Like most of you, The Fumbler watched in disgust last Sunday as the Steelers struggled to score in a season-opening loss to the Tennessee Titans.
"Large Ben" was sacked five times, the offense committed two turnovers, and the running game produced only 32 yards on 15 carries.
As the final seconds ticked away, The Fumbler leaned back in his favorite recliner and went into deep thought.
"What can I do to help them out?" he said.
So, Monday morning, The Fumbler showed up at Steelers headquarters on the South Side and submitted an application to become the team's new starting running back.
A Steelers assistant coach was handed The Fumbler's resume. He took a look at it, read the name of the applicant, smiled and said, "No, thank you. We've already got a few of those."
The Fumbler actually wasn't too upset, considering he figured he had about as much of a chance of getting the job as Wiz Khalifa has of becoming the next mayor.
More importantly, if The Fumbler had earned a spot on the Steelers roster, he'd have to rearrange his priorities a great deal. He certainly wouldn't want to put getting paid millions for playing a game ahead of his barely-above-minimum-wage job of prognosticating high school football games for the Post-Gazette.
When it comes to the NFL, The Fumbler will simply continue to be an armchair quarterback.
He'll leave the starting running back job for someone else.
Last week, The Fumbler proved once again why he is the best in the business. He went a magnificent 56-11 (.835) in his picks. That improved his season record to 105-30 (.777).
If you would like to stroke The Fumbler's ego with some congratulatory comments, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are his thoughts on this weekend's top games:
Kiski Area (2-0, 2-0) at Gateway (2-0, 2-0), 7:30 tonight -- After looking at Kiski Area's roster, The Fumbler said the Pledge of Allegiance and performed a riveting performance of the "The Star-Spangled Banner" in front of Mrs. Fumbler. The patriotism was fueled by The Fumbler realizing that two of Kiski Area's top players are Lincoln (Clayton) and Justice (Evans). Kiski Area is good, but it would be an injustice to pick against an ultra-talented Gateway team that has its sights set on playing at Heinz Field in November. Don't bet the (White) house on it, but the Gators will likely improve to 3-0. Winner: Gateway.
North Allegheny (2-0, 1-0) at Seneca Valley (2-0, 2-0), 7:30 tonight -- If you go to this game, make sure you dress lightly and wear sunscreen, as this rivalry has been heated in recent seasons. It's also been one-sided. Seneca Valley has gone 20-5 since 2011, with four of the losses coming to North Allegheny. The Raiders have not beaten the Tigers in more than a decade. This was projected as a "down year" for North Allegheny, but the Tigers appear to be a WPIAL championship contender once again. Seneca Valley, also hit hard by graduation, is off to a solid start, as well. It's hard to go against history, so ... Winner: North Allegheny.
South Fayette (2-0, 2-0) at Steel Valley (2-0, 2-0), 7 tonight -- When The Fumbler makes it out to a Steel Valley home game, he's always sure to make a stop at Duke's Upper Deck Cafe in Homestead. The Fumbler usually orders The Pinkerton, a sandwich with sliced steak and grilled mushrooms. Coincidently, the name of Steel Valley's top lineman is Corey Pinkerton. He blocks for a pair of running backs -- D'Andre Pickens and Duane Murray -- who have rushed for more than 900 yards in two games. If they keep it up, Duke's might want to name a burger after them. But against South Fayette, it will be the Ironmen who get sandwiched. Winner: South Fayette.
Shady Side Academy (2-0, 2-0) at Valley (2-0, 2-0), 7:30 tonight -- While a quarterback at Pitt in 1970, Shady Side Academy coach Dave Havern played a part in one of the greatest comebacks in Panthers history, helping his team overcome a 35-8 halftime deficit to defeat West Virginia. Valley coach Chad Walsh is also no stranger to miraculous turnarounds. Just a year ago, Walsh took over a program that had lost 22 games in a row. The Vikings made the playoffs last season and are suddenly a title contender in the Class AA Allegheny Conference. Tonight, Valley will reach yet another peak. Winner: Valley.
And the rest (home teams in capital letters):
CITY LEAGUE -- University Prep over CARRICK; Westinghouse over BRASHEAR.
WPIAL CLASS AAAA -- (Foothills Conference) HEMPFIELD over Connellsville; McKeesport over NORWIN; Penn-Trafford over ALTOONA. (Northern Eight) PINE-RICHLAND over Butler; North Hills over SHALER. (Southeastern) Mt. Lebanon over PLUM; Penn Hills over BALDWIN; UPPER ST. CLAIR over Peters Township; Woodland Hills over BETHEL PARK.
WPIAL CLASS AAA -- (Big Nine) ELIZABETH FORWARD over Laurel Highlands; Ringgold over BELLE VERNON; Trinity over ALBERT GALLATIN; West Mifflin over UNIONTOWN. (Greater Allegheny) KNOCH over Derry; HAMPTON over Greensburg Salem; FRANKLIN REGIONAL over Highlands; MARS over Indiana. (Parkway) Central Valley over CHARTIERS VALLEY; BLACKHAWK over Hopewell; WEST ALLEGHENY over Moon; New Castle over AMBRIDGE.
WPIAL CLASS AA -- (Allegheny) Ford City over EAST ALLEGHENY; Freeport over DEER LAKES; BURRELL over Summit Academy. (Century) Quaker Valley over McGUFFEY; Seton-LaSalle over KEYSTONE OAKS; South Park over BURGETTSTOWN. (Interstate) WAYNESBURG over Brownsville; Jeannette over YOUGH; Mount Pleasant over SOUTHMORELAND; Washington over CHARLEROI. (Midwestern) Aliquippa over RIVERSIDE; Beaver Falls over ELLWOOD CITY; BEAVER over Freedom.
WPIAL CLASS A -- (Big Seven) OUR LADY OF THE SACRED HEART over Laurel; SHENANGO over South Side Beaver; ROCHESTER over Union. (Black Hills) Bishop Canevin over CARLYNTON; Chartiers-Houston over SERRA CATHOLIC; Clairton over CALIFORNIA; MONESSEN over Fort Cherry. (Eastern) Avonworth over LEECHBURG; North Catholic over NORTHGATE; SPRINGDALE over Wilkinsburg. (Tri-County South) Avella over MAPLETOWN; Beth-Center over CARMICHAELS; Frazier over BENTWORTH; Jefferson-Morgan over WEST GREENE.
NON-CONFERENCE -- WINDBER over Brentwood; Central Catholic over CANON-McMILLAN; VINCENTIAN over Geibel Catholic; GREENSBURG CENTRAL CATHOLIC over Kittanning; Latrobe over FOX CHAPEL; Montour over MOHAWK; NEW BRIGHTON over South Allegheny; Thomas Jefferson over HOLLIDAYSBURG; APOLLO-RIDGE over Western Beaver.
WPIAL CLASS A -- (Eastern) West Shamokin over RIVERVIEW.
NON-CONFERENCE -- COLUMBUS CRUSADERS (OHIO) over Kiski School.fumbler