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Cardiac Spill: Six Conversations About James Conner's Knee

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This is you. This is what you all sound like right now.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

CONVERSATION #1: EVERYTHING IS FINE

That knee injury is going to sideline James Conner for the whole season.

That's okay. That's just fine.

I dunno, he was basically All-American last year and was like half of our total talent. He looked unreal during the few minutes he played, too. I like the backups and all, but James isn't just a cog that can be so easily replaced, y'know?

We're fine. We're 1-0. We play in the ACC Coastal. Everyone gets six wins in the ACC Coastal. Everything will be okay.

Come on, we barely won against an FCS team without him. You're not the least bit concerned?

It's Youngstown State. They're bad mojo. Our auras interact poorly. But that is done. Stop thinking about it. Tyler is back next week. He'll make it all okay. He'll make it all better. Everything is falling into place.

Okay, are you just quoting The Secret?

I am exactly where I am supposed to be in this life and I am not scared. We live in a fair universe and things will all work out in the end.

I wish I could believe that.

That's okay. I love you. Namaste.

Please stop stroking my hair.

CONVERSATION #2: EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE

That knee injury is going to sideline James Conner for the whole season.

WELP

Yeah...

SEASON'S RUINED

I wouldn't go that far, but

SAME OLD PITT EVERY YEAR. NOTHING EVER CHANGES.

We're relatively deep at running back, this isn't the

TEAR IT DOWN. TEAR IT ALL DOWN. FIRE NARDUZZI #FireNarduzzi

Calm down.

DROP ALL THE SCHOLARSHIPS. FOLD THIS MISERABLE GARBAGE PROGRAM. DROP DOWN TO DIVISION III. GIVE CINCY OUR SPOT IN THE ACC. DONATE OUR FANBASE AND BOOSTER MONEY TO TEMPLE. BURN DOWN HEINZ FIELD. THE STEELERS CAN AT BRASHEAR UNTIL THEY FLEECE THE CITY FOR A NEW STADIUM. LIVE IN THE WOODS AND NEVER WATCH FOOTBALL AGAIN TO FINALLY BE FREE OF THE PAIN

So... see you next week, then?

Of course! Wouldn't miss it.

CONVERSATION #3: SHAME ON YOU

That knee injury is going to sideline James Conner for the whole season.

Oh no!

Yeah, this'll really hurt our chances this season.

HOW DARE YOU.

Excuse me?

A young man is injured and all you can think of is how good your team is going to be without him? Oh boo-hoo, your football team might not get the most sports trophies this year. Now you'll have to find something else to do.

I never said that.

But you were going to. This'll barely make a difference in the season. But that kid's injured! He needs your support more than the team right now, but noooooo, your first thought is "sucks to be a Pitt fan again." Great priorities, buddy.

Look, I'm watching the games no matter what, and

Self-pity because someone else is hurt. That's pathetic.

...no? I get that this is worse news for his family and the people around him than me.

Are you, though?

Yes.

Where'd you mail your sympathy flowers to, then?

I didn't mail any symp

KNEW IT

YOU UNGRATEFUL BASTARD

CONVERSATION #4: LOOK AT THE DEPTH CHART

That knee injury is going to sideline James Conner for the whole season.

THEN THE TIME FOR THE NEW KING HAS COME; CONNER'S REIGN IS NOW FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS AND THE GHOSTS. LOOK UPON THE BOX SCORE - THE FOOTBALL GODS HAVE DECREED CLEARLY - LONG LIVE QADREE, OUR NEW AND FOREVER MAESTER, SHADY'S TRUE SUCCESSOR AND NARDUZZI'S LIVING HERALD.

BE SILENCED, YOU CHARLATAN! JUST AS SURELY AS THE BLOOD RUNS BLUE AND GOLD THROUGH MY VEINS IS THE REAL HEIR CHRIS JAMES, AS HE IS NOT JUST OF THE MOST UPPER CLASS BUT THE INCUMBENT BACKUP AS WELL. HE IS THE ONLY SUITABLE HEIR BY ALL STANDARDS.

NAY, I SAY, NAY! JUST AS THE BROTHER DOES NOT INHERIT THE THRONE FROM HIS BROTHER, NEVER SHALL A BACKUP ASCEND TO A STARTING SPOT WHEN A TRUE SON IS PRESENT. OLLISON HAS THE STARTER'S BLOOD, PROVEN BY THE TRIAL OF THE CUPCAKE. YOUR DOG OF A PRETENDER HAS NO CLAIM.

YOUR OWN DIVINING ROD POINTS TOWARDS JAMES, SIMPLETON! CHRIS JAMES SCORED TWO TOUCHDOWNS AGAINST DELAWARE LAST YEAR. YOU MUST HAVE THE BRAIN OF A TORTOISE TO FORGET SUCH A FEAT.

THE TORTOISE IS A WISE CREATURE. YOU WOULD BE BLESSED TO WAKE UP ONE DAY WITH THE INTELLIGENCE OF ONE. MAYBE THEN YOU WOULD

YOU FOOLS... YOU INSOLENT, WEAKMINDED FOOLS! YOU HAVE HAD THE WOOL OF IGNORANCE PULLED OVER YOUR EYES BY FALSE PROPHETS AND IDIOT PRIESTS!

AND WHOSE DISCIPLE ARE YOU, YOU DISRESPECTFUL SLIME?

I AM THE POSSESSOR OF THAT MOST POWERFUL BLADE, THE ESPN.COM RECRUITING RANKINGS. CLOSE STUDY OF THOSE TEXTS HAVE MADE ME A DISCIPLE OF NONE BUT THE FOUR-STAR LORD HIMSELF, DARRIN HALL. FOR YOU SEE, IT WAS WRITTEN IN STEEL BY NONE BUT THE GODS THEMSELVES THAT YOUNGSTOWN IS THE TRUE RECRUITING PIPELINE FOR THE PITTSBURGH PANTHERS, AND LO, AS THE NEW MOONS WAXED AND THE FULL MOONS WANED SURELY DID THE PIPELINE PRODUCE A GOLDEN CHILD, AND THUS IT IS SO THAT

cool thanks bye

hey y'all i was just in the neighborhood so figured i should pop in to say that it's not actually a given that Rachid Ibrahim is out for the entire year so i say that if he comes back in time we should give him the chance to

aw jeez please stop stabbing me

ow

CONVERSATION #5: ACTUALLY, THIS IS GOOD

That knee injury is going to sideline James Conner for the whole season.

Good.

Excuse me?

I said "good." As in, I'm glad that this has happened. You know. "Good."

That's weird. Weird and bad.

Brother, this season doesn't matter. This season never mattered. The two Tech schools are like a mile ahead of us, each. We're sure as heck not gonna beat Miami two years in a row. This is maybe the difference between the Sun Bowl and the Military Bowl, and I live closer to Maryland anyway.

But we could've built some momentum off a decent season, won some recruiting battles,

Who cares? WHO CARES? There's one star in the sky, and it's named Beat Penn State. That's the only thing, brother, the only thing.

I mean, I want that a whole bunch too. But I don't see how

No, stop, wrong. I don't want that "a whole bunch," brother. That's is the only thing I want. I want to spend my Saturday evening reloading Onward State and Black Shoe Diaries and cackling. I want to drive to State College that Sunday morning with the top down and the biggest grin Centre County's ever seen, and I want to get dirty looks from sad-eyed pedestrians as I laugh at them from a cafe patio.

So if this injury means Conner might come back next year, it's the best thing that could've happened.

...have you considered taking up a hobby?

After Temple won on Saturday I ran around town crying and throwing money everywhere.

Yeahhhhh... uh... Conner's probably still gonna declare for the draft at the end of this season.

Not if we believe hard enough, he won't.

Please go away.

CONVERSATION #6: IT'S ME, SATAN

That knee injury is going to sideline James Conner for the whole season.

Don't you mean... "Connor?"

GAH

CHAOS REIGNS
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