There We Went!

Yeah, it’s always a sad day after in Pittsburgh when the Steelers lose. But I have to agree with several friends’ blogs that it’s not really any worse than any other loss. Maybe it’s because I don’t hate the Packers. Maybe it’s because we have won Super Bowls recently (the loss in SB XXX was SO much worse). Maybe it’s because I wasn’t really expecting them to win, and they still did pretty well except for the turnovers. Maybe it’s because the whole “event” seemed rather blah this year — no stand-out commercials, snow and seating glitches, ho-hum announcers and game presentation. I didn’t think the half-time show was that bad, but I did notice Christina Aguilera flubbing the National Anthem. Seriously…for a mega-million-dollar professional to do that was terrible. How about next year they forgo the soloist and just let the stadium full of fans sing it loud and proud.

It took a really, really long time to get our “one for the thumb,” and it may take us just as long to climb that stairway to seven. But it was great we got this far in a year when no one expected us to. (And, frankly, any SB New England isn’t in is pretty OK in my book!)

So, we’ll get ′em next time, guys! Thanks for a great season and for making Steeler Nation possible. And congrats to the Packers and their fans. Enjoy your championship year!

Defeat is not bitter unless you swallow it.
~ Joe Clark

Here We Go!

If I could start my life all over again, I would be a professional football player,
and you damn well better believe I would be a Pittsburgh Steeler.

~ Jack Lambert, 1990 HoF Introduction

Remember that Cold War era song by Sting that wonders “if the Russians love their children too”?

That came to mind Saturday as I was wondering if Green Bay fans have a place to gather that’s anything remotely as glorious as the Strip District 8 days before a Steelers Super Bowl appearance.

If they don their colors and brave the cold and snow to line up 10 or 15 deep, waiting to get in a half-dozen stores selling all things green and gold, singing along with any number of fight songs that blare from loudspeakers.

If on every corner they hear the Packers equivalent of things like, “Oh my God, it’s a Joe Greene!” accompanied by a squeal of delight over simply seeing a #75 jersey for sale.

If they stand in still more lines for their version of Pamela’s pancakes or dippy eggs at DeLuca’s or a Kolbassy & Cheese at Primanti’s and compliment one another on their NFC Championship attire.

If they can revel in the unique situation of being surrounded by hundreds of perfect strangers on a city street but feeling like they’re in the bosom of a big happy family that doesn’t bat an eye when they say Wiscahnsin in that nasally way.

Frankly, I never questioned if the Russians love their children. And I have to believe that Packers fan have their own “sacred” places to gather and revel beyond their Field on game day. They’re great fans. They have a great team. They’ll give us a run for our money on Sunday. They’re even close to wearing the right colors. With a little mud on those jerseys (which I’m sure our defense would be happy to supply, if the turf weren’t fake), they might even pass for black and gold.

I’m expecting a 50-50 mix of Packers fans and Steelers fans in the stands on Sunday. Of course, we’re the only ones that have the right to be waving towels, even though they’re copy-catting like all those other teams. (That’s flattering. Thanks!) Theirs don’t have Myron’s mojo though, so good luck with that.

Funny, I’d be rooting for the Packers in any other situation. Instead, I’ll just offer my congrats to the team and their fans for making it all the way to second place.

Photo by Jenny Kane

They say that when you’re the champs, everybody will try to beat you.
Well, I′m glad we′re champs, so bring ′em on, bring ′em all on.
If we die, we ain′t gonna die running. It′s gonna be a fight.”
~ Joe Greene