up on the team. No support when the going gets tough!

Me: Dude, I just said we’d win the Super Bowl!

Myself: You also said we’d lose. Three times!

Me: I think...yes...I’m certain: this is what it feels like to have an aneurysm.

I: You should get that looked at.

What are your predictions for the Steelers this weekend?

Me: The Browns are probably going to be better than they’ve been in a long time, but it will take time for them to jell. Steelers win their opener on the road, 34-16.

Myself: If the Steelers score less than 50, I’ll eat my hat.

Me: I hope you’re hungry.

I: [Silently spins in circles, attempting to look at his own ear]

Any final thoughts?

Me: Cleveland’s stadium naming rights are held by FirstEnergy. We once owned stock in them.

Myself: We sold it, right?

Me: Yep. At a significant loss.

Myself: Dude...Cleveland. What did you expect?

Me: Finally, we agree on something.

I: [Stops spinning and raises hand sheepishly] Actually...

Myself: What now, Derpus Maximus?

I: I was just gonna say that FirstEnergy is based out of Akron, Ohio. Not Cleveland.

Me: You hold Rain Man down. I’ll get the hose.