Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 7.56.52 PMSteelers vs. Broncos

2016 NFL Playoffs Week #2

The Walking Dead, Revisited

If you haven’t seen “The Revenant,” you really should. It’s raw and rugged and a big bear goes “Rrrrrrrrrr.” It’s based on the true story of Hugh Glass, a fur trapper back in 1823 who is left for dead by his comrades after being attacked by said bear.

If I had written the screenplay, it would’ve gone something like this:

TRAPPER #1: We have to do something with Hugh.

TRAPPER #2: With me?

TRAPPER #1: With Hugh.

TRAPPER #2: But why me?

TRAPPER #1: Not ‘you!’ HUGH!

 This funny back and forth would go on for a few more minutes with all the other trappers confusing ‘Hugh’ with ‘You.’ And then most of the audience would leave.

That’s why I wasn’t hired to write the screenplay.

Hugh somehow survives the bear attack and is now bent on exacting revenge against Fitzgerald, a fellow trapper who buries Glass alive. Hugh believes that Fitzgerald has gone a bit too far turning him into human compost. And so the adventure begins.

It’s a very American film because a lot of it was filmed in Canada. It’s beautiful and haunting, and packs a very powerful message: “Fur may be murder, but when you’re wet and freezing, your PETA membership won’t keep you warm.” By the way, I belong to PETA and can never forgive Michael Vick for what he did: throwing that ill-advised interception against the Chargers in Week #5. Unforgiveable.

SPOILER ALERT! Do not read this if you are planning to see “The Revenant” soon:

Hugh Glass is actually Leonardo DiCaprio, not Hugh Glass. Such a typical Hollywood move. Big fakers.

 Word has it that Mr. DiCaprio really lived this role and not just by growing the unkempt beard. Because of the cold and snow, he caught the flu several times. Abandoned mistakenly by the film crew, he survived for six days by cutting off his own arm and eating it WITHOUT ANY SEASONING!

‘Grit.’ That’s what I call it. ‘Grits.’ That’s what Southerners call it. No matter. True American grit is personified by Hugh Glass and his ilk. And his elk. If there was an elk.

Against all odds and some freaky hallucinations, he survives the harsh wilderness and accomplishes his mission.

“The Revenant” was nominated for 12 Oscars this week, not the least of which for Best Song – “Hugh and Me, Forever.”

This Sunday, true grit will be on display as our weary and wounded Steelers take on the Broncos of Denver. This will be a battle for the ages if you define “ages” as about three hours.

The gritty Steelers, brutally attacked last week by a cheating bear name “Brrrrrrrrfict,” are at a decided disadvantage. Antonio Brown, the greatest receiver ever named ‘Antonio Brown,’ is out with a concussion. DeAngelo “Marcia” Williams won’t be playing either.

And then there’s Gentle Ben, a bear of a man with Tina Fey’s right shoulder. Ben Roethlisberger will be playing with a sprained AC joint (no, not THAT kind of joint) and torn ligaments. His once-powerful shoulder will be taped, glued, soldered and held together with freshly chewed bubble gum.

He will be injected with so many syringes filled with Toradol™ that when he looks to throw to Martavis Bryant, he’ll actually be looking at Joey Porter who, in Ben’s mind, will resemble Halle Berry. Under pressure from the Bronco’s Von “ Cheese Breadsticks” Miller, Ben will flinch, then reach into his hand warmer and toss Miller a chew toy. No, Ben will not be 100%.

But will 70% be enough?

On the other side of the ball, Peyton “Can I Do Another TV Spot?” Manning is just coming back from a foot injury. He’ll be at 94 percent. But with the Bronco’s #1 defense, that just might be enough.

Sports Authority Field at Mile High (what a catchy name!) is always a tough place to be in, particularly because the air there is thinner than Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyer’s Club.” And because they serve Coors Light.

Hugo Glass survived his ordeal in the wilderness with the help of a knife, a flint, a carved-out horse condo and raw buffalo meat. The Steelers will have none of these at their disposal. They’ll have to pull together as never before and overcome the odds against them. They may be wounded warriors but they will put up a courageous fight.

Alas, I don’t think it will be enough. Your saddened narrator thinks the Steelers season will end this Sunday.

It’s almost too much to bear.

FINAL SCORE: Broncos 19, Steelers 17.

Phil Lebovits, SCB Steeler Blogger, in a shallow grave down by the river