I almost met Hines “Sticky Fingers” Ward last month, a would-be-life-changing visit that was thwarted by his impending knee surgery after the Steelers lost the wild card playoff game against Jacksonville. Had I actually come face-to-face with my super-human, smiling hero, the conversasian might have gone something like this:
HINES: Hey there.
DIANA: I love you.
HINES: What’s that?
DIANA: (loudly) I love you.
HINES: Um. [45-second pause while Diana stares] So, it’s Diana, is it? Did you want me to autograph something, or, er, something? I’m really busy, um, I hafta, um, help out some mixed-race Koreans soon, or…
HINES: [shuffles awkwardly in seat] Hrmm. So it’s been good to meet you, Diana. But listen, I know I’m grinning like a hyena right now as if I’m having a good time, and I am I guess, but I kind of always smile like that… and, basically, I have to go.
DIANA: [erupting like a volcano] YOU CATCH EVERY BALL! YOU CATCH IT! [slobbers]
DIANA: Let’s just take a picture.
HINES: Okay. [grins like a hyena]
If by some other circumstance I would have instead gotten a sit-down with our QB, Ben “I only throw interceptions when it matters most” Roethlisberger, I imagine the conversasian would transpire something more like this:
BEN: Wazzzzzuup, girl?
DIANA: Hello, Ben. I’m honored to meet you, I’m such a big Steelers fan. I cried when we won our last Super Bowl.
DIANA: Yeah. So…
BEN: God, I could really use a beer, or somethin’. Or somethin’!
DIANA: Right. Can I ask you a question? Or a couple of questions?
DIANA: Why the hell would the youngest QB ever to lead their team to win a Super Bowl subsequently drive maniacally on a motorcycle with no helmet, when hundreds of thousands of fans depend on him every week for consistency, hope, and inspirasian?
BEN: Augh, dude, totally.
BEN: That sucked.
DIANA: Throwing interceptions sucks, Ben. Losing to the Jets sucks, Ben. Getting sacked while lumbering around the field trying to find someone to throw to sucks, Ben! Losing as a wild card in the post-season when you have the #1 Defense in the league, sucks, BEN!!!
BEN: Man, I know.
DIANA: [growls, frustrated]
BEN: So… anything else?
DIANA: Yes. One more thing. Why are you currently running off your mouth about wanting A “tall receiver,” laying down tons of backhanded compliments about your teammates that especially make Hines Ward feel like shit? All of this in the midst of you trying to speedily negotiate your new contract?
BEN: Ah dude, I dunno.
DIANA: Hines is a fucking hero. He is your savior. He rises to the task when you need him most– which is often, because when you’re not on the ball you are really fucking OFF the ball, dude.
DIANA: Be a leader! Love thy brother! Don’t sting your brohams with words. Sting the OTHER TEAMS by WINNING. By throwing complete passes. By making the right plays. By running harder and faster. Focus on yourself, don’t go trying to make Hines feel small. He may be compact but he’s an animal on the field. I wouldn’t want to piss that dude off. He’ll just smile you to death and then jump fifteen feet in the air to catch a ball with his pinky.
BEN: You’re right. Maybe I’m just jealous. I’m so big. I used to think that I looked cuddly but sometimes when I’m watching film I feel like I just look fat and clumsy.
DIANA: It’s okay, Ben. Everybody makes mistakes. And you’re not fat. Let’s just work on how you feel about YOU, and take your focus off of everybody else.
BEN: And how I feel about me is… good?
DIANA: Uh huh.
BEN: I feel…GOOD… about ME!
DIANA: [sighs and takes a seat] Okay, I can see this is going to take awhile. But we’ll get there, one day at a time.
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