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. MichaelKReynolds.com