What They’re Really Thinking: Shit List Edition

Upon entering my sister Pens Fan’s kitchen, armed with a case of Bud Light Lime, his donation to the potluck, my father placed the beer on the table, then placed his hand on his stomach and said with a sheepish grin to us, “I don’t need to tell you, do I? That I have a bad vibe about this game.”

We weren’t alarmed in the least. We didn’t burst into hysterics that the minister of the bunch, the guy with probably the closest line to God Himself, wasn’t feeling good about the game. Like my mother famously has “bad vibes” about everything from football to cilantro-growing, my father has perpetual bad vibes about the Steelers. He has never once sat down to watch a game and said, “I got good vibes about this one, kids!”

My father would have bad vibes about the Steelers even if they were playing against a team of double rainbows.

He’d be all, “I have bad vibes about this game. But what does it mean?!”

We assured my father that he had nothing to worry about. That the Steelers would win. I told him about my own vibes, which by my calculations are 90% right when it comes to the Steelers, and that I was sure we were going to win this game.

In addition to his perpetual bad vibes about the Steelers, my father, the minister, is also convinced he is bad juju on the Steelers. When he has eyes on the game, the Steelers will play terribly. But if he goes into the kitchen to retrieve a napkin, they’ll intercept and score a touchdown before he returns to his seat.

So he left at half-time and didn’t turn the game back on until we called him and told him the Steelers won.  We’ve already let him know he’s not allowed in the house for the Jets game.

Let’s talk football.

1. Opening kick off. Armed with nacho cheese dip, we’ve barely settled into the couch when here comes Webb sprinting down the field like he’s being chased by angry living-dead baby dolls, to the 30, where out of nowhere Shaun Suisham says “Eff you” to Jeff Reed and “‘Sup, bro?” to Daniel Sepulveda by laying a tackle that brought Webb down at the 35 yard line.

Webb, then deciding that a giant elbow plant in the turf isn’t enough to be considered down, stands back up and keeps running to the 50-yard line.

But Tomlin isn’t stupid. Throws the challenge flag and hey, look at that giant elbow plant, refs!

Instead of running away scared or half-halfheartedly attempting a tackle, Suisham made a good tackle. Somewhere, Jeff Reed angrily shoves a fistful of cheese and bacon-smothered chili fries into his pie hole.

Or not.

Yay for Shauny.

2. Hines Ward. Less talky. More shutty uppy, please. No need for these fights. He made my Shit List with that stupid tiff with Ed Reed.

3. After a huge pass interference call on my honey Mike Wallace, the Steelers score, we’re up 7-0. This game is ours.

And then the Steelers took a nap or something, because those were the last points we were going to score this half.

4. We interrupt this What They’re Really Thinking to gaze lovingly on the physique of Mike Wallace.

Step off, blurry Steeler in the background.

5. Welcome to my Shit List, Ike Taylor, for your stupid helmet butt to Houshmanyaddayaddadingdong after his nice catch. No reason for that.  Also on my Shit List, Madison for the pass interference that set the Ravens up for their first score of the game, which by the way happened because, you guys, Troysus missed the tackle.


In fact, where was Troysus this game?! I know he had a few good hits here and there, but where was our Superman?


Somebody find that man his contact, because I got a feeling he’ll need it for when he intercepts in front of Santonio Holmes. It will happen.

In case you’re wondering, Troysus is not anywhere near my Shit List. Putting Troy Polamalu on a Shit List is practically begging for a lightning bolt enema. No, thank you.

Me and Troysus are cool. Always.

6. It’s the end of the first quarter almost. Can we have a quick Football 101 lesson, please?

Gather round, ye offensive line.

You there, with the fat face, have a seat.

Today we’re going to talk about a concept called “FOTBNMW” which is pronounced “fought-bee-numwah.”

Foughtbeenumwah stands for FALL ON THE BALL NO MATTER WHAT.

You see a ball rolling on the turf and a whistle hasn’t blown? Fall on it.

You’re adjusting your socks and you notice the ball has rolled into your line of vision? Fall on it like it’s a piece of cheesecake trying to escape your clutches.

You’re walking through Target and a pee-wee football falls off the sporting goods shelf into your path? YOU WILL FALL ON THAT BALL, SOLDIER.

Apparently, a bunch of Steelers forgot this rule, in a playoff game no less, resulting in what should have been a recovered fumble by the Steelers, becoming a super embarrasing touchdown by the Ravens.

Every single person on the field at that time made my Shit List. Hard. In angry capital letters. Even Mike Tomlin for wasting his second challenge on it.

7. Seconds before half-time, Shaun Suisham misses a forty-something yard field goal. Steeler Nation freaks. Terrible Towels are soaked in tears, beer and beer-vomit. Somewhere Jeff Reed triumphantly high-fives his hooker’s naked ass.

Chaos ensues.

Players are having babies on the sidelines.

Things can only get better.

Going into halftime, these are my thoughts:

a. If we lose by three points or less, Shaun Suisham might need to go into the witness protection program. He can hide in my basement. Mmrowr.

b. If we lose because we couldn’t challenge something, Mike Tomlin will be sweeping trash off his lawn for weeks.

c. If we lose by seven or less points, the entire offensive line should be forced to have “FOTBNMW” tattooed on their foreheads. In COMIC-FREAKING-SANS.

d. I need more paper for my Shit List.

8. Second half.  Mendy fumbles. Welcome to the Shit List, Mendy! Would you like to sit next to Taylor, Poop, or Feces?

Troy misses another tackle.

I SERIOUSLY think about adding him to my Shit List, but then I remember that a lightning bolt enema would probably be very ouchy. I pray instead that he finds his damn contact pretty soon.

Ravens score. We’re down by 14 points. Angels are getting their wings ripped off. Benny throws up in his mouth a little bit while wondering if maybe his new fiancee isn’t Jessica Simpson-ing him.

9. But then. Then. THEN. Coach Tomlin took things into his own hands. And used The Force.

10. Realizing Troy may never find his contact, Ryan Clark steps up in a big way by forcing a fumble and then later on, making a very important interception, effectively removing himself from my Shit List where he has resided since early last season.

11. Finally things are looking up!  Mendy runs. Heath scores. They’re erased from the Shit List.

Clark intercepts, Hines scores. He’s erased from the Shit List!

We’re all tied up when Flacco fumbles. Suisham makes the field goal and just like that we’re up by three! Steeler Nation is in a frenzy. My sisters and I are high-fiving like Barney Stinson himself is in the room watching. My father sits in a dark room rocking and praying and trying not to get his juju on anything.

12. Steelers punt. And … and … WTF? Ravens run it in for a touchdown. Vomiting resumes. Everyone is back on my Shit List just because it feels good to scrawl their names and put angry faces in all the O’s.

Never ever ever have I ever been so happy to see a yellow flag on the field. I’d like to find that yellow flag and french kiss it with all my might.

No touchdown. The Ravens settle for a field goal and eff, we’re all tied up again.

13. The possibility of overtime is hanging over our heads precariously. Overtime would suck. SURELY someone, somewhere in the city of Pittsburgh will have a heart attack if we go to overtime. It might be me.

Huge first down by Hines, who I once again erase from the Shit List and Lukey is all, “Dude! I was just about to get his autograph!”

And then, long throw by Benny. Huge. Going going going. To the ten yard line … to … not Hines. Not Wallace. Not Randle-El. To … NUMBER 84?! Who the hell is number 84?

Let me look it up.

Brown. Some dude named Brown. YAY, FOR RANDOM DUDE NAMED BROWN!

He pins that ball to his helmet like he’s trying to read its mind.

14. Touchdown, Mendy.

And the game is over when Houshmanloofah drops a sure thing and I tear the Shit List to shreds and shoot it out of a confetti cannon.

All is forgiven, except you, Lukey. You stay where you are.

Next week, we take on the Jets and the Giant Freshly Showered Penis, a team that somehow managed to neuter Tom Brady and the Patriots.

I’m a little nervous, but GOOD NEWS!


  1. Pensgirl
    January 18, 2011 4:39 pm

    William Gay made a very nice defensive play on the ball to make sure Houshmenbladeblah dropped it. I don’t know why nobody is giving him credit for it, but he made DAMN sure it was an incompletion.

  2. malbrec92
    January 18, 2011 4:45 pm

    I seriously rarely watch the Steelers — not only because I live in AZ and have way too much crazy in my life to sit down for the game, but also because I think I have bad juju. I was at a birthday party this weekend and the game was on in another room. Fortunately the party ended around halftime and I was able to high-tail it out of there!

  3. Mary
    January 18, 2011 7:56 pm

    One of my favorite WTRTs EVER. Thanks, as always. Bring on the Jets and their army of Speak’n’Spell fans!

  4. Ginny's Dad
    January 19, 2011 12:30 pm

    Although I didn’t watch the 2nd half, I did follow the progress of the game on the Internet. I think Troy will have a big game against the Jets. Also note my comment on your blog following the loss to the Patriots. Do not doubt the Word of God.

    Ginny’s Dad Says:
    November 16th, 2010 at 3:16 pm
    To NE fans: It’s a long season with many ups and downs. Not wise to gloat prematurely. Someone once said that “pride precedes a fall”.

  5. Andy T.
    January 19, 2011 1:26 pm

    Appropriate that I’m commenting immediately after Ginny’s Dad because this concerns him. In 2004, my mother watched the game when Tommy Gun got hurt at Baltimore and Ben took over. She didn’t watch another game and told me several times that she was going to avoid watching. So what happens when the Steelers play the loathsome, cheating Patriots? She watches. Steelers lose.

    So Ginny’s Dad? You seem like a nice guy. I hate to wish discomfort on a person I’ve never met and even moreso when he has so judiciously admonished Patriots fans. But please, please, please go somewhere Sunday afternoon far, far away from any television, radio, internet or cellular signal. Just in case. I’ve forgiven my mother for her transgressions, but it took a long time and from reading your daughter’s blog, she seems the type to carry a grudge.

  6. jann
    January 19, 2011 7:28 pm

    Any links to the Pomeani interview with Suisham?

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