Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls, Part 3: It Tolls For Pittsburgh

Silver BulletCorrespondent IJanuary 3, 2010

MIAMI - JANUARY 03: Injured safety Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches from the sidelines as his team takes on the Miami Dolphins at Land Shark Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Steelers defeated the Dolphins 30-24.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

So much for that "Team of the Decade" debate that raged on for far too long earlier in the year.

You know, the one that went something like this: "If the Steelers win Super Bowl XLIV, they are the team of the decade. If the Patriots win it, the Steelers are still the team of the decade because they never bent a rule in their lives, ever."

The tedium of it all, listening to these people and reading their garbage. The neanderthal chest-pounding could be heard all the way to Caribou, Maine, and that is a long way from Pittsburgh, my friends.

I stopped reading their trash months ago, despite the fact that they even post it to the Patriots page.

A friend of ours, well-known in the Patriots community, wrote an article a few weeks ago about that very thing. He was sending a call to Patriots fans to stop commenting on these inflammatory pieces of poorly written smack talk, and he was not the first to do so.

It was predictable that Steelers fans and others accused him of "whining." I have known this man personally for a long time, and he is no whiner. He made some really good points in that article, and it was well received here.

Still, we see the smack talk dressed up as an article, we read it, we comment on it, and we allow ourselves to be sucked into their pointless little games.

No sooner had the Steelers been eliminated from playoff contention than one of our favorite chest-pounders posted an article asserting that somehow the Patriots, by merit of their loss at Houston, were responsible for the Steelers' premature exit for the season.


He wasn't kidding, either. He racked up 500 reads in about two hours' time, and the guy was not even in his right mind.

I can understand his bitterness. His argument went something like this: The poor, picked-on Steelers, won three games in a row to end the season; despite finishing 9-7, they are really more like a 13-3 team (what?); and if it hadn't been for that cheating Bill Belichick, the Steelers would be playing next week.

Last season the Brady-less Patriots won their last five games to finish the season at 11-5, only to miss the playoffs, so I think we all know how the poor guy feels.

But how many of us posted articles on the Steelers page, come on, raise your hands. Yeah, that's what I thought. And really, the cheating thing is just old. Not getting old, it is old.

Fast forward to the season just concluded. A Patriots team with a QB returning from a catastrophic injury, little in the way of a running game, and a defense wet behind the ears and reeling from the loss of the newly retired Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison, ekes out a division title to return to the playoffs.

And the poor Steelers will be at home, watching on television while their fans continue to talk like they are champions of the universe.

I think the Team of the Decade argument is off the table.

Note to Steelers fans: Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.