Roxanna Firehall’s Zombie Football Reader – Fat Tuesday edition.

imageFull 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, 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 . . .”


  • BTSC. sigh. That site went full-on ‘click bait’ this year. That’s when I’m glad that I have a hockey team and a baseball team to follow. I don’t feel the urge to follow the zombie football season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is really sad that it went that way. It used to be a very insightful site with great articles and equally as great discussions in the commentary. Thankfully momma created this site and the great writers/commentors from BTSC have come with.

      Liked by 1 person

  • I appreciate the references to worthwhile articles that you have come across. I would encourage all of us to share anything we find of quality over the coming months. Even though it is going to be a long off season, there are potentially a lot of really good stories to be told. Hopefully someone will be inspired to tell them, and we’ll find them.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Going along with Zombie Football, I pose this question. Please note: This is a thought I had while overhearing a discussion about the redskins at the store today… As we have some terrible back ups to Big Ben, would RG III be a good fit for a back up role? Below is a list of what I feel are good reasons why it may be a good idea:

    – He is an experienced starter with proven success.
    – He can throw the ball much more accurately than Jones or Vick.
    – Despite recent media outbursts, he has a good head on his shoulders.

    My thoughts are that we could get him cheap (league minimum or close to it), he is a free agent. Having a young, proven starter is more than what we have now. With proper guidance from coaches and veterans, which we have in spades, I think he could fill the role of back up for the foreseeable future. He may or may not be the answer after Ben, frankly Ben has too many years left in him to be thinking that just yet, but he is better than what we currently have.

    Thoughts? Homer, you are a DCite as well, what do you think?


    • I do not think he would be a good backup because:
      – he does not want to be one.
      – his success was limited to one season within a specialized offense that the Steelers do not, and would not, run
      – he still lets his father dictate his career
      – same size/height issues as Vick. Steelers do run a timing offense to great degree…mixed in with BB’s playmaking. But BB makes the plays with his arm… Griffin does it with his legs, and those don’t work well anymore.
      – he is not a free agent (unless the Redskins have already cut him?) and has not given any indication that he’d take league minimum. Again, this isn’t a player that thinks he is a backup. He is on the record wanting to have a chance to start.


      • I think Griffin’s going to have to swallow one and except a backup role for a couple of years. If he doesn’t see that now, he will soon. He needs to rehabilitate his image and his game.

        It’s easy to say he was only a running quarterback in a specific scheme friendly offense, but he made all the throws his rookie season, even if they were bootlegs off of playaction.

        He’s got potential, but I don’t think he’ll be a backup for the Pittsburgh Steelers, in fact I highly doubt it.


  • I just lose interest until the draft, then the interest just keeps building until the first game of the next season. Somebody asked me the other day if I had any ideas about Steelers related articles this time of the year and still…….I got nothing.


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