Steelers Super Bowl Grief Kit

By Michael K. Reynolds

I am not a fan of the Super Bowl.

At least not when the Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t in the big game. Truth be told, I’m not much of a football fan. I am a Steelers fan.

Many years ago I had a friend who swore he was the king of the diehard Steelers faithful. The greatest ever. Had Mean Joe on speed dial. Built a Steelers shrine in his man cave. Boasted an impressive collection of vintage Terrible Towels.

So imagine my surprise when I show up at a Super Bowl party and see this dude sporting a Joe Montana 49er′s jersey. Whah??

“They are the local team,” he squirms. “I got to root for someone.”

Needless to say, his creds were shot.

I admit it. I am a terribly poor sport. The Super Bowl is on without the Steelers? Shut the doors. Lower the curtains. Tell me when the horror is over.

Watch it for the commercials? Bah! I am in the marketing business and know it’s the biggest con of the year. You do realize, dear friend,  you are going to be able to see each of those ads at least 150 more times in the next month? When I watch those commercials, with a few exceptions, all I can think is, “They got a million dollars to produce…THAT?”

Enjoy the game for the food? Well, I suppose there is something to be said about overdosing on chicken wings, bratwurst and ranch dressing. Yet, with all of the heartburn I am suffering by not seeing my team out there…it can be hard to keep the food down.

The halftime show? This from a guy who is thrilled the Steelers don’t have cheerleaders and who celebrated when Steely McBeam got the pink slip?

No. Just football. Us versus them. Everything on the line. The Super Bowl is designed for the Pittsburgh Steelers and whoever is left standing in the NFC. Green Bay PackersDallas Cowboys? Who cares. As long as we’re lining up against them.

I don’t even enjoy parties when the Steelers are in the Super Bowl. They attract people who know nothing about the sport. You’ve been there. It’s fourth and one. Twenty eight seconds left in the game. Then Gladys the neighbor, bless her heart, steps in front of the television and says, “You just have to give me the recipe for this fondue.”

What’s horrible about this year’s Super Bowl match is that I don’t even have a team to root against. There is at least some pleasure in hoping to see Tom Brady crying in the arms of Bill Belichick. Or that the Cincinnati Bengals will choke again.  And that Joe Flacco will toss four picks. Or that the San Francisco 49ers won’t be able to get another Lombardi Trophy.

But this year…nothing but nice guys and teams I respect.

Which leaves me with one hope for this year’s Super Bowl. That the post game interviews come quickly.

Because that officially signals the beginning of the season for the 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers. Then we can get down to some real football.

What about you? How do you deal with a post-season without the Steelers?

About the Author

Michael K. Reynolds

Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers fanatic and author of the acclaimed Heirs of
Ireland series.

  • CW

    I kind of want to see Peyton finally win that second ring. He’s probably a Top Five ever sort of quarterback and having his lesser brother have two rings to his one is annoying even if both of Eli’s rings came at the expense of the Patriots.

    Besides after the whole relentless “12th Man” coverage from the media this past year I’d like to see the Seahawks crash and burn at the biggest event of the football year. Especially after their fans have run their mouths for most of the last decade about Super Bowl XL being “stolen” from them.

    Add in the irritation to Tommy Brady if his arch rival wins yet another Super Bowl? He’ll be crying from his couch as Peyton hoists the Lombardi.

    That’s good enough reason for me to watch.

    But if Russell Wilson wins? Well, he seems like a pretty good kid so that’s okay, but not great.

  • mem359

    Think last year was worse, as I didn’t want either team to win. The best outcome would have been to cancel the game (with no winner) after the power outage.

  • Styxmotors

    Need Manning to win because it will add more wood to the fire of Spygate. Brady is given more credit than Manning because of their head-to-head match-ups, which could/probably have been Manning wins. If PM wins Sunday, on a new team against a #1 defense and in the cold, then it’ll help him – sure – but will finally convince hold-outs that Brady was propped by cheating.

    And then, oh I hope, we can convince people that the Steelers should have been in the 2001 and 2004 Superbowls as well.

    Look at how long they make Bettis wait to get into the Hall. If we’d gone to Superbowl 36 and 39 as well as 40 with him, he’d be in on the first ballot. We’d have maybe one more ring (over the Eagles, which would have been Pennsylvania sweet, but the Rams were too tough IMO) and our team would have been the legitimate dynasty, helping get Faneca, Cowher and Hines into the Hall as well.

    So, in my mind, Manning winning will help fuel the case for Steelers greatness as well.

  • Ramesh

    So true, so funny. I couldn’t bear the last two years especially since I didn’t believe in Eli to beat Brady again & then didn’t want either the 49ers to win their 6th or cheer for the Ravens. Solution – I became a good husband and watched Downtown Abbey instead. I hope Peyton wins and I might even watch this one.

  • joed32

    I’m a Steeler fan but I’m an NFL fan. If the Steeler’s didn’t exist I would still be watching every Sunday.

  • Nolrog

    I am torn. I love the way the Seahawks are put together, with that strong defense and running game. But I really do like Manning.

    Think I’m going to root for Denver, since I’m more of an AFC guy.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Fairly straightforward for me. If the Steelers aren’t in the SB, I root for the NFC team. Of course the are a few exceptions to that rule.. I’ll never root for the 49ers as long as Harbaugh is their coach.

  • Brian K

    I’m Steeler all the way. I usually don’t care about the SB unless Pittsburgh is in it. I don’t care who wins unless there is a rival, a team I hate or a team that could tie the Steeler ‘s SB record, then I root against them. I was screwed last year, but ultimately decided to… go against the 9ers.(see how I said that without saying I rooted for the Ratbirds?)

  • steeltown

    Don’t care about this Super Bowl, at all………… I guess it would be nice to see Manning win another ring to cap off his great season in the twilight of his career

  • Gloria Burke

    This article mirrors so many of the things I’ve been saying since the missed field goal in the San Diego/Chiefs game. I have zero interest in a super bowl that my Steelers are not playing in, even to root against a team I can’t stand. It’s just not worth realizing that my team is not playing AGAIN, I am inwardly happy that San Francisco doesn’t get a chance for that tying ring, that Tom Brady doesn’t get to pretend he’s the all-american boy (NOT!), that Flacco and the Ravens are sitting at home with the Bungles. But even my respect and admiration of Peyton Manning is not enough to make me set up the 3 large screen tv’s in the living room, root for the Broncos and invite a bunch of people in to watch me lick my 8-8 wounds…..

  • Jonathon Bert Schade

    I’d love to see Manning forever cement his reputation……….as a choker. I will never forget the playoff game in which our Steelers had the Colts by the throat, but were denied the blowout the contest should have been when some bleary-eyed official couldn’t see an int by Polomalu,(I think the league later apologized???). What should have been a laugher turned into a nailbiter. Of course we prevailed,(and went on to thrash the Broncos and Seahawks), but I recall Manning saying the protection problems with his OL were a big factor. Not that the Steeler D crushed him and his Colts. Maybe he’s funny on SNL, has swell pizza and sedans, but I have never and shall never like him.

  • Jonathon Bert Schade

    Oh, and I can’t stand that punk Sherman and the honorless Pete Carroll either.

  • Milliken Steeler

    I’m always a Steeler fan first however, I don’t miss Superbowls, I don’t miss the other games during the regular season when the Steelers aren’t playing.

    I’m a football junky, studying statistics, players etc. It’s always a bummer when my Steelers don’t play however, I enjoy being a student of this game so any pro football is good football to me.

    The league is changing also and there are factors coming into play that maybe people are underestimating so I want to continue to enjoy this game before its unrecognizable or even gone eventually pending the momentum that is against it right now.

    Now as far as the half time shows and commercials? The halftime shows I don’t watch and if Im there for a few commercials great and if I’m not, no biggie. I’m there for the football and the football only baby!

  • Patrick Reid

    I was thinking the same thing when the power went out. Wishing that I had pulled the plug!!

  • chris ward

    I’m just a Steelers fan, when it comes to the post season without the Steelers in it. I don’t have a rooting preference unless a team is playing against a divisional rival. I still watch all the playoff games with no real rooting interest, I just like to observe the games and hope for a entertaining game

  • cencalsteeler

    Nothing against Peyton, but I’m going with the Seachickens! I am tired of all the papa johns commercials, the week long debates of how “Omaha” is being used, the greatest qb debates, etc.. I’m ready to put that to bed. I can just imagine the next month of Peyton stories being produced by the media if the Brocos win. Btw- I’m a little offended at the Steely McBeam comment, Lol!

  • mem359

    But as you point out, that is the media beating a dead horse, then dragging it around town for seven days. At least Peyton has a sense of humor about himself.

  • Fred Weiner

    Absolutely and completely right on. Down to the respect, the non-hate for the two teams. And though I’ve never had the neighbor lady in front of the TV experience, I have been in a room of people who didn’t care (Seattle game). Laughing and making noise while I was concentrating. Interrupting my focus with their jive. That was worse than the Cardinals game, watched here in Tucson, with several knowledgeable AZ fans screaming in my ear when Fitz made the brilliant TD with a couple of minutes left. That was cool because we all know what happened a little later. I admit that I bellowed at them, and they were shy at that point, and I went home happy. Enjoy the game. As if it matters.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    I just root for the team with less SB championships. Steelers on top forever

  • steeltown

    I DO NOT understand the whole “omaha” phenomena.. who F’n cares! QBs say all kinds of things behind Center, I think Peyton used to say “Kansas” alot as an audible/play call, so what?! I was dumbfounded by the media coverage of a QB saying a certain word in-game

  • Ben Anderson

    Hoping for a Broncos victory that makes the Seattle fans shut up already. I live in the Pacific Northwest and cannot root for the Seabuzzards. Their fans are annoying crybabies that are still griping about 2005.

    Mike Holgren very effectively hid his own poor performance by
    complaining about officiating. Hawks fans followed suit and in fact, his
    gripes just added fuel to the fire. Here’s the thing though,….

    · they had 5 clear drops in that game (2 more
    were questionable, but hit receivers’ hands) (Hasslebeck threw 49 times in that
    game and only completed 26)

    · missed two kicks

    · mismanaged the clock

    · threw an untimely pick

    · allowed the longest run from scrimmage in SB
    history after Bernard went out injured

    · And, gave Roethlisberger 11 seconds to convert
    a 3rd and 28 on the same drive that he scored the disputed TD on.

    · I’m fairly certain that everyone from the guys calling the
    game to the fans in the stands knew the Steelers liked to run trick plays on
    2nd and short from beyond midfield. The Seahawks apparently didn’t put that in
    the scouting report they handed out in defensive meetings.

    If they could acknowledge that the team did not play well, I
    might have some empathy for the disputed calls explanation. But, as things
    stand, I do not.

  • joed32

    Don’t like the commercials?

  • steeltown

    Nope, im sure there’ll be one that gets a chuckle out of me but they’re usually quite overrated, especially considering the hype surrounding them and money spent.

  • AndyR34

    Nice article, Matthew…I enjoyed it. I usually watch the SB, but am seldom invested in the outcome if the Steelers are not playing. It becomes only a little more than just another game in that case. Commercials are no longer as good as they once were…or am I just more jaded? Parties can be fun but also lose their appeal…not only due to Gladys, but to the big mouth know-it-all that once payed pee-wee ball and manages to talk over the talking heads…pretty much ruining the game for every one else.

    I am looking forward to more of your work! 🙂

  • Steve

    With you on that. With all the millions spent on a 30 second commercial, just think how that money could be spent in a better way? I do enjoy Football but during the commercials I got better things to do (Bathroom break, get some food or a drink).

  • Steve

    Seachickens LOL, them birds will drop into the Ocean along with crying Carroll, the baby always got sumpin to wine about. Peyton got em beat and the Fox will Trot.

  • Steve

    Payton got paid to a charity to say Omaha.