Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Licking Wounds - Still Steeler Pride

I have to say something.  I can't ignore it any more and I think I'm done with my mourning period.  The Superbowl was embarrassing.

What I can take away from it is the following: Even when the Steelers (or just Big Ben) are having a bad day, they still play well.  If the Steelers had been in the zone, Madden's pick would have been correct hands down.  Troy beyond a doubt has magical islander skills which might be enhanced by his dark curly mane that streams behind him when he flies through the air.  I will be sad when Mr. Ward retires.

That out of the way, let me share something with all those who are not affiliated with Pittsburgh in any way.  Football is not just football.  The Steelers franchise is not just about the game, it's an approach of life.  It's the way the world is perceived.  Even though the factories are rusted, and high-end white-collar jobs have filtered in, Pittsburgh will never lose its blue collar sensibility.  Western PA has its own dialect (actually, a series of dialects) that distinguish its culture from the rest of the country.  So when someone says "it's just a game" they don't understand.  It's inherently part of the culture of Pennsylvania - a place where people keep tabs on high school teams and watch interviews with upcoming players as young as 15 years old.

For those of you who are not affiliated with Pittsburgh, I would advise you to be understanding of this cultural difference.  Football is important.  Don't say it is just a game. 

At the Superbowl party I went to, after the game finished I was morose (as much as I ever do in company). It was a strange party, because very few people present really cared who won or lost, with the exception of myself.  Few people present even had an interest in sports.  One of the host's other friends suggested that I use my terrible towel to clean my car.  My jaw dropped.  I said "Excuse me?" and probably gave him one of the steeliest looks a person can.  He backpedaled and tried to say that it was meant to clean the dirt from the previous year, but I still think he didn't understand that he had just said fighting words.  If he had said anything like that to a less calm fan, punches would have been thrown. 

We're not Oakland.  We're not going to beat up people because they support other teams.  If someone plays better than we did, or we didn't play well, we own it.  But seriously, don't provoke a Steelers fan.  That's just stupid.  So let us mourn in peace for a little while longer.  Hopefully Tomlin has a plan for next year.  Then I'll break out the black and gold once again.

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