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

What a difference a year makes

Is there a big football game or something this weekend?

I might have heard a brief mention of some such event on Channel 2, in between Armageddon snow reports. Maybe something on WYEP — no, it wouldn’t have been on YEP…must have been on one of the other radio stations, you know, the ones that aren’t cool enough to ignore sports?

Seriously. Last year at this time, we in the ‘Burgh had lived, breathed, ate, slept, washed off, and immediately rerolled-around-in all things Steelers and all things Super Bowl. By now we were all so hyped up we couldn’t really speak — just look at each other, high-five, and yell WHOOOOOO! THE weekend was finally here.

Last year at this time, Mike and I were strategizing about what time we should arrive at our local hangout on Sunday to be sure to get a good seat. I had downloaded and blasted Here We Go at least 3 times a day for the last week, mixed in with a few Muppety Pa-LA-ma-lu (that’s Polamalu)‘s and “We’re from the town with that great football team….” (bum-bum-bum-BUM)s. I had tried to buy black and gold Smiley cookies at Eat’n Park, only to find that all they had left to offer was some lame Valentine hearts. My friends and I had exchanged 7,429  e-mails offering everything from “notes” to give to your boss to excuse you from work on Monday to pictures of how fans had decorated their houses/cars/bodies in black and gold to poetic tributes to Myron Cope. And we’d shared 2,728 links to 2,728 videos along the lines of this one.

(And, I should say, I got goosebumps trolling through YouTube just now…)

What a difference a year makes.

This Sunday night, I don’t expect I’ll be jumping up and down screaming at the bar. I don’t expect I’ll be hoarse for 3 days after. I don’t expect much of anything. I’m just hoping for an exciting game (I don’t really care who wins), a good half-time show (I just had to Google to find out it will be The Who performing), and some funny commercials featuring talking babies and Clydesdales.

I hope the folks in Indianapolis and New Orleans will have a lot more fun than that.

But I guarantee, it won’t be NEARLY as much fun as Stiller fans have when it’s OUR team in the spotlight. Was that only a year ago? Seems like forever.

It may be that all games are silly. But then, so are humans.
~ Robert Lynd

A breath (and a wave of the towel)

I certainly can’t complain in this economy about having a busy workweek, but I’m happy to take a breath for a bit now, having just handed in an article and with another hard project I need to start straightaway. I’m not so good at back-to-back stress, hence the need for a breath, a workout, a shower, and maybe a trip to the post office to mail that pretty-but-not-pretty-enough cottage garden needlework I bought on eBay last year and just resold.

In between stressing about work, I’m savoring being a citizen of Steeler Nation this week and getting psyched watching things like these amazing kids (age 11 to 13!) or this bit of inspiration from the AFC Championship game. I wonder what the stadium will look like on Sunday — a repeat of Detroit with its sea of black and gold would be fantastic. (Am I the only one bummed the Steelers will be wearing their white jerseys?) I’m torn between watching (and listening to Bill and Tunch) from the comfort of my living room and trying to go to our local hangout bar down the street, as Mike suggested. Hmmm, if we stay home, I have to make the food (although Emeril’s jalapeño poppers I made for last week’s game were awesome!); if we go out…great bar food and endless beer. But, can I last for the 4 hours or so we’d have to hang out before the game starts to get a seat? Such decisions…

I hope you’re pondering equally weighty matters as the “wintry mix” continues to fall. Time to drag myself (kicking and screaming) to the dungeon cellar for my date with the devil NordicTrack, which just turned 15 this month. Imagine if I had actually been using it steady all these years…

Oh, and you know you’re in Steelers heaven when everybody’s favorite local eatery does this for the Super Bowl and has to post disclaimers like this!


What an enormous magnifier is tradition!
How a thing grows in the human memory and in
the human imagination, when love, worship, and all
that lies in the human heart is there to encourage it.

                                         ~ Thomas Carlyle

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