The much-talked-about controversy is over. Yes, that's right, Steelers rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster took to social media on Tuesday to announce he finally got his driver's license.
Just shy of his 21st birthday, it might seem a little socially backward for Smith-Schuster to have gone this long without his license.
But I'll have you know the author of this article didn't even think about getting his license until the age of 21—which was two years before he actually received it.
That's right, for reasons that had to do with me being one strange lad—I often rode in the back seat even though the front passenger seat was available (perhaps I was preparing for my future celebrity life as a famous Steelers writer?). The thought of driving as a teenager was about as foreign to me as the thought of having se....well, that's none of your business.
Once I decided I’d get my license, I studied for the written exam rather intensely and passed with flying colors. In fact, thanks to my 98-percent reading comprehension, I did so well on this exam that I still remember and obey every law I learned over the course of that week back in 1993. This is no surprise, considering my almost-creepy ability to remember birthdays (Steeler Fever's is May 14).
Anyway, as it turned out, the written exam was the last of my victories for quite some time, as I immediately failed the eye exam, thus delaying my permit.
After I got fitted for a pair of glasses and received my permit, two of my uncles decided they would teach me to drive, and they did a good job when they were available, which wasn't very often.
Whatever, though, because how hard could driving be, anyway, right? Turns out, it wasn't hard at all, but some other aspects were a bit more difficult to master.
For example, the first time I went for my driver's test, I didn't even make it out of the parking lot. Why? Because I couldn't locate the high-beams on my uncle's car which, I believe, is the rookie receiver equivalent of catching a pass and running straight for the wrong end zone.
When I went for my second try, which I think was about a year later (don't ask), I managed to make it out of the parking lot, but when the state trooper asked me to switch lanes, I did so without using my turn signal, which I believe is the receiver equivalent of catching a pass and spiking the football before you've been touched down (Plaxico Burress, 2000, Jacksonville Jaguars).
Thankfully, the third time was the charm, and in November of 1995, at the ripe old age of 23, I was officially granted my license by an officer who, upon exiting the vehicle after my test, said, "Anthony, you're worrisome."
Needless to say, when he told me I passed, I was about as thrilled as could be.
Of course, as I soon found out, just because you’ve got your license, doesn't mean you actually know how to drive yet—something JuJu will find out soon enough.
Yes, much like a rookie receiver who makes the team out of training camp and realizes there's still much to learn while receiving a weekly paycheck, it takes many years to become a good driver.
But at least JuJu is a professional football player who can afford a top-of-the-line vehicle, and isn’t working as a stock clerk at Save-A-Lot, able to afford only an '86 Pontiac Sunbird—a car that looked like it was actually produced in 1966.
Anyway, it's great when you discover a professional athlete you can relate to, and JuJu certainly fits that bill for yours truly.
JuJu is like the little brother (okay, son) I always wanted.
Like me, he's good-natured and fun-loving. And like his willingness to mix it up on the football field, I'm not afraid to get down and dirty as a football writer.
Maybe you love James Harrison and his no-nonsense approach to football.
But JuJu Smith-Schuster doesn't mind a little nonsense and neither do I.
Now if I only I could end my virginity in other....well, that's really not important right now.
Safe driving, JuJu!
P.S. Stay away from Route 28.