No NFL franchise has a stronger fan base than the Pittsburgh Steelers. And no NFL franchise does better with the ladies than do the Pittsburgh Steelers. So for the two or three female members of Steeler Nation who read this blog, consider this post a public service announcement. When the preseason kicks off at Heinz Field on Saturday night or when the season proper begins at home on September 8th, the Steelers and NFL have a message for you: “Leave your crap at home!”
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The Baltimore Ravens are Super Bowl Champions. Pardon me while I empty out my vomit bucket.
Okay, where were we? Oh, right. The unthinkable has happened. The Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII. If Steeler Nation thought that team of thugs and loudmouths were insufferable before, we’re never going to hear the end of it now.
To add insult to injury, Joe Flacco was named Super Bowl MVP. For those scoring at home, Tyler Palko’s back-up now has more SB MVPs than Ben Roethlisberger. Oh it was well deserved as Bert played the game of his life. I just hope everybody is prepared when Flacco is ranked equal to or above Ben on those “Best Quarterbacks in the NFL” lists we’re inundated with every season.
Then again, they are basically tied with one championship apiece. Technically, Ben has two but Antwaan Randle El accomplished more with one pass than Ben did during the rest of the Seattle game. And Flacco is only now reaching his prime while Ben’s skills are in decline.
Yesterday’s win capped off perhaps the luckiest run by any team in recent memory. Going into the final month of the season, the Ratbirds were in full free fall when Charlie Batch engineered a win for the ages. People forget that Baltimore backed into clinching their division as with decent quarterbacking and decent coaching, the Steelers could have overtaken them. Baltimore had an easy first round playoff game against the overmatched Colts then should have lost to the Broncos if not for a blown coverage that led to the game tying TD followed by yet another choke job by Pey-Pey in OT. Sure every championship run requires a little luck (Ben making The Tackle on Roman Harper) but the Ravens seemingly had a rabbit’s foot up their ass all through this post-season.
That luck held up through the final whistle of last night’s game. Flacco underthrows his receiver by three yards but Jacoby Jones is so wide open he has time to come back (I wonder if Mike Wallace ever thought about trying that?) for what will go down as a 55 yard TD bomb. The Niners fall asleep on the second half kick-off and gift Baltimore a 108 yard return TD. After a power outage which I’m sure Roger Goodell is already planning on fining James Harrison for, San Fran staged an epic comeback which fell short when Michael Crabtree got mugged on 4th and goal but the refs kept their hankies in their pockets.
Anyway, the Ravens are your 2012 NFL champions. I promised silver linings so here are two. First, since San Francisco lost, your Pittsburgh Steelers are still the only NFL franchise with six Lombardi Trophies. And second, last night was the final time we’ll ever have to see Ray Lewis in an NFL uniform. If karma is a really a thing that exists, hopefully one day we will see him in a bright orange jump suit as karmic justice for the murder he already got away with (and kudos to Phil Simms for having the balls to mention that during the telecast instead of just repeating the company line).
Final lining? Um, the Pittsburgh Pirates report to Spring Training in 10 days.
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Super Bowl XLVII has finally been set. And for fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers, you couldn’t pick a worse match-up if you tried. Ordinarily we can find at least one team with which to align our rooting interests. When the Baltimore Ravens face the San Francisco 49ers for the championship in two weeks, the only satisfying outcome would be an asteroid annihilating the Superdome.
The Niners are probably the lesser of two evils. They’ve never done anything directly to the Steelers. They do, however, possess five Lombardi Trophies. Should they win, the Black and Gold would no longer sit alone atop the NFL hierarchy as the only franchise with six championships. And considering the Niners have a fairly young roster while the Steelers are old and in decline, they’d be a whole lot better bet to climb the “Stairway to Seven” before we do.
(As an side, isn’t it crazy that out of 47 Super Bowls, the Niners and Steelers have combined to appear in 13, over a full quarter of them, yet have never faced each other? Damn you, Tim McKyer!)
On the other side, we have the Baltimore Ravens. I don’t have to bother explaining why Steeler fans would rather have their pubic hair plucked out by a pair of rusty pliers than see the Ratbirds win the Super Bowl. It’s bad enough we’ll have to spend the next two weeks hearing what a great guy murdering thug Ray Lewis is, are we really ready for Joe Flacco to be considered an elite quarterback? Even worse, if he plays even remotely decent the pain will continue well into next season as talking heads immediately start ranking him ahead of Ben Roethlisberger despite 90% of his offense being checkdowns to tight ends and Ray Rice.
Can Steeler Nation live in a world where Tyler Palko‘s back-up is considered one of the NFL’s best?
The cherry on top of this shit sandwich is both teams are coached by a Harbaugh. The Niners’ Harbaugh si clearly the bigger asshole what with his childish theatrics after every minor setback although choosing between them is kinda like choosing between the best venereal disease. There are no winners here. We all lose.
Pray for the asteroid.
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This Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Dallas Cowboys in a game brimming with playoff implications for both teams. A Steelers-Cowboys match-up really needs no added incentive. Steeler fans hate the Cowboys, Dallas fans detest Pittsburgh. Even though the two teams only play each other once in a blue moon, it doesn’t dissipate the level of animosity and anticipation between the fan bases.
The Cowboys have adopted the moniker of “America’s Team.” No two words inspire more bile to well up in the stomach of Steeler Nation. The fact Jerry Jones and his merry band of miscreants have adopted that as both marketing slogan and credo will never cease to anger us. Usually these rivalries mean more to fans than they do to the players but it seems that isn’t always the case.
Ben Roethlisberger gave an interview on Wednesday where he was asked about the “America’s Team” moniker. Ben suggested if the Cowboys represent American, perhaps the Steelers should be referred to as the “World’s Team.” Not the cleverest bit of trash talk although you have to admire that Ben’s heart is in the right place. Certainly no team has a larger or more passionate fan base be it in the US or around the world than do the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bragging right are all well and good but that’s a secondary concern come Sunday afternoon. As I said, both teams are in the thick of a playoff race. Both teams need a win to keep pace. A loss at this juncture could severely cripple their post-season plans. In fact, a loss could very well wind up knocking a team out of the picture altogether.
STEELERS DEFENSE vs COWBOYS OFFENSE
Tony Romo continues to be Tony Romo. What that means is you always have to take the good with the bad. The good is when he’s on, he can be a very competent passer with the kind of arm capable of making all the throws. The bad is he’s still prone to boneheaded mistakes. Romo has throw for 4,000 in every season he’s been healthy and started and he’s less than 100 yards away from eclipsing that total once again. Unfortunately, coming off a year where he posted a career best TD/INT ratio (31/10) he’s fallen back to old habits this year, nearly balancing his stat sheet with 20 TD against 16 INTs.
One bit of good news for Romo and company is that his best target, WR Dez Bryant, is adamant about playing this Sunday despite suffering a broken finger. Bryant is currently 10th in yardage and has caught 9 of Romo’s TDs so his presence would definitely be missed. How effective he’ll be catching balls with a broken finger remains to be seen. Mike Wallace can’t catch balls with two perfectly manicured hands so maybe having all your fingers operational isn’t that big a deal.
The Dallas packing attack remains strong with TE Jason Witten continuing to be one of the most dangerous pass catching targets in the game. He and Bryant are complemented by Miles Austin, whose 2012 campaign has been beset by injury. Perhaps to their detriment, the Cowboys don’t run as much as they should although Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray remain threats out of the backfield.
I’m not gonna lie, Dallas’ passing game scares the heck out of me. Coming off an utter dismantling at the hands of Phillip Rivers (who really didn’t even play that well) and a crew of utter no-name receivers, this game has the potential to get real ugly real fast if the Steelers’ secondary doesn’t play a helluva lot better. To that end, the Steelers have already decided Curtis Brown, who was about as useful as tits on a giraffe against San Diego, will ride the pine in favor of Josh Victorian. Victorian, who spent the entire season on the practice squad, didn’t exactly shine in his brief stint last Sunday but I can safely say it’d be nearly impossible to play worse than Brown did.
LaMarr Woodley has been practicing and it appears the Steelers will have their oft-injured LB back for the game. Of course, the Football Gods have deemed it unfair for us to have both Woodley and James Harrison together for any length of time so look for one (or both) to leave after a handful of plays. On paper, it looks like the defense will be formidable with both Woodley and Troy Polamalu back after extended absences but I think we’ve seen enough of Troy to know he’s playing at half speed. Whether that’s good enough for him or Woodley or Harrison to force another big game-changing turnover remains to be seen.
STEELERS OFFENSE vs COWBOYS DEFENSE
Big Ben and company better bring their A-game or else last week’s anemic offensive effort is gonna look like an ArenaBall game by comparison. I don’t know what has gone wrong with Todd Haley‘s offense but something clearly has. Going back to the game against KC, the offense has been sputtering to a standstill even with Ben at quarterback.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the problem is because nothing seems to work. The running game doesn’t move the chains. The passing game creates opening only for passes to CLANG harmlessly off the receivers’ hands. The short quick routes still end with Ben running for his life. And the end result is a team with a load of offensive talent on paper struggling to score points.
The offensive line will look different yet again with rookie first rounder David DeCastro finally getting a start at RG. Ramon Foster will slide over to the left while Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey remains in the middle. Whether this line-up will open up some holes for the running game is anybody’s guess. It will certainly help matters if Jonathan Dwyer and iRed can get something going on the ground.
The Cowboys boast perhaps the fiercest pass rush we’ve seen all year. OLBs Demarcus Ware (11 sacks) and Anthony Spencer (8.5) will eat Ben up if the team becomes one dimensional. Corners Brandon Carr and Maurice Claiborne aren’t the flashiest secondary even though they’ve combined to form the 8th best pass D in the league. Dallas has a very strong defense so when the plays present themselves, it’ll behoove the Steelers to not let those opportunities slip through their fingers.
The last time these two teams met during the regular season, a pick six by Deshea Townshend turned the tide of the game and perhaps of the season. The Steelers went on to win and then went on a roll which culminated with a heartstopping victory in Super Bowl XLIII. Will this game be a similar springboard? Or will it be just another stop on the path to diminished expectations?
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Who wants a Pittsburgh Steelers flag? You do, that’s who!
Well, we’ve got one, courtesy of CVSFlags.com, and we’re giving it away.
All you have to do is like TotalSteelers on Facebook. To make it extremely easy for you to do this, we even have a handy dandy link to our Facebook page over on the right (the “F” symbol beneath “Follow Us Online”).
After you do this, come back here and post your Facebook ID in the comments so we can message you if you win. A NOTE ABOUT COMMENTS: if you’ve never commented before, and judging by the sad lack of feedback around here most of you haven’t, I have to approve your first ever comment before you have unlimited commenting privileges. So when you submit your Facebook ID in the comments DON’T PANIC if your comment doesn’t show up right away. I’ll get around to approving it shortly.
If you’ve already liked us on Facebook, well, skip directly to posting your FB ID in the comments. You’re not going to be penalized for doing what everyone should have done already. In fact, you should be lauded for being on top of your game, but we’ll do that later.
We’ll put all the names in the Pirates hat we stupidly purchased earlier this summer and choose the winner of the flag at random NEXT FRIDAY.
So what does this damn flag look like, you’re probably asking. Actually you have two options to choose from.
There’s also a ginormous 28″x40″ Steelers flag. This one’s vertical and features the hypocycloids (those funky stars but all diehard already know that) in all their glory. This choice is particularly fitting for people who want their entire neighborhood and perhaps several surrounding boroughs to know where their allegiances lie. Or if you live in Baltimore.
To review — like us on Facebook, tell us how to find you on Facebook in the comments of this page, high five someone and (potentially) win!
Also, tell your friends, but only if they have the good sense to like the Steelers.
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That man above is Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow is a football player in the national football league. Tim Tebow did not allow the temptation of Gator-Arm clapping Florida cheerleaders and cheap vodka fueled college benders undermine his Christian vow to keep his dingus in his pants until wedlock. Therefore, Tim Tebow is the most important football player in the National Football League. Don’t believe me? Don’t believe Steely McTebow will be mentioned every night on the NFL network?
Being that TotalSteelers is outwardly biased toward all things Black and Gold, I’ll just go ahead and say it: The media coverage of the NFL is horrid, particularly in regard to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m not speaking of the geriatric staff behind the pay wall at the Post-Gazette, I’m talking about a country-wide epidemic. An epidemic that infects a station with the audacity to air this special…
One of, if not THE BEST, program on NFL network aired an hour long special about a backup quarterback for the overrated NY Jets. Unless the referee that saw that Ike Taylor pass interference is moonlighting as an NFL network production manager, it is incredible this actually made it to my TV set. Highlights included “He’s Left-Handed,” “He’s an Underdog,” and “Tebowing.” The latter, if you aren’t aware, is kneeling on the ground with your fist against your head like an asshole.
The coverage of the NFL has gotten so out of hand that I can’t stand to watch a single football-related program any more, which includes separating myself with a decade long love affair with SportsCenter. Unless Peyton Manning ate lunch, Rex Ryan said the Jets would win the Super Bowl this year, or Tebow threw a pass that didn’t flutter to the ground like a plague of locusts, the media acts like there is nothing to craft a show around. The season opener between Tony Romo and Peyton Manning’s brother had more pre-game mention of Peyton and his bionic giraffe neck than the fact that Eli, the guy who was actually playing that night, won last year’s Super Bowl. Disgusting.
So how do the Steelers factor in this rant? My news station of choice here in Nashville aired a recap of the Steelers-Jets game in between footage of the Titans’ Jake Locker nearly getting beheaded by the San Diego Chargers. In this recap, they wrongly credited Mike Wallace’s duck-footed sideline TD to Antonio Brown, gave a guy not even in uniform (Rashard Mendenhall) praise for an Isaac Redman run, and highlighted #89’s end zone grab by saying, “Ben’s short toss to Heath…” as if Heath Miller was their buddy from Saturday poker night. These were not cue card errors from a shoddy news station, it was another example of the NFL community failing to recognize the stars and names behind the Steelers.
The broadcast networks give the Steelers as much coverage as ESPN has given hockey since they lost the NHL contract. The Steelers win the Super Bowl and it’s talked about for two days then back to hand-wringing over Peyton Manning’s future and pointless discussion about the league’s most spectacular train wrecks (Jets, Cowboys, Iggles). Tebow scampered around for 20something yards on three plays, got his ass handed to him BLOCKING ON SPECIAL TEAMS, and rode the proverbial pine for the other 55 minutes, yet he somehow earned an entire show dedicated to his exploits? How have we gone from top ten “Best Rivalries,” “Best Players of All Time,” and “Best Defenses” to “Top Ten Moments of a Glorified Special Teamer?”
By the way, if I ever see Ben lined up on the left side to block for a damn punt, I am kicking Todd Haley in his angry red face.
The NFL is covered more like Jersey Shore and the Octomom kick than it is a gritty sport full of tough men. I don’t know whether to blame this on Fantasy Football, American Entertainment Culture, or just the declining metal capacity amongst the general population. Whoever captures the daytime viewer’s attention by tweeting their man-parts is held on a pedestal, while the true stars of the sport are kicked to the sideline when all they did is win the damn Super Bowl. Though this phenomenon is not limited to just the Steelers, I have a hard damn time finding any real coverage of them outside of Allegheny County. There are plenty stories of Chad Johnson arrests and Tom Brady highlights to go around, but hell if the stations that employ an army of sports reporters to cover sports 24-7 are going to update me on the team with a spot reserved in the playoffs almost every season.
I guess it’s not entirely a bad thing that our boys have avoided being plastered on GQ ads and Entertainment Weekly but I love watching anything and everything Steelers when it shows off the character and talent of the team. So if other athletes get talked about for appearing in fairy-costume commercials with Deion or being popular on the Twitter, I want the Steelers to be awesome at that too, dammit. Then maybe next time #17 makes an MC Hammer looking touchdown catch, sportscasters from Nashville, TN to Stockton, CA will get the highlight right.
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NFL Films co-founder and president Steve Sabol passed away yesterday at the age of 69. While Myron Cope was indisputably the voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers, late NFL Films narrator John Facenda provided the background vocals. For those of us too young to have experienced the Steel Dynasty of the 70s, our knowledge and appreciation of those teams is firmly rooted in the specials that NFL Films devoted to them. It can easily be argued that the work of Steve Sabol and his crew did as much as anybody to establish what we now call Steeler Nation.
They also gave the Cowboys their obnoxious “America’s Team” moniker but we’ll let that one slide.
As I’ve mentioned several times, I was born in the late 70s. I was too young to watch the Steel Dynasty and by the time I started watching football in the mid 80s, the Steelers pretty much stunk. Then one day my mom and I went to the video store and there in their bargain bin was a bunch of vhs tapes from NFL Films. I bought one about Terry Bradshaw (“Greatest Sports Legends,” natch) and another entitled “The NFL’s Best Ever Teams.” Thanks to the magic of youtube, I actually found the Steelers segment from that tape, which I posted above.
I watched that Best Teams tape dozens of times but I watched the Steelers segment probably closer to a hundred. I wore that bit of tape out to the point I still remember there was a bit of distortion and rollback at the part where TB comically tries to block an Oiler on John Stallworth‘s reverse. You youngsters don’t know how lucky have it with your dvds and blu rays. Good grief, I’m turning into my father.
Anyway, Steve Sabol was the man responsible for that and many many other programs devoted either whole or in part to our beloved Steelers. And don’t think for one moment those programs didn’t play a major role in spreading the gospel that is the Black and Gold. I have a complete collection of NFL Films Year in Reviews for every Steelers Super Bowl team (you can get the first five in the must own Pittsburgh Steelers: The Complete History dvd collection but have to buy Road To Super Bowl XLIII separately) and rewatch them before every season or just when I feel like getting psyched up for a game. They’re a fantastic source for great memories or to simply learn a little about the history of your favorite team.
In conclusion, thank you, Steve. Thank you for the countless hours of knowledge and entertainment your work provided us. Thank you for being the preeminent chronicler of the game we follow and the team we love. You will truly be missed. Good-bye and God Bless.
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Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol once predicted that in the future everybody will have their own 15 minutes of fame. Like the cute Pittsburgh Steelers fan pictured above who is getting a lot of press on Steelers blogs after Deadspin ran a story about her drunken antics in Denver. Ordinarily I ignore these things because 90% of Steeler Nation are good peeps, it’s the other 10% which gets posted on blogs or mocked in crappy Kevin Smith movies. However, I figured I’d mention it because it’s a story going around and she is strangely attractive.
Plus, she’s wearing beads and we all know how girls get those beads…
Why doesn’t anybody give some press to the more positive aspects of Steeler Nation? Well, funny you should ask. If you’re a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and you haven’t gotten your fifteen minutes of fame yet, you just may be in luck.
HBO Sports produces absolutely fantastic programs. Football fans are probably aware of the Hard Knocks reality series. Even though they tend to follow teams that either stink (Chiefs, Dolphins) or are total circuses (Cowboys, Jets), the show never fails to entertain. In the highly secretive world of NFL football, it’s a rare peek behind the curtain.
HBO Sports does a lot more than Hard Knocks, though. They don’t produce as many documentaries as ESPN does with their 30 For 30 series but the handful a year they do are always tremendous. A couple years back they did a fascinating doc on the legendary Vince Lombardi and just last season there was a fantastic program on Beaver Falls’ own Joe Namath. If you were too young and missed football from the AFL/NFL merger through the early 70s, the doc really showed why Namath is a legendary figure to kids who grew up during that time.
HBO Sports newest endeavor is a documentary on NFL Fans. They’re looking for diehard fans from around the nation telling stories of memorable moments, encounters, and experiences as a fan of their team or athlete. Naturally they’re very interested in hearing from the most rabid fan base in the NFL. So if you’re a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and have a story you think they’d be interested in, you’re encouraged to get in touch with the people casting the documentary.
How might you do this? All your questions will be answered by clicking this link. The flier offers a brief description of what they’re looking for as well as a contact email for you to get in touch with the casting director. So if you’re a diehard member of Steeler Nation with a story to tell (and who among us doesn’t have a story to tell?), get in touch with them ASAP. Get your fifteen minutes and show off your Black and Gold pride while you’re at it. Good luck!