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screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-3-59-39-pmOf Donald and Dreidels and (Afternoon) Delight

Hey 2016! Good riddance. No year since 1918 has been this bad and that was the year of the Spanish flu that killed about 100 million people. Okay, 1976 was bad, mostly because “Afternoon Delight” reached #1 on the charts, but nobody got killed. I think.

2016 was the year we lost some really amazing people: David Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frye, Muhammad Ali, John Glenn and on and on. Not sure what happened to the guy who wrote “Afternoon Delight.”

In politics, we mourned the passing of Dick Cheney, former Vice Presi… Oh, he didn’t die? You sure? Really?

I, for one, will be glad when this year is over. 2017 is bound to be better. Any year that kicks off the Trump Inaugural celebration with the kickass Mormon Tabernacle Choir and that 16-year-old girl singer I never heard of, is a sign of good things to come. Wooo, what a lineup!

Speaking of lineups, our beloved Steelers are ending 2016 on a good note. The team has found a good rhythm and this rhythm method has Pittsburgh fans pregnant with playoff wishes and Super Bowl dreams. And now comes the rubber match with the Ravens. I know it’s not really a rubber match, but I took my poetic license out of my wallet and flashed it to the doorman. 2016 has been a good year for bad belabored metaphors.

(sung to “Afternoon Delight)

Gonna watch my Steelers, gonna watch them fight
Gonna grab some NFL delight
My motto’s always been “Let’s run right, run right”
The Ravens kinda suck, yeah they really bite it…
Ben’s rockets in flight
Antonio’s in sight…

Now that’s what I call afternoon delight! Sunday afternoon to be precise. One of only two games this Sunday. What’s with that? Why are there so many games on Saturday? Roger Goodell may want to lure Londoners or Mexicans to the NFL, but he’s gonna lose the demographic the NFL truly needs: Orthodox Jews.

Religious Jewish people celebrate Sabbath (“Shabbos” for the Kosher cognoscenti), a sacred day of rest, and aren’t allowed to turn on their TVs because that would be like… like making a fire. As a Bills fan, there have been many times I’ve wanted to burn my TV, so I understand. But c’mon!

Which brings me to my favorite Jewish football fan: Me. I was raised somewhat religiously, learned to read Hebrew when I was six years old and never ate a pork chop until I was twenty-two (I got sick). I don’t practice much Judaism today but I identify with my people and their struggle to find a decent knish in the Hill District.

Tonight, I found myself in a Christmas tree lot in Pasadena, CA with my non-Jewish girlfriend. It’s not like we don’t have a tree in the house already. We do and it looks very lovely with all the lights and ornaments and strings of red and silver beads. But here we are in the tree lot because we’re going away for the holidays to an Airbnb in California wine country and she wants to have a tree there too for the FOUR DAYS WE’LL BE THERE. Oy gevalt!

But is there any mention of a menorah or a dreidel? No. And it’s not like Hanukah and Christmas aren’t perfectly aligned this year… because they are. I really could care less about spinning a dreidel or singing the Dreidel Song; maybe because, a few years ago, I lost a considerable amount of money at the dreidel tables in Vegas. But whatever. After all, Christmas is THE holiday for Christians, whereas Hanukah is a minor one for Jews. And, at this time of year, of peace on Earth, good will towards men, who am I to argue? Besides, I’m gonna get a crap-load of presents!!!

But I digress…

The Steelers are on a roll, they’ll be playing at home before a fanatic crowd and they’ll want to end 2016 on a high note. So, let’s take a long look at all the matchups and team tendencies as we break down this game in exquisite detail.

WHEN THE STEELERS HAVE THE BALL

Roethlisberger will throw the ball. Other guys will try to catch it.

WHEN THE RAVENS HAVE THE BALL

Flacco will throw the ball. Other guys will try to catch it.

PERILOUS PREDICTION

Sorry to say, but I gave Magic 8-Ball the week off so he could do all his Christmas shopping. I never understood how a toy could buy toys for other toys, but that’s a discussion for wiser men and sages.

So, it’s me again, making the pick.

(spinning my dreidel like a Maccabee mofo)

FINAL SCORE: STEELERS 28, RAVENS 21.

Merry Christmas!

Phil Lebovitz, SCB Steeler Blogger

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