Saturday, March 17, 2012

Top o' the Morning to You and a Happy St. Patrick's Day

"If you're lucky enough to be Irish ...
you're lucky enough."

St. Patrick is no doubt wondering, like the rest of us Steelers' fans, whether Mike Wallace will be in Black 'n Gold this year.  

When Joey Porter's Pit Bulls saw reports of the big free agency deals given to wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Pierre Garcon the past few days, we blanched and said, "Faith 'n begorrah, sure as a shamrock, Mike Wallace's days as a Steeler are behind us."

Now, however, a few days later, no other team has stepped forward with an offer, so far as we know.  Wallace remains a Steeler.

Mike Wallace: About to haul in mucho moolah.
It could be that teams not named the Washington Redskins are reluctant to part with a first-round draft choice, which the Steelers would receive if Wallace takes another team's offer.  Still, the difference in money between what the Steelers plan to pay Wallace ($2.742 million) this year as a restricted free agent and what he is (still) likely to be offered by another team ... well, that difference is vast and great.  

Granted, the Steelers would have the right to match any offer.  One is still likely to come in before the April 20 deadline, as noted in this excellent piece by CBS Sportsline's Clark Judge.

Still a Stiller, but for how long?
How much money are we talking about?  ESPN's Jamison Hensley offers an excellent analysis of the pay scale established this off-season for some of Wallace's peers.  If he were truly a free agent, rather than a restricted free agent, Wallace would probably get about $22 million over the next two years.  

Wallace, who is 25, may not get $22 million, but he almost surely will receive an offer worth considerably more than $2.742 million.  The Steelers will have a decision to make.

It must be nice to be Mike Wallace.  On that note ... 

An Irishman walks into a pub in a small town in Ireland and orders three beers. The man takes the beers to a table where he sits alone and polishes them off in about an hour. He gets up, orders three more and does the same thing. Another hour later, he gets one more round of three, drinks them and leaves.
This scene repeats itself the next evening and then the next, and pretty soon this pub is abuzz about the man they're now calling Mr. Three Beers. When he comes in again, the bartender's curiosity is overwhelming, and he asks his new favorite customer what the deal is.

The man replies that he has two brothers who are no longer in Ireland, they're worlds apart, and they all vowed that each would order an extra two beers whenever one of them went drinking to keep the brotherly bond.

The bartender and the tavern regulars bought the story, admiring the brotherly love, and Mr. Three Beers became a pub favorite.

But one day he came in and ordered only two beers. The bartender poured them and the pub crawlers took immediate notice, thinking the worst -- that one of the brothers had passed away. This went on for several days.

One day, finally, the bartender haltingly offered his condolences on behalf of himself and the pub regulars. The man thanked him for the thoughtfulness but said his two brothers were alive and well.
So what's with ordering only two beers? the barkeep asked.

"It's Lent," the man replied. "And I, myself, have decided to give up drinking until Easter."