Steelers Nation Rooting Guide to the AFC and NFC Championships

2013 has not started off well for Black and Gold. The 2012 Steelers never even made it to the playoffs and before they could even big what promises to be challenging off season, Chris Rainey, one of the lone bright spots from the 2012 Draft Class, gets himself arrested and is off the team.

And to add insult to injury, the faithful in Steelers Nation have been forced to watch historic franchise rivals advanced deep into the playoffs.

With Atlanta heading to San Francisco for the NFC Championship and Baltimore traveling to New England to fight for the AFC crown what is a true Steelers fan to do?

What Do True Steelers Fans When There’s No Steelers to Root for in the Playoffs?

True Steelers fans entertain no divided loyalties.

  • This sets Steelers Nation apart.

The Washington Redskins have a loyal following in DC. They’ve had sold out every game for decades, have a mammoth long season ticket waiting list, and have tolerated one of the worst NFL owners treating their beloved burgundy and gold as if its his fantasy play thing.

Having spent over half my life living in as a Steelers Nation Expat in Aspen Hill, Maryland, allows me to assure you that there is no shortage of people in Metro DC that live and die with the Redskins every game.

  • But for all their loyalty, a large contingent of Redskins fans lack when it comes to heart.

The last full year I lived in the US was 2000, the year the Ravens went to their first Super Bowl and also the year the Norv Turner’s Redskins tanked. And as November faded into December, throughout the DC area you started to see little Ravens decals appear alongside big Redskins bumper stickers.

If it were the Eagles and not the Falcons in this year’s NFC Championship, can you imagine and seeing green and white Eagles logos sprouting up on bumpers while driving down the Boulevard of the Allies?

  • No, I don’t think so either.

No, Steelers fans stick to their team, but still, who do they pull for when the Black and Gold is out of it?

Black and Gold Should Go for Birds of Prey

The easy answers are off the table. There are no members of the Chuck Noll or Bill Cowher coaching trees remaining in the hunt.

Let’s look at what’s at stake. If…

  • The Ravens win a bitter AFC North Rival gets another Lombardi – who wants to see that?
  • San Francisco wins the 49ers increase their Lombardi count to 6, tying the Steelers – that day will come, but why rush things?
  • If New England wins, Bill Bellnick gets his fourth Super Bowl title, tying Chuck Noll. Manifestly undesirable.

That leaves the Atlanta Falcons.

Of course, the Falcons are far from the favorites among the NFL’s final four.

So in Steel Curtain Risings humble opinion, Steelers Nation’s rooting interest in what remains of the 2012 NFL season should follow like this

  • First root for the Falcons
  • If not them, then the Ravens, yes the Ravens,
  • If not them, then the 49er’s
  • A New England victory would be the worst possible outcome

Why the Ravens over the 49ers? If Baltimore wins it certainly does give Charm City bragging rights, but it also gives them the final pick in the draft, and then they get to deal with the Super Bowl hangover.

It would also make them the automatic division favorites, and everyone knows the Steelers need to be underdogs to thrive.

Beyond that, Baltimore’s the most likely team to stop New England, and I am sorry, Bill Bellnick is a cheater and does not deserve a spot equal to or above Chuck Noll in the NFL record books. Period.

So there you have it. Alternative thoughts or opinions? By all means feel free to share.

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2 thoughts on “Steelers Nation Rooting Guide to the AFC and NFC Championships

  1. Pats beat Ravens then lose to Falcons in the Super Bowl! That should cover it all- No 6 trophies for 49ers, No championship for the Ratbirds and Belicheat and Brady will NOT get to tie Noll and Bradshaw!

  2. Yeah, well, Atlanta did not quite come through.

    Still, I am rooting less against the Ravens here. Not only would it give them the Super Bowl hang over to deal with, but as Dale Lolley has pointed out, several veterans could follow Ray Lewis into retirement, and it will push up Joe Flacco’s signing price considerably.

    Plus no 6th trophy for San Fran.

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