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New Uses for Steelers Sundays

Get off the couch before the next Steelers drive sputters out

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The season is over. You get that, don't you? The Steelers season. Mathematically, I'm sure they have a theoretical shot. Here in Realityville, where I try to live whenever possible, they're as much toast as Rick Santorum. The Post-Gazette ran an interesting piece comparing the Steelers this year and the New England Patriots the year after they won their first Super Bowl. Long story short, both sucked the big wazoo in year two. But the Patriots won it all again the following year.

So take heart, obsessive Black and Gold compatriots: There may be a light at the end of the tunnel, and it may not be the train coming down the track. Except this year. This year, it's definitely the train.

No one could have foreseen the train wreck that is Large Benjamin this year. Hit by a car, not his fault. Well, maybe it was, but shit happens. Emergency appendectomy, that's got to be a little disconcerting at minimum. Then a concussion on the field. Let's just take him out back and beat the crap out of him, for chrissakes.

It is undoubtedly a lesson in humility for Humongous Benjamin, and the rest of us as well. But let me suggest something, just as an experiment. If I've learned anything in life, I've learned this: Time is precious. And when you waste it, you've just screwed yourself. Because there's only so much of it to go around, and when it's gone, it's really gone.

So what I'm saying is, you could consider actually devoting some of your Sunday to doing something productive, instead of drinking yourself into a stupor and eating yourself into a new pants size for four hours minimum. At least, this year.

Here's the thing. The city is often crowded and congested, and even with the reduced population it's sometimes a big pain in the ass to get around. But have you ever driven around the city on Steelers game day? It's freaking fantastic.

So you could go grocery-shopping. Or clothes-shopping. Or shopping for whatever it is you've been meaning to purchase.

Have you ever seen the city parks during the Steelers game? Green grass. Fresh air. And nobody else is there. I don't want to get all crazy on your butt, but instead of stuffing your face with enough wings and kielbasa to choke a small herd of elephants, you could -- I don't know -- get some exercise. You know, like, walk or jog or something. Imagine losing weight instead of gaining it. It could be the next big thing.

I'm sure you never have enough time to read. Presto-chango, I grant you three to five extra hours to read a magazine, a book or, God forbid, a newspaper. You need a nap? Snooze the Sunday afternoon away. Is there an annoying family member whom you must call and spend much more time with on the phone than you can possibly stand? At least you've got some extra time to do it.

I'm not suggesting you completely abandon your beloved Stillers. I'm in the tank just like you. I spend a minimum of three hours every Sunday yelling at the boob tube, especially if the good guys are losing. I'm suddenly an expert. "Ben looks terrible. Does Ricardo catch the freaking ball with his neck? Cowher isn't into it, he's outta here."

Yes, I have all the trite, predictable observations of the fan who knows nothing. And yet I watch. And I obsess. And I discuss. Because in Pittsburgh, somebody leaves a pod by your bed, and the body-snatchers are wearing black and gold.

Rake the leaves, clean out your closet, have actual sexual intercourse with your significant other, or with somebody. Stand on your head. Play tiddlywinks. Does anyone still play tiddlywinks? You could look it up -- ya got three extra hours.

Even though you don't want to be a fair-weather fan, it's actually OK to recognize reality. To live in the real world is not necessarily a bad thing. The Pittsburgh Steelers were a blast last year, and this year they're blowing up. Next year, they may be so embarrassed that they win it all again. But for now, call your mother. I know, it's one giant guilt trip. But you've got three extra hours.

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