Steelers Hangover: Three Simple Tips for Improving Jeff Reed’s Quality of Life

This week’s edition of the Steelers Hangover has taken on a literal tone, as kicker Jeff Reed was arrested, once again, for public intoxication and disorderly conduct outside a north shore bar late Sunday night. Other than being guilty of excessive celebration after beating the destitute Cleveland Browns, Reed will also be summoned to appear in city court.

The kicker’s run-ins with Pittsburgh Finest is becoming what the fat cats at the Dollar Bank down the street call a “trend.” In February, Reed pled guilty to disorderly conduct and criminal mischief for beating up a paper towel dispenser that wasn’t cooperating with him in a Sheetz convenience store bathroom in New Alexandria.

It seems like Mr. Reed could use a wake-up call, but since no one uses alarm clocks anymore and Jeff probably dropped his cell phone down a north shore toilet on Sunday night, Pulling No Punches is here for an intervention.

Here are a few valuable “Tips for Life” for the Steelers’ precocious kicker:

1.  Get a girlfriend

Having a girlfriend is a lot like introducing a healthy dose of prunes into your diet. It’s often bland, emotionally taxing and exceedingly unexciting, but it really does keep you regular.

Plus, if you find the right Pittsburgh girl, she’ll go half-sies with you on the case of Pabst and always let you stay up late for Monday Night Football. Although if she’s from anywhere east of New Kensington, she’ll probably have incredibly well fed, ill-natured and innumerable brothers, so just beware, Jeff. They don’t take kindly to frosted tips, casual wristbands and man earrings ‘round them parts.

In fact, Reed would do well to ditch the south side stragglers and north shore strumpets that so often appear on his arm in photographs, similarly doe-eyed and slipshod, always grinning into a digital camera flash with last cab enthusiasm.

Those girls are trouble, Jeff. Remember why the politicians said they picked the ‘Burgh for the G20 summit? Our fine academic institutions! Don’t waste that resource, Mr. Reed. Trek down to Oakland and nab yourself a Carnegie Mellon grad student.

Not only will you learn all you ever wanted to know about subatomic particles, but you’ll make Commissioner Goodell happy. Remember what he said about maintaining financial stability after your playing days are over?

Cha-ching. You’ll spend your retirement watching SpongeBob reruns and pretending to listen to how interesting her day was engineering the Hadron Collider.

That’s Hadron Collider, Jeff. Stop being so juvenile.

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Don’t worry, Jeff. Relationships are easier than you think. It’s like my girlfriend says, “I’m not doing this to punish you. I’m doing it for your own good.”

2.  Drink O’Doul’s

If you drink too much alcohol, you can lose a lot of things – your car keys, a few teeth, your aforementioned girlfriend, even your life. But if you drink O’Douls, the only thing you can lose is your dignity.

Sure, it’s not quite a win-win, but it’s not a lose-lose either. It’s more of a win-lose. And Mr. Reed, I’m pretty sure you’d take a 50 percent average, especially this season.

Funny story: sophomore year of high school, a friend of mine thought he was a modern day Fonzarelli, which meant that he did cool things, like talk back to his mom and go to glorified pizza parties. So one night, a group of us (spoiler alert: all males) were sitting around in a cold, carpetless basement talking about the ineptitudes of Kordell Stewart, among others things. As planned, someone emerged with a case of beer from “dad’s fridge.”

Fonzarelli feigned apathy, acting like he’d been to the end zone before. Over the next three hours, the booze flowed generously and we talked about the laundry list girls we wished we could finagle into thinking we were cool, stopping routinely for whiz breaks behind my buddy’s mom’s flower garden.

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My Wonder Years contained more sausage than an Emeril Lagasse cookbook.

After five or six beers, Fonzarelli was falling all over himself and purposely slurring his words, using his inebriation as an excuse for forgoing the backyard bushes and mistakenly urinating on a meticulously groomed fica plant in the corner of the basement.

“Dude, I’m hammered,” he said over his shoulder to his laughing friends.

Littered at his feet was a pile of discarded O’Doul’s bottles. For the pious readers, O’Doul’s is a substitute lager that tastes like a beer, only it’s legally not a beer. It contains one-half of one percent of alcohol.

After that infamous night, Forzarelli never regained his false bravado, but on the flip side, the incident humbled him for the better, and he never took a cell phone picture of himself beaming proudly in his birthday suit that wound up on the internet, ala Mr. Reed.

3.  Find a better wingman

Everyone needs a solid wingman. Maverick had Goose. Seinfeld had Costanza. Mario had Jagr. Hollywood tells us that we need a wingman (or wing woman) to help us attract members of the opposite sex that routinely travel in packs.

Actually, that’s not so. Wingers are really there to tell us when we’re behaving like a ridiculous human being. Wingers are there by our side to keep us in check. Famous people especially need good wingers.

Everything that’s amiss about Mr. Reed – from the frosted, blow-dried, blown-out hair, to his penchant for public shirtlessness, to his platinum tanning bed membership, could be corrected by a proper wingman – someone to look at him sternly and say, “…dude.”

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“Dude. No.”

In all fairness, I think 90% of Reed’s shenanigans is supposed to be an ironic “Eff you, I’m famous enough to pull this off” shtick.

But as Reed has probably learned, or will soon learn, Pittsburghers don’t like irony. We’re probably the least ironic city in North America, as evident from our favorite sandwich – the Primanti Brothers’. If that sandwich was made in Arizona, it would be a tongue-in-cheek, ironic “play” on a cheesesteak. In Pittsburgh, it’s just delicious. Period.

No, we don’t like irony in Pittsburgh. But we don’t mind an Iron or six.


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