I'll have some political stuff here sometime in the near future, but first, a word about the Steelers' decision to trade away Santonio Holmes.
Full disclosure: I have a personal investment here -- literally. I own a Holmes jersey. It was my sole birthday gift last year; those goddamn things are expensive. I got it largely for personal reasons: My brother and I have been calling each other "Holmes" since we were kids, and of course, he's got a jersey to match.
But all I can say now is: Never Again.
I'll leave it to others to argue over whether Holmes was a sacrificial lamb here ... and whether this was all an effort by the Rooneys to answer criticism that the Steelers had fallen from their lofty ethical perch. What I care about is that I'm stuck with the jersey of a player with an unfortunate Twitter habit, a history of dubious decisions, and who is no longer affiliated with the team anyway.
This is why I stay out of Wall Street: I'm no good at timing the market. And come to think of it, given the vagaries of free agency, and the chance that your favorite player will end up being indicted someday, I'm not sure why anyone invests in these things. As I've said in a different context, I guess sports fandom is the last survival of irrational exuberance.
Probably there are people who can afford to splurge on licensed merchandise with every off-season twist and turn. But I ain't one of them. So the next time I go to a game, I'll just do what I did before: wear my vintage Chiodo's T-shirt. Or maybe I'll do like the fat dude in the section where my father-in-law sometimes gets tickets: Wear a Lambert jersey instead, or at least some other player whose reputation and legacy are already established.
Actually, though, you can't always be sure even with those guys. Plenty of tragic stories involving ex-players out there -- some, like Mike Webster, end up suffering from lingering injuries whose crippling impact shadows the rest of their days. Others meet a even sadder fate: clowing around on network IV sports broadcasts.
Maybe the safest bet is to go with #84 -- former tight end Randy Grossman. He's got four championship rings, and was instrumental in winning Super Bowl X. Plus, I interviewed him a few years back, and found him to be a smart guy with a self-deprecating sense of humor. And to the best of my knowledge, the only scandalous thing he's ever done is take up knitting. The dude also occupies a spot in the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame -- which, I suspect, is a far more select club than the Hall of Fame in Canton.
Is it too late to start a fan club?