I have been watching the Pittsburgh Steelers for as long as I can remember. As a young child it was me just peaking in to see how they were doing as my father yelled at the TV. As I got older, I started to learn the players and have a vested interest in the outcome of the contest. That interest turned into an obsession, and with each game I hung onto every play praying for the desired outcome.
While the praying might have ceased a bit as I grow older, I have always said the Pittsburgh Steelers will one day end my life. I see myself sitting there watching the black-and-gold at 90, and screaming at a stupid turnover, or a missed sack — and that’s it.
That’s all she wrote.
There have been a ton of moments which have caused by blood pressure to go way above normal, but two games always come to mind when I think about those contests which truly tested every ounce of my fanhood.
It just so happens both of these games were against the Indianapolis Colts, only about 10 years apart. At this point the average Steelers fans knows the two games I am talking about.
First, 1995 when Jim Harbaugh and the underdog Colts came to Three Rivers Stadium and almost had one of the most remarkable comebacks in playoff history. For those who have never seen the game, you can see the highlights below in a classic edition of ESPN’s NFL Primetime, the Steelers vs. Colts game leads off the show.
Want to watch the full game? Check it out below:
Watching that Hail Mary pass bounce around, and looking like it landed directly into the arms of the Colts receiver — my heart stopped. I know I wasn’t alone, and after watching the heart-wrenching defeat to the Chargers in 1994, I thought it happened all over again. The joy lasted a couple weeks before that quarterback who shall not be named but wore No. 14 ruined the Steelers’ hopes of upsetting the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl 30.
The other game which took years off my life was non other than the 2005 AFC Divisional Game vs. Peyton Manning and the Colts. Yes, the Jerome Bettis fumble and Ben Roethlisberger tackle game.
In case you forgot...
First, the highlights:
The full game:
For the rest of my days I will never forget who I was with, where I was and our overall reaction to that game. Sitting on the couch and watching Joey Porter come off the edge and sack Peyton Manning to, what we thought, seal the game, equated in complete jubilation. My father, my brother and a slew of others crammed into a tiny Shepherdstown, WV apartment experienced complete jubilation.
When Bettis fumbled, those tears of joy turned to tears of sadness. As we all know, it worked out in the end, and I am still bitter about that game. Not because of the fumble, but for the Troy Polamalu interception which was overturned giving the Colts new life.
The Steelers are amazing. They can both frustrate and annoy, but we all live for these moments. Moments like those above when our hearts stop for a second. It might end our lives earlier than expected, but isn’t it worth it?
That’s a debate for another day...
What were some of the most heart-wrenching games you remember? Let us know in the comment section below!