Thursday, October 20, 2005

Open Letter to Tommy Maddox

Dear Mr. Maddox,

Hell of a job on Sunday, Tommy. I hope you’re happy with yourself. I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that because of your pitiful display against the Jaguars I’ve cried myself to sleep every night this week. I keep asking myself what I could have done to deserve this kind of anguish. What kind of god would allow an abomination like that to occur? Christians say that god sacrificed his only son to be crucified for the sins of mankind, but I bet that even he would have had second thoughts about allowing him to be a Steelers fan with you at QB. I wish I were exaggerating, but your shittiness is truly of biblical proportions. Just as Hitler was a genius at being evil, Tommy, you are a genius at being shitty.

Let’s take a look at what exactly what went wrong. You threw three interceptions and coughed up one fumble. The second interception gave the Jaguars the ball on the Steelers 7-yard line and eventually led to a Jacksonville touchdown. The fumble occurred in overtime after Quincy Morgan had returned the kickoff to the Jacksonville 27-yard line (the 27-yard line!), killing Jeff Reed’s chance to kick a game-winning field goal. And, of course, last but not least was the interception two minutes later at the Steelers’ own 35-yard line that was returned by Rashean Mathis for the game-winning touchdown. You threw for a whopping 154 yards, including one touchdown, and had a QB rating of 30.1 (compared to Ben Roethlisberger’s season rating of 123.8).

I have to be honest with you here, Tommy, I’ve searched the depths of my soul and sought guidance from wise men of all faiths and from all regions of the world, and yet I could not find an explanation for what the fuck happened on Sunday. But, just as I had lost all hope of finding an answer I came across your post-game press conference where you shed light on that embarrassing episode. When asked whether wind was a factor in your performance, you responded, “You hate to sit here and say ‘a lot,’ but a lot.” Come on, Tommy, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me! The only way the wind played a factor in that game is if it were strong enough to physically move the fucking Jacksonville cornerbacks into the triple coverage you threw into on virtually all your passes. Please spare us Steelers fans your pathetic excuses and let us throw you under the bus with as little fuss as possible.

Perhaps the most infuriating thing from the press conference was your response to a question about the booing by the Heinz Field faithful. You said, “I was disappointed in that. I’d be lying if I said no. I think that sometimes it is to be expected. When you have a track record in a city, like I do here, I was disappointed.” Ok, let’s talk about your track record for a second. You were a first round draft pick who left the league in disgrace and commenced work as an insurance salesman until your career was resurrected by Vince McMahon. After winning the league MVP as QB of the Los Angeles XTreme of the now defunct XFL the Steelers signed you as a free agent in 2001. To your credit you did manage to unseat Kordell Stewart, whose ineptitude at QB is the stuff of legend, but almost exactly two years later you lost your job to a rookie who never had taken a snap in the NFL. The saddest thing about you is that your performance on Sunday arguably wasn’t even the worst of your career. In fact, while watching the Jacksonville game a horrifying memory that had been buried deep in my subconscious resurfaced. In case you don’t remember, which you may not since it was your first game back after you damn near broke your neck in Tennessee, in a game against the expansion Texans in 2002 you threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns and gave up another fumble that was also returned for a TD. The only thing that makes me feel at all better is that you have now officially blown any chance you may have had at catching on as a starting QB of another team in the NFL. If you're looking for a change of career, I would suggest that you very well may be the perfect replacement for Brownie at FEMA. Not only do you mishandle everything you get your hands on, but you seem to have some sort of superhuman ability to take a bad situation and make it much, much worse in ways that nobody could even have conceived of. I guess it's a form of creative incompetence. Way to think outside the box, Tommy.

I realize that due to salary cap constraints and whatnot you will continue to be a member of the Steelers for the rest of the season. However, I humbly request that you no longer speak to the media or your teammates and avoid any activities that would lead the public to associate you with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Also, if you would kindly wear a paper bag over your head whenever you’re on the sidelines of a Steelers game it would be greatly appreciated.

You suck,

(dictated but not signed)



In the interest of full disclosure, the rest of the Steelers didn’t exactly set the world on fire on Sunday either. And even though I am admittedly a Bill Cowher apologist, I think that he deserves some of the blame for sticking with Maddox too long and for not letting the Bus run the ball in overtime. The defense played fairly well considering that they were often put in bad situations thanks to the impotent offense. Greg Jones was surprisingly effective, but the Steelers did shut him down when they needed to most on a big fourth down attempt by Jacksonville and then again at the end of the first half when the Jags were knocking on the door. The biggest impact of the loss is that it makes the game this week against the Bengals a must win. I was feeling pretty confident about the Steelers’ chances in Cincinnati with the return of the Jewish Rifle, but the latest injury report has made me a little nervous. Hines Ward, Antwaan Randle-El and Cedrick Wilson (i.e., the Steelers’ top three receivers) are all listed as questionable, as is guard Alan Faneca and defensive end Aaron Smith. Cornerbacks Deshea Townsend and Ricardo Colclough are doubtful. Those are some major contributors and losing any of them will hurt the Steelers’ chances. I’m hoping for the best and my worries are slightly assuaged by the fact that it is the Bengals, after all, and I don’t have a lot of faith in them pulling out the big W in a crucial spot. The line is either even or the Steelers are slight underdogs. Go with the Steelers.


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