FanPost

Reflections from a Young Fan

*This started out as a note on Facebook, but I decided to post it here. This is my first post on this site, and I just had to say something. These thoughts came to mind after I had gotten past the initial pain of this loss, and then I started to reflect on what had happened this year. Hope you like it*

First off, let me congratulate the Green Bay Packers for winning Super Bowl XLV. They earned it.

I feel the need to put my thoughts into words here. This Steelers team is special. Think about it. They endured the Roethlisberger saga, losing him for four games yet they went 3-1 when most people predicted 2-2 (or even 1-3). They battled injuries (especially the o-line) throughout the year and for all their issues still went 12-4 and won their division. Did anyone expect that? Most "experts" were predicting 10-6 or even 8-8. Then, in the playoffs, they went through two top playoff contenders in the Ravens and the Jets.  Again, the "experts" didn't think the Steelers would even be in the playoffs.

Anyone who wants to kick the Steelers while they're down and tell them that they "suck," let me ask all of you a question. I want you to think about this: If you were facing a 21-3 hole, what would you have done? Would you have given up and gone home, or would you have manned-up and kept fighting? I can tell you that I would've folded, and I think everyone else would say the same thing.

The Steelers showed courage, heart, and defiance until the very end. Who would've thought that "the end" would come down to an incomplete pass on 4th-&-5, considered what had transpired? What we all saw tonight was football at its best. As it was meant to be, but in the end, the better team won. The game had no reason to even be close; it should have been over after the first quarter. When you go -3 in turnovers, you shouldn't have any right to stay in the game. And yet, the Steelers still had a chance. Anyone who wants to say anything has probably never set foot on a football field. I know I could never play the sport; the mere thought of a 250+ lb. linebacker barreling towards me is enough to make me squeal like a pig. Those men out there have huge sets of cojones to do what they do.

I started out as a Steelers band-wagoner - to say otherwise is to tell a blatant lie - but this loss has actually made me stronger as a young fan, for now I've experienced both the highest highs and the lowest lows. It's easy to be a fan when it's sunshine and smiles; it's the hard times, the tough losses that really prove who's a fan and who's not. I'm not going anywhere. Next football season, whenever it is, I'll still be waving the Terrible Towel like a lunatic; I'll still watch in awe as Big Ben works his magic and when Troy Polamalu makes an impossible interception; and I'll still scream and curse at my TV as the Steelers make every game a nail-biter.

This is a special team. Thirty other teams would've loved to have the Steeler's season. Big Ben is still in his prime; he'll have many more opportunities to cement his legacy. Our young receivers, Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders, have bright futures. Rashard Mendenhall is still one hell of a running back. James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley are still beasts, and Polamalu is still the man on defense. This team will be back, and they'll be stronger.

Does it hurt? Hell yeah. But I've already wiped the tears from my eyes; I'm moving on. I'm actually not as upset about this loss as I was when Virginia Tech got clobbered by Stanford in the Orange Bowl (because I loved Tyrod Taylor and I HATED to see him end his VT career like he did). Mostly because the Steelers kept on fighting, like the scrappy pit bull who knows he's probably beat but doesn't give a damn. Still, to be that close....

Am I crazy? Am I fruitlessly trying to justify or rationalize what happened? Maybe so, but I don't care. I love this team. As the Terminator would say; "They'll be back." Do they have weaknesses? Yes, of course. But the draft's coming up; let's get some guys that can fix those problems. Isn't that what I've always heard about the Steelers; that they "build through the draft?"

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To all of you, um, “people” dissing this team right now; only Packer fans (TRUE Packer fans, not any idiots pretending to be fans) have that right, although if they have any class, they won’t. We’ve all been taught at least once in our lives that we must be gracious in defeat; thusly, we must be the same in victory. I have a friend in the theatre department at my college who is a Packer fan; the first thing I’m gonna do when I see him is shake his hand and congratulate him on his team’s victory. Everyone else WISHES they had a team like the Steelers; always competitive, always in the hunt. And we don’t have some pretty-boy at QB who can draw a roughing-the-passer penalty without even being touched. Oh, and all you good folks jumping on the Packers’ band-wagon; I guarantee that you’ll all be heading somewhere else when Green Bay starts struggling. So, enjoy it while it lasts.

Alright, I'm talking too much. Point is, congrats to the Packers, they deserved this one. But, anyone who wants to trash talk the Steelers will only be wasting their breath and wasting my time. This team, this fine group of tough, special individuals, went further than they were probably supposed to. Great things are in their future. Thank you for showing me both sides of being a fan, the good and the bad.

Once more, with feeling: Here we go, Steelers, HERE WE GO!!

(I don't have time to piss and moan anyway; I've got a college education to worry about)

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