this is not a pittsburgh steelers blog, but, for the most part, you probably haven't been able to determine that from the content over the last 6-8 weeks. during the season i like to write about the steelers once or twice or even three times a week, but during the end of this last season and the playoff run, i got really into it, and wrote about them almost exclusively. for those of you who don't care about football, or don't especially like the steelers, thanks for putting up with me.
and now its the end.
not the end of my steelers-obsession, mind you. just the end of all the writing and pictures. the steelers, as you know by now, lost superbowl XLV to the green bay packers, and so what must still be considered a successful season is now over. caput. in the books. fini. the end.
still, now that the initial shock/pain is starting to dull a bit, i just wanted to say a few things about it to sort of wrap it up and at least give it some closure, for me.
-all year long i've been talking about how the steelers "wanted it more." on sunday night, it really looked like the packers wanted it more. as much as it pains me to say that, that's what it looked like. because, to be honest, they didn't really outplay the steelers. the steelers held the ball longer, they took away the run game, they moved the ball relatively easy, and they were in a position to be able to win the game with a drive with two minutes left in the game. all of that after allowing 21 points off turnovers?!? the steelers three turnovers were very costly, but no more costly that the defenses inability to stop green bay from scoring on the subsequent drives. the packers just seemed more determined. all three turnovers, for example, weren't really the kind of 'dumb mistake' turnovers that you often see. they were really a case of sheer will by the packers, one by a defensive lineman, one by a safety, and one by the linebackers who made a rashard mendenhall sandwich turn into a infield pop-out. did the steelers play great? nope. did they still play well enough to win? almost. did the packers play great? nope. did they seem like they wanted it more? yep. and, to me, that was the difference.
-i just want to give a shout out to my hines ward, who had a pretty darn good game, with 7 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. he's always been my boy, and it was great to see the "old man" with a great showing on the sports biggest stage.
-i'm sorry, but the nfl is embarassing sometimes. how does christina aguilera not remember the lines of the anthem? how do the black eyed peas get to do the halftime show when they clearly can't sing without the help of a studio and some really expensive software? the whole thing, in my opinion, was ridiculous. they are entertaining, to be sure, but they are a joke, really. it's all flash (literally in this case, with the flashing suits and lego hair), and very little music.
-and don't even get me started on the seat situation. the nfl, along with jerry jones, sold tickets to seats that weren't ready, assuming that they would get them ready by game time. oops. they didn't. and they had to turn people away. actually the statement read that they would find them another spot in the building (as if we were supposed to believe that there were 1000 unsold seats somewhere else in the stadium...yeah, right). they herded them to the basement where they could watch on a screen. they promised them 3x the face value on the ticket, and a free ticket to next year's superbowl. that isn't just a FAIL, it's a SUPERFAIL. who cares about next year's superbowl? if you are a green bay fan, do you really want to go watch the steelers and the falcons in next year's superbowl? nope. and who cares about the refund? does it also cover the airfare and the hotel costs? the food? the superbowl memoribilia? does it even cover the cost you paid for the dang ticket on the secondary market? it's terrible and the nfl should be ashamed of it's unending greed. it will be the downfall of the league, one way or another.
-i took the loss harder than i thought i might. i'm not that guy who gets mad (very much) and throws or punches things. actually, during the game i'm relatively even-keeled, unless the steelers do something awesome and then i'm jumping around and waving my terrible towel and screaming things like "that's what i'm talking about!" and "BOOM!" and so forth. but after the game, i was really pained. i couldn't sleep, with images of the game just replaying in my cranium (also the fact that jackson was up most of the night with an ear infection didn't help). and then yesterday i just felt like i lost a loved one. my mind kept telling me that was ridiculous and i would try to stop feeling it. but it would just come back when i least expected it. even now as i write this i feel the emotion in me. it's so weird that sports can do that. but it is real for me, so there you have it. i'm sad. i texted my sisters last night just this simple 6-word text that sums it up for me: it feels like a broken heart.
-that being said, while i am sad, i am not one of those fans who thinks all is lost. we played in the superbowl, for crying out loud! 30 other teams would have given their throwing arms for this opportunity, so we should recognize how we reached the pinnacle of our sport and just fell short. is it wildly disappointing? yessir. but is it also a huge accomplishment that we ought to be very proud of? you bet. and i am proud. i'm proud of this team. of all that they overcame. of how they play like brothers, not individuals. of how they stand up to the sometimes overwhelming legacy of the past. of how they play with heart and desire, and not just talent. i'm proud of a season in which they beat the ravens. twice. i'm proud of a season in which they crushed the browns and the bengals. i'm proud of a season in which the city of pittsburgh got to host two playoff games and see their steelers win both of them. i'm proud of the fact that the steelers as an organization continue to be a solid team year after year. i'm just darn proud to be a steelers fan.
-so, goodbye, football season. i so enjoyed your company. and now i eagerly look forward to the spring; to the sound of an ash bat striking a small white ball; to smelling the fresh cut grass infused with the aroma of hotdogs. baseball can't get here soon enough.
-for those of you who haven't been stopping by much because the steelers stuff bored you, welcome back. it's over. the end.
-now let me go and nurse my broken heart.