Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Steelers lost the %^@$^@$ Super Bowl....oh well? What's wrong with me?

Over the past 3-4 weeks I have had this feeling that I couldn't describe nor could I escape it.  The Pittsburgh Steelers, my Pittsburgh Steelers, were in the midst of a Super Bowl run and I just wasn't as excited as I should have been.

I believed at the time that it stemmed from the fact that the Steelers stood in the way of the New York Jets, my father's Jets, making the Super Bowl for the first time since my dad was a spry 29 years old.  I honestly hated the idea that here were the hapless Jets on the doorstep for the 2nd year in the row and I would be rooting against them getting through.

I can't even begin to imagine not being able to see your team win it all for over 40 years.  That's not to say my teams always win, but I've been more than lucky with the amount of winning my teams have done over the years.  The Steelers have won twice since 2006, the Yankees have won 5 times since 1996.  Heck the NY Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994.

While chants of "1940" from Islanders fans tormented me for what seemed like forever (growing up a Rangers fan on Long Island in the early 80's is not something for the faint of heart), realistically my "suffering" lasted about 15 years or so.  Even then though, the Rangers were always a respectable team.  The Jets, not so much.

Well, the Steelers beat the Jets and were crowned AFC Champions, Pittsburgh was going to the Super Bowl!  Surprisingly enough that feeling was still there.

Leading up to Super Bowl XL and XLIII, I couldn't imagine that they'd lose, I was fired up and wanted to eat and breath the Steelers and Super Bowl hype.  This year, not so much.  Even though I had just watched Chicago stop the Packers in their tracks in the 2nd half of the NFC Championship, and the Packers were the 6th seed, I also knew there was potential for a  decent sized mismatch between the WR's of Green Bay and the DB's of Pittsburgh.  So maybe it was my lack of confidence in them?  That's what I figured it was.  Add in that 80% of the so-called experts out there were picking the Packers, and I started to believe that this had to be it.

It's been about 2 days since the Packers beat the Steelers in Dallas for Super Bowl XLV Championship.  I have avoided reading or watching anything about the game - typical behavior when my team would even lose a regular season game.

I know what I saw Sunday night - the Steelers started slowly as usual, had 2 turnovers which put them in a huge hole.  The second half found them fighting back as they are wont to do.  A fumble killed their momentum and that was really that no matter what happened the rest of the way.  Interestingly enough it wasn't until that fumble that I believed that they weren't going to win.  So I'm thinking that "lack of confidence" was not my problem.

Can a fan see their team win so much that it just doesn't matter anymore?  I never bought into that before, and maybe sports in general aren't as important to me as they used to be (God, I hope not!) but I guess I have to consider it.

The past 2 days I've received emails and calls to "see how I was doing" from more people than you'd imagine.  I don't know whether I should laugh or be embarrassed that people were feigning concern for me.  I've been answering everyone the same way, which while it's meant to be funny, may also underlie all of this;

"I'll be ok, but I'm really bummed for Dylan (my soon to be 1 year old son), he really wanted this one!"

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