Sunday, August 24, 2008
Breaking News... Stilley to Enter Monastery
In a candid barroom confessional, Souf Oaklin fo’ Life!!! Publisher Emeritus Thomas Donald Stilley announced at Uncle Jimmy’s ten minutes ago that he plans to enter the monastery at St. Vincent College in the Spring of 2009. The announcement comes amid speculation after a previous taproom wager in which Stilley proclaimed he would become a monk if the Steelers lost to Jacksonville in last season’s AFC Wild-Card playoff game. As misfortune would have it, the Steelers lost the game, but most regulars speculated Stilley’s inebriation would supersede his word. Turns out, Stilley’s a much more coherent drunk than the general populace credits him for.
Stilley started the idea for what would become SOFL in the summer of 1977. Beset by Pitt pride after the Panther’s National Championship win in the 1977 Sugar Bowl, Stilley penned his first satirical prose for the Pitt News entitled “Chancellor Poopsvar Eats His Own Poo, and He Smells Too!” The piece was ultimately rejected by the university’s student newspaper, and derided as “juvenile” by then Pitt News High School Summer Editor Intern Michael Chabon. But Stilley maintained his positivity through the rejection. He shelved his ambitions while he worked at the J&L mill site, where he would be employed as shift engineer from 1977-1989, when the mill would close for good. In his spare time Stilley would edit Jones and Laughlin’s safety newsletters, but his heart still yearned for lampoonery. A “back injury” would sideline Stilley for the next decade as he collected disability and regularly drowned his sorrows in “Ahrns” at Uncle Jimmy’s in South Oakland. A chance meeting at a graduation bar crawl in 1999, connected Stilley with five graduating Pitt seniors. The relationship would develop and SOFL would launch its first issue in September 2001 under Stilley’s leadership.
Since Stilley’s retirement from SOFL, he focused on family – specifically his new child and his wife, Veronica. Stilley even attempted to mend relations with his “jag-off” Penn State graduate son Donny. But alas, the elder Stilley’s hatred for all things Nittany Lion proved too divisive to repair the relationship, and by the old man’s account, the son still remains “a jag.”
Since his retirement and post-Steeler Super Bowl XL victory, Stilley has reportedly felt a spiritual void that failed to be filled when the Steelers lost on a last second field goal to the Jaguars this past January. Skeptics theorize that Stilley really is using the monastery as an excuse to get a front row seat at next season’s training camp. They point to Stilley making the pilgrimage to Latrobe three times this current training camp season and complaining incessantly about the high gas price cost to get out there.
Whatever the man’s motivation for leaving, there can be no doubt that with his spiritual guidance the Steelers are a lock to win the Super Bowl next season in 2010.
Good luck Tom, we’ll miss you! Our Em dashes won’t be the same without you.