Matthew Marczi asked the question right in the headline of his Steelers Depot article. “2017 Offseason Questions: Who Will Win Super Bowl and Will You Watch?”
As an average Pittsburgh Steelers fan; I had a ready response and commented that I won’t be watching; for me the 2016 NFL season ended two weeks ago; on to 2017.
I continued that my feelings on who I would prefer to win are mixed. Since the New England Patriots beat the Steelers; part of me is pulling for them to win so at least the Steelers were knocked out of the playoffs by the champion. On the other hand, I’m pulling for the Atlanta Falcons just so the Patriots don’t get another ring closer to the Steelers. Does that make me a bad football fan since I won’t watch an NFL game that doesn’t include the Steelers? Perhaps.
Now my wife is a sports fan. She will watch today’s Super Bowl even though she is a Steelers fan. I think I mentioned before that her mother caused a minor uproar at her senior center outside Pittsburgh since she admitted to admiring Tom Brady’s competitiveness and talent. Heck, she watches the Stanley Cup with or without the Pittsburgh Penguins. She watches the World Series even as the Pittsburgh Pirates seem to make moves designed to prevent them from getting there. Not me. The NFL season ends the moment the Steelers complete their last game. Now my perspective shifts from the present to the future with some reflections of the past.
I did watch the NFL awards show last night but could not help but feel that the Steelers were dissed. It almost would have been better if they weren’t mentioned at all but the producers of the show wanted to grind their heels into the franchise a little. It was bad enough that they had a parody award for the best excessive celebrations. For a moment, I thought Antonio Brown believed he was going to get a trophy. Very sad, but at least they emphasized that these frivolous fines all go to charity. I expect that Lady Gaga and the other halftime entertainers will respect the NFL sense of decorum and restrict any twerking to less than the three-pump threshold established by the league. Le’Veon Bell did get recognized for breaking the Steelers playoff rushing record. But that was about it. If you relied on this show, the Steelers season boiled down to a great performance in one game and some dance moves.
Not even Alejandro Villanueva, who had three COMBAT tours in Afghanistan and received a Bronze Star could get the nod for the Salute to Service Award. Now Dan Quinn from the Falcons did do some good works. He invited 100 military service members to the Atlanta training facility and got field passes for 63 families from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and went on a USO tour. But really?
And then, the announcement of the newest Hall of Fame class. No Alan Faneca. In fact, no offensive lineman including Joe Jacoby, who was also a beast to be seen. They were given the boot in favor of kicker Morten Anderson; quarterback Kurt Warner, who has a losing record as a Super Bowl starting quarterback, and Kenny Easley. Next year Faneca’s road does not get easier since another great lineman – Steve Hutchinson, will be in his first year of eligibility. Hines Ward will also have more competition with Randy Moss also eligible for the class of 2018. Frustrating.
Now, let’s play a game. Which player is more deserving to be in the Hall of Fame:
Player 1: Defensive Back that played 7 NFL seasons and started in 87 of 89 games played. 32 career interceptions returning 3 for touchdowns and recovered 11 fumbles. A 5-time Pro Bowler and First Team All Pro 3 times. Played in 6 playoff games recording 1 interception and 1 sack but was never won the Super Bowl.
Player 2: Defensive Back that played 14 NFL seasons and started 162 of 201 games played. 51 career interceptions returning 2 for touchdowns and recovered 19 fumbles. A 5-time Pro Bowler and First Team All Pro 3 times. Played in 19 playoff games recording 2 interceptions and a half sack contributing to 4 Super Bowl wins.
Player 1? Player 2? Neither? Both?
Only one of these players is in.
So, I’m not watching the game today but watched some NFL awards show last night that got my blood boiling. Yoi, I’m just an average Steelers fan. That’s the way I see it.