Thursday football is back in Steel City! I must admit, I hated the idea when it started back in 2006, but it has grown on me. Nothing puts a stiff break in a long work week like watching my Pittsburgh Steelers. For those of you that like TNF, you’re in luck, because the NFL’s new CBA includes a provision that could mean twelve of them starting as early as next year. And, hey, the money-grubbing paws of our favorite pro sport might pay off for once. Chances are coverage will go up for bid, so those of you who will miss out on tonight’s game because you didn’t shell out money on an upgraded sports package are in luck. Unless the NFL ransacks the cable companies like they did the players, I suspect we’ll be watching the games on CBS or the Four Letter next year.
As Chris alluded to in Know Thy Enemy, I suspect we won’t see an instant classic tonight. Unless Cleveland finds a bag of fairy dust in one of their abandoned office buildings, paper says we take this one decisively. Like the C-Man said, my hopes lie in getting done early and then blowing a few kisses to Hines Ward and the record book. Mike Tomlin doesn’t seem to be a fan of manufacturing the “milestones,” but if the opportunity is there I’m sure he’ll take it. At least if this was in Cleveland we could look forward to the Puppy Pound tearing apart that dump they call a stadium again.
People give Philly fans a lot of guff (deservedly so) but does anybody else remember what happened in Browntown back in ‘95? The city learned they were losing their team and decided to go all Canadian-Hockey riot on their own stadium. That was also the year some guy named Bill left the Browns rather than join them in relocating to the second worst city in America. What was his name? Belicose? BelaLegosi? Belicheat? Oh yeah, Belichick, the guy who eventually led the 5-11 Patriots to an 11-5 record and a bunch of championships. Brilliant move letting him go. Watching him succeed must have been worse than Pittsburgh Pirates fans having to watch the Florida Miami Marlins buy Jim Leyland a World Series trophy while they were embarking on a 20-year death spiral.
It must really suck to be a Browns fan. I say that with true sincerity because I got to know a lot of them in college and they are a pretty excitable bunch. What could POSSIBLY happen to that organization to piss the fans off more? They lost every championship game they’ve appeared in (three AFC, two pre-merger NFL), they lost a hall-of-fame coach who went on to become a ratty sweatshirt wearing rock star over in New England… Hell, they even lost their ENTIRE TEAM for four seasons. Meanwhile, the Steelers are competing for a title almost every year. Remember how bad losing to Green Bay felt? Or when we lost to Dallas? Can you imagine if our biggest accomplishment since the merger had being DOING THAT THREE TIMES!!! They nearly have a championship game loss for every Lombardi Trophy this current Steeler team has won.
I mention this hoping Steeler Nation will extend a bit of goodwill towards their fan-base tonight. I seriously hope they pick up their jockstraps and put a worthy team on the field someday soon. I’m a Pirates fan, so I know all about having nothing but misery to look forward to each and every year. I’m not putting it past Cleveland to pull off another unlikely victory – screwing up our season seems to be all they have left to play for every year. Hopefully, one day we’ll get to play them with something more worthwhile on the line. Then this will be a match-up we can truly look forward to.
Enjoy the game everyone.