Monday, February 07, 2011

The Packers win Super Bowl XLV. And yet we Steelers fans can still be proud of our team.

I don't really have all that much to say about the Super Bowl. (I tweeted a lot during the game, so check out my feed and, if you so desire, follow me.)

I was emotionally invested in the Steelers to an incredibly deep degree and it was a tough loss. And yet I'm not terribly disappointed.

I didn't think they'd make it this far, what with Big Ben's suspension and the injuries to key members of the offensive line, and they lost to a really good team on Sunday, a Packers team that was much better than its regular-season record and low playoff seed, a Packers team that is really quite likeable, much more so than the Ravens and the Jets and Steelers's main rivals in the AFC.

Okay, I'm disappointed. But I'm not bitter. And I'm disappointed because they didn't play nearly as well as they could have, and should have. They got off to a terrible start, turned the ball over three times, and didn't come through when it mattered. But they had a chance to win, long before the final drive. They just didn't do it. And while a Super Bowl loss is hard to take, it's still a Super Bowl loss, meaning the Steelers made it further than 30 other teams in the NFL.

I became a Steelers fan back in the '70s, when I was a kid growing up in Montreal. We didn't have an NFL team, obviously, and so everyone just sort of picked one. There were older Giants and Packers fans, newer Dolphins and Vikings fans, and of course, Steelers and Cowboys fans. I don't remember how it happened. I was four or five. I liked the Steelers even before I liked the Canadiens, who are a religion in Montreal. And I got to see them win a couple of Super Bowls, their third and fourth. And then it was a long stretch through some lean years until they got back on top, and I've seen them win two more Super Bowls in just the past several years. And, really, they've been one of the league's top teams for a decade. So why should I be all that disappointed?

I love the Steelers, and I take ever loss hard. After the game I wasn't angry or bitter. I just felt bummed out. I didn't say much. I had most of the game to anticipate a Packers victory, but that second half was intense, and it looked like the Steelers might just pull it off, an improbable comeback after a miserable first half. But it was not to be.

But I'm proud of what they accomplished this year, and I feel good about their prospects -- assuming there's even an NFL season this year.

And so we move on. It's the agony and ecstasy of sports fandom. The lows, even taken in perspective, are hard to take, but the Steelers have given us many highs over the years, and we Steelers fans, even in defeat, can find not just solace but a certain joy in being fans of such a magnificent franchise.

Congrats to the Packers. They deserved it. But congrats also to our beloved Steelers for a great year.

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  • great game..

    By Anonymous Shena, at 2:11 AM  

  • Nice post. As a life-long Packers fan (not from Wisconsin), what I felt mirrored your feelings except with great joy. I almost always cheer for the Steelers when they play, so if they would have beaten Green Bay I would have felt sadness but no bitterness. Despite injuries and some great passes dropped, the Packers won. My house is a house of happiness, and congratulations to the second best team in the NFL.

    By Anonymous sendlawyersgunsandmoney, at 10:26 AM  

  • Thanks. I still feel a bit down, but I'm not angry about it. It's tough to lose any game, especially the Super Bowl, but the Steelers really did have a great year and remain one of the top teams in the league. I'm a little concerned about a letdown next year, which often happens to SB losers, but Tomlin and the vets should be able to keep their focus.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 1:39 PM  

  • As I previously blogged, the game was enchanting to watch especially thanks to the passion of the players themselves. First half was insane I mean really, you just don't allow for that many turnovers in the Super Bowl. I knew from that first quarter that the magic was hanging around Cowboy Stadium. It worked out great, I did spend the day T my folks and we had so much fun jumping around in front of the big screen. My Dad ended up getting Dish Network which is great not only because I work there but because I knew he would be getting the best satellite programming in the industry. He ended up getting all the free HD equipment he could ever need as well as programming for life which can not be beat. I advised him that if he was going to get a service he should consider doing so with a company that does not require an online application for the new customer promotions. He was able to get setup and good to go for game time with no hassles which was huge considering the sizable amount of folks due over at his place for the day. We turned up the volume in that fully equipped theater room and possibly broke the couch with all our jumping around. I'm so proud of the Packers especially with all the adversity they fought through to have a winning season.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 11:07 PM  

  • As a Raiders fan living in WI, I was able to watch the game just rooting for the better team. I have always rooted for both teams except when they play The Raiders. It was a great game and fun to watch. The Packers were however the better team on Sunday. The Steelers however should be proud of their performance this whole year. I look forward to seeing them in the play-offs versus The Raiders next year.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 7:25 PM  

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