Mix & Match Monday: Maybe This Will Catch On?

Introducing “Mix & Match Monday”: random observations and a look ahead at the week coming up because you never know what’s gonna blindside us these days.

Well, it is the week before Memorial Day weekend. When I was a kid, the upcoming weekend was the signal that school was going to be winding down within the next week or two and summer was right around the corner.

I am now on the cusp of turning 32 and have a job where I’ve worked major holidays the past several years, so Memorial Day weekend is more about remembering those who gave their lives while serving in the U.S. military and less about me looking forward to three months of doing nothing.

Two years ago, with some luck, I got Memorial Day off and took in a day-night doubleheader as my Pittsburgh Pirates were in Cincinnati to face the Reds. Several hours in the sun and several beers later, I was burnt to a crisp. To this day, I always take sunscreen with me if there’s a chance I’ll be out in the hot sun for a while.

Here’s your Mix & Match Monday: Week of May 24th Edition

Ever since the C.D.C. made recommendations that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks in some cases while indoors, I, someone who has been fully vaccinated for weeks now, began to explore what it would be like in Ohio.

Kroger this past Thursday started allowing customers to go maskless if fully vaccinated. I took my mask in with me, strapped around my wrist, and did a quick 5 to 10 minute shopping trip without it on. After months of wearing one in that particular Kroger, it almost felt like I was naked. Some went without a mask, others kept them on.

I had a mixed reaction since you have no way to know if someone without a mask has had two or more weeks since their second Pfizer or Moderna shot or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The C.D.C. essentially made it an honor system and how the hell do you assure someone in the produce aisle that you’re fully-vaxxed and reaping the award of trusting science?

In the end, I put my insecurity out of mind, got my stuff, did self checkout, filled my reusable bags and left. Maybe me helping to reduce the use of plastic bags shows I’m fully vaccinated?

Smaller, indoor places like convenience stores, coffee shops and restaurants, I still wear one for now. Ohio’s mask mandate goes away for everyone on June 2, so we’ll see what happens.

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-Since I’m fully vaccinated, I have five chances to win $1 million in Ohio’s Vax-A-Million lottery. The giveaway is a way to see how greed can make a vaccine skeptic get inoculated with safe, life-saving vaccine other countries are begging to get while we sit on a surplus because you read garbage conspiracy theories. The “Bill Gates wants to inject micro chips in all of us to track us” conspiracy is the gold-standard. Too bad the smartphone you carry in your pocket already does that, idiot!

Anyway, I got the Pfizer vaccine just because I wanted to see my family for the first time in 14 months, but if my name is one of the five drawn, I’ll take the $1 million without thinking twice.

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-I‘ve watched more soccer the last two weeks than I have in the past year or two. Mainly, The F.A. Cup, English Premier League and Major League Soccer.

Liverpool’s turbulent season ends with a 3rd place finish and stay in the Champions League for next season, Leicester City choked and Chelsea F.C. owes a favor to rival Tottenham Hot Spurs for beating the Wolves after Chelsea fell to Aston Villa on Sunday. Chelsea takes on E.P.L. champion Manchester City this upcoming weekend for the Champions League title. I’ll be watching, hoping to see American Christian Pulisic come off the bench for Chelsea and get the winning goal, giving me confidence that he can give the U.S. Men’s National Team a pulse for the future.

Also, if F.C. Cincinnati just played C.F. Montreal each week, they could finish the season near or at .500.

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The season finale of Saturday Night Live was well done.

The cold open reflecting on what it was like to do live television during the COVID-19 pandemic was both hilarious and a little emotional. I remember watching the “SNL at Home” shows to conclude the previous season and then a return to doing the show in its regular format in the fall of 2020 was interesting to watch.

Weekend Update saw Colin Jost and Michael Che swap jokes again, a tradition between the co-head writers.

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-The Pittsburgh Pirates just put a lot of pressure on the Penguins to make a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this summer after the Pirates were outscored 37-9 by the Atlanta Braves, losing three of four this past weekend. Has anyone changed the Pirates Wikipedia page to Ronald Acuna Jr. yet?

After watching the Penguins help the Islanders score three of their four goal in Game 4 Saturday afternoon, I hope Pittsburgh remembers to help out their goalie and which net to shoot on going forward.

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-The Washington Capitals were bounced by the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as Boston won the series 4-1. Whether you’re a Penguins fan or Islanders fan, you probably preferred facing Washington in round two.

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-With Memorial Day weekend coming up, I’m reminded that I used to eat Tootsie Rolls that were thrown from fire engines during a parade in my grandparent’s town. If it wasn’t for that, what would the point of going to the parade be for a chubby kid?

Enjoy the upcoming three-day weekend, stay hydrated, put on the sunscreen and if I become a millionaire Wednesday, have a good life.

Just kidding. I’ll still post junk.

2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs: The Most Normal Hockey Has Felt Since The March 2020 Pause

Maybe it’s because fans are slowly coming back into the stands? Maybe it’s because my Pittsburgh Penguins again matching up against the New York Islanders again in round one and possibly facing the Washington Capitals in the second round again, just like they did for three-straight playoffs from 2016-2018?

Regardless, this is the most normal the National Hockey League has felt since the March 12, 2020 pause due to COVID-19.

It is still not normal. From the bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton to finish the 2020 season after a long layoff, to the corporate-sponsored divisions created to limit travel and the empty arenas or limited crowds allowed in, this has been a strange season, but also kind of fun.

Teams only play within their division, it was a shortened 56-game regular season and with no Eastern or Western Conference, we could have a Stanley Cup Final you would never see in the normal four-division, two-division format that’s been in place for almost a decade.

There are few observations from this season….

-The East Division, or “Metropolitan Light”, was the most entertaining of the four.

-The Carolina Hurricanes being put in the Central Division gave them a better chance to win a division title. The would have had the potential to be a 3 or 4 seed in the East based on the better competition there compared to the Central.

-The Florida Panthers are that sneaky-good team this season. Sneaky because most in south Florida and the country don’t really pay attention to what’s happening in Sunrise. Maybe being a listener to The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz podcast as of late, and listening to the local hour with Roy Bellamy‘s hockey expertise, the “marching band to nowhere” has me keeping a close eye on the “Ice Cats”. #RAWR

-Just let the Toronto Maple Leafs play all the Canadian teams and they can win the division. But can they come out as the lone team from the North Division?

-My eyes are still getting used to the lighter blue the Colorado Avalanche are wearing this season with their helmets and jerseys. Did not see them winning the Presidents’ Trophy, but after watching them a little more lately, I can see why they pulled out the top spot out West and home ice for as long as they stay in the playoffs.

-The third round and Stanley Cup Final matchups have the potential to be really, really interesting. With no Eastern and Western Conferences this season, the final four, normally the conference finals, could feature matchups that would never be seen in a normal year. Imagine there being no National or American League Championship Series in baseball, with the Cardinals and Yankees playing for a spot in the World Series. Sidney Crosby and the Penguins vs. Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs for the Cup, anyone?

-Will Canada let the North Division team cross the border to play games in the U.S. later in the playoffs? Talks are reportedly good, but the Canadian government has been a lot stricter with its COVID restrictions. None of the seven teams up north played in front of fans during the regular season. It also didn’t help the Vancouver Canucks had the worst virus outbreak of any team this season. The Montreal Canadiens will allow 12 percent capacity if a Game 6 happens in round one against Toronto.

-Speaking of fans, it has been SO nice to see fans in the stands again, with capacities slowly ticking up during the playoffs as vaccinations against COVID continue. Some states are moving faster than others, but whether they have been 5,000 or 10,000, real crowd noise with fans standing, waving rally towels beats the pumped-in noise we got in the bubbles.

The “Sean Gallagher Has Thoughts 2021 Spring Cleaning Spectacular”

There is nothing like a good spring cleaning, especially when you clean out old files taking up memory on your decade-old MacBook Pro.

That is what I spend this morning doing. Just emptying out file after file of content I have not opened or needed for years, which were slowing down my still-durable Mac almost ten years after getting it.

Because of this, getting the blog going again (I mean it this time!) will be easier since I won’t get the pinwheel of death anymore. Maybe it helps that I don’t have three different internet browsers on this laptop after today.

Also, speaking of spring cleaning, GallagherThinks.com has an all-new look!

New logo, new photo of yours truly and there will be new content as our “Hot Vaxxed Summer” gets underway.

More content will be coming.

In the meantime, follow me on twitter @GallagherRadio, Facebook and on Instagram @GallagherOnTheRadio

For Brian Kelly, His Success at Notre Dame is Graded on Championships

If you have ever taken a walk around Notre Dame Stadium, there are statues of Notre Dame coaches Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine and Lou Holtz.

What do these men have in common? Simple, they all won at least one national championship in South Bend.

For Brian Kelly, he will eventually surpass Rockne for most wins as a Notre Dame head coach, but what keeps him from being immortalized in bronze outside the stadium where he has coached since 2010 is the lack of a national title.

And Kelly has had his chances.

The first was during the 2012 season when the Irish finished undefeated, ranked No. 1 in the A.P. and B.C.S. standings, only to be rolled by No. 2 Alabama 42-14 in the National Championship Game in Miami that year.

In the College Football Playoff era, Notre Dame has made two appearances the last three seasons, only to be defeated by Clemson 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl during the 2018 season, who went on to win the National Championship, and just a few days ago losing 31-14 in the Rose Bowl to Nick Saban’s Alabama squad, who will play Ohio State for the title January 11.

What’s even more polarizing is Notre Dame’s abysmal record in New Year’s Six Bowl Games since the Bob Davie era.

The Irish are 0-7 since 1998 in those major bowl games. Kelly accounts for four of them. Along with the B.C.S. title game and playoff losses, a 44-28 Fiesta Bowl loss to Ohio State in 2015 is on his resume.

Since the departure of Lou Holtz, Notre Dame has not met the expectations that come with the history of the program. But Brian Kelly has been the bright spot since 1997.

Kelly has led the Fighting Irish to four-straight 10-win seasons following a 4-8 finish in 2016, when many questioned (myself included) if Notre Dame should fire him.

In his 11 seasons at the helm, the Irish have had six seasons with 10 or more wins, two undefeated regular seasons, and 2016 is the only losing season during his tenure.

This season, The Irish beat a No. 1 team (Clemson) for the first time since Lou Holtz’s 1993 team knocked off top-ranked Florida State.

Simply put, Notre Dame has been a much-more consistent and competitive team under Kelly since Holtz left, even as they fall short against the likes of Alabama.

His time at Notre Dame has also come in an era where the 4-team playoff began, realignment saw the school strike a deal with the Atlantic Coast Conference when the Big East crumbled, making the Irish a quasi-football member, and a full-time member for the 2020 season during the pandemic, and a decade where Alabama, other SEC schools, Florida State, Oregon, Ohio State and Clemson have been constant contenders for the national title.

You could make the argument that winning a championship for Notre Dame is harder in the present college football landscape compared to when coaches like Ara and Holtz won their titles.

These days, gaining favor with the A.P. voters doesn’t help you anymore like it did for Parseghian when he was happy to take a tie in the 1966 matchup against Michigan State, knowing if they won out, they’d be national champions.

This is not an effort to create excuses for Kelly, but circumstances have changed, along with the game in the last few decades.

Kelly and other coaches are epidemiologists trying to stay on top of the latest strain of Alabama football that emerges each fall.

With 102 wins, Brian Kelly, as mentioned earlier, will soon surpass the great Knute Rockne, who turned Notre Dame into a national name.

That is something for Kelly to hang his hat on. But at Notre Dame, that is the equivalent of a participation trophy. After Charlie Weis’ firing following the 2009 season, the school brought Kelly in to win a title. He has flirted with that immortality those before him achieved, but has yet to seal the deal.

A Brian Kelly statue could one day sit outside Notre Dame Stadium.

To start work on it, that national championship needs to be won.

Kelly may not be thinking about a statue of him at the gate, but he knows Notre Dame needs to break through and be the best in college football again to quiet doubters who will debate his legacy.

Oh. It’s Been a While

Yeah. It has been a LONG time since I’ve posted anything on this website, and I pay for this domain. Also, the homepage has been getting a lot of hits in China. Should I be worried?

Anyway, I’m still alive and like you doing fine. Not great, just fine like the rest of you.

Hang in there, guys. Better days are ahead.

I’ve heard the factoids like how William Shakespeare wrote ‘King Lear,’ ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ during an outbreak of the plague in the early 17th century.

You would think with the extra downtime not going to bars, sporting events and other activities where we were allowed to be within six feet of each other, I could do more blog posts. Well, that didn’t happen.

But now, I’m ready to get this page running again and put aside a little time each week to do that.

Stay tuned.

The “Meh” Sports Weekend

Well, we’re almost through the first month of 2020. I hope you’re pacing yourself. It’s going to be a bumpy year. We got an impeachment trial underway in the Senate and caucuses and primaries on the horizon after Punxsutawney Phil decides to add a 13th month to this year’s calendar.

January hasn’t been all that bad, though.

The NFL playoffs provided some surprises. The Tennessee Titans saved us from another Super Bowl featuring the New England Patriots and somehow were one win away from going to Miami.

The Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional round had some of us trying to fathom the idea of two AFC South teams playing for a trip to Super Bowl LIV, but woke up in the 2nd quarter after going down 24-0 to the Houston Texans, outscoring them 51-7 the rest of the way to win.

In the NFC, it was 49ers and Packers with San Francisco thumping Green Bay early to move on to the big game.

Now, we have entered the bye week before the Super Bowl, which has become Pro Bowl week over the past several seasons.

You know it. I know it. The Pro Bowl is trash. Such trash, they moved it from Honolulu, Hawaii to Orlando, Florida.

I’ll let Jim Brockmire fill you in on the details (31 seconds in)…

The game where players go half speed and pretend like they care and now the NFL is going to test out some new rules during it.

The main rule getting everyone’s attention is the 4th and 15 option when attempting a field goal.

It’s like any game show where you can take the guaranteed money or you can put it at risk. It could be fun, but it won’t stick in actual games. Also, no kickoffs, which could become the norm someday.

Can we also talk about how many channels this damn game is on?!

ESPN, ABC and Disney XD.

Let me get this straight. Monday Night Football is restricted to cable (shown over-the-air if that market’s team is playing), but we’ll put this lousy show on three channels?

I don’t get the Disney XD concept. If you polled a group of kids and said would you rather have a 4-hour marathon of Ducktales reruns or the Pro Bowl, I think they take Huey, Dewey and Louie over Joe and Booger.

This is also the weekend the NHL will host its All-Star Game. This year, it is happening in St. Louis.

The league made a very wise move last season by airing it on Saturday night and not Sunday afternoon. Also, the 3-on-3 tournament between the four divisions has made it so much better. Thrown in a $1 million prize for the winning team which adds some incentive.

A downside to this year’s festivities is the lack of big names.

Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Auston Matthews, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jake Guentzel and others are not taking part, most because of current injuries or past ones that kept them from getting votes or some don’t want to play.

A little added bonus are the honorary captains for the game…

Here’s a breakdown of these St. Louis-based celebrity captains.

Metropolitan Division: Jon Hamm

-Born in St. Louis (obviously). Pretty much fits into any television show or film, and is in this season’s Curb Your Enthusiasm where he gets kicked out of a home with Larry David.

Atlantic Division: Jenn Fischer

-Ft. Wayne, Indiana born, St. Louis raised. Will always be Pam Beesly from The Office to me. Became the Blues unofficial celebrity mascot during last spring’s Stanley Cup run.

Central Division: Brett Hull

-A hockey Hall of Famer who was a member of the St. Louis Blues for most of his 19-year career (1988-98). Scored that Cup-clinching goal for the Dallas Stars that lead to a re-write of the crease rule and was feeling himself at the Blues Cup celebration.

“WE WENT BLUES!”

I hope Brett stayed hydrated that day.

By the way, Hull is one of my favorite players from the 90s.

Pacific Division: Wayne Gretzky

-The Great One.

Gretzky played for the Blues during the 1995-96 season.

There will be NBA and college basketball games this weekend, as well, but two of the four major professional sports leagues are having their All-Star games, so it might be a good weekend to finally take down the Christmas lights or restart your failed New Year’s resolution.

We go from “Meh” weekend to Super Bowl week pretty quick after Sunday.

UPDATE: Forgot the “Royal Rumble” was on this weekend, so I’m getting some grief for that. I’m not a pro wrestling guy.

Follow Sean Gallagher on Twitter @GallagherRadio and the Blog @SGHasThoughts

Cincinnati: One Year Later

You always grow familiar with a certain place after you have lived there for some time.

For over two years, the rural Oklahoma town of Woodward, a place I never thought I would venture to before the summer of 2016, was my home for work, where I learned to appreciate the small town life after living in a suburb close to Pittsburgh growing up, although I enjoyed the work trip or weekend getaway to Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Kansas City once in a while, which felt more familiar.

On November 5, 2018, I took Highway 412 east out of Woodward for the last time and made my way to Cincinnati, Ohio on the same route I took out west over two years prior. The next day, I’m following my GPS to this neighborhood called Oakley to a leasing office where after settling payment on my old apartment 1,000 miles away, I’m signing a lease and putting down a security deposit on one I haven’t seen, only going by what my dad, who was kind enough to drive in from Pittsburgh a week or so prior to look at a few places while I wrapped up my time in Oklahoma, saw during a tour. It turns out he did a great job. Then again, he sells insurance for a living, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

The summer I got the call about the job in Oklahoma was around the time I was last in Cincinnati. I was in town for one night, mainly to see a Reds before heading to Louisville, Lexington and then Indianapolis to see minor league games. So when I arrived, like any newbie, I had no idea what was around me.

BREWERIES EVERYWHERE

MadTree Brewing was recommended by a friend from college, who at the time worked in town, so on my first night, it was an introduction to the brewery culture in the Queen City, which blew me away. I mean, I was in Oklahoma where you could only purchase 3.2 beer at grocery stores and had to buy the good stuff warm at the liquor store, but that has since gone away (thanks goodness), and you didn’t find many breweries in rural Oklahoma, so to have MadTree a 5 minute walk from my apartment has made it a casual hangout on a weekend afternoon or an occasional weekday night. Also, they take care of you if you’re a regular, so pay it forward and tip well when they give you one on the house.

MadTree Brewing Beer Garden

RE-DISCOVERING A SOCIAL LIFE

This is not a stab at my old job because while I worked much longer hours, it gave me the experience to land the job in Cincinnati.

When I saw my work schedule here, which yes, is still unconventional compared to the normal 9 to 5, was a standard 5 days, 40 hours a week, that meant more free time, which was rare in the old job.

I had heard it was hard to make new friends in your late 20s and early 30s and you know what?…It’s kind of true. There are different factors that make it hard. Whether it be relationships, marriage and even those friends having children.

At my old job, I always felt like an outsider. I didn’t grow up in rural Oklahoma, so I didn’t reflect what you might find in middle America.

Obviously, when I came to Cincinnati, being more of an urban area, there were people who related more to what I am: a person with a job and down time they hope to fill by meeting new people and exploring a city, which is basically an adult playground. It took a month or so, but I started going to trivia nights and other events through a Meetup group and have met a lot of interesting people with different jobs, backgrounds and personalities which makes for great conversations. It’s been a reminder that I’m not on an island alone.

THE NEIGHBORHOODS

I live just north of downtown Cincinnati in Oakley. Once I got settled in, I drove down Madison Road to the square and much like Main Street Woodward, there were local bars, restaurants and shops you miss if you don’t take the time to slow down and look. Then there’s the coffee shops. I have a ridiculous number of them to choose from on a daily basis and they’re all great.

Soon, I wound up driving through neighboring Hyde Park and the homes and square left me amazed, as well. I also have to give a shout out to Mt. Lookout, which is the site of Ault Park, a very photogenic area.

Ault Park

CLOSER TO HOME

Cincinnati doesn’t require two flights to go home and see the family, but only a little over 4 hours in a car.

I loved growing up in Pittsburgh and I still have a connection to the area, so being able to go home once in a while to see my family or go to a sporting event is special. Our family has grown over the last year with the birth of my niece, who I was able to see just days after she arrived, which was special. I’ve seen her a few more times since and gets bigger every time and will soon be 1 years-old: a birthday I don’t want to miss out on.

OH, AND OF COURSE, THE JOB

I can’t end this without talking about the job I moved here to take.

Inside the news booth at 700 WLW

It has been great. There have been some changes in the first year, but it remains the same welcoming, upbeat place it was when I first arrived. I mentioned in a previous post I had to leave sportscasting behind for now in the new gig, but it has only made me a better news anchor and reporter and continues to.

We all long for a job we’re happy to go to, a place that makes us feel at home, even if it’s not where we’re originally from, and we seek a sense of community from acquaintances, with some becoming friends.

Right now, I have that in Cincinnati, even if I get criticized for being a Steelers and Pirates fan at times.

Follow Sean Gallagher Has Thoughts on Twitter: @SGHasThoughts

Follow Sean Gallagher’s personal Twitter: @GallagherRadio

Bring on the Colder Weather, Baby!

First off, I am that guy who will keep his windows open when the temperature is in the 40s at night. Just me typing that makes some of you shiver, huh?

Look, after a summer where it was one of the hottest on record, my electric bill needs a break and I’m tired of sweating.

October in Cincinnati began with temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Seriously? Now, having lived in Oklahoma, you get temperatures like that in the fall, but at least the humidity is low. Here, it’s sticky in October? No! No! No! I’m not the pumpkin spice type of autumn person, but I like to think I at least get to wear a hoodie by then.

I mean, just look look at the start of the month. Thankfully, it’s starting to balance out…

Now, there are pros and cons when it comes to October weather, especially as we get to the end of the month.

When I was a little kid, I trick-or-treated in several inches of snow after Pittsburgh saw a storm come through in 1993 and in 2011, I called a college football game near Lancaster, PA during a Nor’easter and had to call it outside with only a canopy to protect me, my broadcast partner and the equipment from the elements. Fun, but challenging.

This picture was taken during our short time in the press box at halftime.

October 2011: Millersville University

If I haven’t made it clear enough yet, I love fall. Next to spring, it’s my favorite season. The heat of summer is leaving, football starts back up, good television shows are back with new episodes and if you’re like some of my friends, you’re excited that we are moving closer to Christmas.

No, I am not counting down the days. We haven’t even hit Halloween yet.

Weaned off Facebook, Hooked on Instagram

Once upon a time in like, 2011, I downloaded Instagram because somebody mentioned it to me. I was in college, so I already had a Facebook page, two Twitter accounts (one personal, one for my student media stuff).

At that time, I really didn’t use Instagram much. Fast forward seven years after I moved from Oklahoma to Ohio. After going through the circus that was the 2016 election, I grew tired of Facebook, which has been infiltrated by my parent’s generation, and with the current leader of the free world making Twitter a nightmare where the far right left just constantly @ each other with stupid memes, Instagram was worth checking out more last November.

I had used it to post some photos I thought were interesting, but then I realized I could send Stories.

Really? Stories?! This could be fun.

Since then, I can’t go one day without posting at least one, or two, OK maybe three different stories.

My follows are mainly friends and some local businesses, some of which have been kind enough to follow me.

Like every other social media app, I’m guilty of getting a little high off a like or notification on something I’ve posted. We’re all tech junkies, which is better than doing drugs.

Even as I use Instagram, thinking I’ve escaped the clutches of Facebook, I was quickly reminded that Facebook owns it.

At this point, it doesn’t bother me. Disney owns like 80 percent of all media now, my cable provider overtook smaller ones not long ago, so no matter where I go, the white F with the blue background is there.

Oh, and if you want to, follow me on Instagram: @Gallagher084

There’s One Reason to Smile as a Steelers Fan This Week

It has not been a good week for the Pittsburgh Steelers and its fans.

The team saw its franchise quarterback leave last Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks with an elbow injury, requiring surgery that would keep him out the rest of the season and putting the team’s hopes of climbing out of a 0-2 hole into the hands of Mason Rudolph, who some fans want to give up on before he even takes the field as a starter this Sunday at the 49ers.

While there is a good chance 2019 might be a lost season and could mark the end of the Ben Roethlisberger era in Pittsburgh, at least this happened Friday afternoon…

Yeah, that’s right! It took two women accusing Antonio Brown of assault and him allegedly passing gas in the face of a doctor while dodging the bill (and other payments) for the New England Patriots, known for taking troubled players in and turning them around, to cut ties after just one game.

Week 1 of the season saw the Steelers go to New England and get curb-kicked by the Patriots 33-3 with the knowledge that Brown, who orchestrated a release from the Oakland Raiders, had just arrived in town earlier that day and while he wouldn’t play that night, was expected to suit up the next week with the feeling that this bad guy got everything he wanted.

When the allegations emerged days later, it didn’t stop New England from keeping Brown off the field against Miami, where he played and caught a touchdown, irritating those in black and gold even more as they watched the Steelers defense give up huge plays to Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense.

But finally! There was enough new information for Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft to realize that having Antonio Brown on the roster going forward wasn’t a good idea.

Now the question is, will there be an NFL team desperate enough to take on Brown, who managed to sabotage his career in less than a calendar year?

The Steelers might lose out in Santa Clara Sunday, but at least Antonio Brown won’t be playing.

But we’ll wait and see what the future holds.