When Tebow connected on that pass in OT, I was in shock that it could be over that quickly. But after about five minutes of just sitting there staring at the tv (and rueing the fact that I just gave up my sleep for the night by getting up at 245 in the morning to watch this sad performance), I felt relief.
I felt relief that this beat up old dog was put out of its misery. I felt relief that we didn't have to spend another week wondering how we would pull off the next miracle with so many hobbled players. This has not been as enjoyable a season of football for me. With Goodell putting a leash on the defense (refs constantly calling illegal hits on our defense and failing to call holding against Harrison and Worilds and roughing the qb after Ben has thrown the ball) and all of the injuries to key players, this year has been like no other. While the D was number one overall, it wasn't the normal Steeler way of football. It was boring and mundane, not the hard hitting imposition of wills on the field. Nobody is scared of the Steelers anymore. In fact, it seemed that other teams felt emboldened to smack the Steelers in the mouth because they could get away with it, knowing that Goodell is watching and looking for a reason to fine/eject the Steelers if they fight back. The only reason I knew the Steelers had a good D this year was because the final stats week to week said so.
I am SICK of this anemic offense. I hear every excuse in the book about this player dropping a pass and that player missing a block, but this O SUCKS and I am tired of watching it. It SUCKS from the top on down. No discipline, no crisp plays, no great planning and no great reaction to what the defense is showing. The ONLY reason that the O works at all is because of Ben's scrambling ability and the way he saves poorly called plays with his sand lot football mentality. Take that away and we go from ranking 15th or so to 25th easy.
I love the Steelers but I am relieved that its over. And sadly, I do not plan to watch anymore football this year. And not because the Steelers aren't in it, but because it is not the football that I grew up knowing and loving. When the two SB favorites have the 31st and 32nd ranked defenses, its time to move on. I am sad that Goodell took away the one thing that I look forward to every year and that the Steelers front office does not have the cajones to remove Arianus from the premises because they are afraid of pissing off Big Ben...
I have never felt this way before at the end of a season. Its not a "can't sleep for days" feeling like after that AFC loss to San Diego in '95. Its just a sadness for the loss of something that was special and a big part of my life.
I am sure that I will catch some Steeler games next year on tv, but there is no more excitement at the thought of things like annual trips to training camp with my young son that I used to dream about once he was old enough. The NFL has changed and I don't like it anymore. You know how it feels after you have broken free from a bad relationship? Sad, but relieved? Something changed for me today. I didn't really care that the Steelers lost. I really think that I am moving on... and kind of saying goodbye to a long time friend.
Thanks for listening.