As the last team standing, the Steelers get to have the last say in everything for the next year. This is going to be the last thing I have to say about this season and football in general until, at the earliest, the draft. I know most of you aren’t going to miss it in the slightest. But whatever. The blog is meant for me to spout my thoughts, and during football season, football is very much at the front of my mind.
Firstly, I’m beginning to think that things like “your team has won the Super Bowl” aren’t the sort of things that “just hit you”. It’s not like jumping into a mountain lake and you come to an instant realization that you’re freezing. It’s more like just sitting in the warm sun on an autumn day with a jacket on. Slowly, the sun’s enough to heat you to the point where you say, “Hey, I’m kinda hot”. Over the past couple of day, it’s not an analogy to say that a nice warmness has crept up on me. It’s a very happy feeling. And I think this is the way it’s going to be for the next year.
Secondly, normally, after the season, I tend to back away from sports for a month or so and don’t come back until College Basketball reaches its post season. The reason isn’t that I don’t want to follow the college basketball regular season. It’s that I’ve been so mad about the end of the Steelers’ season that I don’t want to be reminded that it’s over. I took Monday off specifically to watch as much post-game shows and read as many on-line articles about the victorious Steelers as I could. After one day, I am 100% positive that, like seasons past, I will once again be stepping away for the next month. The media’s ranting about poor officiating during the Super Bowl didn’t ruin the victory for me by any means. But it did manage to make me a little mad that they’d try. So, like year’s past, I’m going to take a step back, avoid SportsCenter (except when I need a Pitt score), and put my focus elsewhere. Only this time, I’m stepping into the warm sun.
A final look back at the season wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging that the last 9 weeks (8 games and one bye week) have been one of the most exciting, fun, dramatic, heart stopping, and jumping-up-and-down-inducing 2 month periods I’ve ever had. It has been an absolute thrill. I don’t think another Steelers’ Super Bowl will be remotely as crazy of a trip. I just can’t imagine have 8 MUST WIN games in a row. It’s such a rare occurrence. What they did HAS NEVER happened before. So what I went through as a fan, no one else has ever gone through. For that reason alone, I can’t imagine there being a more memorable Steelers season. And to be honest, I’m not sure I’d want to go through that again. Once is enough. I think I’d like winning one where we’re the favorite. I want to know how New England felt last year. I think that would be every bit as gratifying yet a completely different experience. But I’m not sure that I will ever forget this season. In my little world, it really was and will likely be the best ever.
Lastly, I want to thank Jenn for putting up with my fanaticism. I know she doesn’t get it. I don’t get a lot of the things she does, so I suppose it’s even. But one thing I know for sure: other than trying to be a little calmer during the games, I know she’d never ask me to change, and that says quite a lot about her.
Early predictions for next year! Colts are going to drop to a 10-6 team after losing Edge and the Defense taking a giant step back, but still win the AFC South. New England is going to have to battle Miami for the East (they’ll both make the playoffs). Denver is going to be a beast in the regular season (if they sign T. O.) and the West is again going to beat each other up so badly that only the Division winning will make the playoffs. Pittsburgh will not be as good next year as they were this year in the post season. But everyone else is taking a step back, so they won’t have to play perfect to get to the Super Bowl again. Cincy is going to be much worse, but because they don’t play in the West, will squeak into the post season. Pittsburgh and Denver will have the byes. Denver still has Jake Plummer at QB, so they aren’t going very far. In the NFC, which will be improved next year, I like Washington a lot, Minnesota, Carolina, and Seattle as division winners and Dallas and Atlanta to be Wild Cards (San Fran will finish 8-8 and win the West in 2 years). It will be a Pittsburgh-Washington Super Bowl and the Steelers will repeat. This time, Big Ben proves the difference in the Super Bowl. He’s going to feel like he has a lot to prove next season. You think the rest of the league is looking forward to that!?!?!
HOLY SHIT! THE STEELERS WON THE SUPER BOWL!?!?!?