Bold Predictions: Week 5

GMD predicts the horrible future <I>When Steeler Players Attack</I>...

It's been a weird week on the police blotter, to say the least. From New York to Nevada and points in between, law enforcement agencies found themselves responding to string of violent episodes perpetrated by former members of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team. It started a week ago, when former offensive guard Justin Strzelczyk was involved in an early morning hit-and-run near Syracuse, New York. Strzelczyk fled the scene, setting off an hours-long pursuit that finally ended when Strzelczyk jumped the Interstate median and drove the wrong way on I-90 for several miles before plowing into an 18-wheeler carrying caustic chemicals.

Three days later, former Steeler draft pick Cole Ford is wanted by police in Las Vegas for a drive by shooting at the home of Seigried and Roye. I am not making this up.

So when Kordell Stewart is arrested the very next day in McCarron International Airport for smashing a row of slot machines, it doesn't take long for Las Vegas detectives to uncover what is described to the press as a "bizarre love quadrangle" involving Ford, Stewart, Siegried, and Roy.

An animal control officer takes aim as Bradshaw dives
for cover behind a passing bovine

But that doesn't explain Terry Bradshaw, who suddenly gets violent while taping a Fox Sports segment near the primate habitat at the San Diego Zoo. One cameraman is injured and another thrown into the primate habitat, before an alert animal control officer puts Bradshaw down with a tranquilizer dart.

High-speed car chases. Drive by shootings. Guys trying to charge into the primate habitat at the San Diego Zoo. If it's not Steeler Week, I don't know my football.

And yes, football does get played in the darkest corner of Appalachia on Sunday afternoon. The Browns and Steelers square off in a critical Week 5 match up that will decide which city owns the lead in the AFC North conference race. As it turns out, the race quickly turns into a farce.

On the first series from scrimmage, the Steelers try to run Duce Staley right, left, and middle. The former Eagles running back loses four, six, and 13 yards, getting dumped three yards deep in his own end zone on the third down carry. Things get out of hand when Dennis Northcutt returns Chris Gardocki's free kick following the safety for a quick touchdown. The Browns offense has yet to take the field, and Pittsburgh is down 9-0.

Speaking of down, Ben Rothlisberger gets a quick education on the Steelers' next series, when he drops back looking for Hines Ward along the right sideline. Orhpeus Roye and Kenard Lang crash the inside of the pocket, forcing Rothlisberger outside where he runs smack into Chaun Thompson. Thompson goes right through Rothlisberger, popping off the quarterback's helmet and stripping the ball out of his hands on his way to another Browns TD.

Offending photo

Steelers Coach Bill Cowher slams his clipboard to the ground and screams at his offensive line. As the unit staggers to the sideline, network cameras get an unfortunate tight-shot of Cowher warming up a loogie to plant on Jeff Harting's face. The FCC would later fine CBS $600,000 for what it termed "unacceptable content."

NBC is forced to pay hefty fines after receiving complaints that this close up shot of Cowher's face sent children and elderly viewers into convulsions.

Less than three minutes into the game and the crowd is out of hand. Someone in the upper deck releases several dozen chickens and turkeys, prompting a melee as stadium security and local police wade into the scene. Drunken fans start tossing the panicked fowl over the side, creating a brief episode when one turkey gets caught up in Cowher's headset and claws at the coach's face. "Turkeygate" would immediately join Bottlegate and the great New York Giants snowball assault as legendary moments in NFL fan participation.


Ahead by 155 points at the end of the first half, Browns Coach Butch Davis shelves the passing game entirely and benches Jeff Garcia in favor of William Green. Green, Suggs, and Terrelle Smith roll up nearly 600 yards rushing in the second half. The Browns defense gives up no scores and no first downs, despite having to fend off descending fowl every time they return to the bench.

By the middle of the fourth quarter, stadium personnel can no longer keep the field clear of turkeys, chickens, racoons, and other cherished household pets. When a rabid skunk bites the toe of the line judge and sprays Pittsburgh guard Alan Faneca in the face, the officiating crew has had enough. The game is called with four minutes left on the clock.

This game stinks.

The broadcast draws miserable ratings for CBS, but pays dividends for rival network Fox Broadcasting, which soon launches a new series called "When NFL Players Attack!" Terry Bradshaw earns rave reviews as the show's host.

Final score?
Browns: 1,657
Steelers: -178

And that's the way I see it. GMD

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