If you find yourself confronted with an NFL postseason without a rooting interest and unmoved by Don Cheadle soliloquies, you must draw from the well of that most powerful of human emotions. Okay, well, lust probably won’t do here. But the second most powerful, hate, will serve as a fine proxy. This is the first in a series of posts filled with bile, spleen, vitriol and all-around nastiness toward all the teams involved with the sordid roundelay we know as the NFL Playoffs.

AFC 4th Seed — Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)

I’ve never hated a Steeler as intensely, as quickly as I hate Sean Mahan.

I realize it makes little sense. He’s only in his first year with the team and hasn’t done much that anyone who doesn’t follow the Steelers would notice. It took me years to sour on Kordell Stewart, someone whose failings and messy sodomy everyone in the league would be familiar with.

And other than the general, staggering crappiness of his play, I know nothing of the guy. His Wikipedia entry is three sentences long, but handily contains the telling phrase “no notable achievements.” He did go to Notre Dame, though, which is pretty close to guaranteeing he’s a junk grabbing douchebag (sorry Bettis).

Of course, what really rankles me is his place in history. The Steelers have had three starting centers in the last 33 years and they’ve all been very good to great: Mike Webster, Dermotti Dawson and Jeff Hartings. The three combined for 14 All-Pro selections from 1975 to 2006. It’s pretty central to their whole identity as a smashmouth team. That’s like following three Drew posts with an Ape post.

This year, however, the line is beyond porous and has given up the second most sacks in the league. To be fair, that’s not all Mahan’s fault. You can’t tell me that, though. Any time Roethlisberger gets dropped, I’m yelling at Mahan, even if the rusher came off the corner beating Willie Colon. Or if Ben is doing that thing where he runs around the pocket actively looking for defensive linemen to bounce off of.

It’s gone full-on irrational, this Mahan Mahating. The assessed value of my apartment has dropped? I know Mahan’s shitty blocking is driving the real estate crash. Rejected for that promotion? Mahan’s giving scoops to other papers. Can’t bed that girl I’m going after? Mahan probably turned her off guys.

Just take a look at that lumpen asshole. He looks like Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky after he got his face jacked up.

He looks like the putzy dad on a CBS sitcom. He looks like he has minimum three balls in his mouth.

In honor of said fucktaster, I’ve taken to calling broken condoms Mahans, for poorly inspired protection joke reasons. I’d say Jamie Lynn Spears was the victim of a Mahan, but I’m pretty sure she was more a victim of being a Spears, which means going without a connie, ya’ll. If the term stuck as with Santorum, that’d be cool, but I’d rather the guy be on the first trebucket ride out of town.

Get fucked and get gone, Sean Mahan.