The Steelers are back from the bye week and ready to roll into the second half. As always, my b&g mind is overflowing like a Casey Hampton salad plate at the Golden Corral. So, I pass the ravings on to you. But first, a crock pot of cries for pardon-begging goes out to and for the following transgressions from last week's submission.
- Comparing the great David DeCastro to a 70s porn legend. Not everybody liked that.
- Hubba Bubba bubble gum
- The mention of the character Beau Delabarre without props to Stephen Shortridge, the actor that had the difficult task of following in the footsteps of John Travolta on Welcome Back Kotter.
- Putting Carnell Lake on the spot to buy Joe Haden Omaha Steaks. Now he has to buy them for everybody in the secondary.
- Referencing Steve Harrington as a great jock/bully in Stranger Things without mentioning the new, great jock/bully Billy Hargrove from Stranger Things 2 played brilliantly by Dacre Montgomery.
- An Iran Contra reference
- Not differentiating English singer Joe Jackson from the Jackson 5 patriarch.
- Tim McKyer
And now, Random Thoughts From a Black-and-Gold Mind
- I feel that this week against the Colts will tell you everything you need to know regarding Martavis Bryant's 2017 fortunes. Bryant will have favorable matchups against a less than stellar Colt secondary. But the big question is does he really want it and how far will the Steelers go to include him. This is his redemption sequence. This is his version of Kevin Smith's Dogma. He is literally Affleck and Damon (as Bartleby and Loki) trying to get back into Heaven. Although in this better-casted version the almighty is played by Mike Tomlin and not Alanis Morissette.
- Bryant's declaration that the Steelers want to win the Super Bowl for Mr. Rooney is a step in the right direction. If he can drink the black-and-gold Kool Aid and embrace the process, he will be better for it. I know that sounds conformative and cultish, but there's a "Steeler way" and it has had more success than not.
- Speaking of Kool-Aid, I have actually envisioned Dan McCullers dressed in a red pitcher-costume and busting through a facility wall and bellowing "Oh Yeah!" to fire up the team. Wouldn't that be cool? Anyone? Bueller? Okay, maybe not.
- I never had a problem with Jerry Jones before now, but now I feel that he has all the charm and class of Paul Giamatti's "Pig Vomit" character in the 1997 Howard Stern biopic Private Parts. In fact, I think he's an even bigger a-hat if he indeed sues individual owners, mainly Art II, that support the extension of Robert Goodell. What a hypocrite. He didn't complain when any other player had been handed "unjust" suspensions, but when Zeke Elliott gets served...he switches his allegiance on a dime. Here's the difference between guys like Jones or the Patriot owner Robert Kraft and the Rooneys. When Ben Roethlisberger, Martavis Bryant and Le'Veon Bell all were hit with lengthy suspensions, the late Dan Rooney still supported and mentored Goodell. They may have had private conversations on the matter, but the Steelers always handled issues with class. Suing others that don't support your cause, is pure crybaby/bully behavior. It's pure Johnny Lawrence/Cobra Kai behavior at its absolute worst.
- The Steelers are going to be sporting army decals on their helmets on Sunday as a part of "Salute to Service". The decals are courtesy of Alejandro Villanueva, who wants to bridge the huge gap between veterans and the Steelers after the anthem-tunnel debacle on 9/25 in Chicago. I wasn't very comfortable with combining the whole "Salute to Service" and any kneeling NFL players, it felt forced and hypocritical. However, this gesture by the Steelers is a good olive branch to start with.
- Some more good JuJu as the Steeler receiver has earned his driver's license. I hope it was less eventful than my horrendous experience back in 1988. Mine was more like the Corey Haim/Corey Feldman joint that came out that same year...License to Drive. Actually, the only similarity was me failing my test. I didn't get to make out with a hot, drunk Heather Graham while listening to Sinatra in a luxury automobile. But yes, I did fail it. In fact, I think I would fail it if I took it again today. It was a miracle that I eventually got it or the tester gave me a sympathy pass.
- JuJu will stay true to himself, though, and continue to ride his Ghost bike. Gotta love that kid.
- Speaking of rookies, ESPN has penciled T.J. Watt in as the defensive Rookie of the Year. That would go to a lot of guy's heads, but I think the prospect of winning the hardware would drive Watt to go even harder.
- Mike Mitchell has earned a lot of criticism, but he's still a force on the field. His presence alone is Vader-ish. He gets in opposing receiver's heads, thus making them as jittery as a coked-out yuppie at a Miami Sound Machine concert in 1986. This groin injury and his possible absence concerns me.
- At the halfway point, I could envision the Steelers getting six Pro Bowl selections in the form of Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell, David DeCastro, Maurkice Pouncey, Ryan Shazier and Cam Heyward. That's the most talented six-some since the Brady kids as the Silver Platters sang "It's a Sunshine Day" on the fictional Pete Sterne Amateur Hour in the 1973 Brady Bunch episode "Amateur Night". But which one is the Jan?
- Pro Bowl selections would be awesome bragging rights for those guys, but the goal is to see them skip it and play a week later in Minnesota.
- I didn't really think that the Steelers would claim Packer castoff Martellus Bennett, but I was hoping for it to keep him out of Foxborough. But now he's in Foxborough with a torn rotator cuff.
- I wonder what David Trout is doing these days.
Until next time, think about the poignant lyrics of Bob Marley when thinking about Martavis Bryant's quest for redemption.
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
'Cause none of them can stop the time
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look? Ooh
Some say it's just a part of it
We've got to fulfill the Book
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have
(Note: Linking Martavis and Bob Marley honestly has no intentional marijuana connotations whatsoever.)
Take that for what it's worth and Go Steelers!