By Mary Paoletti
The Super Bowl is just 10 days away -- 10 days. Do you have any idea how much brain-raping (Hi, Ben!) obnoxious drama ESPN can inflict on we football fans between now and then?
So much. It's going to be ugly.
And it's why I love Chris Kemoeatu a little bit right now.
When Steelers Pro Bowl center Maukice Pouncey suffered a high ankle sprain and his Super Bowl status became questionable, The WWL was poised to pounce. Adam Schefter undoubtedly worked himself into a frenzy, planning his next remote interview (in front of his many leather-bound books in his apartment that smells of rich mahogany)...
"WILL Pouncey play? Or WILL he be forced to sit and watch helplessly as his team battles the Pack for the Lombardi trophy? Zomg, you guise!"
But Kemoeatu punched much of the suspense out of the report.
"We are definitely sad that he won't be able to be with us in the Super Bowl," the defensive end told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Wednesday. "Definitely I feel bad for him. We just have to win it for him."
ESPN is doing its best to persevere.
'There's no word from the Steelers... not beyond what that one teammate said after practice. Pouncey was seen wearing a walking boot but we're waiting for more definitive evidence of the injury.'
NFL Network's Albert Breer is helping the cause by tweeting this: "Playing optimist, Steeler G Ramon Foster just told me on Pouncey, "I think he'll play." ... Not sure if he was instructed to say it or not."
I wish Kemoeatu's comments could stand; they were refreshingly definitive. In fact, I wish that all teams had a player -- or just anybody -- to give such straight answers that bypass all the melodrama and guesswork.
EXAMPLE: WILL Dick LeBeau finally retire? WILL the 73-year old come back if the Steelers fail to win a third Super Bowl? Or will he keep coaching until he DIES on the field?
LeBeau's Wife: Dick is done. If he doesn't retire, I'm divorcing him. End of story.
And who needs a person like this more than the Patriots?
EXAMPLE: DID Bill Belichick know Wes Welker was going to taunt Rex Ryan in his press conference? WAS he possibly in on it? WILL Welker be punished?
Ross Ventrone: Bill didn't know anything. Wes lost a bet and had to say whatever the practice squad told him to. The "foot soldiers" thing was my idea. Good, right? Oh, but Wes is gonna be benched for the first series of the game. Oops.
I realize that such plain-speak would change the nature of my job, too. But I think I'm smart enough to adapt. Why? The leather-bound books in my library are real. And I actually read them.