I planned on writing blogs all week about how awesome it was to have a new football dynasty in the City of Pittsburgh, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.
However, I'll take this February over last February, no doubt. Sunday night was the one year anniversary of the 22 inches of snow that was dumped on the Pittsburgh region in 2010. Now THAT was a downer. For days, and even weeks, I had to park my car at a local shopping center because I couldn't park in my own parking lot outside of my apartment and I wouldn't dare park in any of the spots on the streets near my building for fear of having my tires slashed (spots were at a premium last February.)
And we continued getting snow after that horrible 22 inch monster. Nowhere near 22 inches, just enough to be annoying and depress us all even further.
Last February really blew and if someone would have offered me the opportunity to trade the depression and irritation of the snow and slop of February, 2010 for the depression of the Steelers losing in the Super Bowl, I would have taken it.
Not every fan would agree with me, and most that I talked to are still pretty down about Sunday night, but our football team is good. And they'll be back in the Super Bowl many times in the future and they'll probably lose it another time or two or three. It happens. The Yankees have lost their share of World Series, the Lakers and Celtics have lost more than their share of NBA Finals.
I know Steelers fans had built up this air of invincibility because before Super Bowl XLV, the Steelers had only lost one Super Bowl, but you had to figure it would happen again someday. That someday just happened to be Sunday night in Dallas.
Just making it to the Super Bowl isn't enough for Steelers fans, just like making it to the final round isn't enough for Yankees or Lakers fans, but it's still a tremendous accomplishment no matter the outcome.
You don't think making it to the Super Bowl is hard? There's a reason 8 appearances is the record and it's shared by only two teams: The Steelers and Cowboys. If just making it to the Super Bowl was that easy, I'm pretty sure a few teams would have found a way to make it there way more than 8 times.
I know fans of other teams might give us a hard time in the coming weeks and months, but believe me, there's only one fan base that wouldn't trade places with Steeler fans right now, and that's the one who gets to party with Lombardi for the next year. The other 30 NFL fan bases out there would gladly trade places with us in a heartbeat.
The Cleveland Browns have never made it to the Super Bowl and the original Browns left Cleveland for Baltimore and the City of Cleveland had to watch their old franchise, under a different name, get to the Super Bowl and win it.
The Detroit Lions have never been to the Super Bowl and they've only been to the NFC Championship game one time, ever!
There are Jets fans who were in their 20's and 30's when New York won Super Bowl III and, today, are probably wondering if they're going to live long enough to see their beloved Jets even make it back to the Super Bowl again.
When the Arizona Cardinals advanced to Super Bowl XLIII, I saw footage of fans crying in the stands. And I'm not saying that to make fun of them, I'm saying that to demonstrate what just making it to the Super Bowl means.
The city of Denver was completely turned upside down when the Broncos advanced to the Super Bowl in 1977.
You don't think Dolphins fans would trade places with us right now? They have a pretty good football tradition down there, but they haven't been back to the Super Bowl since 1984.
It might seem like just another round in the playoffs because we're so used to it now, but just imagine how you'd feel if the Pittsburgh Pirates made it to the World Series. You know how those Jets fans feel? That's how I feel about the Pirates. I'm only 38, but I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever see them in a World Series before I die. If they ever do make it back to another World Series, they could get swept and lose every game, 10-0, and I'd still be happy.
Yeah, the Steelers lost the Super Bowl and maybe that dream of a 2nd dynasty might not come to pass, but that doesn't mean these last six years can't be celebrated. Three Super Bowls in six seasons is nothing to sneeze at even if one of them was a loss.
One thing I, and many of my fellow Steelers fans, have been saying to console ourselves is that the Steelers weren't expected to make it as far as they did. Well, that is so true.
The Steelers might not have won the Super Bowl, but in my opinion, it's the most impressive Super Bowl berth of the 8 they've appeared in.
Having said that, I think it's pretty fitting that this unexpected Super Bowl run ended in Dallas. No, not because the last time Dallas had anything to do with a Super Bowl, the Cowboys defeated the Steelers in their previous Super Bowl loss, but because back in 1975, the Cowboys made an unexpected Super Bowl run of their own.
The Cowboys of the late 60's and early 70's were a championship contender every season and appeared in two Super Bowls and won one of them. But in 1974, they missed the playoffs, and 1975 was supposed to be a transitional season and not much was expected of them. But they made a surprising run to Super Bowl X before falling to Pittsburgh. They weren't just a team that had a run of success and then went to the back of the line to reload their system. They were a championship organization that even while reloading, still had the heart, character and leadership to make it all the way to the grandest stage. Just two seasons later, they were back in the Super Bowl and won it, and the following year, they got back there to defend their crown.
There were many questions about the 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers and they weren't even picked to make the playoffs by most experts. 2010 was supposed to be a year of evaluation for Mike Tomlin. Could he keep a veteran team focused and hungry after missing the playoffs in 2009? Did he have the ability to evaluate and coach up the younger talent?
Well, we found out a lot about Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers this year. They're a championship organization and there they were with a chance to win another title in a season in which they were supposed to be reloading.
I'd say another Super Bowl or two is in the immediate future.