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Super Bowl Fallout

steelershelmet.jpgWell, I said it before and I'll say it again: it's odd how incredibly unsatisfied I am with a Steelers Super Bowl victory. It largely boils down to the fact that the playoffs (Cinci, Indy, Denver) were so exciting and the Steelers had their A game only to bring their C/D game to the Super Bowl. Even still, they beat a Seahawks team that had their B/C game.

There's some chit-chat out there about two key things. The first is the umpiring. This is easily dismissed by people that, y'know, know the rules of football and want to go back and watch the tape. The NFL itself said that the game was "properly officiated." I have the game on TiVo. I've watched all of the controversial calls in slow motion. They were all made correctly. And even if one or two of them had gone wrong, the Steelers would have some legitimate beefs about bad calls, too, the most obvious of which was blocking Ben in the back on the INT return.

But people don't want to talk about any calls against the Steelers because they won. They made the big plays when they had to, and many of them were made by the QB with the 22.6 rating - runs, a 3rd & 28 conversion during which the winning QB showed awesome presence of mind, and so forth.

The next thing I'd like to address is the nonsense about "best team in the NFL." It's the Steelers. They won the fucking Super Bowl, after all. That's the only measuring stick the NFL has to determine "best" and the Steelers won it.

Indy the best team? I don't think so. If Indy was the best team this year then the Steelers - who finished 15-1 last year after being led by a rookie QB to thirteen straight wins - were the best team last year. Yet everyone is too busy sucking on the teat of the Patriots. The Steelers demolished the Patriots in the regular season (and the undefeated Eagles the next week, too) and had a bad playoffs. The playoffs are about peaking at the right time and the Lombardi trophy is the only measuring stick we've got. By both measures, the Steelers are the best team in football. Period.

Now, the ever-important off-season. Will Whisenhunt stay (he should - just look at what's happened to every Raiders coach of the past, oh, ever). Will Randle-El pass up perhaps a little more money to stay with a SB-winning team and a young, great quarterback? Will the Steelers sign other key players like Kimo Von Oelhoffen, Chris Hope, DeShea Townsend, etc.?

I think the cap needs to get bumped a little bit, and I hope that the math for some free agents breaks down to something like this: $5.4M/year to play for the Arizona Cardinals versus $4.4M/year to play with the World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. What can you do with $5.4M that you can't do with $4.4M, let alone how crappy the Cardinals (or most other teams in the NFL) are. The Steelers contend year after year. For the past 14 years, I could easily make the case that the Steelers are the best team in football. I'm hoping that a lot of the key people realize that, or that some people with contracts re-structure them a little bit to keep some of the free agents. Bettis did this the past few years, and it paid off. Perhaps some other vets will key off of that. Or maybe they'll look at the careers of other ex-Steelers - Jason Gildon, Chad Scott, Eric Green, etc. Where are they?

The Steelers - if Bill Cowher coaches the way he coached in the playoffs and not the way he typically coaches (exhibited in good doses during the Super Bowl) - have a chance to return to the same winning form as the team of the 70s. Forget "One for the Thumb" if they can fill up the other hand!

6 Responses to "Super Bowl Fallout"

  1. Oh, and Mike Holmgren's comments about "playing the team in stripes" in addition to playing the Steelers is classless. It demotes him to pond scum in my eyes. His team played like ass and his clock management sucked even more. How about taking some of the blame yourself, Mikey? Combine this with not shaking Cowher's hand after the game and some lame excuse about "not wanting to spoil his moment" and you get the same thing: pond scum.

  2. It comes down to sour grapes for the Seahawks. Look, your team didn't make the plays, plain and simple, and your defense didn't stop the Steeler big plays. That's why you lost, plain and simple.

    I totally agree with your assessment that the playoffs were much more exciting then the Super Bowl. We'll still take it though.

  3. No doubt we'll take it! I think it will get sweeter with time, as the whining dies down and as the Steelers continue to be referred to as Super Bowl Champions.

    Some good pictures of the rally. And a good article from Kornheiser:

    We've just seen the Pittsburgh Steelers have the greatest playoff run in the history of the NFL -- maybe the greatest playoff run in any sport.Let's look at who the Steelers went through: The Nos. 1 (Indianapolis), 2 (Denver) and 3 (Cincinnati) seeds in the AFC, and the No. 1 (Seattle) seed in the NFC. Those are the four toughest teams Pittsburgh could possibly have drawn. All on the road, mind you. Who in his right mind would have predicted a Steelers sweep? (Besides Dan Rooney.)Consider this: The Steelers had already been beaten during the regular season by both Cincinnati and Indianapolis. And the Colts were the overwhelming favorites to get to the Super Bowl. (The Steelers-Colts game, you'll recall, featured the second-greatest play in Steelers history, behind only the Immaculate Reception: Ben Roethlisberger's game-saving tackle after Jerome Bettis's horrifying fumble -- now referred to in Steelers lore as, "Excuse me, what fumble???") Then, Pittsburgh had to go to Denver, by acclamation the roughest road venue in the AFC. And after upsetting all those teams, the Steelers had to beat Seattle, which boasted the NFL's best offense, and the MVP, Shaun Alexander. And all this doesn't count the four straight games Pittsburgh had to win at the end of the regular season to even get into the playoffs.Who ever had a run like this?Please don't say: "How about Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup?"This wasn't a best-of-seven series, where you can drop a few games and still move on, like in baseball or the NBA. Every one of these games was win-or-go-home. No NFL sixth seed had ever won three road playoff games and then won the Super Bowl. Until now. This team may not measure up to those Steel Curtain teams. But great as they were, none of them ever had to go so far or beat so many.

  4. Your comments are the most sensible thing I have read about the Super Bowl in three days. Concerning the officiating, I would simply add that the Steelers were probably playing it safe for most of the game because of so many bad calls during the playoffs, and because they were worred about how strict the refs would be because of the Joey Porter "threats" in the couple of days before the big game. Now, why wasn't the Seattle coaching staff smart enough to know that the refs were going to be calling every little thing they saw? The Seattle coaching decisions were horrible throughout the game, and their total disrespect for the officials during the game is just one more aspect of it. Come on, if a receiver pushes the defender right in front of the ref, it looks like you are daring the ref to do something, and so the receiver got the penalty. I think people are just made that Pittsburgh didn't get at least some bad calls against them, but why blame the Steelers for being careful. Anyway, the Seahawks are poor losers, and I hope they have a horrible season next year.

  5. I was thinking that the touchdown challenge would have been more clear if I didn't have poor quality satellite television. Do you have HD, and with that could you very clearly see the difference?

  6. I have HD, but didn't watch the game in HD. You didn't need HD to see that the ball broke the plane of the goal (before Ben was hit and the ball was driven backwards). Just observe where it is in his arms when he leaps, watch that it doesn't move, and watch where he is when he gets hit. Ball's over by four inches or so.