Big Ben signing for the fans
Ryan Clark getting his SCM membership card
The OSD support group
A Bad Relapse…
Those of you have read some of my past articles know that I suffer from a serious disorder. One that I contracted at birth, and while it isn’t technically fatal; it is one that I have to deal with every day until I die. There is no cure, you can only hope to manage it from day to day. As a child, I knew my father had it as well, and I am sure that is where I contracted it. As I grew older, I realized I wasn’t alone, and that thousands of people had the same disorder I did all over the world.
The disorder, of course, is OSD. (Obsessive Steeler Disorder)
It’s constantly thinking all things Black and Gold every day. Wearing nothing but SCM and Steeler swag. Stopping and talking with total strangers because you recognize that they too suffer from OSD. I won’t go into all the symptoms, but if you have forgotten you can go back to my earlier article on this topic.
As I said, I thought I had it under control this season. I was recovering much quicker after losses, and didn’t get too high after wins. Then the bye week hit, and I found myself in Vegas with my wife. One thing led to another and next thing I know I was getting a Steeler tattoo on my arm. I recognized that I had relapsed, and my wife helped me out of the tattoo parlor before I decorated my entire back with Super Bowl trophies.
Little did I know that my biggest OSD attack would come during the offseason. This near fatal attack lasted 48 hours, and started when I pulled into the parking lot of the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly Virginia for the Collector’s Showcase of America gathering.
That’s right, we drove 9 hours to a sports memorabilia show that featured numerous Steelers.
It’s like having an alcoholic show up at a college keg party…you just don’t stand a chance.
I knew the SCM would be in the house, and I figured that I could lean on them for support. That they would help me through this relapse. Well, 2 minutes into the day I already had a new SCM hat and t-shirt. I quickly threw the swag on, and next thing I knew I was in a small booth talking with Jerome Bettis and getting our picture taken. At this point I realized I’d be fortunate just to survive this weekend.
Sunday was being billed as “Steeler Sunday” at the Expo, and since my sister has OSD just as bad as I do, I figured we’d be lucky to get out of there without selling body parts for autographs and Steeler ‘stuff.’
The SCM Bosses that I was looking to for support were at the booth and did their best, but it was obvious they were having their own OSD issues. Boss Smyth came from the back showing off the picture that he just had Big Ben sign for him. Bosses Hertzog and Kennedy were meeting other fans and talking about meeting Mean Joe Greene and Franco Harris. Looks like it was going to be every OSD survivor for himself.
Unfortunately for OSD sufferers, the CSA put on an excellent showcase. I got a chance to talk with Ben Roethlisberger about driving down from Ohio, and had him sign a picture I took of him at Super Bowl XL. Then I was up front hanging out with WR Emmanuel Sanders, talking Mafia business with him. He loves our organization and told me to setup something with him in da ‘Burgh sometime. When I thought my OSD couldn’t get any worse, I found myself high fiving Hines Ward as he walked through a Terrible Towel waving frenzy of fans.
We slowly backed into a small area where player photos were being taken, and didn’t see anybody in there. Then out of nowhere some guy jumped from behind the curtains and yelled ‘Gotcha!’ It was Ryan Clark, with a huge smile on his face. We talked for a bit, and got a great picture, and he was loving just hanging out with Steeler Nation. After Clark, we talked with Mike Wallace…then Lawrence Timmons…Cam Heyward…Rocky Bleir…Franco Harris…Mean Joe Greene…Dermontti Dawson...my head was spinning!!
Every Steeler that was at this show was extremely friendly, and took the time to actually talk to their fans. They posed for pictures, signed autographs, and genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves. Steeler Nation loves their Black and Gold, and from the smiles on the players faces you could tell that they loved their fans back just as much.
My OSD was going into overload, and nothing the SCM Bosses could do would help. Besides, they were busy signing up new recruits, and dealing with their own OSD issues.
Only one thing could help me get through this. An intervention with other OSD sufferers, a place where I could talk with other Steeler fans like me and compare stories. Due to the lockout before last season, the SCM couldn’t assemble and get ready for the season as in years past. That should be different this coming season. I NEED that intervention, to talk with the Godfather, to feel normal around other Steeler fans as crazy as I am.
Then I got a text from Boss Hertzog…and my mind was at ease. It was just what I needed to hear:
“Once the schedule comes out, the SCM will be working to setup a Sit Down Dinner again this season. Get ready!”
Ahhhh, the Sit-Down, aka my Intervention.
Where you at the show in Chantilly? Do you have enough Steeler/SCM swag to wear a different shirt every day this offseason? Do you read mock drafts every day to see if the Steelers’ possible pick changes?
Then you too might be in need of an intervention.
Keep an eye out later in the offseason for details…hopefully the long awaited Mafia Weekend will be back and La Famiglia can once again gather and feel at ease to discuss their OSD issues.
Until then, try to relax and Fuhgettaboutit….