Appearing soon in the agate type:
TRANSACTIONS: Pittsburgh Steelers -- Re-signed quarterback Tommy Maddox to a one-year contract.
Y'know ... just as "insurance."
Get it? "Insurance" ... since that's what Tommy Maddox did full-time before the L.A. Xtreme of the XFL, HEY!!! This is supposed to be about Ben Roethlisberger and his courageous battle against the evil forces of a Chrysler New Yorker windshield and then it turns out to be a mini-bio on Tommy Maddox.
B-Roth vs. T-Mad?
Maddox HAS to get ready because he'll be the Steelers' emergency QB if Charlie Batch and rookie Omar Jacobs go off the tracks in what almost-assuredly will be the run to the second of three consecutive Super Bowl victories.
Training camp is barely more than one month away -- and the City of Champions spent the day re-prioritizing its life by re-assembling the jigsaw puzzle which was BigBenGoesSplatOnTheAsphalt.
Shortly before his body caromed off the side fender and ricocheted against the windshield, I heard Big Ben doing an interview on the "Mike & MIke In The Morning Show" on ESPN Radio (Eric Casillias was sitting in for Greenie) -- and, shortly thereafter, America held its collective breath as America's QB was down.
Sacked in the street.
Thrown for a loss.
In the NFL world which sometimes is more real than the real world, Ben would've been wearing his Steelers helmet and the radio inside would've had the voice of Cowher or Whisenhunt ordering him to get up because it's 3rd-and-12 and we should probably look for Heath or Hines working free in a seam in the zone.
Everything's going to work out fine (that is, if you call the insertion of plates in one's skull "fine").
I'm just glad that I don't have to host a candlelight vigil or prepare any heartfelt eulogies.
Not that I would anyway. Look ... the merits of "wearing a helmet" while riding a motorcycle isn't up to you or me. That's for Greta Van Susteren and Nancy Grace to sort out.
And, it's not my job to get all preachy because I'm a big believer in Charlie Batch.
Big Ben got the Steelers the Super Bowl title which most of America hoped for -- and if he chooses to go sans helmet when riding a motor-scooter, why am I 'sposed to care about someone who doesn't care about himself?
Big Ben doesn't come to my house and rip the Pall Mall outta my mouth as I'm lightin' up and urge me on with, "Dude, I could really use your support for the next 10 seasons. Why would you want to cut it short with cigs?"
Touche, Benny Roth!
That's the dynamic in our "Ben-ship." We don't talk to each other, but we have a silent camaraderie. If I don't hold my end of the Ben-ship, well ... he doesn't really give a rat's ass.
And, if he doesn't do his job, I'm ready to move onto Charlie Batch as my Super Bowl XLI MVP.
It's a powerful bond.
Which is why when I first heard about the 2-wheeler vs. 4-wheeler mishap, I wasn't any more moved than when Zola Budd tripped Mary Decker Slaney in the '84 Olympics ... America's all-time heartbreaker.
I was definitely more floored when that wasted limo driver wrecked in Detroit and left Vladimir Konstantinov paralyzed one week after the Wings won the Cup in '97.
That left me disconsolate.
On the other hand, what happened to Rothlisberger definitely causes one to sit back and "take stock."
Of what, I have no idea.
It just seemed like the thing to say.
I'm there for ya, Ben!
That is, until you're out of the lineup and I need someone else to get the job done.