And then there were three...
When Heath Miller decided to call it a career Friday afternoon, the number of current players on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster who have 2 Super Bowl rings went from four, to three.
I suppose this has happened after any team who has seen any success at the professional level has started to lose players. I can only imagine what it was like in the 1970s when the incredible Steelers dynasty slowly dwindled into those often horrendous 1980s teams.
The 2016 Steelers don't have the look of being putrid, quite the opposite if you ask me, but it is still difficult to see all those players who were a part of the 2005 and 2008 teams who brought the 5th and 6th Lombardi trophy back to the Steel City slowly being phased out.
The fact of the matter is, assuming Harrison returns to the team next year, in 2017 the Steelers could be looking at only one player on their roster with two Super Bowls, and that would be Ben Roethlisberger. Harrison likely has just one year left in his aging body, as well as on his contract, and the team re-signed Warren to a one-year deal a few weeks ago to keep him around until they can find a reasonable replacement.
That would leave one, and as Three Dog Night pointed out so often -- it is the loneliest number.
It has to be difficult for the players. Miller was drafted the year after Roethlisberger, and the two have been great friends ever since. What will the locker room be like without No. 83 there? Tough to say, but I'm sure Roethlisberger and Harrison have to look around the room and think, "Man, we are the old guys now."
Who can forget when Alan Faneca so appropriately stated how he wasn't incredibly excited to see a young, fresh faced rookie Roethlisberger take over at quarterback for the team after the Week 2 loss to the Baltimore Ravens where Tommy Maddox injured his elbow. Well, we know how that played out, but it seems like just a few years ago that all took place.
In a way, I would imagine the turnover is much more difficult on the fans than it is the players. There is an emotional attachment to players on your favorite team. You buy the jerseys, you buy the memorabilia and you research the players you follow as if you are somehow preparing yourself for an upcoming game. But for Miller? He is a 33 year-old man who made a lot of money playing the game of football, and now has the time, and hopefully his health, to spend with his family.
Sometimes I feel like a broken record, but fans should cherish all the time you have watching players like Harrison and Roethlisberger. It will be gone before you know it, and hopefully when it does reach its end, the result isn't as dreadful as some of those 1980s Steelers teams.