This one is for all my fellow Steelers fans who, like me, wanted the 49’ers to lose Sunday’s Super Bowl only to protect our singular place in history as the only fan base rooting for a team with six Lombardi trophies. Well, we got what we wished for; despite some rather electric (pun intended) opportunities for momentum to shift to the 49’ers after a roaring start by Baltimore. But, of course, what that means is that the Ravens got their second trophy, and now we have to learn to live with that. And if you are finding that a little harder than you thought it might be, then join the club, but until next season finally starts, there is not much we can do to respond to that on the field, so here are my suggested coping schemes to get you through between now and then:
1. Watch hockey. It’s fast, it’s furious, and there is a lot of it. The NHL is cramming in 48 games in 99 days, so every game has a greater sense of urgency. And for Steelers fans, the Penguins are a great compliment to the Pittsburgh sports legacy. But, it’s not just professional hockey, there are a lot of pucks flying on all levels. I read another local sports blogger’s post the other day querying whether Pittsburgh is becoming a hockey town. With four local boys playing on the US Junior National team, I would say that is a big 10-4, good buddy. So, if you are in the region, catch a game at Robert Morris University or attend the Frozen Four being held at Consol Energy Center this April. Catch a high school game or two if you can: you never know when you might end up watching the next Sidney Crosby.
2. Read more; watch TV less. Hard to hear about what’s next for Ray Lewis and Flacco’s sterling playoff play if you have your nose in a book. Granted, the current New York Times bestseller list looks a little light on good sports related books, but we can expand our horizons. Private Berlin looks pretty good. But, there are a plethora of books about the Steelers ranging from autobiographies by Dan Rooney, Jerome Bettis and Terry Bradshaw, to some old time classics to give you a sense of where the team evolved from like Three Bricks Shy of a Load by Roy Blount, Jr.
3. Go to a movie, or two, or three. It’s Oscar month and it is a strong field this year. Pull up the Best Picture nominees and make it a goal to see each one. Argo and Flight are available on DVD now and definitely worth watching now that the frenzy of playoff football is over. And not every good film this year got an Oscar nod: check out End of Watch. But you can even get a football fix with the best picture nominated Silver Linings Playbook.
4. Trot out every piece of Six-Burgh, Six-Time Champions, City of Champions, etc. clothing that you own and wear it as often as possible to remind yourself that the Ravens are still a long way away from the Steelers in terms of championship football. Even better: think back to the games the Steelers won over the Ravens to get to the Super Bowl. May not ease the pain of this season, but it should help a little.
5. Push comes to shove there is always the tried and true option of sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting “LALALALALALA” as loudly as you can.
In the end take heart Steelers Nation – this too shall pass. And the Steelers are still the only team with six championships.