Football footnotes: The lucky guy who pegged Bill Belichick in the head
In this week’s Friday Football Footnotes, Jeff Hostetler lives out the fantasy of every Steelers fan. Brownie the Elf is coming back … for reasons we can’t explain. And we reveal your Madden 99’s for 2018. Two of them have Pittsburgh ties.
Steelers fans, you envy Jeff Hostetler
Former Giants quarterback Jeff Hostetler is a West Virginia alum. But even Steelers fans who are Pitt and Penn State loyalists are going to love him after this.
Hostetler did a podcast with the WVU “Three Guys Before the Game” crew. And he told a story from his Giants days.
It was about a time he pegged Bill Belichick in the head with a football. You can hear the tale here at the 35:50 mark.
You can also read the full account here.
Come on, you’re jealous. Admit it. Hostetler got to do what 70,000 people wanted to do at Heinz Field last December.
Got 99 problems
I’m not a video game guy. I haven’t been one for years. Although I did just go to that new video game bar on the South Side, and I set the nightly high-point-total for “Centipede.” So, you know, I still got it like that.
My “NFL Madden” interest died after the first edition or two.
However, I do know if you get a 99 rating, that makes you elite. I’m still not entirely sure how this works. Like, for instance, despite Tom Brady’s greatness, how is he a 99 if his mobility is slow? For as fabulous as Antonio Brown is, how is he a 99 when he doesn’t have much size and his speed is a 92?
I suppose it doesn’t matter because: 1. The end-goal is to best represent the dominance of these individual players; and 2. It’s a video game.
Regardless, Brady and Brown got 99 ratings in the new edition of the game. So did one other player with a Pittsburgh connection — Aaron Donald.
Steelers catch a break
Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is suspended for the first three games of the season after an NFL investigation determined he inappropriately touched a female Uber driver in 2016.
The suspension became official Thursday. So look for Ryan Fitzpatrick to be the starter when the Steelers play in Tampa on Monday Night Football September 24.
It’s ironic that the Bucs play the Steelers in Week 3. In Week 3 of the 2010 season, Charlie Batch beat Tampa as he was filling in for Ben Roethlisberger during his suspension.
Brownie the Elf is back. Yup. That’s right. That creepy, dead-eyed, Keebler-clone on steroids is back as the Cleveland Browns’ mascot.
For one press release, anyway. We’ll see where it goes from here.
Why? Was there a demand? Has his absence from the sideline and the Cleveland marketing department been the true reason behind the ineptitude of the Browns since their return to the league?
Regardless, be on the lookout, Steely McBeam. You may get some competition.
Good luck, Gene
As we told you this week, Gene Steratore and three other well-known NFL referees are retiring. Three of them, including Steratore, are taking jobs as rules analysts for the various networks.
Steratore is taking the CBS job. That didn’t go so well for Mike Carey. The Athletic did a nice job describing why things went south for Carey, and what challenges lie ahead for Steratore, a Uniontown product and Washington, Pa., resident.