Well, I’ve had 18 hours now to let my emotions pour out. There was not enough whiskey in the house last night for a breakup like that. And that’s exactly what it was for those of you that are still lost. I’ve always been a fan of using analogies when talking sports, but I’m not so sure this even counts as an analogy….this is feels more like the real thing…. heartbreak….
How This Started
It started how it always starts….another guy. Le’Veon spent last off-season in Miami living the American dream(s) (seriously I don’t think one night of sleep could accomplish all he did. This was multiple dreams). Jet-skis, Bentley Continental GT, super models, night clubs, no job, no wife, no responsibility, not to mention more money than you can count (that $12M franchise tag is not as bad as he make it out to be)…. DREAMS? Meanwhile, in Latrobe, PA AB is getting ready for another training camp. Now, I know what you are all thinking, training camp life was not that bad for AB. Most of us have read about how players of his caliber are staying in swanky Air BnB’s down the road from the facility while the rest of the team lives the dorm life for 5 weeks. Training camp ended and the season rolled on. Bell continued living the dream, AB kept grinding. And worse yet things weren’t going well in Pittsburgh. Imagine your best friend on the never ending Spring break trip, that could only happen in a movie, while you’re at home listening to your nagging wife (Big Ben) bitch at you for not doing the dishes right. There’s a reason AB is going through a divorce outside the NFL right now too. He wanted that life. More money, Less problems.
This has hardly been the quickest of break ups. We’ve been sleeping on the couch since Week 17. A process this long opens up time for a lot of emotions to come out. It was a 5 stage process of greiving for Steelers fans and here is how it went.
- Anger: “How could he leave us?” “Nobody else is going to the things for him that we did.” “He won’t be shit without us.” All the things anyone says after the fight that begins the break up.
- Sadness: Then we started remembering those good times. Six 1,000 yard seasons in a row. He had a way of making all those catches especially memorable. It becomes overwhelming thinking about the “Immaculate Reception” on Christmas in Baltimore, using Malcom Butlers helmet to real it in, his one-hander in the endzone wearing the bumble bee uniform. It’s like watching old family videos on a VHS, it almost brings tears. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUuvA6IdLLY
- Regret: Wait, I don’t want this to end. Let’s try and work this out. I don’t want to be without you! I’ll even go to fucking counseling if that’s what you want!!!
- Hope: No, no, no… this is over. There is someone else out there for us. Someone who can do everything you did, but won’t treat us like shit. Remember all the dumb things you did?! You went Facebook live on a locker room speak! And you threw a football at Ben! Who does that?! We can do better. A first rounder. Young, strong, ambitious, just like you used to be…..
- Disappointment: A 3rd and a 5th…… Fuck…..
Only one thing is for certain; “Mr. Big Chest” has had his final 1,000 yard season. Now before you go saying I’m still emotional and he is going to be fine, I am going to leave you with a couple of lists. The first is the super star receivers that have moved to Oakland in recent history. The second is the standout wide receivers to catch balls from Big Ben that have left to find greener grass and have only found the end of their career.
- Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Martavis Bryant, Jordy Nelson, Michael Crabtree
- Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallace, Markus Wheaton, Sammie Coates