February 2, 2009
Now, before all you Dallas Cowboy fans get upset, I want you to know I am a die-hard Cowboy fan.
I am a Tom Landry wearing a suit and hat fan. I wanted to join the
Naval Academy because of Roger Staubach.
I attended University of Florida because of Emmit. I even started watching "Dancing of the Stars" because of him. I was at the Atlanta Falcons v Dallas Cowboys game when a pass from White to Drew Pearson with only forty-two seconds left.
I have signed footballs from Robert Newhouse and Ed (To Tall) Jones. I thought Hollywood Henderson was the most handsome man on earth.
And, then came along the next generation of Cowboys with Irvin, Smith (my beloved Gator), and Aikman. It was great to be a Cowboy.
But, you got give the Steelers their praise. They have won in several different eras. They have been relevant to the playoff and championship discussion for quite some time. They just seem to get it done. The Steel Curtain is just a household term in the sports arena. And, when you think of great defenses in the league, you think of the Steelers.
The legacy of the Steelers: Chuck Noll to Cowher and now Tomlin. The legacy of the Rooneys and the ""Rooney Rule" The legacy of Lynn Swann and his outstanding career athletically and politically, Terry Bradshaw and his work on Fox, Tony Dungy, who represents so much of what we want in a coach, husband, and father.
And, then there is Dick LaBeau. He is seventy-one and still at the top of his profession and respected by all.
We are a blue collar nation with a little bit of romance and sophistication and a new generational look. Is that not Mike Tomlin?
I mean, where did this guy come from? The message boards of the Steelers were lighting up two years ago as they debated who would replace Bill Cowher—Ken Whisenhunt or Russ Grimm?
Then here comes the American Dream, an underdog was being considered. A coach with little or no head coaching experience. And, this little known coach impresses the Rooneys, takes on the NFL, takes a hard-working, tradition-rich team and guides them to another title.
And, speaking of titles, they own them. They were the first to reach three, the first to reach four, and now the first to reach six. You have to love the comeback spirit of these Steelers. They never give up until the game is over.
You knew no matter how hurt Hines Ward was, no matter how many practices he missed this week, he was going to show up and make a difference in this game. You knew their defense was going to be a factor again. You knew that they would leave it all on the field.
And, didn't you just know Steeler fans, that they had it in them to come back last night? That the everyday American, motorcycle-riding Roethlisberger was going to bring them back? That he was going to make the plays when it counted?
Let's talk about fans. I can't stand them—they are everywhere and I am sick of the towel. But, there is a reason that they are third-most recognizable brand behind the Red Sox and Packers. I have been to NFL games, especially Jag games, and they outnumber fans in the home stadium.
And, if you are trying to get into any bar, in any city, on any given Sunday that they are playing, you better get there early. They will undoubtedly take it over. I travel quite extensively and they have always proven me right. They show up in numbers everywhere. They make me sick I tell you, just sick.
But, they are America's new team. They represent so many of us and so much of what we are about, (this is excluding the bone-head antics by the Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison. He had to have take a stupid pill at half-time. Otherwise he is MVP of the game).
The Steelers represent the American way. Give it your all, work harder than your predecessor and your opponent. And, it may not be pretty but you will come out on top. Is that not life? Is that not the American way. America's Team: The Pittsburgh Steelers! Awful to hear but so true.
I say, take that American star away from Dallas for now. My team is in shambles. We spent more time pleasing a moron named T.O. We spent more time trying to buy chemistry instead of creating it. We gave Romo millions and he spends more time figuring out how to spend it on Jessica than his playbook.
And then there is Adam Jones. (As an adult, I refuse to call a man posing as an adult Pac-Man.) How did Jerry Jones talk himself and everyone around him into bringing this character
aboard? Along with that fumble by Tony Romo went all of our Cowboy dreams, our Cowboy hopes, the hopes that we had the team to make the generational transfer. To be our next Roger and Troy, or even Danny White, to be our Irvin and Pearson, to be our Newhouse, Dorsett, and Smith.
They are a team of wasted talent right now. Not deserving of the Star in the middle of the field.
Until they (Cowboys) show me an ounce of the gut, grits, team unity, and fight for each other like Pittsburgh Steelers, there is a new America's Team.
Congratulations Steelers, you and your fans have earned it.
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