You’re an entitled Steelers fan, admit it.
It’s okay, though, nobody is judging you. Well, maybe a little, but those who are simply don’t know how your brain has been mentally conditioned to want a Super Bowl every year.
After all, anything less is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.
But why is that? Is it because of those six Lombardi trophies sitting in a glass case at the Steelers’ headquarters? Sure, that’s the main reason, of course.
But it probably goes a little deeper than that.
Do you make a big deal out of divisional round appearances? Of course not. Maybe you buy a t-shirt after a division title and certainly a conference championship, but who counts divisional round appearances, right?
When the Steelers take on the Chiefs this Sunday afternoon in a Divisional Round matchup at Arrowhead Stadium, it’ll be the 22nd time they’ve advanced to the semifinals of the AFC since 1972.
To give you an example of how common that is, I’ve been alive since 1972, which means I’ve experienced this round an average of one time every other year of my entire life.
I don’t even think I’ve found a dollar on the street 22 times in my life, but I have seen the Steelers play for the right to go to the AFC Championship that many times.
For Mike Tomlin, this week marks the fourth time in his 10 seasons that he’s prepared (or “cheered on”— right Terry?) his troops for the divisional round. When it comes to that, he trails both Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher, who each did it six times during their first decades as coaches.
But Tomlin does have seven of the team’s NFL record 35 postseason victories on his resume. Big deal, right? It might seem like nothing until you realize his 7-5 record after 10 seasons is superior to Cowher’s 6-7 mark.
Isn’t it great to have so many playoff wins? You have an embarrassment of numbers to work with, so many ways to spin things for whichever coach you happen to admire more.
And then there’s Noll, who liked winning postseason games so much, he had already notched his seventh by his seventh year.
By the way, how many playoff games have you attended? For that matter, how many divisional round matchups have you been to?
Your parents may have attended the 1975 divisional round matchup against the Baltimore Colts at old Three Rivers Stadium, while you might have had that same privilege 30 years ago, when you traveled to Indianapolis to watch Pittsburgh take on the long-since relocated Colts at the now-imploded RCA Dome.
For that matter, your grandparents may have saved their ticket stubs to one of those ‘70s Super Bowls against the Cowboys, while your parents did the same after attending Super Bowl XXX in 1996.
What were you doing in 1957? Chances are, you might not have been alive then. I just know that was the final season of I Love Lucy. Most TV shows were still shown in black-and-white back then, and the Lions won a road playoff game, seemingly for the very last time.
Maybe that will give you some perspective and some appreciation for just how really awesome it is to watch a Steelers divisional round playoff game for the 22nd time.
Nah, I don’t suppose it will. After all, your brain is wired differently; you’re a Steelers fan.
This divisional round stuff is so boring—when is the Super Bowl again?