Roxanna Firehall’s Zombie Football Reader – Fat Tuesday edition.
Full credit for the “Zombie Football” part of the title goes to Ivan, as coined in his fine series about surviving the the off season, linked here.
The Super Bowl is over and we now enter the dark days of the year where “experts” both real and imagined (almost entirely imagined) make stuff up or just say stupid sh*t because they need to draw readers and there isn’t anything else to talk about.
While I was aware of this phenomena, Ivan induced me to pay closer attention and actually take notice, even before the Super Bowl, of the types of stories which start to appear in the long soulless void between now and training camp.
For your reading pleasure (scoff, scoff), I have assembled some of the more pungent examples for you. To render things a bit more palatable, I did discover a couple of good articles, while not all Steeler related, they were important articles which you might enjoy.
Let’s start with those:
There is a very nice two parter on Ryan Shazier. In case you missed them on steelers.com, check them out. They are videos, though I think I saw print articles as well. Shazier talks about his development and his appreciation of the legacy of the great Steeler linebackers of yore.
I found an incisive article on how Peyton Manning changed offensive football. The ESPN article delved into the transformation of NFL offenses into pass heavy schemes occasioned by the play of Peyton Manning. Love him or hate him, he’s a player who changed the game. I thought it was a good read.
We end the serious portion of our program, with a grim article on the revelation that Kenny Stabler had CTE. The New York Times article article details another sad episode in the NFL’s concussion crisis.
Now, onto our Zombie reads:
You’ll be glad to know that the Las Vegas bookmakers have installed the Steelers as the favorite (along with New England and Seattle) at 8-1. This is great to know so we won’t have to worry about free agents or draft picks because we’re already favored. Read it here.
My next selection is from our old friends at BTSC. Hopefully you didn’t miss the article “Steelers’ No. 1 Pick Will be a LB and That’s Okay.” Ivan was never so right when he wrote that we are in the season of MSU (make stuff up). I’ll skip the author’s “analysis” and make two bold statements.
- I have no idea who the Steelers will draft in the first round, but I’m willing to bet my Jack Lambert jersey it won’t be a LB.
- If they do draft a LB, I seriously doubt many of us will be okay with it. MSU, indeed!
I wrote the above paragraph before reading Ivan’s Monday article. I’ll hold my ground on not using a first round pick on a LB, not so much because I think we must pick a DB, but because I believe our LBs are very good and getting better. I would have no problem with a lineman, offense or defense, a TE or even a WR, if the FO thinks that’s the way to go. The certitude of the article’s title is a precious example of click pimping.
I’ll skip over another BTSC article which “analyzes” precisely how the Steelers will go 13-3 next year and obtain the first round bye. The value of predicting next year’s record now has all the efficacy of an eight month weather forecast. I might say you can’t make this stuff up, but obviously — you can.
My favorite Zombie article was this one, the clear winner. 247 had an article entitled: “Three Reasons Why the Steelers’ Should Sign Johnny Manziel.” linked here I could have written a rebuttal “47 Reasons Why We Shouldn’t,” but fortunately real life events made this unnecessary. Johnny’s own father says he needs help or he will be dead before he is 24, the Cowboys have decided he is unfit as a teammate for Greg Hardy, his agent dumped him and the Dallas police are investigating him for domestic assault. While the four developments all occurred after the article appeared, that further trouble for Johnny Football was a pretty safe bet. Manziel is closer to becoming the Walter Payton Man of the Year than he is to wearing a Steelers uniform.
And so, there it is. Zombie Football is in full swing. Quoting Elton John – “Well, I think it’s going to be a long, long time . . .”