"Take a deep breathe and slowly back away from the ledge", is what my brother, mother, and father yelled at me as I embraced for the jump. The first step to overcoming a problem is understanding and admitting you have a problem. I recall the first symptoms of this "disease" showing up sometime around last year. Right after the Eagles game I made the remark,"There's no way the steelers will win anything this year". From then on I was plagued with the onset of 'Pre-December football panic' (PDFP). It has become quite an epidemic. It doesn't just effect me, steelers fans, or red and blue monkeys (sorry couldn't resist). Recent studies have shown that about 65% of the football watching public suffers from PDFP. This number grows but there is a cure.
Our society is focused on the here and now and not a second later. We are accustomed to split second breaking news, information at the tip of your fingers in cell phones, and word travels around the world in less than a second. These conditions create a pee-tri dish for PDFP to develop. ESPN acts as a catayst for this disease, with weekly power rankings, daily anaylsis, and up to the second references on how great brett farve is. So it is easy to see how PDFP spreads among the masses.
After stepping back from the ledge, I came to realize my disease. I battle with it every week. It is a process but can be overcome. The cure is simple and my brother and father discovered the cure. It's called common-sense. Common-sense when taken daily can subside the affects of PDFP. The truth of the matter is that pre-december football sets up december football. That is when teams are in position for playoff runs. There has been enough football played to properly gage who are contenders and who are predenders. Once upon realizing these facts a patient suffering from PDFP slowly begins to understand to not panic pre-december. They see that two losses are not the end to the season despite how they came. They begin to see that to properly gage how good this defense is you have to wait til Troy P gets back. Then a determination and anaylsis can be made about the effectiveness of this defense. Troy P solidified our secondary without his stellar play, the secondary goes from awesome to ordinary. That extra second that Troy causes QB's to think, leads to Int's, incompletions, and sacks. Qb's usually stay away from him because of his play making ability which makes life easier on the pass rush and the other defensive team members who are in coverage. His explosive speed, instincts, and tackling ability helps with run support also. Frankly Troy makes this defense better.
Common-sense also exposes patients to the thought that we lost very close games even without Troy, that speaks volumes to how well this team is playing. The offense is doing at lot better than last year and if Sweed ever stop dropping the ball the 'tall reciever element' will be added to our arsenal of weapons. There is really nothing to worry at this point. Common-sense tells you to wait till december then make judgement. The super-bowl is the goal, not style-points, not beating a team by 30 points, and certainly not winning every single game. 18-1 is a lot worst than 15-4. Also you can be reminded of Pittsburgh's 5th super bowl run. When they had to win five straight games to just get into the play-offs at the end of the year. Then win three road games in the playoffs to make it to the super bowl (which had never been done). The season is 16 games long, not 8. You want your team peaking and playing it's best football in december, not october. Of course you want them to win as many games as possible but you also understand a loss here or there does not eliminate you from the Super Bowl. There is no BCS system. So if you see a friend who may be suffering from PDFP please educate them of their ill-ness and provide the proper cure.