Breaking up is hard to do and everyone knows it. There were the best of times times like winning a Super Bowl or racking up 4000 yards passing. There were the worst of times times too; like having to recite your statistical victories (see 4000 yards passing) at season’s end instead of your playoff victories. Nothing could be worse than thinking you didn’t get to see the relationship through to the end either. “Sure, things weren’t great but you thought you two were comfortable together and things weren’t always bad.” 12 – 4 is better than ok and why did someone have to come along and say that you couldn’t see each other anymore? It just wasn’t right!
Such was the story of Ben and Bruce, BFF’s until the END. It was all going to play out according to plan too. As long as your plan was 100% junior high school in nature. Bruce was never going to see anyone new and Ben was just going to pout and do his best to hate his new coordinator for, like, ever! OMG!! Ben was Bruce’s golden boy. Ben got to help pick the plays even when maybe it wasn’t in his best interest to do that. HELL, Ben got to pick WHEN he played when it obviously wasn’t in his best interest to do it. BA made his Big Ben happy any chance he could. Ben wants to put it up more on first down? Not a bad idea at all. Ben wants to chuck it on second and short? Why not? Ben wants to pass on third and one? That’s OK by Bruce. Even when they were told by management to tone it down a little bit in public, they resisted and took it to the next level: FIVE WIDE ON THE GOAL LINE FOR THREE DOWNS IN A ROW!! It was as if nobody could tell them what to do. They were a power couple getting lofty results like the afore mentioned pile of passing yards, a thousand yard rusher, two, count ‘em, two thousand yard receivers. They were two men of one mind. They had each other’s back on the field and in the press. They had melded together to become ‘Rothlisarians’! There were long passes, short passes, run passes. Everyone was happy. Well, almost everyone was happy.
Art Rooney II twice made reference to a return to ’Steelers Football’. The first mention of it was quiet, almost casual. The second time it was brought up in conversation was decidedly more pointed. And we all know that anytime an authority figure addresses a letdown in the mission statement TWICE, we best be gettin’ on top of it quick, fast, and in a hurry. Mike Tomlin used the press to publicly refocus a whiny Willie Parker a few years ago when he reminded everyone that he did not walk past 5 rushing titles every morning , he walked past 5 Lombardi Trophies. Tomlin’s point was made clear: The Pittsburgh Steelers do not exist to pad your individual stats. The Pittsburgh Steelers exist to win a butt load of Super Bowls. It appears that future butt loads of Super Bowls will be won by employing a more balanced attack, ala, ‘Steelers Football’. Note to Bruce, Ben, Willie (wherever you are), Terry, Franco, etc…: Those rings on your fingers make those stats look even sweeter.
Meanwhile, back on the relationship front; Ben and Todd are getting to know each other a little bit and word around town is that Todd is starting to use some terminology in the play calling that Ben is familiar with. Makes you wonder how many times Ben has accidentally called Haley BA? Of course, Todd would like, totally think that’s RAD because he’s, like, really into the A Team, dude.
Bruce Arians appears to be moving on as well. Although BA’s new relationship shows all the signs of a midlife crisis: much, much younger, loads of money, two good legs, and a new house. Bruce is not shy about heaping praise upon his new student either. Arians said “I’ve never been around a guy who can learn that fast” and “He just gets it” when referring to Andrew Luck. All that’s missing is a tearful “He completes me.” That’s sick man, just pain sick.
Bruce and Ben will have to get on with things now but be prepared for the inevitable moment when then bump into each other with their new guys in tow……. Awkward……..