IX - The Pittsburgh STeelers are 'America's real team' writes Chad Millman of ESPN The Magazine. In case you forgot, Millman co-authored a book this summer about the Steelers titled 'Those Who Hit The Hardest: The Steelers, the Cowboys, the '70s, and the Fight for America's Soul.' Shawn Coyne, the book's co-author, is really the authoritative voice on the subject being a native Pittsburgher and all, but Millman is now extremely well versed in the history of both the Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys, and I think he nails it on the head while arguing in favor of the Steelers as the rightful owners of the title as 'America's Team.'
X - Packers head coach Mike McCarthy got indoctrinated to the game of football while growing up in Pittsburgh. And the McCarthy family's allegiance to the Steelers runs deep to this day.
XIII - Oh Joseph. Not impressed. If you've read BTSC for awhile, you know that I'm not one to bash on the Baltimore Ravens just for the sake of it. But I'm legitimately unimpressed by Joe Flacco's decision to speak out against the firing of QB coach Jim Zorn. In case you missed it, Flacco whined about Zorn's firing, saying that it was essentially an indictment of him and the way he played the position this year.
"I also feel like a little bit like I'm being attacked," Flacco said. "You fire the quarterback coach. Usually when your fire a position coach, it's because you're not really happy with how that position did. And when I look back on my season and our season as a team, I mean, we won 13 games. I felt like I had a pretty good year and you're firing the quarterback coach? t's kind of an attack on me, I feel like.
"You know, it is what it is. It's not that big of a deal for me to feel like it. I'm not happy about it. They know that I'm not happy about it. It's not news to them. They know I'm not happy about it, and my feelings aren't going to change. I'm not going to be happy about it, for a long time. This year will be what it is. We're going to be successful this year. I would have just liked him to be a part of it. He would have liked to be a part of it. And I think it would have been good for him to be a part of it."
Uhhhh, don't be so sensitive or self absorbed Senor Unibrow. From what I've heard, the decision to fire Zorn had more to do with the fact that Zorn didn't transition particularly well from being a head coach to a relatively lowly positional coach. And that makes absolute perfect sense. Think about a head coach one year coming into a new situation like Baltimore where the leadership structure is entirely in place with John Harbaugh, Cam Cameron, and Ray Lewis. And then you've got Zorn who's in charge of working with the most important guy on the team, Joe Flacco. Can anyone else see Zorn overstepping his bounds as a quarterback coach in those dynamics? I can, and there were rumblings all year in Baltimore about Zorn not -quite- fitting in according to John Clayton. Flacco, in my estimation at least, has failed to acknowledge the inner-workings of a coaching staff and felt the need to make it all about him. Sad. Maybe it's time for me to rethink my assessment of Flacco as a leader capable of leading an NFL team to greatness.
XIV - Nice. St. Clair Hospital in Mt. Lebanon, PA is wrapping newborn babies in Terrible Towels in anticipation of the Pittsburgh Steelers' eighth Super Bowl appearance. Only in Steelers Country.
XL - Video time...
Two reasons to show this clip. The first is obvious: to get you pumped up! James Harrison's 100 yard interception return in Super Bowl XLIII is arguably the greatest play in Super Bowl history. Truly incredible. But I show it not just for cheap hype. As I'll elaborate on throughout the week, Aaron Rodgers absolutely loves to throw the quick slant to Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. It's the Packers bread and butter play on offense from what I can surmise. So, don't be surprised to see Harrison or one of the other Steelers defenders improvise at the right time and really key in on that particular throwing window for Rodgers.
XLIII - If you missed any of the great content written by folks here on BTSC late last week and this weekend, be sure to check it out: there was not one, but two pieces on Steelers GM Kevin Colbert; a great offering by RickVa about the Steelers season and the franchise's remarkable string of success then and now; and a well reasoned call for the NFL to put Mike Tomlin on the Competition Committee in the wake of Jeff Fisher's firing in Tennessee. Thanks to all of them for the great posts, and thanks to all of you for all the great fanposts and discussions you fired up. Let's keep it up this next week as we eagerly await Super Bowl XLV.