Wednesday, January 18, 2012

#238: Rivalry Aside

---SSL Broadcast #76---

I'm a little late in uploading this show. Apoligies.

However, it has allowed the NFL Divisional round of the playoffs to be completed, whereas if I would have uploaded this at my normal "Saturday at about 11AM" time, I wouldn't be able to put this little blurb together.

I have been seeing an inordinate about of Steeler fans hunkering down, getting ready to swallow their bile and root on the New England Patriots this coming weekend against the Baltimore Ravens.

Are you kidding me?

I am prepared to give you some reasons as to why Steeler fans should, in fact, be rooting on the Ravens this weekend.

1) History.

The sooner the New England Patriots are eliminated, the more comfortable fans of the 70's Steelers, especially, can rest more easily. One more Super Bowl win by quarterback Tom Brady, and he will equal the number of championships won by Steeler QB Terry Bradshaw and Pittsburgh-area native Joe Montana. Brady has no roots to this area. Worse, a Patriot win gives head coach Bill Belichick -his- fourth ring as a head coach, too, equaling only "The Emperor" Chuck Noll. This is not acceptable. Even if San Francisco would capture its 6th ring, tying Pittsburgh, that's a record that can be reclaimed in future seasons. Bradshaw will never play again. Noll will never coach again. Steeler fans need to root against New England winning the Super Bowl under any circumstance until Belichick and Brady are no longer in their organization.

2) AFC North Supremacy.

Yes, it hurts when a divisional opponent beats you twice in a season. That said, I have never understood the logic of using that as a reason to root against that team. Especially against a team that your own team defeated. A victory by the Ravens against the Patriots would justify the way the regular season fell out. It would be disappointing to watch Baltimore fold to New England as a Steeler fan, thinking, "Well, the Steelers beat the Patriots this year, why couldn't they?" And, also, it would keep the AFC North as the "king" of the conference...and put a bigger target on Baltimore's back next year.

3) Probable Good-Bye to Ray and Reed.

If the Baltimore Ravens advance, and then defeat either San Francisco or New York in Super Bowl XLVI, then maybe, just maybe, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, longtime thorns in the side of the Steelers, will take the opportunity to wade into the sunset. Granted, neither player is in the prime of his life (a healthy Haloti Ngata is Steeler public enemy #1 now), but those two would still be hard to replace. If the Ravens are vanquished Sunday, they might be convince to give it another season. Or two.

I'm not suggesting it's easy to pull for Baltimore. In fact, there's not a dog left in the entire playoffs left that I like. In this case, I am setting the rivalry aside and wishing them well in Foxboro on Sunday. It will only give me more reason to dislike them next fall.

On the most recent show:

- Steelers gameplan sound versus Denver. Execution of secondary...not so much.

- Pens due to heat up.

- Panthers football and basketball teams bottom out.

- Long-time Pirate joins division rival.

- Actually went 3-1 on my NFL Playoff Picks (19-18-1 overall).



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