Monday, February 2, 2009

One for the (Other) Thumb...

Three of my favorite people

God, I love me some Mike Tomlin.

Talk about unflappable. Larry Fitzgerald is running around in the fourth quarter like six bats out of hell, James Harrison is donkey-punching people in the back of the head, THE FUCKING CENTER IS HOLDING FOR NO GOOD REASON...

And then NBC shoots to the sidelines, and Tomlin is standing there like it ain't no thang. He appeared cool and confident throughout the whole game, and I'm already warming up to him as my favorite of the Steeler coaches (full disclosure: I wasn't around for too much of the Noll years. I think I was watching football for maybe the last two years of his coaching tenure).

I don't know why I doubted that the Steelers could drive all the way up the field in two minutes and change. It's what Roethlisberger's been doing all season (Quick aside... one of my favorite moments from the postgame... Ben to Steve Young: "You wanna know what the call was on that last TD, in the huddle? 'Scramble left, scramble right, uh, get open.'"), and it's what makes him so infuriating to try and bring down. While you're running around the backfield like a madman trying to get this big mofo on the ground, your whole secondary is shitting their pants because everyone's running everywhere trying to get open.

I'm sure Seattle fans are spitting in their Starbucks because of all the penalties against the Cardinals, but whatever, they were one of the most-penalized teams in the league during the regular season, and the only really disputable call was Dockett's roughing-the-passer penalty. The face mask call was on, and I mean, seriously, what kind of dumbass runs over the field-goal holder? (Seattle fans also tend to gloss over Jeramy Stevens dropping, like, 33 passes in a row in Super Bowl XL, and the fact that Matt Hasselbeck is really just a useless stat-monkey who's never won a big game in his life; really, the only thing worth mentioning about Matt Hasselbeck is his bangin'-ass wife, and after listening to her try desperately to drag Jeremiah Wright back into the '08 election, she's such a dumb bitch that she's not even worth talking about anymore)

And let me just say this now: Larry Fitzgerald is the best receiver in the NFL. I was about to jump out my boy's window when I saw how easily he just split the secondary and made them look like three-wheeled jalopies chasing a Ferrari, but I have to give Shoeless Ike Taylor some credit for putting three quarters' worth of clamp on him. You knew eventually he was gonna get his yards, but I thought that second TD was  the coffin-nail for sure.

Let me also address the Steeler Haters:

People think Steeler fans are annoying and cocky. And to some extent, I'd agree with that. My boy Bruno is the shining example of this. His position on football is that the Steelers are the favorites to win every year, and every other team is garbage. "LaDainian Tomlinson? He ain't shit. Willie Parker, bitches." That's Bruno, but you have to be able to view things objectively. I can easily root for the Steelers, while still recognizing that Larry Fitzgerald runs circles around all the Steeers' receivers, probably even Santonio Holmes. In fact, I was glad to see Fitzgerald have a good game, 'cause I'm a Pitt fan.

But here's the thing. Since the Super Bowl era began (roughly, 1960 onward), the Steelers have had 19 seasons with 10 or more wins, and another 11 seasons with nine. So in 30 of 48 years, the Steelers have played high-quality football, and they're almost always a threat in the playoffs (25 appearances since 1972). It doesn't matter what year it is, every time the pundits are listing favorites to go all the way at the beginning of the NFL season, they mention the Steelers. Every time they talk about what teams have the best D, the Steelers come up.

They've had THREE COACHES SINCE 1969. They're the most stable, high-quality franchise in football, and probably in all of professional sports. In an era of increasing parity, the Steelers have remained near the top of the crop. 

That's worth being a little cocky. Hate if you want, but you wish your team was built more like the Steelers.

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