Happy New Year to all! Shortly after the New Year arrived here in Buenos Aires, I sent my friend Gustavo a text message: “Feliz Ano Nuevo. Esperamos para seven en eleven.” (For those who do not speak Spanish, that’s “Happy New Year. Wishing for Seven in ’11.”
This is of course what Steelers Nation is hoping for, that 2011 with begin with a climb on the Stairway to Seven.
Whether that happens of course, will be decided in the weeks to come. Mean, while, some thoughts on the one that just ended.
Roethlisberger Comes Full Circle (with the Media at Least)
It was what, October or September 2009 that Ben (not so politely) shucked off questions from Scott Brown about his impending appearance on the WWE’s Monday Night Raw and was overheard, “I ain’t gonna win no Rooney award” or something to that effect?
Earlier this week, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association gave Ben Roethlisberger the Chief Award, for his cooperativeness with the media.
Steel Curtain Rising has already discussed the media’s role in the Roethlisberger rehabilitation (click here to read the full article) so we need not repeat our argument here. Suffice to say, Ben Roethlisberger is showing a very, very different side to the Pittsburgh media.
Pouncey Wins Rookie of the Year Honors
To the surprise of no one, rookie center and first round draft pick Maurkice Pouncey was named Steelers rookie of the year (when did the award stop being the “Joe Greene Great Performance Award” anyway?)
On the day that the Steelers selected Pouncey with their first pick in the NFL’s 2010 draft, Steel Curtain Rising ran a poll, asking if Pouncey would be another Center in the image of Ray Mansfield, Mike Webster, Dermontti Dawson, and Jeff Hartings. At the time, mentioning the name of a rookie along side those Hall of Famers was more of a joke than anything else.
If his rookie season is any indication, Pouncey will not simply show that he live up to the Steeler’s legacy a center, he’ll will add his own contributions to that legacy.
Other Rookie Contributions Abound
The good news is that Maurkice Pouncey was the consensus rookie of the year in a season when several rookies stepped forward to make discernable contributions.
This is a far cry from 2008 when the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association turned to undrafted rookie free agent Patrick Bailey for the award, basically because it had to go to someone.
Finally, a Word on Troy Polamalu
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was named by his teammates as 2010’s Most Valuable Player. The amazing thing is that this is the first time he has won the award.
Polamalu, characteristically, sought to deflect credit for the award, but he should have won it in a walk. Polamalu has thus far provided a game-changing or perhaps the game changing play in the Steelers victories against Atlanta, Buffalo, Baltimore, and Cincinnati.
Hats off to Troy Polamalu. Have a happy and a healthy New Year.