By Damon Young:
Ben Roethlisberger needs surgery on his mysteriously injured elbow and will miss the rest of the NFL season. The Pittsburgh Steelers are dumpster juice this year—which is what tends to happen when you call losing your two best players “addition by subtraction” instead of “shit, I think we’re fucked now”—and a part of me believes Big Head Ben realizes this and would just rather spend the rest of the year eating corn nuts and buying OnlyFans memberships than playing football.
Anyway, since trading away Josh Dobbs last week, the Steelers’ remaining quarterback is something called a “Mason Rudolph”—who sounds more like an oil baron or the founder of gout than a professional athlete, but apparently has some potential. Still, he needs a veteran back-up. And, possibly, someone to come in and snatch his gig if he’s not ready for it. Fortunately, there’s someone out there who qualifies.
iSo, I’m going to switch gears a bit here, because the preceding paragraph was a bit of a lie. Now, were the things I said in it true? Yes! Mason Rudolph is now the starter, and after trading Josh Dobbs, the Steelers have no backup on their roster. The lie is the implication that I give a shit about the Steelers’ football-related reasons for signing Colin Kaepernick. I don’t! I don’t give a shit if he makes the Steelers better or worse! He could hopscotch with Nessa on the sidelines each Sunday! He could break huddles to tweetcap Succession! I. Don’t. Care. I just want them to sign him because I want to live in a world where he’s a Pittsburgh Steeler. I want to listen to all the talk radio call-ins from Brookline to Butler threatening to boycott the team. I want to read what Pittsburgh Post-Gazette executive editor and human-sized tick bite Keith Burris has to say. I want to see certain Pittsburghers twist themselves into Primanti’s origami attempting to justify how they can root for Roofie Roethlisberger and not Colin Kaepernick. I want to feel the heat as all the Blue Lives Matter stickers and flags attached to bumpers on Route 28 and I-376 spontaneously combust. I live a quarter-mile from Heinz Field, and I want to stand on my roof and witness the Yinzer Apocalypse.
I don’t ask for much. Some nice cooked food. Some nice clean drawers. That’s all I need. I’m a simple man. But please, universe, just give me this. Pittsburgh needs it. And by “Pittsburgh” I mean “Me. Just me.”