Ok, so let’s break it down to the most popular things said by Steeler fans this morning:
- Bruce Arians should be fired
- Ike Taylor got beat all year long
- Ben shouldn’t have played the last 3 games of the season
- Dick LeBeau should retire
- Tomlin is a horrible coach
- The refs are against us
Inevitably we are going to want to break down the game as if we are all part of the coaching staff and figure out just what the crap went wrong yesterday in Denver. We can’t help it. We’re yinzers. We were born and bred to question coaching decisions, scream at the ref’s calls, and criticize the players. It’s a tough thing to deal with every year when the Steelers season is over. It will always happen, and unfortunately it doesn’t always come with a victory parade.
Steeler Nation is spoiled rotten. I’m not trying to bash any of us or say we should just shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh well, we’ll get’em next year!” But no matter how upsetting and shocking yesterday’s loss was there’s no reason to spend today walking around like someone just shot our dog. I’m as guilty as the next fan of taking the losses too hard. I didn’t play a snap in the game but I got home last night and screamed into my pillow out of frustration. With six Lombardi trophies sitting in the case, it’s hard to settle for anything less than another one.
Whether or not anyone wants to admit it at this point, it was a successful season for the Black & Gold. A number 1 ranked defense along with the most productive passing offense in many years to give a 12-5 record isn’t anything to sniff at. I know Arians gets the bulk of the criticism of the coaching staff, but except for the past few games, this offense was pretty friggin good this year. Tomlin made some questionable time-management calls during several games this year but he has made the playoffs 4 out of his first 5 seasons as the Steelers head coach, including 2 trips to the Super Bowl.
Sometimes it’s just tough being a Steeler fan. Sometimes it’s friggin awesome. The losses hurt more because we always expect to win. We hold our players up high because we feel like they’re part of our Steeler family somehow. It’s a special relationship that Steeler Nation has with its team. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter we can be even closer than our parents were to the players of years ago. The fans will always take the losses a whole lot harder than the players do, that’s just something you have to deal with. The upside to being a Steeler fan (outside of not being a dirty Ratbird or Bungles fan) is that you can go to any city in the country and always find a Steelers bar to stop in and have a beer and talk to some awesome like-minded people.
I’m proud of our guys this year. I’m proud of Ben trying to tough it out no matter what was hurt basically screaming out “It’s only a minor flesh wound!” after every knock down. I’m proud of Ike Taylor for having an awesome year and fully excepting responsibility for blowing the coverage and the tackle last night. I’m proud of Isaac Redman for stepping in and running his heart out last night. I’m proud of Tomlin for sitting Ryan Clark no matter what the medical staff advised “probably wouldn’t happen” if he exerted himself in the high altitude of Denver. I’m proud of Troy Polamalu, who was playing his hair off last night as well as the rest of the season. I’m proud of the Young Money Crew (Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, and Weslye Saunders) for showing themselves to be a wide receiving crew to be feared for years to come. I’m proud of Hines Ward for his achievements this season and each season before this. I’m also proud of the offensive line, from the starters to the backups, even Kemoeatu for not getting 100 holding penalties last night.
I feel myself coming out of the hangover from that miserable loss last night and starting to regain hope for next year. There’s about 207 days or so till training camp opens and in the meantime there’s always the Pens and the Pirates, right? Who’s with me?
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