If there is anything that is causing anxiety in this 2012 offseason of discontent in Pittsburgh, it’s the suddenly building animosity between two guys who have yet to meet. This is at least, what is being portrayed by the Pittsburgh Media and many websites like this one as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and new Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley have yet to meet face to face.
I have news for you Steelers’ fans. The joke is on us and Ben and Haley are the pranksters laughing themselves silly over this brewing cauldron of speculation in the local media. They read the papers and listen to the radio like you and I do so why wouldn’t they want to have a little fun at our expense?
My guess is that Ben and Haley have already gone over the entire playbook with a fine-toothed comb. Terminology has been broken down, audibles and ‘check with me’ situations discussed and the first 20 plays for the season opener have already been scripted.
I’d be willing to bet that right now, on some beautiful, rolling field of green, the two men are laughing and smoking $100 cigars as they look over their respective putts. They probably don’t even talk to each other on the golf course. Instead, they communicate through laughter as they roll in putt after putt and drill tee shot after tee shot right down the middle at 295 yards per.
These two have such a scheme in place, they’ve actually hired body-doubles to stay inPittsburghwhile they enjoy the warm weather of Myrtle Beach or Orlando or Honolulu. I was actually offered the role of Ben’s double but my gut sticks out a little too far so they passed on me. Haley’s double was recruited from the downtown area where there were plenty of unshaven, haggard looking men willing to play the part of Haley for a couple of Primanti’s sandwiches.
If you saw the Haley presser a week ago today, you saw Head Coach Mike Tomlin grinning ear-to-ear as he greeted Haley after he finished his comments. Why the big grin from Tomlin? Because he’s in on it too! Not exactly the lovable media favorite, Tomlin jumped at the opportunity to scam all of us.
We all know that our beloved Steelers would never tolerate the star quarterback and brand-spanking new offensive coordinator not speaking to each other so therefore I’ve concluded this is a giant hoax perpetrated on all of us. Journalists like Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac are reading this and are thinking I might just be right and there is no way they are going be scooped by some pathetic blogger right? I’ll bet they’ve already booked flights in search of Ben and Todd.
There is no telling how long these two will play this little scam on us. With the scouting combine coming up next week, Haley will want to be there and he’ll need time to get his double ready for a return to his regular life while Ben’s double will be doing card signings at the outlet mall in Grove City. One way or another this has to come to an end at some point. After a week now maybe they are getting bored with golf and have laughed themselves silly as fans and journalists and sports radio hosts are beside themselves over the “lack of communication.”
I’m willing to bet that Haley and Ben have already perfected a special handshake to be used after every touchdown toss by Roethlisberger in 2012. It involves several hand-slaps and ends with both doing a ‘shaving the beard’ motion.
We are all nothing but pawns in their game of whimsy but you know and I know the media will continue to chase this story like a dog chasing its’ tail. Round and round we all will go and when it stops no one will know.
Of course there is the very real possibility I could be way off in this. Perhaps it really is true that Roethlisberger and Haley have not met. They’ve been in and out of the same facility for a week now and have yet to size each other up. It could possibly be true; after all I recently learned the Detroit Lions made the 2011 playoffs so anything is possible.
Regardless of what situation is most accurate we need these two to coexist harmoniously if we expect a return to the Super Bowl. I’m sure the truth will come out soon probably through some strong investigative efforts. Chances are that Haley’s double will crack when he doesn’t get enough fries on his Primanti’s or perhaps Haley himself will screw up when he leaves his cigar butt laying against the tee box marker. DNA testing is pretty effective these days and with any hope the evidence will get these two talking.