screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-2-12-37-pmSteelers vs. Redskins

2016 NFL Week #1

What So Proudly We Hail…Mary?


Oh, Steel City Buzzers! Buzzerites? How wonderful it is to be back with you again for another season of fun, folks and four-game suspensions (now reduced to three!) I missed each and every one of you anonymous people.

It’s been nine months since my last column and, my oh my, it seems like ten. I can’t recall if I did anything noteworthy during these three trimesters, except for losing 20 lbs. and getting a colonoscopy (highly recommended!).

But my hibernation is over and I am super charged for the Steelers season to start. So before we do, let’s all stand and sing our National Anthem.

Oh-oh, say can you see…

I can see that not all of you are standing! Some of you are still sitting as you read this. Tom Smerzk in Polish Hill is kneeling! Yes, poor Tom did have a knee replacement last week, but that’s no excuse. He is flaunting a proud tradition that’s been around since my last paragraph!

Of course, Tom Smerzk is not the only refusenik. No, there seems to be one football player who’s not only a refusenik, he’s also a Kaepernick, and he too kneels.

 By the dawn’s early light…

 Hey, it just dawned on me that perhaps Kaepernick’s protest isn’t a protest at all. As a backup QB now, this may be his only chance during the game to take a knee — ya know when there’s thirty seconds left and the 49ers have sealed the deal. And since the Blaine Gabbert-led team may never have a chance to take a knee when they’re down by 21 points deep into the fourth quarter, perhaps Kaepernick and his knee are saying, “Yes, we may be bad, but sometime this season, by gum, we shall have a chance to take said knee. Maybe two knees!”

This of course is mere conjecture on my part, but this whole kerfuffle (look it up!) is a bit nonsensical.

What so proudly we hail…

 I was hailing my Uber guy yesterday and when I got into his Prius, we started talking about the Kaepernick Kaper, and he was of the opinion that singing The Star Spangled Banner before a game was a very strange thing to do. “What? he said, “We sit down in our seats waiting for the game to begin, and suddenly we forget that we still live in America? I can tell from the mega-huge scoreboard, the half-naked cheerleaders and the 12-dollar beers that we are not in Zimbabwe.”

I argued that it’s a tradition that goes back to World War I, that because the anthem is really a battle song, it’s a metaphor for the battle we will see played out on the field, a battle we hope the Steelers will win this week.

And in such a divisive time and months brass knuckle presidential politics, it’s comforting that we, as Americans, can gather at stadiums and bars and at home with our family and friends, and stand together and say with one loud, clear collective voice: “Tom Brady is a lying piece of scum!”

Oh, that feels good!

And the home of the…

 Braves. Redskins really. Pick your demeaning name for Native Americans. Whatever. On Monday night, our men of the Black and Gold will do battle with that Washington D.C. team.

The Steelers are ready to make another run at the playoffs, and confidence is high. Almost as high as many NFL players. As is the tradition, running back Le’Veon Bell will be on forced vacation for the next three games, but even though he won’t be playing, I guarantee he will be standing for our National Anthem. Unlike Tom Smerzk.


 Antonio Brown. Need I say more? Well, yes I do because SCB pays me by the word. Number 84, as always, will be shouldering the receiving load in this game and perhaps moreso due to the absence of Number 11, Markus (“Eat Your Wheaties”) Wheaton and his sore shoulder.

When Big Ben isn’t looking Antonio’s way, he’ll be handing off to 420-unfriendly and perennial Miss Congeniality DeAngelo Williams. Williams performed admirably last year during Le’Veon’s extended holiday, and he should provide a nice spark. But not the spark associated with a “doobie.”

Washington’s defense, ranked #28 last year, will be better this year thanks to the addition of great and massively overpaid CB Josh Norman. And a new team attitude.

It’s been reported that a small laminated poster with a photograph of a large pack of wolves in a forest was hung in each Redskins defensive player’s locker this week with the message: “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

I’m not sure what that means, but Wolf Blitzer should be notified.


 RG III should prove quite the challenge and…

What? He isn’t a Redskin anymore?

 Okay then. Sonny Jurgenson will start on…

What? Sonny retired in 1974?

 Oh. So it’s Kirk Cousins. Please, feel free to “evil laugh” with me. Bwaaaa-ha-ha ha…


 Your peripatetic prognosticator (look it up!) has ditched his old cracked crystal ball, and instead will make his predictions using a new Magic 8-Ball. Not that kind of 8-Ball! That could get me suspended for four games…or years!

 Oh wondrous and plastic Magic 8-Ball, will the Steelers win on Monday Night?

 (shaking the ball furiously)

 Magic 8-Ball says, “Hell, frigging yeah!”