By Michael Reynolds
For those of you who jumped off of the London Bridge after the Vikings loss, only to climb back up, wet and ashamed after the Jets win, here is a suggestion in the…well…probable chance the Steelers suffer another setback this season.
Hey. Of course we’re ALL expecting the Steelers to rattle off 14 straight victories and to raise the Lombardi Trophy. But win, lose or draw, here are four bonafide ways you can still thoroughly enjoy the 2013 Steelers season:
Become a Card-Carrying Steelers Fan
In the 1970’s, Steelers fans claimed their position as the greatest supporters in all of sports. I was not one of them. As a boy, I joined in 1974 and adopted them as a fair-weather fan after watching their first Super Bowl win.
Sure, I plastered posters of Terry Bradshaw and Franco Harris on my walls. I practiced my Lynn Swann diving catches on our family’s leather couch and imagined myself as Jack Lambert and John Stallworth through my Pop Warner and high school days.
However; it wasn’t until the 1980’s and early 90’s when I earned my wings. Having to cheer for the likes of Mark Malone, David Woodley and Bubby Brister, while enduring a defense that was…well, offensive…was how I became a genuine Steelers fan. This only made Cowher Power and those Super Bowl victories of the 2000’s all the more sweet. Being off to such a slow start this season is a real bummer, but your true Steelers fan card can only be forged in the foundry of unwavering support during difficult times.
Enjoy the Art of Coaching
There has been plenty written about the shortcomings of the Steelers this season with legitimate complaints against front office moves (or lack thereof) and questionable coaching decisions. But now is where you can really examine the art of coaching. With their backs against the wall, and with time running out for their season (and perhaps their jobs), you can enjoy watching how the coaches make adjustments and do what it takes to hold the team together.
Never Fear. Underdog is Here.
One of the biggest offseason, pre-season and beginning-of-the-season pressures is off of the Steelers and their fans. That being, how great will the Steelers be this season? Well…at 1-4, the results speak for themselves. Even with last week’s win against Gang Green, this is a fairly leaky ship and last time I checked, Vegas wasn’t listing them as the favorite to win it all.
But how will they respond with the bar being lowered? In recent past, the Steelers have always done well as underdogs. Now with low expectations, it’s possible that you might just see them shine. Another good win, followed by another may be enough to gain them momentum and a new life for this season.
Glimpse into the Crystal Ball
How will the Steelers respond to these challenges? Will they be able to turn things around? What impact will this season have on how the “Steelers Way” is adjusted? These are all questions still in doubt, but one thing is for certain: There will be change. What that change will be for now and into the future will be influenced greatly by the outcome of this season.
Which of the veterans will survive the off-season’s Grim Reaper? Which of the young pups will become the next Big Dogs? Will this team’s offense trend toward pass or run? Will there be a fundamental shift in the defense’s commitment to the 3-4? The next few weeks will have much to determine these outcomes.
What about you? Are you already off the bridge and water soaked? Do you have your own ideas on how best to enjoy the remainder of the 2013 season? Let’s hear them.