Arguably the most cerebral quarterback ever to plan a golf trip to Ireland based on the theory that it will sharpen his mind in preparation for training camp, Ben Roethlisberger took a day off from practice this week to do “mental reps.” Memorizing new offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s playbook has proven to be no easy task, even for recent college graduate Ben.
“That one’s a little harder than the Miami ones I was doing,” Roethlisberger said earlier this month. “I joke and say that my final paper for Miami on Tibet was a lot easier than the Rosetta Stone we’re doing now here.”
Now, while most reporters might just let a comment like that go, that’s not how we operate here at GTOG. This seemingly flip, off-hand remark raises a number of serious questions. Why did Ben choose Tibet as the playing field in his “Super Bowl of life?” Exactly how much does Ben now know about Tibet? And most importantly, WHERE IS THIS FINAL PAPER ON TIBET? Well, thanks to our sources high up in the Miami of Ohio Center for Tibetan Studies (“MOCTS”), we’ve obtained a copy of one of the most important and celebrated documents of our time. And by our time, I mean Ben’s time. And by that I mean Ben’s time individually, and not in a collective sense at all.
All that said, you can read maybe the definitive work on a complex and ancient culture, thereby gaining some sense of the true difficulty of Todd Haley’s playbook, after the jump…
Tibet (/tɨˈbɛt/ ( listen); Tibetan: བོད་, Wylie: Bod, pronounced [pʰø̀ʔ]; simplified Chinese: 藏区; traditional Chinese: 藏區; pinyin: Zàngqū) is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people. Tibet is the highest region on earth, with an average elevation of 4,900 metres (16,000 ft). And though I took that straight from Wikipedia, I did so only by way of introduction, and I will not do so anymore, at least not verbatim, which – hold a moment – my wife Ashley informs me means word for word. Just setting the stage here.
Humans have been in Tibet for at least 21,000 years. To give you some sense of how long that is, James Farrior was the glue of the Steelers defense for only 10 years. Lord I miss his leadership. Aaron Smith anchored the d-line for like 13 years. Now try to imagine Aaron Smith and James Farrior stuffing the run for 21,000 years. You can’t. That’s why Tibet is special. How long can I lead my men? 21,000 years? I don’t know, maybe. Never count me out.
Linguists classify the Tibetan language as a Tibeto-Burman language of the Sino-Tibetan language family. There are different dialects in different parts of the counrty, so people from one town to the next might not be able to understand each other. This fascinates me, and it’s what I’ve been trying to tell Coach Haley. DON’T TURN US INTO TIBET. Don’t do it. You don’t want a situation where I go say to ‘Tone, “‘Tone, run B.A.’s 380 hitch and go,” and ‘Tone’s all like, “But we don’t even run that play anymore. It’s a new offense.” You don’t want that. It doesn’t help anyone. I’m trying to be a leader out there. Don’t talk to me in the Sikkimese dialect when I’m speaking Ladakhi. Come on.
|“Ben! Run ‘bras-ljongs!” … “No way. Namgyal Tsemo instead.”|
There have been many dynasties in Tibet: the Yuan, the Phagmodrupa, and the Quing to name a few. Can we be a called a dynasty? Maybe not yet, but if we get three super bowls in 8 years, what would you call that? Tibet really gives you some historical perspective, in that, look, technically, years down the road, people could look at the years 2001-2021 as the Ben Dynasty, because that’s when I dominated. We’re too close to it right now to maybe properly appreciate it.
Tibet consists of six primary ethnic groups: the Se, Mu, Dong [heh, heh], Tong, Dru, and Ra. I’ve gone ahead and decided to name my men after these various ethnic groups, so I can keep my mind sharp during practice and games. It may seem more complicated at first blush, but I think it’ll keep the men focused. ‘Tone is Se, Wallace is Mu, Sanders is Dong, Ike is Tong, Heath is Dru, and Cotch is Ra. So when I audible, I’ll say, “Mu, Dong, shift left. Dong, Dong, Dong, get back. Ra, go.” Like that. Defenses will have no response. And my guys will love it. Bring a little culture to the huddle.
Religion is also huge in Tibet. Although they are mostly into Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, and whatnot, there is a strong appreciation among the many tribes of Tibet for the offensive line. We have so many more similarities than we have differences. God is great.
Finally, in conclusion, I want to thank you, professor, for giving me this opportunity to earn this “A.” I seized the opportunity, and I think I am the MVP of this paper. Thank you, Ashley, my beautiful wife, for taking dictation. Please feel free to distribute my work to incoming freshman, so they can see what can be accomplished out there. So they can get some sense of the scope of possibilities. Also, please send this on my behalf to all the people of Tibet, so they shall know that they haven’t been forgotten.
|God leading Men.|