In what can only be described as the most “2023” move ever, Pittsburgh Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin apparently made good on his earlier threats. Shortly after two of his players knelt during the national anthem, they were handed their walking papers. But in a whimsical twist, rumors abound that he’s considering two llamas as their replacements. Yes, you read that right: llamas.
Steelers’ star players, whose names are being withheld to protect them from the storm of llama memes heading their way, took a knee during the national anthem. Their intentions? To peacefully protest social injustice. Tomlin’s response? “I did warn them,” he shrugged at the post-game presser, a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get more theatrical, enter Larry and Lulu, two llamas known for their agile moves at a local Pennsylvania farm’s annual football showdown. Word on the street is that Tomlin, in a light-hearted bid to cool off tensions and perhaps bring some levity to the situation, invited them for a “tryout.”
“It’s all about agility, whether you’ve got two legs or four,” Tomlin was overheard joking.
The player’s reactions were mixed. JuJu Smith-Schuster reportedly said, “Larry’s got some mad skills for a llama. Wouldn’t mind him on the team, to be honest.” Others were more wary, with one lineman grumbling, “I swear, if Larry tries to eat my playbook…”
The Steelers’ nutritionist, however, is on board. “Think of the savings! Just some hay and water for our two new rookies.”
Steelers’ fans, never ones to back down from a chance to show their humor and passion, were quick to jump on the llama bandwagon. “Llama Time” T-shirts sold out within hours. One can now spot fans doing the “llama dance” in the stands, a curious jig involving a lot of neck bobbing.
One superfan even stated, “Look, if Larry and Lulu can help us get to the Super Bowl, I’m all for it. Might even throw in a goat as a kicker.”
The NFL has always seen its fair share of controversies, but llamas? That’s uncharted territory. A representative from the league remarked, “As long as they pass the required physicals and don’t spit at the referees, we might consider it.”
While the debate around kneeling during the national anthem continues, one can’t help but wonder what Larry and Lulu’s stance (or stance-less position) would be. Will they graze? Stand stoically? Only time will tell. In the interim, local farmers are on high alert. Should any other NFL coaches get ideas, a cow as a cornerback or a pig as a punter might not be far off.
In the swirling vortex of NFL debates and drama, Tomlin has, intentionally or not, given fans and players a reason to chuckle, debate, and maybe, just maybe, look at the larger issues at play. While llamas in the locker room are likely a fleeting fantasy, it’s a gentle reminder of football’s power: to entertain, to unify, and occasionally, to leave us all scratching our heads in bemused wonder.