That unmistakable gushing sound you hear is the wind rushing out of the Pittsburgh Steelers championship balloon following one of the most disappointing losses in the team’s history by a score of 24-27 to the New England Patriots in the NFL’s game of the year.
Sadly, defeats by the Patriots are crowding the Steelers top 20 worst game billboards, especially during the New Millennium. The Bostonians have stolen the joy of Whoville and Steelers Nation once again as even Jim Carrey couldn’t play a better Grinch than Bill Belichick and his wicked elf Tom Brady.
Even the Spin would have a hard time spinning it any other way. There is no denying Pittsburgh’s championship ambitions took a major downturn as one of Ben Roethlisberger’s worst decisions of the year bounced off of Eli Rogers and floated tragically in Matrix-like suspended animation toward the gleeful, unsuspecting arms of Duron Harmon.
The horror! The horror!
But, no my friends, we will not let this year toboggan down into a heart of darkness. ‘Tis the season for cheer and goodwill, and with every remaining core of my being, we…will…spin…those Terrible Towels again.
For Steelers Nation to start having that feeling again? We don’t need no stinkin’ Patriots win. We don’t need no stinkin’ badges. Let’s Spin it to win it. But first, we’ve still got some coal to take out of our stockings.
We’re the Steelers front office and we just suffered the most traumatic loss of our season. We’re going to sell the notion that all is not lost. That the rats aren’t jumping the ship. We’re circling the wagons and letting everyone know all is fine in the family. That we haven’t lost our momentum heading into the playoffs.
So…what do we do? We release one of Steelers Nation’s favorite players of all time in James Harrison. And at a time where the defense just got shamed in front of a global audience and could use some attitude injection from a reliable source. Uh…could you please connect me with the Steelers Public Relations office? What? Nobody working there this week?
Clowned In Controversy
It used to be the biggest villain in Steelers history with the name “Al” has always had the last name of Davis. But apparently Al Riveron is making a heavy run for the roses in this category. For those of you who have been hiding in a cave, Riveron is the man most responsible for overturning the Jesse James catch that would have given the Steelers the victory. Apparently these Steelers homer glasses I’m wearing (the ones with the flashing blue, red and yellow diamonds) has made me blind to the obvious truth the rest of the planet has accepted, but I have yet to see any “irrefutable evidence” that James didn’t make that catch.
Yes, the ball moved, but can you be absolutely certain he didn’t have a pinkie between the ball and ground? I would have no problem agreeing with the call if it was originally identified as a drop. But there is no way you could have overruled that catch with the video that was presented. Forget about all of the creative photography that tried to prove the point after the fact this week. As it turns out, Mr. Riveron has helped the Patriots out on several occasions this year from his lofty tower. As far as the Spin is concerned, this Al Riveron decision will always be remembered by this phrase: “The receiver was unable to survive the Clown.”
Was there anyone else out there who knew the game was foreshadowed as a loss when Sean Davis dropped a highly catchable interception on Tom Brady’s game winning drive? How many times in recent Steelers history, dating back to the days when Ike Taylor was buttering up his fingers before each game, have you seen this happen? After extensive research the Spin has determined the following rule to be true 100% of a time: If a defensive player drops an interception in the final minutes of a game, it is over. Cue Dandy Don Meredith. In the future, I’ll just turn off the television and find the closest bridge.
Catch The Ball!
Few of the Spin’s few readers probably are aware I had the finest hands in the world as a receiver and safety in my youth. Sadly, these hands were attached to a body that couldn’t break a 4.7 forty with hurricane winds at my back. Fortunately, these same hands worked out as collegiate setter in volleyball, but they left me absolutely unforgiving to any NFL professional who drops a football. I learned how to catch by…get this…practicing how to catch.
I mean…c’mon…even if you are the water boy for the team, this is what you do for a living! You’ve worked this forty hour gig your whole life. If you’re an accountant, you can’t tell your client, “Sorry about forgetting those deductions.” As a historical novelist, I can’t put a fitbit watch on Abraham Lincoln and as a marketing pro I can’t spell the word “Sale” as “Sail”. So gentlemen…please…if you put on the Steelers uniform…whether your name is Ike, Sean or Jesse…CATCH THE BALL!
William Shakespeare knew how to end a play. With everyone dying at the conclusion, like when his Danish prince finished things up at the end of Hamlet. It’s called a catharsis. It makes us get tragedy out of our system. And it’s what we need to do in this episode of the Spin. Get it out. Get it over with. Complain, gripe, point fingers. And then let’s move on. We’ve got the rest of the season to deal with. Let’s pull it together, people.
Already A Successful Season
Despite needing to sit on my couch in a catatonic state for hours following the Steelers loss, my heart was still filled with gratitude. Even as my wife kept saying, “Are you okay?” over and over again to a lifeless shell of a man, I knew the Steelers game was a major victory. It’s because I will never forget the happiness I experienced by seeing Ryan Shazier in the booth waving to the crowd. Yes…there are things, much, much more important than football. You keep going, young man. You’re an inspiration to us all, and help us put it all in a proper perspective.
Pretty Paper, Pretty Ribbons
This could be a tough Christmas, folks. After all that transpired this week, will the Steelers really be able to pull it together to win a very winnable game against the Houston Texans? The Mike Tomlin template of the past few years has been to wrap these up as a gift to an inferior team. But, this has been a different year for Tomlin, and a special year for the Steelers. Rebuilding a championship run? Starting to get our mojo back? That’s all Steelers Nation wants for Christmas.
And as for all of you, my good friends of Steelers Depot, the Steelers and all of Steelers Nation…have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.