Last week I wondered why the Cleveland Browns were our sworn enemy. I have to think beyond all else familiarity breeds contempt. We play them twice a year and will probably continue to do so until their current owner realizes the cesspool he’s stuck in and moves the team to Los Angeles.
Our true natural rival should be our cross-state counter parts, the Philadelphia Eagles. Sure we play them in the Battle of Pennsylvania every preseason but who cares about the preseason? If not for the fact we play one meaningful game every 4-5 years, the rivalry between our two cities would be unmatched. In fact, there’s still a pretty healthy dose of antagonism between the Steel City and the City of Brothers on Crack Brotherly Love without the added dimension of sports.With that in mind, here are 5 reasons why the Pittsburgh Steelers absolutely positively cannot lose to the Iggles this Sunday.
#5: Our players aren’t idiots.
The above video shows Eagles WR Desean Jackson celebrating his touchdown catch this past Monday night. Unfortunately for Desean, he celebrated about a yard and a half before he scored the touchdown. Luckily for him, the team got the ball back and managed to score on the next play. It still doesn’t erase the fact he’s one of the biggest tools to ever set foot on a field.
Contrast that with our players. When Hines Ward caught two touchdowns against the Texans, did he spike the ball, thump his chest, and do the Superman? No, he handed the balls to some guy in the front row wearing a XXXL #86 jersey.
When Willie Parker scores, does he launch into a choreographed set of hip hop moves like he’s auditioning to be one of Justin Timberlake’s backup dancers? No, he flips the ball to the ref and goes about his business. Does Big Ben jump around and pump his fists like he’s never thrown a TD pass before? Of course not, he’s too busy congratulating his teammates.
Jackson isn’t the first self-promoting idiot employed by the Philthydelphia Eagles. They used to have a guy by the name of Terrell Owens. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. He takes self-indulgent jackassery to new levels on a weekly basis with his ridiculous touchdown celebrations. And before T.O. brought his circus to town, the Eagles were coached by Buddy Ryan. Ryan went to the Bill Belichick school of “Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat” coaching. He would encourage his players to take cheap shots on opposing players and even put bounties on other team’s star players. Yep, only the classiest of the classy get to wear Eagle green.
#4: Our local cuisine is better than their local cuisine.
Philly is, of course, known for the invention of the cheesesteak sandwich. This is a fine contribution to American culture and one which I am personally thankful for. However, the only problem with claiming “ownership” of this culinary masterpiece is you can literally go into any bar, pub, or sub shop in any place from Tampa, Florida to Bumfuck, Alaska and order a cheesesteak sandwich.
Pittsburgh is famous for, and the only home of, Primanti Brothers fry-topped sandwiches. They have an entire menu of unique concoctions, such as the Roethlisberger, the cole slaw slathered monstrosity you see pictured here. Take it from me, one bite of the Big Ben will make your taste buds sing and your toilet cry for days.
#3: Our football hero is more heroic than their football hero.
Marky Mark, best known for underwear ads and the Funky Bunch, recently starred in a movie about the short lived football career of Vince Papale. Papale was a 30-year-old bartender who attended the Eagles open try-outs back in 1976 and made the team. The movie was a sappy piece of fluff which was supposedly about the triumph of the human spirit, the will to live your dreams, and a bunch of other inspirational crap Disney likes to peddle.
The unfortunate thing is most of it was untrue. In the movie, they showed Papale scoring a dramatic touchdown. He never evem sniffed the endzone. In fact, he spent most of his 3 NFL seasons hurt and not playing. When he did play, he was just one of the taxi squad on special teams. Is his story interesting? Sure. But the story of a guy who made the team only to catch ONE pass his entire “career” isn’t exactly the stuff of legends.
Now if you want to talk true legends, you have to talk about Rocky Bleier. Back in 1969, Rocky was on patrol in a Vietnam rice paddy when he was shot in the left thigh during an ambush. While down, an enemy grenade landed nearby, littering his right leg with shrapnel. He was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star although all he ever really wanted was a Super Bowl ring. That seemed unlikely as doctors told him that he would be lucky to walk, never mind play professional football again.
But Rocky did play again. In fact, he worked his way back into the starting line-up as the blocking back for RB Franco Harris. In 1976, he even rushed for 1,000 yards. Oh and Rocky did get his Super Bowl ring. Plus, in 1980, he had a tv-movie made about his life starring Robert Urich of “Spenser For Hire” fame.
Now both stories are nice and uplifting. But the Rock played 11 years, had 3,865 rushing yards, 136 receptions for 1,294 yards, and scored 25 touchdowns. Comparing him to some schmuck who played sparingly in parts of 3 seasons while managing to catch all of ONE pass is like comparing Jim Brown to Bobby Boucher.
#2: Our coach isn’t a deadbeat.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was named Victoria Secret’s Sexiest Head Coach last season. Not that it matters to Mike as he appears to be happily married to smokin’ hot wife Kiya and content to raise his three young children in the family-oriented atmosphere of Pittsburgh. Best of all, Mike’s daughter is named Harlyn Quinn which makes him automatically double-cool for being a comic book geek.
Meanwhile, Eagles head coach Andy Reid‘s idea of “quality time” with his family is appearing in court when his two drug-addled sons are charged with various felonies related to drug use, possession, and related crimes. Both these bad seeds are currently serving time in the clink, thus showing what kind of parental instruction they had at home. Well, that might not be fair as the judge in one of their cases described the Reid house as an “Emporium of drugs.” I know it is shocking that *gasp* one might have easy access to illegal substances in such a fine city as Philly but this shows exactly how much attention Eagle-Eyed Andy paid to his brood.
I’m sure Mike Tomlin works long hours and I’m sure he doesn’t spend as much time with his children as he used to but I doubt he’d be so oblivious as to not notice his kids being whacked on goofballs 24-7.
#1: They booed Santa.
Seriously, what’s Philly most famous for?
Not the cheesesteaks. Not the Flyers. Not the Liberty Bell. Not even Rocky Balboa.
They’re famous for booing Santa Claus.
Which is just a nice way of saying, they’re famous for being assholes. If that’s the rep you want to have, more power to you. I prefer to be named the country’s Most Liveable City but maybe that’s just me.
The game this Sunday will definitely be more than just a football game. It’ll be more than the Battle for Pennsylvania. It’ll be a battle between good and evil. Between the Good Side of the Force and the Dark. Faith I do have that victory ours will be.
Topics: Afc, Bleier, Booing Santa Claus, Buddy Ryan, Cheese Steak, Cheesteaks, City Of Brotherly Love, Cleveland, Comic Geek, Desean Jackson, Good Food, Heroes, Invincible, Mcnabb, Mike Tomlin, Monday Night Football, Movies, Nerds, Nfc, NFL, Parker, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Vs Philadelphia, Primantis, Rocky Bleier, Roethlisberger, Santa Claus, Star Wards, Super Bowl, Tampa, Tomlin, Vietnam, Vince Papale, Ward