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NFL satire too good to avoid

August 22, 2014 - Paul Giannamore
Can’t help this, can’t not write this, have to let it out.

After the detaining of the starting Steelers 2014 backfield in an apparent scene from a Steeler Nation version of a Cheech and Chong movie, complete with the warm smell of colitas rising up in the air from a Camaro, I’ve been exploding with one-liners, mostly trying to apply those conditions — and more — to legendary Steelers and other football legends of bygone years, specifically, the 1970s, my youth. And it’s not just the Steelers. Johnny Football proved himself quite the sportsman this week, too.

Sure, those guys of the past were fallable, too -- Ernie Holmes losing it and shooting at police helicopters comes to mind -- but can you imagine applying the kinds of headlines and news leads from recent years to greats of the game from back then?

For instance:

Rocky Bleier and Franco Harris were stopped on the Parkway West when clouds of marijuana smoke wafted out of a Trans Am piloted by Harris. An unidentified woman in the back seat claimed the pound of marijuana on the seat was hers.

Or:

The NFL is considering penalties after Roger Staubach raised his middle finger toward the Steelers huddle following a sack in the third quarter Monday night. Staubach offered no explanation for his burst of unsportsmanlike conduct.

Or:

Bart Starr was accused of pursuing underage girls during a bar crawl in rural Georgia over the weekend.

Or: John Stallworth punched out six Atlanta policemen Saturday night in a raging barfight.

Or: Art Rooney Sr. admitted to drunken driving and abusing prescription painkillers during an erratic drive through the North Side after Sunday’s game.

Or: Lynn Swann shot himself in the leg when the unregistered pistol in his sweatpants went off as he climbed the stairs into an after-hours club in Manhattan.

I know that times have changed and that heroes of the game from back then were often as screwed up but the issues were kept quiet. We didn’t talk about Terry Bradshaw’s depression problem or, sadly, Mike Webster’s injuries, or steriod use among many players or Jefferson Street Joe Gilliam's drug troubles.

Still...

I cannot imagine Vince Lombardi dealing with having Tuesdays off during the pre-season workouts at training camp. I have visions of him tearing up the collective bargaining agreement, using it to light a cigar and then yelling at the players to get their sorry butts out of bed and out onto the practice field.

Times have changed.

 
 

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