Super Bowl LII is here and must to the frustration of Steelers Nation, the Steelers will be not only be watching from home, but our beloved Black and Gold finished a step further away from the Big Dance than it did a year ago.
- Yet, Pittsburgh’s quest to bring Lombardi Number 7 might be on hold, but Pennsylvania still has a skin in the game.
As you well know, the Philadelphia Eagles are set to play the New England Patriots today in the Super Bowl in a match up that no one predicted, at least not since Carton Wentz tore his ACL just a month before the playoffs.
Despite being relatively close, there has never really seemed to be much affinity, at least in terms of sports loyalties, between the two cities and their respective fan bases. In contrast, Cincinnatians did tend to root for the Browns until the Bengals arrived, and at least when I lived there in 1996 there were stories of pockets of Browns support lingering into the 80’s and 90’s.
Shifting focus to the South while Washingtonians readily adopted the Baltimore Orioles during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, Baltimoreans, to their credit, remained outright hostile to the Redskins after Colts departure through the Ravens arrival. Yet, in DC during the Raven’s ’00 Super Bowl run, you saw little Ravens decals pop up alongside big GO Skins bumper stickers. Go figure.
Even from as far as away as Buenos Aires, Argentina I feel confident that the just as few Pittsburghers regard the Eagles as their “second team” as Philadelphians regard the Steelers as their “second team.”
It just doesn’t happen.
Heck, I can remember when the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl in 1980. My first real Super Bowl memory had been Super Bowl XIII which was of course followed by Super Bowl XIV. There I was in the 2nd grade, and the Steelers making the Super Bowl was “normal.” (Little did I know that I’d have to wait until Super Bowl XXX when I was in graduate school.)
Anyway, when Super Bowl XV rolled around my folks (who were not football fans) were rooting for Philadelphia, because well, Philly was from Pennsylvania.
- But it wasn’t the same, no one could muster the same kinda of for Philly, and the Eagles got trounced by the Raiders.
That was then, this is now. IN the interim, The Steelers have added two more trophies to the case in Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII while the Patriots have loaded up on 5. That means that one more will allow them to tie the Steelers for the NFL records.
- And the odds overwhelmingly favor Bill Belichick and Tom Brady getting fitted for a sixth Super Bowl ring on Monday morning.
The Steelers had their chance to defend the franchise’s honor last winter, but came up short in the AFC Championship game, going the way of Le’Veon Bell’s groin injury, a shaky defense, and inability of Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown to carry the passing game with help from Jesse James and a bunch of practice squad players starting behind Brown.
- So be it. Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles are supreme underdogs, but what Pittsburgher (or descendant of Pittsburghers) isn’t a sucker for an underdog story?
If you’re not yet convinced, then there’s this video from Ed Rendell, from Governor of Pennsylvania and mayor Philadelphia.
Very well said, Ed.
So by all means, its time for Steelers Nation to Twirl the Terrible Towels and get behind the Philadelphia Eagles. Tom Brady and the Patriots might own the Steelers, but if falls to someone else upset New England’s Super Bowl six pack then it might as well be another team from Pennsylvania.
E-A-G-L-E-S! Go Eagles!