Here at Black and Gold Tchotchkes HQ, there is a growing concern that many of the Steelers players don’t quite know what to do with themselves during the offseason other than go out to bars. And while there is nothing innately wrong with heading out to a nightclub or pub, it seems the cautionary “should have stayed in and read a nice book” tales of Plaxico Burress, Adam “Pacman” Jones, Donte Stallworth, Ray Lewis, and even a couple of Carolina Panther cheerleaders were not enough to keep Roethlisberger and Holmes home safe on their sofa.

Obviously locking oneself away Boo Radley-style isn’t a reasonable way to pass the time between workouts.  Players should seek out rewarding hobbies to help keep them out of trouble.

May we offer a few fun suggestions on how to spend the next few months before training camp?

Playing an unannounced set at Coachella is a sure-fire way to build buzz for a Bonnaroo debut.

Daniel Sepulveda – Start a chillwave band.  No one knows how much punters really suffer. 

Who you gonna call?

Limas Sweed – Work on a costume for Comic-Con.  A good showing in San Diego, maybe a stop at WonderCon and Wizard Con and just maybe you can be cast in GHOSTBUSTERS III, which considering Ivan Reitman’s schedule, won’t start shooting until 2011.  Perfect timing for either the next offseason or the lockout.

Zen tree-trimming is zen.

James Harrison – Bonsai tree cultivation.  Caring for something so delicate and beautiful could be a welcome change from the brutish destruction of opposing offenses.

Troy has caché!

Troy Polamalu – Geocaching.  Maps, riddles, and little boxes of stuff! Maybe ask those nice marketing people at Head and Shoulders for travel sized bottles of shampoo to leave behind as your signature geocache item for other trackers.  Just look at how many caches there are around downtown Pittsburgh.  It could take you weeks to find them all.

Snack-sized stamps?

Casey Hampton – Stamp collecting.  Or — if you want to impress the ladies — you could become a philatelist.  Doesn’t it sound sexy?  Say it aloud, slowly.  Phi-la-tel-ist.  Be sure to put your tongue into it.  (Postage stamps, not tramp stamps.  Remember, staying out of trouble is the goal here.)

Still cooler than douchecake Guy on the Food Network.

Jeff Reed – You love drinking, Skippy, so why not make your own brew safely at home?  Cops and towel dispensers are less likely to be a problem in your own kitchen.

Photoshops by my partner, Bryan.  Go follow his nascent Tumblr.

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