Whether it's seconds after a tough wild card playoff loss to Tim Tebow and the Broncos, an elimination from postseason contention after a home defeat to the Bengals, a Ryan Succop field goal miss, or a first round playoff exit at the hands of the Ravens, I know the second I log on to BTSC to write my first offseason article which will be filled with depression, I'll see big_Jay71 preparing his first mock draft.
No disrespect to big_Jay, who provides so many things about the draft that I don't--insight, informed analysis and an educated opinion--but mere minutes after the Steelers season comes to a close, the last thing I want to think about is who Pittsburgh may select in a draft that's months away.
It's like your brother calling you at 4 a.m. and asking you to drive him to work, which is two hours away.
However, you do it, because it's your brother, and, eventually, you wake up and your sullen mood changes a bit; you begin to make small-talk during the ride, and, by the time you drop your brother off at work, you realize you're awake, alert and looking for something to fill your morning, because sleep isn't as appealing as it was just two hours earlier.
That's kind of how the NFL Draft coverage is for me. Initially, it's the last thing I want to talk about in the dead of winter; but, by late-March, I'm all into it, because it's at least something to do with football in the midst of a vast offseason.
This year, after finally deciding to pay attention, I quickly educated myself on people like Jalen Collins, Landon Collins and all the other players in the draft named Collins. I also became intimately familiar with how no Steelers fan would remain upright and functional if any Collins was drafted by the team.
I tried to educate myself on as many prospects as possible.
I learned about the stiff hips, the functional speed, the fluid movement, the great hands and the 19.1 percent drop-rate ; I learned about the poor character, the high character, the emotional problems and the substance abuse problems; I learned about the lack of size, the lack of speed, playing too high (not to be confused with a substance abuse problem) and playing too low.
I learned about a lot of stuff during the draft coverage, but now it's done, and there is still way too much time between today and September 10.
I suppose I can rant about the 2015 draft class, but I have the next 10 or 15 years to do that. Of course, I have rookie camp, OTAs and mini-camp to look forward to. However, much like jelly, jam and preserves, I believe they're all pretty much the same thing.
I could do my own mock draft for next season, but you'd probably mock it. Besides, I just learned how to spell Senquez Golson, and I discovered that Gerod Holliman doesn't spell his first name with a lower-case "L," so trying out a bunch of new names could prove to be embarrassing.
I guess I could write about that time, back in '76, when my dad took me to the game, and it bonded us forever. But I was four and didn't care about football, and my family was mostly too poor to go to games, anyway. There was the time in '83, when my mother, who never gets excited about football (at least to the point of jumping up and down), jumped up and down when Terry Bradshaw, making his only start of the season in a Week 15 match-up against the Jets at old Shea Stadium, found receiver Gregg Garrity for a 17-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. Again, while she's certainly come around in recent years with regards to getting happy or upset about the black and gold, celebrating a touchdown in such a fashion was and still is not in her playbook.
Did my mom find Terry Bradshaw attractive? He was probably in-between wives in '83. Maybe my mom could have been the next Mrs. Blonde Bomber. Maybe I could have gone to more games before the inevitable divorce.
Oh well, I'll have to ask my mom about that day in December of 1983, so I can write a summer article on the subject.
In any event, I have a long offseason ahead of me now that the draft coverage is mostly in the rear-view mirror (at least the pre-draft speculation), and I'll need something to keep me occupied on the long drive to Latrobe, Pa.