I'd hate to be a Chiefs fan today

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

I've witnessed a lot of heartbreak as a Steelers fan, but in all my years, I've never had to process what they're going through in Kansas City today--the postmortem of blowing a 38-10 lead and losing to the Colts, 45-44, in the AFC Wildcard game, Saturday night.

How would you like to be a Chiefs fan today? Think about it. Take all of the feelings you have for the Steelers and pretend they were for another team, like Kansas City.

We thought it was bad a week ago when Pittsburgh was denied a playoff spot thanks to a Ryan Succop field goal miss and a mistake by the officials near the end of the San Diego/Kansas City game. I can't even imagine how I'd feel after my team lost a playoff game that it was winning by four touchdowns in the second half.

Yet, if you're a Chiefs fan, this is what you must process today, and if you're a true die-hard, you'll be feeling this pain for the next couple of weeks.

One of the things about me is I like to imagine what a fan of another team is going through, because the teams and sports might change, but the feelings of joy and sadness are universal to everyone.

As a life-long Steelers fan, I've experienced everything from the top of the mountain to the bottom of the barrel in terms of the range of emotions one feels after a great playoff victory or a gut-wrenching defeat, and in that regard, I know what they're going through in Kansas City right about now.

You might ask me why I'm only putting myself in the shoes of Kansas City fans and not writing about the feelings of elation Colts fans are experiencing after witnessing their team come back from a 38-10 deficit in the second half to win 45-44, Saturday night.

For starters, as sports fans, it's inherent in most to always be positive and never give up hope. Even the most negative fan is still a secret optimist who always thinks his or her team is going to win, otherwise, why even follow the team at all?

It doesn't matter how dire things might seem during a game, you always envision your team finding a way to pick up the pieces, put them together and make a historic comeback. If you were a Colts fan sitting in Lucas Oil Stadium, Saturday night, even after Kansas City took that 38-10 lead in the third quarter, deep down, you were probably thinking, "There's still nearly two quarters left. Don't give up hope."

Secondly, it's a lot easier to process a come-from-behind victory. You might feel numb, and you might want someone to pinch you, but whatever it is you're experiencing, chances are, you're handling it quite well.

I remember how I felt after the Steelers came back from two touchdowns down in the second half to defeat Baltimore in the divisional playoff game at Heinz Field, three seasons ago, and you know what? It felt pretty good. I'll have more of that, thank you very much.

Those memories stay with you the rest of your life, and it's never a difficult task to go back and re-visit them from time-to-time.

But on the flip side, those painful memories, man, they stay with you, too, and for whatever reason, it seems as if pain feels just a bit heavier to the heart than bliss, if you get where I'm coming from?

That Tim Tebow game from two years ago, I'd be happy if I never had to watch a single second of it ever again, or experience the pain I felt when I realized the Steelers lost in overtime, and the season was over. I was just as numb as I was after that Baltimore game, but I sure didn't want a second or third helping.

As I've said many times over the years, if you decide to be a sports fan, you must deal with a lot of heartbreak, and it never really gets any easier to handle.

While we might not think so, Steelers fans have been pretty lucky over the years. Our team has won a lot of big games and lost a lot of big games, but we have never had to deal with what Kansas City fans are feeling right about now.

It's one thing to think your team is going to win a nip and tuck playoff game, only to lose in the final seconds or overtime. But to lose a game you KNOW you're going to win?

Most of us may dream of epic comebacks by our teams, but I don't think any of us truly expect a dramatic collapse on par with what happened to the Chiefs in the wildcard game.

In Indianapolis, they're talking about the second biggest comeback in NFL playoff history, but in Kansas City, they're discussing the second biggest collapse.

I'd hate to be a Chiefs fan, today.

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