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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: Hyping History

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posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 12:46 AM
At least on the surface, the story of the Pittsburgh Steelers hasn't changed much since 1979. Historical in nuance, it writes itself. It is an American institution, a celebration of Glory Days, a saga that redefines timelessness.

Pittsburgh barely snuck by Cincinnati in Week Eleven, but the pundits will inevitably turn this mundane victory into further evidence of old-school Steeler toughness and grit. Armed with a heavy hand, the powers that be will scribble parallels to the Dynasty of the 70's. They will remind us of the four Super Bowl victories the Steel Curtain secured during that mighty decade. They will tell you that the Steelers of today are as good as ever, hailing Bill Cowher as Chuck Knoll, Ben Roethlisberger as Terry Bradhsaw, Jerome Bettis as Franco Harris and Joey Porter as Joe Greene.

Indeed, Pittsburgh's cliché factory is blowing out more smoke than a steel mill. A well-oiled machine, it knows no relent. It clogs the airwaves. It pollutes the presses. And it manipulates the masses into believing that history will always favor the hometown team.

Beyond the brouhaha, there's a glitch in the Steel City's seemingly flawless assembly line. It's been almost twenty-six years since the Steelers last won a Super Bowl, and the well of nostalgia is running dry. For the past three decades, the Steeler storyline has developed undeniably tragic overtones, and it's time for the Blitzburgh bandwagon to be sacked into reality.

But a nation of Steeler supporters won't have it. They're in denial. They're turning a blind eye to the twelve consecutive failed playoff appearances since 1979. They're acting as if the franchise never skipped a beat, as if the Steel Curtain never really closed.

"The Autobus," Poet Laureate and Elder Statesman of the Steeler locker room, would have us all be reminded that Steeler Football is all about tough-minded, stingy defense and ball-control offense. Yet Bettis himself has lost many a football slumping awkwardly into the end zone under the Sunday Night Lights. Aside from illustrating the career maximizing effects of relentless self-promotion, what Bettis has shown us perhaps more than anything else is what can be achieved if you hang around the league long enough and get plenty of rest on the bench.

The professional football world will see if 2004 marks a change for the better for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Who knows? Maybe they can salvage a fallen legacy. Maybe they can live up to the hyperbolic hype of those tough-as-nails (and winning) Steeler teams of yore. After years of impotence, maybe they can win it all. Maybe. But don't bet on it.

posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 12:19 PM
Typical wordy nonsense. The 2004 Steelers are a separate entity from any previous editions. Does the media overhype teams on a win streak? Uh, yeah. The Steelers are far from invincible but don't need to be saddled with unfair comparisons to an irrelevant past.

posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 02:58 PM
Beyond the clever language, there are many things you're missing here. Namely, the point.

The Steelers are good, perhaps even great - there's no denying that. But whether it's been Bubby Brister, Neil O'Donnell, the Stewartess or Big Big running the team, there's been an overwhelming sentiment in the sports community to that the Steelers are invincible and worthy of incessant hype, and that sentiment is largley rooted in memories of the Steeler Dynasty of the 70's. We didn't here these things when the Bears dominated the regular season in '01, the Jauguars in '99, the Falcons in '98, the Chiefs in '95 etc.

The bottom line is that the Steeler legacy of tough defense and running the football is as true as it ever was, but their legacy of winning the big one has long been old news. Need I remind you of '93 divisional playoff aginst the Bills, the '94 AFC title game against the Chargers, the '96 divisional playoff against the Patriots, and the '01 AFC Championship vs. the Pats, just to name to a few. The Steelers were favored in all these games. And like it or not, they choked in a manner that is any but befitting of the legacy of the Steel Curtain.

But for as long as Pittsburgh is a blue-collar town and the memory of the Steel Curtain persists, the good regular season Pittsburgh teams will continue to be viewed by the public with the same esteem as a defending Super Bowl champion.

And as obvious as all this is, if you sill can't see it, take a few steps aways from the steel mill. Things should clear up nicely for you.

[Edited on 11/22/04 by deanchristopher]

posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 05:38 PM
Dean on the defensive!

tony, nathan, whatever your name is...

The steelers get over-hyped, that's the point. Living in PA myself, I get assaulted with Steeler propaganda, and it gets hard to bear. Between that and my buddies who are obnoxious steeler fans, that's why i hate that team...

And Myron Cope

posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 06:02 PM
Yo Tony Nathan - The only thing the Steelers are saddled with (other than the bizarro Sarge Slaughter we all know as Cowher) is their recent past - and it ain't pretty. Can you spell "Kordell"? How about Pat's playoff game a few years back. You know, the one where they had therir bags packed and rooms reserved. Oops.


posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 07:26 PM
I would love to see the steelers and pats go at it again, in the playoffs. The steelers are doing waht a championship team does, focus on the run, and focus on the defense and then you will win the championship or come pretty close.

posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 10:01 AM
Watching the game with the Steelers in Pats in the playoffs was an awesome game to watch. the upset with the steelers coach telling his players previous to the game to make plans to head to the superbowl. Now years later the Champs vs. pittsburgh again would be quite a game to watch especially after the loss pats suffered from the steelers. This would surely be a great game.

[Edited on 11/23/04 by RedSox]

posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 04:33 PM
No doubt. I think whoever gets home field takes it - unless of course the Steelers choke again.

posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 08:24 PM
Even with a playoff in Pittsburgh, I would take the Pats in a second. By playoff time NE should have some of its corners back AND Corey Dillon who was absent in the first meeting. Steelers are looking good, but the Pats are just a fundamentally sounder, better team. Even if the talent were even - and its not - NE's game preparation and coaching give them the edge.

posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 09:21 PM
to quote the swami

"That's why they play the games."

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