A quick note here to cap my initial post Super Bowl XLIII commentary. It has to do with 'Steelers Nation' - the intangible term that was the crux of Jim Wexell's latest book, and the phrase used by both Coach Tomlin and Chairman Mr. Rooney on the podium.
One of the commentors here on BTSC that I really cherish having around has been known to be irked by the phrase 'we' when talking about the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is not intended to call him/her out. I know he/she is thick skinned enough to realize otherwise.I understand the point - fans have no tangible bearing on the outcomes of football games, at least not in terms of anything related to execution in between the lines.
Nevertheless, I write this quick note to comment on why 'we' is an appropriate pronoun to use rather than 'they'. Why? Well for starters, did you notice how Mr. Rooney and Coach Tomlin both gave a shout out to Steelers fans across the globe within the first 30 seconds of their celebratory speeches? Sure, that's somewhat commonplace. It was different in this instance though. It's the reason that there was credence to what Tomlin had to say when he took the job and said up front that the expectations of the job are what excited him most. It's for us, the fans, that the team so consistently fields competitive teams. Some years pan out better than others, and there have been some major down years along the way. Not many though and certainly not for prolonged stretches of time.
It's a testament to the Rooneys business and football acumen. But it's also a product of the expectations that are bred by the unrelenting loyalty and passion of the populated and ubiquitous Steelers fanbase.
How to measure this kind of impact from fan support? Who knows. But it matters not, at least not to me. I'm entirely convinced that the Pittsburgh Steelers gain some sort of competitive advantage over time due to the role we all play with our support of the team.
So to all y'all in Steelers Nation in all corners of the Earth - a giant salute to all of y'all for another job well done supporting the team this year through the highs and lows.
I leave with this final summation: the love and support the team feels for the fanbase is just as genuine as the admiration and unrelenting support the fanbase has for and shows the team.
The way it should be really, as neither could exist as we both do without each other.