Saturday, January 07, 2012

Here We Go Steelers

Here's one of the newest Pittsburgh Steelers fans---Margaret's grandson Beckett.  I don't know if Beckett will be watching the Pittsburgh-Denver playoff game on Sunday but I will.  I don't expect to enjoy it much, though.  The Steelers are heavily favored, but sports writers in Pittsburgh at least are expresssing caution.  It's likely to be low scoring, sloppy and painful to watch.

The Steelers have been painful to watch pretty much all year, and they are entering the playoffs as a Wild Card with a lot going against them. In terms of further success, playoff experience has proven to have minuses as well as pluses.  The two more important factors are the physical health of the team and momentum from the last several games.  The 2005 Steelers won the Super Bowl as a Wild Card team, but key players were coming back from injuries and they were healthier than they'd been all year as they began the playoffs.  This year they're starting with way too many injuries.  Their running back is out for the playoffs, and other key personnel--including their marquee players (Big Ben, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison)--are playing hurt.  Any one or two or more of them could be sidelined at any point.

That 2005 team also had tremendous momentum.  It was obvious as the season ended last year that Green Bay was going all the way, although another surprising Steelers team came close in the Super Bowl.  They were hampered by key injuries, and their outstanding running back in that game (although he committed a key fumble) won't be playing at all for these playoffs.  As for this year's momentum, the Steelers have none really, especially on offense. I think most thinking Steelers fans are hoping that they get by a weaker Denver team, but don't get humiliated in the next round.  Of course, as they say, anything can happen in the playoffs.

The NFL this year does have some teams that are fun to watch, at least theoretically, and all of them have a better chance to move on.  I see the Super Bowl being between either Green Bay or New Orleans and either New England or the boring Baltimore, with San Francisco as a sleeper possibility.  But if I'm forced to choose, I'd say this is New Orleans year.  They've got momentum, a quarterback that's having a record-setting year, a healthy team, and a better defense than Green Bay.  But the best game of the playoffs is apt to be Green Bay v. New Orleans (assuming it happens), in the year of the high-scoring pass offenses.

But every year recently I keep thinking that this one will be the last year I'll be watching.  How much longer can I endure moronic commercial after offensive commercial, surrounding brief moments of millionaires giving each other concussions?  Truth is I haven't watched an entire game in more than a year.  We'll see. Or not.         

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow... Captain Future is still blogging!

You are a great writer.