At 6-8, the Steelers are still alive for the playoffs, but who are we kidding? The odds are so weak, a stiff wind might eliminate the home team by 4:25 p.m., when kickoff will commence in Green Bay.
I have no illusions of grandeur. Sometimes, you have to accept reality.
However, that doesn't mean there aren't meaningful games left to play. Now, when I say "meaningful," I'm talking in terms of sheer entertainment value. The Steelers will be playing at Green Bay, which means they'll be playing on maybe the most hallowed of NFL grounds--Lambeau Field.
It's the home of the frozen tundra, the Ice Bowl and the first two Lombardi trophies. Speaking of which, before the Super Bowl trophy was named after perhaps the most famous coach in NFL history, Vince Lombardi coached at Lambeau Field and once said something back in the 60s that most Steelers fans would still appreciate today: "Run to win."
Of course, that's probably not true anymore, but that doesn't make Lombardi any less of an icon.
In addition to Lombardi coaching at Lambeau, Bart Starr quarterbacked there, Jerry Kramer blocked there, and Ray Nitschke terrorized opponents (and teammates) there.
According to what I've read this week on BTSC, our very own Neal Coolong will be in attendance for Sunday's game, so, you know, screw him. Actually, he might be screwed, if I'm reading the Green Bay forecast, right. But then again, unlike me, Neal might actually appreciate the wind, the snow and the numb toes.
I can't speak for him, but I was inconveniently offered tickets to last week's game against the Bengals at Heinz Field, and it was so cold, I still can't feel my tongue because of all the complaining I did during the week.
Anyway, for the Packers game, I plan on watching it on my brand new TV that I bought almost specifically for such things.
I can't wait. Will the Steelers still be alive for the playoffs by the time the game starts? I don't know, but I know Green Bay will be, and two victories to close out the year would clinch the NFC North. As fellow fans, we all know what Packers fans are thinking right now as they tailgate for the game: "After we dispatch of these pathetic Steelers, it'll be for all the the marbles next week in Chicago."
Those damn cheese heads are probably writing Pittsburgh off. Can you believe that? A 7-6-1 team with some guy named Matt Flynn at quarterback and some guy not named Le'Veon Bell at running back is going to write our Steelers off?
You know Green Bay is the team that prevented Steelers fans from sporting "Seventh Heaven" t-shirts, right? What better way to extract revenge than to defeat the Packers in their hallowed place and prevent them from getting destroyed against the 49ers in the first round of the playoffs?
OK, that might not be the best revenge, but it's something, right?
Either way, I get the feeling Week 16 will seem a lot more appetizing to Yours truly than Week 17, and another curtain-jerking home finale against the Browns (maybe the Steelers should seek advice from fellow Heinz Field tenants, the Pitt Panthers college football team, about playing in the NFL's version of the BBVA Compass Bowl two years in a row).
Some people might look forward to the Browns game, but to me, the last regular season game when the playoffs aren't possible is kind of like the last day of your vacation. Sure, you're still on vacation, but you know that tomorrow it'll be back to the old grind (the offseason).
Besides, as we all know, a draft pick is always a sure thing, so there will be people out there hoping for a loss against Cleveland in order to solidify a higher pick, and then, a can't miss, future Hall of Fame left tackle/nose tackle/inside linebacker/safety/cornerback.......oh heck, the needs are many, but make no mistake, that man will be a star.
So, Week 16, in Green Bay, where our own Neal Coolong will be watching in person, and I will be watching from the comfort of my own living room, that will probably be the last truly great Steelers moment of 2013.
Prepare to pay for your sins, Clay Matthews.