In my travels this week, I got to talking at the grocery store with a guy buying ice cream.
While waiting in the checkout line behind him, I noticed he wasn’t just buying ice cream but that ice cream that’s endorsed by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bored out of my mind, I struck up a conversation with the stranger with the frozen candy and asked him if he thought the Steelers would beat Baltimore.
“No,” he said. “They’re not that good.”
I was stunned. This is a guy that clearly likes the Steelers by his choice of Blitzburgh Crunch over something a lot more family friendly like Neapolitan or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, but he doesn’t have any faith in his favorite team.
I’m no George Michael fan - though, I’m guilty as charged if one’s looking to prosecute owners of Limp Bizkit’s first two albums - but you gotta have a little faith come playoff time.
This isn’t northeast Ohio where we should come to expect nothing but the worst - and then some - out of our professional sports teams. Our football team here in western Pennsylvania has pulled off some pretty extraordinary, unexpected and impressive tasks this past decade.
There’s no reason to expect that trend has come to an end. I believe the Steelers will win today. I have faith in my team. So should that dude buying ice cream.
Alright, it takes a strong man, baby, but I’ll admit the Pittsburgh offensive line more closely resembles a revolving door than an impenetrable wall. I’ll also admit our running game may not be as elite as I would like, the secondary unit of the defense - with the exception of Troy Polamalu - is a little more suspect than it may seem to the average fan, the special teams are poorly coached and that the team, as a whole, may be a little too old.
I’ll take these old dogs, though, any day. These guys have been to the rodeo before, know what it takes to win and, for at least the next two or three years, have the pieces in place to win the Super Bowl again and again.
Even with injuries and some parts of the team that may not be up to snuff with some of the greatest squads to ever take the gridiron, I like our chances.
And I like our chances because no current team in the current NFL has every asset up to snuff with the greatest squads to ever play the game.
Every team, at times, stinks. Every team is as capable of winning a given game as they are to blow it. That’s just the way the NFL is today.
I’ll agree with the guy buying ice cream that the Steelers aren’t that good. But neither is anybody else, New England Patriots and Baltimore Browns included.
I’m behind the Steez. Despite not buying their ice cream, I have faith.
Steelers 27, Ravens 20.
- I will be live tweeting all afternoon and evening - how exciting! - live from Heinz Field. Catch the action by following @pc21 on Twitter.
Patrick Connelly is sports editor at Allied News and can be reached at email@example.com or 724-458-5010.
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