What They’re Really Thinking: Greasy Shakespeare edition.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,

creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

’til the last syllable of recorded time.

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.

Out, out brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow — a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon stage and then is heard no more.

It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury.

Signifying nothing.

Thank you Norwin High School’s now-retired Mr. Donnelley for me remembering that passage from heart.  I bet if you Google it, I’m no more than two or three words off.

Showy Shakespeare recollections aside, if Mike Tomlin can pull out and recite the empty words of artists, then so can I.

What with his ludicrous talk of “not going gently into the night,” because, LOOK!  There go the Steelers, tiptoeing down the hall to their beds, bellies full of warm milk and gingerbread, their toes peeking from their long nightgowns, yawns on their lips, and nary a sound on a cold winter’s night.


WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?  What happened to “unleashing hell”?!  They unleashed at most, a burp.

We lost four in a row and this one to the Oakland RAIDERS, a team so bad I often hear my brother-in-law, their biggest fan, say, “Well, Oakland only lost by 14 today! [triumphant fist pump!]”

Up is down. Down is up. West is north. Jeff Reed is hot.  EVERYTHING IS WRONG.  Like Tina Fey wrote, “Is this the apocalypse?”

I guess we have to talk about the game?


There. We talked about the game.

Okay, fine.  We’ll really talk about the game.

1.  I have always been a fan of Bruce Gradkowski’s.   Sure I made fun of the fact that he writes like he’s in 4th grade, but he is in fact an official Smokin’ Hot Burgher, so if we had to lose to the Raiders, I’m pleased that it was because native son Bruce Gradkowski had the game of his life.

2.  Somebody go steal Gerry Dulac’s lunch money.


3.  The thing with this game was, it started out just fine with a sweet kickoff return by the Steelers, something we haven’t seen since 370 B.C., and everyone seemed pretty confident.


4.  But Tomlin went for it on 4th and 1 and we failed to get it.  Then he let Jeff Skippy Skeeve Reed attempt a 53-yard field goal while we were up 10-6 knowing that Skippy hasn’t nailed anything over a 46-yarder, what, all season? Jeff failed, too.

These two things ended up mattering and that means, coaching fail.


Tomlin said the reason he went for it was because of Jeff’s pre-game warm-up performance.  Unless Jeff hit five 55-yard field goals in a row while he was warming up, it was a DUMB decision.

5.  Tomlin today said he may bench some starters for the Cleveland game and this is me jumping up and down and pointing enthusiastically at Ike Taylor’s punk ass.

Please go watch the 75-yard touchdown play and watch as Ike Taylor basically gives up pursuit and pushes Raider Louis Murphy into the end zone with the ball.


Goodbye, Ike and the rest of you miserable defensive backs.

6.  Santonio The Asshat Holmes had a HELL of a game, and Hines was solid as usual with his touchdown that SHOULD have won the game for us.


7.  Problem is, Bruce Gradkowski suddenly is on fire and deadly accurate.


And he’s somehow found his man in the endzone and by “somehow” I mean “GOD ALMIGHTY OUR PASS DEFENSE SUCKS HARDER THAN THE HARDEST-SUCKING BUCCO OF SUCKITUDE.”

8.  So, Steeler Nation is stunned silent and Ben has like ten seconds to win the game and that of course means a Hail Mary.  Mother of God, Limas Sweed plays football like someone chopped his frickin’ hands off.  The ball drops to the ground and the Steelers are losers and the Raiders are winners and hot is cold and wet is dry and winter is warm and David Conrad returned my email.

We’re not looking too good as a team capable of making the playoffs.



Boy do WE EVER NEED A WIN!  And I can’t believe I’m worried we’re going to lose to the Browns, because last year that would have been like worrying the Steelers were going to lose to a team of armpit hairs.

9.  I’m not saying it’s why we suck, I’m just saying, I know what could help us get a win:


But that’s not all we need.

We are a team with lots of problems in almost every facet of the game.  Maybe that’s because everyone wants to beat the champions so they bring their A++ game, while we, the champions, grow complacent and only bring our C game.

Tomlin stood on a wall in the locker room after the game, watching how his players reacted and how they dealt with postgame interviews.

Mike, we don’t need you on that wall.  Come down off the wall, look long and hard at your team up close and personal and then look long and hard in the mirror.  This loss is on EVERYONE.

The fact remains that we have lost to the worst teams in the NFL and if we can’t beat Cleveland, we don’t deserve to be in the playoffs this year.

Here’s hoping we play better than armpit hairs.

Jeff Reed, you go practice your 55-yarders.  Troysus, you get better.  Steeler Nation, you stop flinging yourself from high perches.

And Limas Sweed and Ike Taylor?  As Shakespeare once wrote, “A plague on both your houses, you giant losers.”

I may have added that last part.  But if Shakespeare had watched the game yesterday, he’d have been all, “Forsooth, what in God’s name is this suck? Would suck by any other name be just as sucky?  What a piece of suck is this?  To suck or not to suck?  They chose suck.”

Forsooth, indeed, Will.


  1. Just A Simple Man
    December 7, 2009 3:58 pm


  2. Scott
    December 7, 2009 4:08 pm

    That game yesterday was oh-so-soily….

  3. aDerek
    December 7, 2009 4:12 pm

    Epic, painful failure. So hard to watch…

  4. Dan (Not Onarato)
    December 7, 2009 4:15 pm

    Loses like these frees up space on the Stillers bandwagon…

    Hey Ginny…make a bet with the Steelers…if they win out and win the Super Bowl…youll post a not so flattering photo of yourself….seemed to work last time…what do you say?

  5. JustCele
    December 7, 2009 4:15 pm

    You manage to so eloquently express what I have been feeling since the game ended. I just didn’t have the words! Thank you!!

  6. Sooska
    December 7, 2009 4:21 pm

    The unleashed hell or, the hell with it?

    The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath (but Ike Taylor can’t cover it to save his soul which is now unleashed in Purgatory): it is twice blest;
    It blesseth him that gives (Deshea?)and him that takes(except when it’s Joe Burnett):
    ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
    The throned monarch better than his crown (and OOO ain’t that heavy?);
    His sceptre shows the force of temporal power (except with the Red Zone),
    The attribute to awe and majesty,
    Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings (
    and Bears and Chiefs and Raiders and Bengals and Ravens);

    I won’t go on.

    Hell? NO! Marshmallow World

  7. unsatisfied
    December 7, 2009 4:25 pm

    did you see this on the PG-unledded site today?

    A few changes will be necessary because it appears Hines Ward will not play because of a late-game hamstring injury from the Steelers’ 27-24 loss to Oakland Sunday. That means Limas Sweed will move up on the depth chart and either he or rookie Mike Wallace will start Thursday. Tomlin also said they will sign a fourth wide receiver for the game — they released veteran receiver Shaun McDonald Nov. 28.”

    limas sweed?

    “will move up on the depth chart”?

    what the shitfuck?

  8. lb
    December 7, 2009 4:48 pm

    Looking at Troy’s beautiful, upturned, hopeful face eased the pain for just a moment. But it can’t erase the suck that was spewed on the field by both the Steelers AND the Panthers this weekend. Good column though — one of your more brilliant “What they’re really thinking” editions!

    Go Pens?!?

  9. Burgh Baby
    December 7, 2009 5:27 pm

    Major kudos to you, Ginny. The only words I can string together about that game include cussing and confusion. Something like, “Really? WTF?” That’s all I got.

    This might be my fave WTRT of all time.

  10. Pitt Pygmy
    December 7, 2009 5:36 pm

    I believe the line about “not go[ing] gentle into that good night” was Dylan Thomas, but that’s entirely beside the point. I HATE Grease, but this was probably the best series of WTRT pictures EVER!

    And thus, it is the only good thing to come out of that travesty of a game.

  11. chrys
    December 7, 2009 5:49 pm

    The end of that game was actually painful. I think that is why I spent a lot of money afterwards Christmas shopping. I needed a little retail therapy. :)

    Also.. William Gay needs to go “bye-bye” He truly sucks!

  12. Pensgirl
    December 7, 2009 5:56 pm

    I have nothing to say about that game. They don’t deserve the time it would take me to write about it!

    But thank you, Ginny, for not feeling the same way. We need the catharsis of the WTWRT.

  13. Pa-pop
    December 7, 2009 6:04 pm

    So where’s the part in this nightmare where, you know, Bobby Ewing’s in the shower and it’s all been just a bad dream?

  14. La Reina
    December 7, 2009 6:32 pm

    Apart from the lamentably absent Troy, have the Steelers had even a hint of a pass defense since the days of Rod Woodson? Our secondary sucks donkeys. Less time spent dolling up your hair extensions, fellows, and more on learning how to keep up with fleet-footed wide receivers.

  15. Moonbeam's Momma
    December 7, 2009 6:34 pm

    Cleveland, OH – A seven-year old boy was at the center of a Cuyahoga County courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulation requiring that family unity be maintained to the highest degree possible.
    The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried and said that they also beat him.
    After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.
    After two recesses to check legal references and confer with the child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Cleveland Browns, whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating anyone.

  16. Moonbeam's Momma
    December 7, 2009 6:36 pm

    I don’t think you have anything to worry about on Thursday, Ginny :-)

  17. Jim
    December 7, 2009 6:43 pm

    I remember Mr. Donnelley.

  18. Hayduke
    December 7, 2009 6:48 pm

    I’m firmly on the Steelers bandwagon as I have been since the early 70s but I believe the wagon will not be going past week 17 this year. That loss yesterday cost us the playoffs regardless of what we do the next four weeks. Everyone else is getting stronger and we’re getting worse.

    Oh, well… bring on 2010!

  19. Still A, Fan
    December 7, 2009 7:06 pm

    unleashed a burp…..best line of post. good stuff. do you know what it’s like going to work in the philly suburbs, a football throw’s length from the city limits, after a loss like this? especially, when maybe you yourself said something to the eagle’s faithful when they lost to the raiders earlier this season.

    sigh. i lead my post with a picture of Ike Taylor…..SWAGGA……


  20. Clementine
    December 7, 2009 7:09 pm

    That was very, very funny and true.

    Troysus should get a new contract for one bagillion-gazillion dollars (a game). Just hire some part-time, minimum wage kids to stand around and fill out the roster. Give all the money to Troy. ALL the money.

    As soon as I heard Tomlin talk about “unleashing hell,” I knew we were screwed. A little less conversation, a little more action. Dammit.

  21. Magnus Patris
    December 7, 2009 7:13 pm

    Odds bodkins and yay verily!

  22. cmd_45
    December 7, 2009 7:18 pm

    My immediate statement after, “You suck, Ike, you suck.” (screamed while jumping up and down in the kitchen), was, “Stuff that swagger up your ass, Ike.” The secondary hasn’t been good in many years. Can we say, “Chad Scott?” Great post, though, Ginny. I love the Grease reference.

  23. bluzdude
    December 7, 2009 8:30 pm

    William Gay fell down in coverage 3 Freakin’ Times, leading to first down catches on each. Mundy did us a favor by knocking him into next Tuesday.

  24. Steel51_Guins29
    December 7, 2009 8:43 pm

    First time commenter…LONG time reader…

    I thought of you many times yesterday, Ginny, as I walked around the Burgh pre-game…mostly because evil red-eyes pigeons were STARING at me. My fiance and I tried to kick some, but those buggers just tease you into thinking you can get them. I owe you more than pigeon-kicks though. You make this displaced (into Baltimore, 10th pit of hell) Western PA girl happy to be a Burgh-supporter. Thank you for your wit and humor, it makes this season way more bearable.

    I love you, as I love James Farrior, Primanti’s, all things black and gold (esp. my new fuzzy toe socks bought in Breezewood), and two Pens goals in 49 seconds (WOO!). =)

  25. Vivian formerly NY Luvs Pitts
    December 7, 2009 9:12 pm


  26. Chase
    December 7, 2009 9:19 pm

    So how are you football ignorant fans going to blame Arians for this loss?

    Also, how was Limas Sweed supposed to make that catch at the end when they had about six defenders down there and one of them got a hand on the ball?

    Limas can’t play any worse next week than Hines and Heath Miller have at times this season. Limas needs to see the field so he can improve and actually gain confidence.

  27. hoosierburgher
    December 7, 2009 9:45 pm

    I’m just going to say it, has Mike Tomlin been eating too many Primanti sandwiches? Maybe that is interrupting the blood flow to his brain.

  28. pghgeorge
    December 7, 2009 9:49 pm

    It was as though I was watching the apocalypse unfold before my very eyes, and I knew every single plague that was about to befall us as it approached.

    I was yelling “NO!! DON’T GO DOWN INTO THE BASEMENT WITH THE FLASHLIGHT!! THERE’S A MONSTER UNDER THE STEPS WITH A CHAINSAW!!!!” But the stupid kid goes down the creaky stairs into the dark basement anyway.

  29. KAD
    December 7, 2009 10:02 pm

    The game was painful. Your post (as always cheered me up). It was HILARIOUS….
    About the game and the season now… It’s like I’m a parent (I’m not) but hypothetically speaking, and my child received a “D-” but only because they did not put in the effort for an “B+ or A.” Steelers, I would still love you if you were an “E” team every season, but you fail to put in the effort. It’s frustrating to watch. Cleveland is like the make up exam. If you lose, you fail.

  30. Leslie
    December 7, 2009 10:25 pm

    I’ve been saying ever since the Bengals won the first time that everything was wrong with the world. It’s Bizarro NFL. At least the Raiders beat them, too.

  31. NW Joe
    December 7, 2009 11:50 pm

    I think everybody needs to relax a little bit. The Steelers have won two of the past four Super Bowls, been to four AFC Championship games in this decade and they did it without cheating.

    Yeah, in addition to losing Troy and Aaron Smith, they lost their edge this year and it kind of sucks.

    There is a lot of talent on this team. Tomlin is a good coach and he will learn from this experience. They will be back (maybe even this year).

  32. t3chb0y
    December 7, 2009 11:59 pm

    You know, you keep killing me with all these HS flashbacks… :)

  33. Great Scot
    December 8, 2009 12:13 am

    That piece must have been a requirement in Westmoreland County School Districts because I had to memorize it too.

  34. Carpetbagger
    December 8, 2009 12:21 am

    To further quote the Bard:

    “A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”

  35. red pen mama
    December 8, 2009 8:07 am

    I have nothing to add about the game. I’m just impressed by your ability to combine Shakespeare and Grease in one post. I especially liked the “shape up” image.

    Watching Ben run is painful.

    Just as an aside: Think Big Ben will question Hines’ toughness, re: hamstring?

    Also, bonus to @sooska. Well done.


  36. Jen
    December 8, 2009 8:17 am

    holy GOD. I missed the game because I was at the airport, so thanks for that video of Ike Taylor sucking royally. Holy crap that’s awful.

    I am not even looking forward to the Cleveland game, and that makes me sad.

  37. AndyTheo
    December 8, 2009 9:14 am


    Well, I thought the Steelers had played much of this season acting like they were trying to recreate the football team episode from “Glee”, but I hadn’t considered they were impersonating John Travolta’s complete athletic ineptitude from “Grease”. Food for thought.

    Honestly though, if someone stuck mascot-style pigeon heads on Ike Taylor, William Gay, Ryan Clark, Deshea Townsend, Ryan Mundy and Tyrone Carter, would you kindly do the honors?

  38. JenEngland
    December 8, 2009 11:56 am

    WE CANNOT LOSE TO THE BROWNS. PERIOD. My close friend is a Browns fan. It will upset the balance of the universe and she will mock me. She is mean in a year when we crush them and win the superbowl. If the Browns beat us, I will have to not be friends with her anymore and that will be sad. So no. No No No. No. No. Just NO.

  39. Dan (Not Onarato)
    December 8, 2009 12:09 pm

    If we lose to the Browns, can we just play for a draft pick?

    Because if that happens the season is over. On the bright side…only 71 days until pitchers and catchers report! BAHAHAHHA

  40. Vivian formerly NYLuvsPitts
    December 8, 2009 12:39 pm

    I’m not worried about the Browns. In 2005 we had three straight loses and then won the last four games of the season. One of them being 41-0 against the browns. After that we won 4 more to make us the Superbowl Champions. I believe we can win these last four games and the four after to give us the Superbowl victory again. Am I being overly optimistic?

  41. Matt
    December 8, 2009 3:28 pm

    This is why I love Pittsburgh. Most of your commentators here, despite several weeks of painful evidence to the contrary, harbor thoughts that the playoffs could actually still happen this year! Great fans. Great city.

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  43. tmb
    December 9, 2009 7:37 am

    I had Mr. Donnelley for a semester long Shakespeare class at Norwin. I was the only male and the only junior in a class full of senior girls. He referred to me only as “junior”. He was an amazing teacher. I loved it.

  44. Steelman
    December 9, 2009 9:56 pm

    Since we have so many local sports writers who have made ridiculous predictions, I figured what can I lose.

    I love the Steelers but they are in a very bad funk. As much as I hate to write this, they are going to lose to the Browns. The fire and the “eye of the tiger” (for you Rocky fans) is gone. They have been resting on their laurels after winning the Super Bowl. I also believe they are out of shape which is why they are atrocious in the 4th quarter. They might be lucky to end up with an 8-8 record after playing one of the easiest schedules.