God Bless…’Americans’—We should be able to accept excellence from any source (Aug. 21)

JOSHUA DOBBS (Photo by Brian Cook)


by Aubrey Bruce, For New Pittsburgh Courier

God Bless America, land that I love…Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies. To the oceans white with foam…

God Bless America, my home sweet home. God Bless America, my home sweet home!

During the week that everyone was dealing with the death of Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake, I did some forced retrospection on myself, my craft, my mortality and my country. I always have and will always love America, warts and all. The song “God Bless America” has always been a hymn dedicated to the strong and enduring spirit of our country and has always been a motivator for yours truly. However, I was forced to ask myself this question: “Why do we sing ‘God Bless America’ as opposed to, ‘God Bless Americans?’”

As the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas Chiefs preseason game unfolded on Aug. 17, I was able to eavesdrop on certain opinions regarding the Steelers’ second- and third-string quarterbacks, Josh Dobbs and Mason Rudolph. Well, that is the order at least for now. After two preseason games in 2019 (Dobbs started the first game against the Buccaneers and Rudolph started against the Chiefs), Dobbs has a 67.9 QBR and Rudolph has a 115.9 QBR. Now to many that may sound like a death knell for Dobbs to maintain his status as the No. 1 backup to Ben Roethlisberger. However, please allow me to explain how that sometimes superficial stat may be a bit misleading.

Ex-Steelers backup and current XFL “performer” QB Landry Jones was with the Steelers from 2013-2017. Sorry, my bad, Jones hasn’t performed yet for the former league of “he hate me.” However he hung in and hung on with the Steelers until his clipboard became outdated and they switched to a tablet. Jones joined the Steelers in 2013. He did not complete a pass for the Steelers until 2015. In 2015 he was 32 of 55. In 2016 he was 53 of 86. In 2017 he was 23 of 28. A lot of his work was in a cleanup role, yet when the Steelers were close to beginning the 2018 season, all of the pundits except me anointed, appointed and crowed and crowned Joshua Dobbs as being cut or traded because in their minds the Steelers QB roster was going to be Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones and Mason Rudolph. Jones was going to be the odd man out. The Steelers had to keep Jones as the number two QB because of his “experience.” Rudolph was the up-and-comer and was also the Oklahoma teammate of Steelers WR James Washington and they had already developed “chemistry” from their collegiate days. Dobbs was traveling solo so he was going to have to make it on his own.


Well…Dobbs made the team and became the No. 2 QB. Nowadays rumors are trending toward Joshua Dobbs being trade bait because once again the Steelers QB roster has been reset by the “squawking heads.” Starter Ben Roethlisberger, backup Mason Rudolph and número tres, Devlin Hodges. From Joe Gilliam to Kordell Stewart to James Dixon, Charlie Batch and now Joshua Dobbs, the Western Pennsylvania pundits as well as the surrounding demographic has a “unique perspective” when it comes to evaluating “certain quarterbacks.”

I am at a loss for words. I am in need of your insight for as the Beatles once asked: “won’t you please, please help me?” If we would stop worshipping mountains and prairies and oceans white with foam and start giving value to Americans with beating hearts and spirits emboldened, it might not be so hard to recognize and accept excellence from any source.


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