A Couple of Snarky Questions: The State of the Steelers

As promised in my previous post, here is the new feature for the off-season—the Snarky Questions. If any of you have snarky questions you would like asked, send them along! Although I have an inborn facility for being snarky, I would be happy for any assistance. So here goes:

I thought it might be good to take a long look at Art II’s State of the Steelers address, which will obviously require more than a few questions. So this will be an ongoing feature. But before we get to that, I wanted to throw this into the mix:

1. The Competition Committee hopped right to it, with their meetings having begun already. In honor of this, the Washington Post noted in a recent article that scoring was down league-wide last season, and surely this must be a concern to an NFL who has lost a lot of viewers lately. They speculated about the committee possibly recommending tightening up illegal contact even more, particularly on the defensive side.

I have an idea. How about loosening up the definition of a catch to something resembling real-time reality? That, and firing (and not replacing) Al Riveron ought to create a lot more scoring opportunities for everyone but the Patriots. Which would, I expect, be okay with 96.875% of the league.

Where do you see the NFL missing the obvious? Be as snarky as you like, within the bounds of decency : )

2. In Art Ii’s address he talked about the problems with the defense. According to Tribune-Review writer Tim Benz:

Exactly what is the boss saying there?

That the Steelers could be better, but let’s not make a big deal of it because his defense was a bit better compared to the other bad ones in the National Football League?

I believed when coach Mike Tomlin said “the standard is the standard”, he meant something higher level than that!

If Mr. Benz would like to write all of my snarky questions, I would be happy to welcome him. At any rate, do you think a) that’s what Art II meant, and b) if so, does this trouble you? If not, what do you think he was actually saying, and does that trouble you?

The rules are the same for snarky questions, folks. Be sure to color in the little circle completely with your No. 2 pencil (preferably bought from a fair trade shop and sharpened with your Eagle Scout Swiss Army knife), and feel free to look at your neighbor’s paper.

And as a treat after you finish your quiz, check it out. I don’t know how I missed this one:


  • 1. Obviously, make some sense of the catch rule. And perhaps Donald J. Trump might help, being that he’s at war with both the NFL and immigrants. Alberto Riveron was born in 1960 in Havana, Cuba, and came here with his parents at age 5. Based on Al’s performance this season, it’s clear that Castro didn’t send us his best. Even though Riveron is here legally and an American citizen, Homer’s not sure that kind of thing matters any more, and maybe Trump’s ICE machine might send him back to Cuba along with that other suspicious guy, Guillermo Beeelichick.

    Upon further review, that’s all overturned because Trump hates the NFL and Riveron’s incompetence furthers Trump’s goal of making the league – that didn’t give him the Buffalo franchise – look like a laughingstock. So Riveron stays, but is given some no work job selling ads in game day programs or something like that. And we clarify the rule – the part about indisputable evidence. (Homer apologizes for joking about the xenophobia that has infected our body politic. It is no laughing matter and makes us less of a nation and a people. But, then again, Jesse James caught that ball.)

    2. Reading Artie’s answers and non-answers, Homer was reminded of President Eisenhower’s great skill (for real) of doubletalking when he didn’t want to give an honest answer. Ike held one news conference and gave an answer on foreign policy that had reporters scratching their heads, trying to figure out not just what he meant, but what he said. At the end of the press conference, he left the room and his Press Secretary Jim Haggerty wrote that the second the door closed behind him, Ike broke into a big smile and started laughing. “Let’s see the Russians try to figure that one out,” he joked.

    There’s no doubt the defense fell apart against Jacksonville and had some serious holes in the bucket. At the end of the season, we were told there would be no changes in the coaching staff on D. Lake is gone already. And we know that some players won’t be back either. But it is all happening in an orderly fashion, and Artie is not telegraphing his moves in advance, nor is he talking down his people. He’s feeding us doubletalk here.

    There is nothing to be gained by saying certain people don’t cut it, any more than a used car salesman gains anything by saying that car over there on the lot will give you a thousand miles and then die on the freeway. All the cars on the lot are excellent, and all your people are excellent as well.


    • I knew I could rely on Homer for snarky answers. and I love the Art II visual image you gave me of him dressed as a used car salesman, with a “gently used” defensive staff for sale. And your final point is excellent


  • 1. Wow, hard to believe the NFL is that out of touch that they think the fans are leaving because there aren’t enough rules limiting defensive contact. If anything, fans are losing interest precisely because of rules making impossible for defenders to play defense. The NFL needs to give their fans some credit for appreciating the game, including good defense, and not just watching to see the TD celebrations. And, of course, letting a catch be a catch would solve a lot of problems too. But, whatever. Maybe only allowing 9 defenders on the field would win some viewers back, or making it illegal for defenders to touch any offensive player who is not the ball carrier.

    2. I don’t know what was said, so I can’t really comment on it, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t “We’re going to low ball Bell in contract negotiations, then tag him because we need him to beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship game next year, although Martavis Bryant really does need to get the ball more because he’s just as talented as Antonio Brown, and in case you hadn’t gathered, we’re so stacked on offense I’m pretty sure we’ll use our first four draft picks on defense. Also, we’re going to switch to 80% man and 20% zone next year. And Fichtner is planning on installing a very TE heavy system next year with power running and play action since I know you are all eager to know.”

    Mr. Rooney doesn’t hold press conferences to fill us in on what the organization is going to do or to vent his personal beefs. His role in front of the microphone is to kill stories not create them. Based on the tiny quote above it looks like that’s exactly what he did, affirming first one side of the debate (we could be better) then the other (we weren’t that bad), leaving things as harmlessly ambiguous as possible. Anyone looking for a clue as to the direction of the franchise from Art II is barking up the wrong tree entirely. Our best clue for the direction of the off season is really the stuff we already knew before he said anything.


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