The Steelers will be playing on Christmas Day in Week 16 of the 2017 season.
In other news, water makes people wet when they get it on them.
Actually, by that snarky statement, you might think I’m a bit miffed that I’ll have to sit down in my recliner and watch the Steelers on Christmas: “Oh no, after all the eating, present exchanges and Christmas caroling, I’ll have to conclude my three-day holiday weekend by sitting down to watch my favorite NFL team play an actual game that counts in the standings. Damn that Godell!”
Talk about your first world problems: “All these $50’s and $100’s. How will I spend them all?”
I guess if you’re team president Art Rooney II or defensive end Cameron Heyward, it’s easy to see why you’d be upset about playing on a holiday that is arguably the most important when it comes to spending time with family and friends.
“Wow, surprise, surprise, lets play Christmas again. Real creative #not” Tweeted Heyward when Pittsburgh’s schedule was released by the NFL on Thursday in yet another offseason “event” that I used to care so much less about, but now have to spend time writing articles for, thanks to the league being omnipresent.
Rooney was a little ‘surprised’ that Pittsburgh got a second-straight Christmas match-up considering the league told him his team wouldn’t have to play at home again on the 25th. However, while the Steelers won’t be playing at Heinz Field that day, they’ll be in Houston to take on the Texans (always have to read the fine print, Art...that’s how they get ya)!
In addition to the Christmas Day sequel, the Steelers will be on the road for three of their first four games, and they’ll also have four-straight prime-time match-ups between November 16 and December 10.
So what does this all mean, that the league is trying to screw the Steelers something good?
Maybe. Or, when it comes to that prime-time stretch, maybe it means the league thinks enough of Pittsburgh that it wants one of its marquee franchises featured prominently as the season kicks into high gear.
As for those three road games in the first month? They’ll be offset by three home games in the last month.
Of course, two of those home games will be against the Ravens and Patriots (back-to-back), so you might think Pittsburgh got screwed there, too.
Do you really think that? I ask because my records indicate you may have questioned the idea of the Steelers having the easiest first month of any team in the NFL.
Yes, the Steelers could fall victim to “Any Given Sunday” on the road in September, but they could also go 2-0 against Baltimore and New England at home in December...but you probably believe the first thing more.
Lastly, that Christmas Day game at Houston in Week 16. It’s like what Jerry used to say to George, Elaine and Kramer: “So...what do you care?”
Even though I thought it was a silly thing to worry about last season, if you had tickets to the Ravens Christmas Day game at Heinz Field, I could understand the angst you may have felt, when deciding between spreading Christmas cheer and not watching your hard-earned money go to waste (or to a relative or friend).
This year, it’s a totally different ball game. Sure, people like Mr. Rooney and Heyward may feel burdened by a trip to Houston during the holiday season. But you, on the other hand, get to sit in your recliner and enjoy the rich dessert of Steelers football.
Book-end match-ups against the Browns; four-straight prime-time affairs; and a Christmas Day tilt in Houston?
For my money, the Steelers 2017 regular season schedule will be a gift that keeps on giving the whole year.