February 06, 2006

Let the Gloating Begin

So who's sad now, Mr Stevens? Hmmmmm?

IT'S TOUGH being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan in New England. For one thing, being here during football season usually means a weekly diet of watching the New England Patriots beat up some hapless opponent. For another, when Pittsburgh games are actually broadcast here, they usually involve the New England Patriots beating the Steelers.

But the real reason it's tough is because, when the Steelers finally do win a Super Bowl after 25 years, everyone in New England is pleasant and gracious. It's "the Steelers deserved it" this, and "I was thinking of you during the game" that, plus a hearty congratulations from all concerned. I mean, it's been a constant wishing of good will and cheer.

What's that? Yes, I know it was nice and considerate. That's the problem! How can I gloat over the Steelers' grand and glorious victory when everyone I know is so happy for me and well-adjusted about it?

That's why I'm turning to the Internet. You see, on the Internet, there are plenty of sports fans out there furious about the Steelers' victory.

I know this because sports-talk radio stations make vast sums of money each year. You see, I figure that if sports-talk radio listeners will spend hours listening to angry middle-aged couch potatoes scream about the New York Yankees, there must be at least a few sports fans who a) are similarly fixated on the Steelers' victory and b) have Internet access. So to you, my fanatic Steeler-hating sports-talk radio listening audience, I say: "Ooooooooooooooh. If you listen closely, you can hear the world's smallest violin playing for you right now!"

Of course, I should note that the Seattle Seahawks played pretty well in comparison to the Steelers in the Super Bowl, even if the Seahawks struggled with concepts like "basic time management," "kicking the ball through the uprights" and "catching the ball on key plays." Speaking of which, I have a call for Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens. A call for Mr Stevens -- ah, there you are. It's your Mom on the phone. She says you suck!

Notice how I cleverly waited until after the game to talk smack about the Super Bowl, and not before! This prevents me, unlike Mr Stevens, from having to go through any embarrassing backpedaling after the game -- the game in which the winning quarterback was Ben Roethlisberger, and not Matt Hasselbeck or Peyton Manning.

Heh. Peyton Manning. I hate Peyton Manning.

I have hated Peyton Manning ever since I was in college and the controversy over the Heisman Trophy in 1997. (Michigan's Charles Woodson, one of the best defensive players ever in college football, won the award; Mr Manning was second, and his backers hated that).

Now that Mr Manning plays for the Colts, I've taken great joy in watching him get in trouble, such as when Steelers OLB Joey Porter "signed Peyton's melon" on two consecutive plays during the AFC Divisional Championship. Yeah. God, that ruled.

Of course, after that game, Mr Manning had the gall to essentially say that his offensive linesmen hadn't done their jobs, which was classless and gauche and prima facie evidence that he can't win when it counts. Quite frankly, Peyton, it's not your offensive line's fault that you run around panicking whenever a pass rusher gets within three yards. And it's not your offensive line's fault that the Colts lost and you went home and didn't make it again to the Super Bowl, which this year the Steelers won. Also, you only won 13 games in a row because you're in a division with Houston and Tennessee, so there.

*phew*

God, that felt good. For weeks upon weeks I've been keeping all that pent-up energy inside. I didn't want to gloat about beating the Colts and then have the Steelers get crushed in the following week of the playoffs, and I especially didn't want to gloat in the event we lost to Seattle. As I know full well, it's no fun to eat crow.

But putting the gloating aside -- it was all meant with good cheer and humor, I assure you -- I have to say just how proud I am to be a Steelers fan. Watching my team win the Super Bowl was an amazing experience.

It was a great feeling to see Pittsburgh's reputation restored: not simply as a first-class football team, but a team which other squads must conquer to bridge the gap between being good and being great. For this, I must thank the Steelers' hard-working players, and Coach Cowher, and especially the owner, Mr Rooney, who hoisted the trophy on Sunday night. Thank you for a season to remember.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at February 6, 2006 09:32 PM | TrackBack
Comments

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Posted by: lj at February 6, 2006 10:06 PM

Gee Ben, I wish I could make your day by castigating the Steelers and their Super Bowl win but I am just too darn thrilled and delighted by the outcome of Sunday's game to help you out on that. It was very endearing to see all the fans of the Steeler Nation throughout the U.S.A. rally behind our beloved team as the black and gold were unquestionably America's sentimental choice for this years Super Bowl. The 'super' tv ratings for the game demonstrated what a big draw the Steelers remain for fans everywhere. But don't despair. Bt the time August rolls around and a new season is upon us I feel sure that any lingering goodwill toward the Steelers from fans of the Patriots, Browns, Bengals and other teams will have long since evaporated and you will have many re-newed opportunities to verbally joust with our friends and family who support these other franchises.

Posted by: Swammi in Solon at February 7, 2006 02:07 PM

Well, Ben, as a lifelong NE Pats fan who called you on SB Sunday to wish you well, congratulations! I, too, share your hatred for the Manning-Colts, but for the life of me I cannot hate the Steelers -- even when they are playing my Pats. They are, IMO, the most likable team in the NFL, and were it not for my blind loyalty and provincial-ism (I grew up in Mass.), I don't doubt I'd root for them. The way I see it, if the Pats can't win it, then it might as well be the Squeelers.

So enjoy your time to gloat. I should let all readers know that you were entirely gracious to me during the Pats' last few years' success.

But know that the glory and good will are shortlived. It's only a matter of time until our two great teams meet in a playoff game again, and then the smack-talking resumes!

Best,
Chris

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