Some people never miss an episode of Ice Road Truckers. Others can’t get enough reruns of 2½ Men. By the way, sorry Ashton Kutcher, you’re good but you’re still no Charlie Sheen. Me? I never miss a [intlink id=”86″ type=”category”]Mike Tomlin[/intlink] press conference. Oh, I don’t watch because I’m interested in his injury reports (he constantly lies about those) or his strategy for the Pittsburgh Steelers upcoming opponents (ditto).
I simply watch for the hilarity. From his grand pronouncements (“Unleash Hell!) to his ridiculous Tomlinisms (“The standard is the standard.”) to his bizarre non-sequitors (“We were grape squashers.”), no coach is as thoroughly entertaining as Mike Tomlin. I wish the Steelers sold tickets to his pressers because at least you can be assured of a solid 15-20 minutes of set-ups and punchlines. That’s certainly more than you can say about a Dane Cook concert.
Anyway, this week’s hilarity took the form of Tomlin expressing fear at facing this week’s opposing quarterback, Kerry Collins. Yes, he’s worried about creaky broken down 39 year old Kerry Collins. The same Kerry Collins who went 19/36 for 191 yards against the Cleveland Browns last week. If this is anything other than mind games to ensure the team doesn’t treat this game as the laugher it is destined to be, I would wonder if perhaps the coaching staff had unwittingly watched a game tape from 2008 prior to meeting with reporters.
To illustrate how hollow Tomlin’s endorsement is, simply listen to Colts fans. This letter column, which is shockingly literate for an Indianapolis newspaper, features fans clamoring for the team to bring in such legendary signal callers as Marc Bulger and David Garrard. Why not call up Jeff George while you’re at it? He’s already said he could pick up their offense in a couple of days.
Then there are the poor deluded souls who believe their team is but a quarterback away from being a Super Bowl contender. They advocate a more radical approach, such as trying to pry Carson Palmer away from bitter old skinflint Mike Brown and the Cincinnati Bengals. But scariest of all are the handful of fans who suggest the Colts go with the nuclear option. Yes, some have recently been advising that the team drop an F-bomb.
While it would please me to immeasurably to watch James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley pummel the ‘Ol Gunslinger like he no doubt pummeled the ‘Lil Gunslinger to pics of Jen Sterger, I would prefer the NFL remain a Favre Free Zone. Besides, what Colts fans fail to consider is none of these guys are Peyton Manning. Hell, even when (if?) Peyton returns, he may not be Peyton Manning anymore. And this is a team that rests squarely on the shoulders of Pey-Pey.
When [intlink id=”14″ type=”category”]Ben Roethlisberger[/intlink] was unjustly suspended for the first month of the season, the Steelers still managed to go 3-1 (and they easily could’ve been undefeated if not for a last second defensive break down and two Skippy shanks) in his absence. Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon aren’t appreciably better than Collins or Curtis Painter, they just don’t have to be. The Steelers were smart enough to build a defense that rises and falls on its own merits and an offense which features enough ancillary weapons for any quarterback to function. Unfortunately, the Indianapolis Peytons are now learning the folly of building around a single player the hard way.