My buddy Richie S. comes to Portland on a Monday and the only time I can see him is during the Steelers Monday Night game vs. the Chargers. So basically, I told him that was what we were doing. There wasn’t really even a, “Hey, how do you feel about this?” type of suggestion floated out to Richie. I said, “This is going on.” He said, “Sounds like fun!”
Richie shows up, cheers for the Steelers, has a good time. It’s evident from the TV coverage (and subsequent stories that Rivers went to a silent count during a home game) that Qualcomm Stadium has been taken over by Steelers fans. Jonny has been sack tapped the week before as a good luck omen (long story). All seems right with the World. Steelers win. We go home because we all have to work the next day.
Fast forward 24 hours and Richie gets outed by my buddy Matt T. as a Raiders fan. On the one hand, after finding out that Richie was actually a Raiders fan, I thought to myself, “What the hell? I would never put on the shirt of another team and cheer for them, no matter how much I liked one of their fans.”
Then, “Oh, what the heck? The Steelers won. Why question it? Maybe it was because Richie finally left the Dark Side. The football gods must have rewarded us with our first West Coast road win in a decade due to my intervention in his sporting life.”
Fast forward again to this past weekend. Richie texts me about how our two favorite teams are playing.
I respond with, “You only get one team, Richie.”
He responds with, “That would be the one.”
I knew then that the Steelers would win. I was absolutely certain that the football gods would punish Richie’s wishy-washy, flip floppiness with a Raider loss. Then mid 1st quarter, Dan sack taps Jonny with his Terrible Towel and the outcome was all but completely certain.
I had felt pretty bad about goading Richie into turning his back on his favorite team and fellow fans for a second….
Well, no I actually didn’t. It just seemed like a polite thing to write. But, you all know me and realize statements like that are BS. So, nevermind.
Fast forward again to that Sunday. Steelers are up 35-28 and cruising toward a victory, I’m teetering between whether I should send a conciliatory text to Richie or just taunt the heck out of him for showing some fair weather fan tendencies, thus sending his team on the path toward defeat at the Steelers’ hands.
And then,…. Aldon Smith stumbles while trying to tackle Roethlisberger and lands on Ben’s left foot. Watching the replay, I was sure that Roethlisberger’s foot was broken. Hoped not, but really thought it was.
It turns out that Big Ben’s injury was only a sprain. He will probably miss a week, but Monday morning on his radio show said that he is not counting himself out this week versus the Browns.
Just the same, I probably should have waited to gloat until it was over. That’s what I get.