View Full Version : Steel City is toast of the sports world

02-05-2009, 11:39 AM
So bite us you unAmerican haters. :)

The Steel City is toast of the sports world
By Mike Bianchi | Sentinel Columnist
February 2, 2009

TAMPA - One of the heroes of the game nearly became a bus driver.

The owner of the team walks to work every day. The fans of the team drink Iron City beer, wave dish towels and ignored the slumping economy to make their pigskin pilgrimage and turn this Super Bowl into a Sunshine State version of the Steel City.

This is why America should celebrate now that Pittsburgh is the home of more Super Bowl championships than any franchise in the history of pro football: Because the players are hungry, the owner is humble and the fans are loyal.

What more could you want out of the NFL's champion of champions? And what more could you want from a Super Bowl?
From Jennifer Hudson's remarkable rendition of the national anthem Sunday to the Boss bringing down the house at halftime to Santonio Holmes making one of the greatest catches in NFL history, the Steelers' 27-23 victory will go down as a Super Bowl for the ages.

The Steelers, by virtue of their unbelievable, inconceivable defeat of the Arizona Cardinals, have now won a record sixth Super Bowl.

They are a small-market team that doesn't pay big-time salaries and yet they somehow continue to win year after year.

In these trying economic times, how can you not feel good that it's the Steelers who have become the model franchise in all of professional sports?

Some other of the NFL's other dynastic franchises have come and gone, but the Steelers just keep coming.

The Dallas Cowboys? They make headlines because their quarterback dates Jessica Simpson, but they haven't won a playoff game in a dozen years.

In contrast, Pittsburgh's quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the youngest quarterback (26) to win two Super Bowls.

They Steelers are the New York Yankees of the NFL without the arrogance and the payroll. George Steinbrenner buys championships; the Rooney family builds them.

Every one of Pittsburgh's star players Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, Willie Parker, Hines Ward and James Harrison were either drafted by the team or discovered off the street.

Harrison, with his spectacular 100-yard interception return at the end of the first half, made one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history Sunday.

He was undrafted out of college, signed as a rookie free agent by the Steelers in 2002 and nearly quit football during his struggling early years to become a Greyhound bus driver.

This is why the Steelers should be celebrated. They win without the knuckleheads that dot so many professional rosters.

As great a story as it was for the New York Giants to upset the undefeated Patriots in last year's Super Bowl, the star of the Giants team was knucklehead wide receiver Plaxico Burress. Yes, the same Burress who couldn't cut it in Pittsburgh because Pittsburgh doesn't tolerate knuckleheads.

When Burress left town, the Steelers drafted Holmes, plugged him into Burress' spot and were rewarded big-time Sunday.

With 35 seconds left, Roethlisberger drilled the ball into triple coverage in the corner of the end zone. Somehow, Holmes was able to come down with the ball and barely get both of his tippy-toes in bounds for the touchdown.

"I threw the ball and thought it was going to be picked," Roethlisberger acknowledged.

Instead, Raymond James Stadium, filled with battalions of Terrible Towel-waving Steelers fans, erupted in a cacophony of black-and-gold bliss.

How can you not love a franchise built on the passion, pride, patience and principal Pittsburgh exudes?

Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin is a perfect example. At 36, he became the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl.

But how did he become a head coach at such a young age? Because team owner Dan Rooney was willing to take a chance on him. Rooney is the creator of the NFL's so-called Rooney Rule the mandate that requires NFL clubs to interview minority candidates before hiring a head coach.

"I'm just grateful for this chance," Tomlin said afterward. "He [Rooney] took some criticism for hiring a young coach with not much experience."

It should also be noted that Tomlin is only the third coach the Rooneys have hired in 40 seasons. Remember when the Orlando Magic once had three coaches in the same calendar year?

Is it any wonder President Barack Obama made the unusual political move of actually endorsing Rooney's team this week?

Proof positive that if you can't appreciate the Pittsburgh Steelers, then you're simply being un-American.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/f ... 3009.story (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/football/orl-sportsbianchi02020209feb02,0,5573009.story)

stlrz d
02-05-2009, 12:05 PM
Only one mistake in the article.

Tom Brady was younger than Ben when he won his 2nd Super Bowl.

But I don't care because we won the SUPER BOWL!!!!!

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