“If we can get three or four games being decided within the same minute and have it all live on one screen, those are the moments where you high five,” he said.
That would happen a week later, with dueling overtimes, the Buffalo blizzard, Carson Wentz’s injury and Jaguars-Seahawks scuffles. The games on this day didn’t exactly cooperate, with enough blowouts to deny concurrent fantastic finishes. When it was all over, though, Siciliano still considered it a successful day because a lot of odd things happened.
“It’s unfair punishing him over the Crohn’s,” says Fettner, his agent. “[The NFL] should drop the testing for marijuana. They don’t test for nicotine. They don’t test for alcohol” — which some players abuse in lieu of weed.
But booze isn’t a viable answer for pain relief; it brings on hangovers, liver damage and weight gain.
“Alcohol is a central-nervous-system depressant, so it makes players sluggish and leads to poor performance on the field,” says Sisley. When consumed in excess, regular boozing can lead to “alcohol impairment, brain atrophy and domestic violence. Marijuana does not cause any of those things.”
The trick with marijuana, though, is getting around the league’s annual urinalysis (administered up to 10 times per month for players, like Henderson, who’ve failed a first time). The process became increasingly invasive after 2005, when Minnesota Vikings running back Onterrio Smith got caught by airport security possessing a Whizzinator — a kit that includes a hollow prosthetic penis — and vials of white powder that he said was dried urine.
They have to travel to New England and Jacksonville in their next two games, which puts their three-game winning streak in serious jeopardy. Their dearth of a home-field advantage, playing in a soccer stadium routinely overtaken by opposing fans, will catch up to them.
Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh have turned around seasons before. Their secondary still has as much talent as any in football, and they’re second in the NFL in turnovers forced.
Flacco isn’t the quarterback he once was, and he’s voicing frustration with Marty Mornhinweg’s play-calling. He’s averaging a putrid 5.3 yards per attempt and 170 yards per game. The Ravens’ offense is shield-your-eyes bad. Injuries have crushed them.
As for the Steelers, Mikus said they made the least bad decision from among only bad options: “If they kneel, Trump blasts them. If they stand, he takes credit. Trump deserves neither an opportunity to continue his inflammatory attacks, nor should he earn any credit.”
Getting a Steelers fan to throw away a lifetime of devotion isn’t easy; for as long as people can remember, they were the glue that held together a city when nothing else was left to hold it together.