Everybody knows me at work as the “Steelers fan”. I have my Steelers Mr. Potato Head at my desk, my Steelers coffee mug, my Steelers lunch bag that I bring in everyday, not to mention that I have the Steelers logo tattooed on my leg. When asked my thoughts on the upcoming Super Bowl by a coworker I replied, “This is the worst possible scenario for a Super Bowl for a Steelers fan.” I don’t think that’s being too dramatic. We have to choose between watching another team match our unprecedented 6 Lombardi trophies or watch the Ratbirds covered in confetti. Those are the only options. Either way it’s going to blow. Either way a Harbaugh is going to win. What’s more the game is on CBS where we will be subjected to Phil Simms’ commentary during the game one last time before the NFL goes into hibernation. There are plenty of things not to like about this year’s Super Bowl so how do we keep them straight and how to we enjoy ourselves on what should be a football fan’s happiest day of the year?
The first thing not to like about this Super Bowl is the Harbaugh’s. Hey did you hear that the head coaches for each team in the Super Bowl are brothers? Did you know they grew up in the same house and everything? Amazing isn’t it? I wonder what their parents feel about it. Actually, the odds of two brothers ending up coaching against each other in the Super Bowl as head coaches is quite an impressive and unprecedented event considering in the entire world there are just 32 NFL head coaching jobs. It would be easier to stomach and admire, however, if the two brothers in question weren’t such total douche bags. The Harbaugh brothers throw so many temper tantrums on the sidelines during any given game that the actual term “temper tantrum” should be renamed “Harbaugh”. There are pretty much no redeeming qualities for either one, except maybe that one of them wears purple and the other doesn’t. The worst part is now that it’s late in the week and the “Bro Story” hasn’t really gotten that much press because of the other storylines that have popped up, I can guarantee we’re about to be hit with a tidal wave of Harbaugh-related commentary. (Pun intended)
The second undesirable quality about this year’s big game lies in the quarterbacks for each team. On one hand you have Colin Kaepernick kissing his own bicep and looks like one of those guys that calls everyone “bro” and still wears a collared shirt with the collar popped up. This kid is playing in his 10th NFL game and it’s the Super Bowl. The endless debate on whether or not the pistol offense is the new way of the NFL is so annoying. It wasn’t the new way of the NFL 15 years ago when Kordell Stewart was running around all over the place and it isn’t going to be the new way now. I can’t wait till next season when “Kaepernicking” is synonymous with throwing interceptions or having injured ribs. On the other hand we have Bert “I’m totally elite” Flacco who, once upon a time wasn’t good enough to overtake Tyler Palko for the starting job at Pitt and now has chucked his way into a Super Bowl. Flacco and the Ratbirds ousted both Peyton and Brady from the playoffs thanks to the offensive plan of chucking the ball up in the air and the blown coverage from the defensive backs they’ve faced. To be fair, Baltimore’s offensive line as well as their receivers have been unstoppable during these playoffs but Flacco is getting all the credit that isn’t swept up into the Ray Lewis Last Ride party.
Quite possibly the most objectionable facet of this the pinnacle of all professional sporting events in our country revolves around one Ray Lewis. Lewis is probably one of the most hated athletes in all of Steeler Nation as well as other fandoms and probably more after the ridiculousness that has been surrounding Lewis and perpetrated by him since he announced before the playoffs began that this would be “his last ride” (insert breathy Ray Lewis voice). I find it comforting that not just Steeler Nation gives a synchronized eye-roll once Ray Lewis starts preaching, dancing, or crying for the cameras. First it was Patriots WR Wes Welker’s wife, who posted on her Facebook Page,
“Proud of my husband and the Pats. By the way, if anyone is bored, please go to Ray Lewis’ Wikipedia page. 6 kids 4 wives. Acquitted for murder. Paid a family off. Yay! What a hall of fame player! A true role model!”
Then it was former Giants WR Amani Toomer commenting on the hoopla involved around Lewis during the playoffs and how he always seems to be the center of attention in spite of his contributions to the team.
“If you single yourself out after you make a play, that’s one thing. But to walk out on the field reminds me of the WWE, like The Rock coming out. You’re becoming a caricature of yourself. It’s exhausting. I don’t know why somebody would want that.”
Thank you Amani, it is exhausting. The hypocrisy that is Ray Lewis, especially given that now he’s being linked to PED’s and is denying it as if the public has never heard an athlete deny PED use (Hello Lance Armstrong?) is exhausting for lack of a better word. Then there is former Steelers LB Chad Brown who made the observation that most of us who don’t wear purple camo pants already know and that’s that Ray Lewis is severely overrated as a player.
“I would say 10-15 percent of his tackles he wasn’t actually involved in, and I’d say another 10 percent he was the last guy in and got credit for them. There were folks behind Ray trying to make him seem bigger and better than he actually is.”
I know it’s not just Steeler fans that are sick of Ray Lewis, everyone else is sick of him too. I’d like to think that after this game, no matter the outcome, we won’t hear from him again but that’s sadly not the case. The World Wide Leader has already offered Lewis a lucrative deal to be their newest “analyst” and no doubt they’ll excuse the accusations that he came back from his triceps tear in October to play in these playoffs under the benefit from PED’s just as they’ve excused the fact that he was involved in a double murder for the past 13 years to kiss his ass and act as if every word that comes out of his mouth is gold.
So with all of these undesirable qualities that are surrounding the Super Bowl what is a Steeler fan to do? Well if you’re an NFL junkie like me you can’t just not watch the game, although I’ll most likely be watching the game playing the role of both of the old guys in the balcony of the Muppets Show. I doubt I’ll have any good things to say during the entire game aside from, “Huh, that commercial was funny.” I suggest if you’re going to tough it out and watch the game you set yourself up a Super Bowl spread that will satisfy you. Use the city of New Orleans, which is where the Super Bowl is being held, as your inspiration. Order yourself a King Cake, fry up some shrimp and throw some beads across the room to get in the mood. Hopefully, Steeler Nation will be celebrating the newest Steeler inducted into the Hall of Fame as Jerome Bettis should be announced in the class of 2013 on Saturday. The Super Bowl is a football fan’s Christmas so we shouldn’t deprive ourselves the joy of celebrating it just because of the douche bags playing in it. Otherwise there are about 218 days until the Steelers 2013 season will kick off. What are your thoughts? Can you watch without rooting for either side? Would you rather have the 49ers match our 6 Lombardi’s or watch Ray Ray go out with a ring? Have your voice heard! Here We Go Steelers!