As I frequently do way too often, I like to just spout out whatever pops right off of the top of my head. Much to mine and the chagrin of others, it sometimes ruffles a feather, or twenty, and frequently makes little to no sense. (Ruffles...I love potato chips and feathers...I despise the Ravens). Hence the randomness.
With the 2016 NFL schedule dropping on Thursday, I find myself chock full of inane musings. Please indulge me as I share.
* The schedule release is like Christmas Day for me. Draft weekend is like Christmas Day for me. Now, Christmas Day with my team playing is going to be like....well you get it.
* The last time the Steelers played a Monday affair in our nation's capitol was 2008 amid much more black than burgundy being coupled with gold. I thoroughly enjoyed the belly-aching regarding Steeler fan's butts on FedEx seats the next day on local radio in "The District". They actually labeled it an away game for their local team that sported a 6-2 record before the pasting Pittsburgh put on them.
* 2010 was the last out-of-conference opener for Pittsburgh. Dennis Dixon started the game that the Steelers won 15-9 in overtime against the Atlanta Falcons. The game was played at Heinz Field, where pumping in crowd noise will never need to occur. Pathetic.
* The NFL has done it again, but this time the "it" goes on the favor of Pittsburgh instead of against. In 2010, and 2015, "The Shield" scheduled the Steelers against the Ravens right before a major weapon was set to return from suspension (Ben Roethlisberger and Martavis Bryant). I was fully expecting the league to wait until the renowned henchman, Mr. Vontaze Burfict, returned from his suspension to schedule a game against Cincinnati. But Goodell's guys scheduled the matchup for Week 2. Frankly, I'd love to see Burfict get some kind of comeuppance and a chorus of boos at Heinz Field.
* While many fans would label the Cowboys as their most-hated NFC foe, mine would be the Eagles. Week 3 mirrors the 2008 season, when the Steelers spent the third week in Philly, a city that they have not been victorious in since 1965. As I hope that the the mirror changes its' reflection and the Steelers win. I would gladly trade a win in "The City of Brotherly Love" for the entire season to mimic that year and the Steelers to win the big one as they did in '08.
* Three games on major holidays. James Harrison is pissed. Can't say that I blame him. Deebo tweeted out his disgust regarding working on holidays. Why do I have a feeling that Roger Goodell is loving this behind closed doors.
* I doubt it, but I hope the holiday schedule doesn't hinder No. 92's return for 2016. James, you can always shop online on Thanksgiving Day. I have Amazon Prime, I'll even lend you my account.
* Speaking of playing on holidays, the Steelers have never played on Christmas Day and have only tasted victory on Thanksgiving once in 1950. Three of the last four "turkey days" have been infamous...the 1983 45-3 drubbing in Detroit, the 1998 Bettis "botched coin toss" game in Detroit and the 2013 Tomlin "interference" of Jacoby Jones. I just hope playing the Colts doesn't give Steeler fans Indy-gestion on Thanksgiving.
* The Ravens on Christmas is like having that loud and annoying relative over your house for the holidays. The only difference is that you can beat the ratbirds but you can't beat your kinfolk.
* I am probably the exception, but I can't wait to see the Steelers in "color rush" on Thanksgiving. Art III has hinted that his team will either wear all black or all white. However, the home team Colts get to decide. So, my bet is Indy goes full blue. So all white it will probably be. That's going to look awesome either way,
* Strength of schedule is a bunch of malarkey to me and I'm not talking about the former Steeler TE and assistant. The Steelers have the eighth easiest schedule in the league, but that means absolutely nothing. The last three times that the Steelers had the toughest, the team won a pair of Super Bowls and made the second round last year.
* It seems like mostly every season the Steelers conclude with Cleveland. You'll hear no complaints about that from me. Pittsburgh has played and flushed down the Browns six of the previous eight season finales, having not lost since 2007 in Week 17 against Baltimore.
* The last time the Steelers played Dallas and the Giants at home while traveling to DC and Philly, The Steelers raised the Lombardi. Steel Curtain Call anyone?
* I just love the insane prognostications of records already. I've seen lots of 8-8's and 15-1's. These games can go either way, especially in April. For the love of Joel Steed, Stop it!
* The AFC North is going to go down to the wire with the backload of divisional contests. The Steelers have each AFC North foe the last three weeks of 2016. The Ravens final six is brutal and the Cincy Jungle dwellers are already crying about their slate. Que up the bawling blonde chick.
* The shiny, happy, peaceful, easy feeling that Steeler Nation has for the Buffalo Bills for helping their team reach the playoffs will subside in an Upstate New York minute when Tomlin's team tours the city in December. Roadtrip anyone? No thanks. Buffalo in December is actually reminiscent of Hell. But the wings are better.
* The season should be entertaining with Primetime showdowns against Kansas City, Cincy, Washington and Indy. Throw in the Jets, Cowboys, Giants and Pats at home and Buffalo, Philly and Miami on the road...it's going to be good watchin'.
As much as I love the summer...I can't wait for the season. With apologies to Green Day, wake me up when September begins.