Tuesday, November 07, 2006


A Memorandum of Understanding

November 7, 2006

To: Steelers Fans
From: Eirishis, on behalf of Browns fans
Re: What to do for the rest of this season

Though you surely need no reminder, it is helpful to briefly describe the current problem. The ("Your") Pittsburgh Steelers, defending Super Bowl Champions and perennial playoff participants, have lost six of their first eight games, practically eliminating them from any serious playoff consideration. While the team as a whole has played well enough to win many of its games, the team is weak in two particular areas. First, their defense can't stop anyone from scoring at least 20 points. Second, their quarterback appears to have taken a few too many hits to the ringer, and believes that any person on the field, regardless of uniform, is an eligible and favorable receiver.

As the result of the team's rare failure to compete for the postseason, many of you Steelers fans are unfamiliar with what to do for the remainder of the NFL season. In spite of the difficulties we've had in the past, I'd like to offer some sympathetic advice on behalf of Browns fans, who are familiar with the situation in which you now find yourselves. Below are the five keys to surviving the remainder of the season with the right attitude and your affection for your team in place.

1) Understanding the Problem

It is imperative that you understand your plight. You are done for the season. Completely. Seriously. Give up all hope now. Sure, it would be fun to make little scenario sheets showing how, by winning their last six games, the Steelers could eek out the #6 spot in the AFC, then make a run just like they did last year! And it would be completely futile. You will be better off if you accept the fact that your team, simply put, sucks this year.

2) Lower Your Expectations

Even if you understand that your team sucks, it will be miserable to watch them if you keep hoping that they will win every week. Instead, expect the Steelers to lose. Expect this to happen right up until the moment the final gun sounds. Don't care if they are winning by 30 - know in your heart that they will find a way to blow it. For an example of the effects that attitudes can have on the pysche of the fan, look no further than Week 8, which I enjoyed with a Steelers fan. While I blissfully assumed that the Browns would find a creative way to blow a late lead at home to the Jets, the Steelers fan worked out mental scenarios under which his team could come back to win "a game they should win" against lowly Oakland. When the Browns held on, I was amused and pleasantly impressed. When his Steelers fell short, he was mortally wounded. Lower expectations, lest your heart be broken every week.

3) Embrase the College and Fantasy Games

Nothing helps out the fan of a pitiful NFL team more than thinking of who they can draft to solve the problems next year. To that end, I suggest limiting your NFL viewing on Sundays to the Steelers game only, and refocusing your weekly football viewing on the collegiate level. If you don't have a team already, I suggest sticking with your regional allegience and picking up the Pitt Panthers. Are they BCS competitors? Hell no, but they can wreck the party for others, and that's always fun to watch.

If college isn't your thing, throw yourself into your fantasy team even more than you have in the past. Watch the games in which your players are involved. If they play the Steelers, root for your players over your team. Remember - the Steelers are toast. Your fantasy team still has hope.

4) Drink heartily from the Haterade.

There will be plenty of time next year to cheer for your men in the gold and black. In the meantime, spew hatred at them like so much spittle on Cowher's mighty chin. Tell Roethlisberger that you wish he had been more serioulsy injured in his accident. Mock Charlie Batch for attending Directional Michigan. Threaten to cut Troy Polamalu's hair. Seriously, there is no end to the fun you can have when you let out all of the negative feelings you know you already harbor for the Steelers. Think of this as a cleansing purge, like a big ol' dose of Kaopectate for your football soul.

5) Above all else, actively cheer against the Ravens and Bengals.

Here is where Browns fans have the most to offer our Pittsburgh brethren. You stood beside us in 1995-96 when Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore, and joined us in loathing the new franchise. Similarly, you seethed as the Bengals hired Marvin Lewis and began to rise from the ashes to become a "respectable" franchise once again. However, your overall level of hate for these franchises has been, for the most part, lacking. This is understandable - you needed to reserve energy so that you could cheer for your team. As Browns fans, we've never had such a concern - all of our energy could be devoted towards hating others. But now that the Steelers are out of it, you should shift the energy you used to spend on your team, and use it to fuel your hate for the remainder of the AFC North.

Besides ... what is there not to hate about the Ravens and Bengals? They wear stupid uniforms. Brian Billick and Chad Johnson are massive douchebags. Ray Lewis might try to kill you, and Chris Henry might try to sleep with your teenage sister. They serve cities rife with racial problems. Clearly, the conclusion here is that the teams, as an aggregate, are racist, criminal, poorly-dressed dickheads.

I hope these suggestions are helpful for you as you deal with the difficult times ahead for the next eight weeks. Above all, remember that whatever you need to do to survive this season, there is always hope for next year. After all, it's not like you are cheering for the Browns.

Best wishes,

Monday, November 06, 2006


Put Me In Coach....Please

Ummm, Coach. Yeah. So….how’s it going? Can I talk to you for a second? Yeah, I’m feeling pretty good in case you were wondering. Im ready to, you know, get back out there whenever you say. Did you see me doing those sprints earlier in your front yard? Yeah, that was me. My ankle is as strong as ever. I’ve been running on it for days now, actually. I swear my foot feels great. What? You think I’m limping still? You heard my back is sore also? Who said that? Garrard? I don’t know. It feels pretty good. How about letting me take a few snaps with the first team?

What? Yeah, I guess that was a decent win yesterday. Thanks to our defense. It's not like we were playing the Colts, you know. I'm just sayin'. Lots of missed opportunities on offense also. We gotta do something about that before it's too late.

I know I told you I was ready to play last Sunday. But you were right- it was probably better for me to just sit that one out. I mean, you didn’t really bench me. I was hurt and you sat me for my own good. Saving me for the big games, right? But I’m ready now. Oh yeah, 100% ready. Coach?

What do I think of Garrard? Umm, well…. he’s ok, I guess. For a 4th Round pick. He’s kind of short, though, isn’t he? And he sure is quick to run with the ball. I mean, its gotta piss you off when you call a play and he just starts running. Does he think you're an asshole or something? Maybe he just doesn't respect the play-calling. I'd hate it if a player didn't listen to me, but I guess you are cool with it. He definitely has happy feet back there. He probably can't even see over the fucking line. Pussy.

Hey coach, did you know Im 6ft 4? Yeah, it's true. I'm pretty tall, even for a quarterback. I was drafted real high, you know. Yep. Remember how my lineman carried me up the field back when I was at Marshall? Anything for the team.

Like I was saying to Wayne the other day. You know, Mr. Weaver? Great guy. Well I was over at Wayne's the other night talking about things. Boy, he sure spent a lot of money on me.

Do you like Herm Edwards? Yeah, me too. I heard he’s going to play Trent Green as soon as he comes back from that concussion. Makes sense to me. I mean, you know what they say, right? A player doesn’t lose his job to injury. Sure would be a dick move to do something like that to a guy.

What? You think I need another week off to rest my ankle? You want me to be super duper duper healthy when I come back? I’m not sure I agree with you there, coach. I mean, my foot feels fine. Really. I know you don’t want me to get hurt out there, but hey, I’m willing to risk it.


The Positive I Take Away From This,
Is that Peyton Manning Still Has a Big Dumb Face

Manning/Brady Bowl ver 8.0 (or something) seemed to be designed purely to make all facets of football fans yell horrifying things at their television sets. Bad calls all around, horrific defense, terrible field goal attempts, and a new (to me) Peyton Manning commercial. I swear to go, the only thing keeping me from putting the universal remote through my girlfriend's TV screen was that "Alarm Clock Catastrophe" Dunkin' Donuts commercial. Oh, They Might Be Giants, I can't stay mad at you.

The Hype - the elite QB's: Manning Versus Brady, the explosive rookie running backs: Addai versus Maroney, the kicker duel: cash-dump Vinatieri versus shaky rookie Gostowski. The end result was not what I would call an exciting game. This looked like what happens when I get cocky and crank the difficulty up in Madden. Laser rocket arm and his best buddy connect in the most impossible of manners, and Brady looks like the recent zombie reincarnation of Ben Roethlisberger. And the refs looked like they were trying to make the game more exciting (read: frustrating) for everyone.

So what reprocussions result from this game? The easy way out is to say that it doesn't matter until Manning beats Brady in the postseason, but it does matter now. Pats showed a weakness in their clutch passing schemes. I hate to agree with Madden, but when you're on 4th down or in the red zone, you're kind of screwed without a #1 receiver. Manning and company not only executed passes extremely efficiently on offense, but also somehow discouraged a Pats running game that seemed quite effective for the first two quarters.

The only thought consoling me is that someone on here will likely post a hilarious Manning conversation about this. Pardon my lack of style this time around, I've had a hangover since Saturday morning (tequila + Rockstar energy drinks = me waking up on a washing machine at 7:30am when I had to be at work at 8).

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