Isn’t anybody else getting tired of all the talk still going on about the Pittsburgh Steelers-Indianapolis Colts game? I mean I’m still hearing people talk about that game in the past 48 hours. It’s over, let it go. The media cannot. I know much of the world picked the Colts to win the game (I did not, and I have proof), but is it really that much of a shocker. The Steelers should have been the first team to beat the Colts in the regular season. They of course did not, but why oh why were the written off so easily this past week?
And I know it was a fantastic finish for the media types to write about, but there are bigger fish to fry now. The Steelers defeat of the Colts will wind up meaningless if they lose this week to the Broncos. I mean, about the only historical significance this game will have is that it will be remembered as another instance of Peyton Manning choking, and may be a part of the highlight reels that is Jerome Bettis or Ben Roethlisberger’s careers in retrospect.
I’ve heard it mentioned that some “experts” belief this to be one of the weakest final fours in NFL history. I think not, the Panthers are an excellent team, and were robbed of a Super Bowl victory 2 years ago off an Adam Vinatieri field goal. Had they not suffered such great injuries last season, they probably would have returned to the big game. One more win last season, and they would have been playoff-bound, and considering how hot they were down the stretch (like they were in 2003), they would have been a team to reckon with in the playoffs. The Seahawks aren’t what I’d call an amazing team. They are definitely beatable, but you have to respect them because they are a very consistent team and despite a very young defense, they have played very well this year. They remind me of the Philadelphia Eagles of 2004. The Broncos aren’t anything special, but they beat the Patriots, and that has to count for something, considering that team hasn’t lost a playoff game since 1998 as I recall. The Steelers are a tough team. Not as strong overall as they were a year ago, but they are a team that is capable of winning the Super Bowl.
Fact is all that sort of talk is sour grapes on the part of analysts and experts in the fact that their two favorite teams to stroke aren’t in it anymore. That of course is the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts.
Sure, this potential Super Bowl doesn’t have the great marketing value of having either of those two teams in it. But I think it’s going to make for a better game. Fact is, in August I predicted the Panthers to beat the Colts in the Super Bowl. Indy was bound to lay an egg. It’s practically inevitable when you have Peyton Manning as your quarterback and Tony Dungy as your head coach. I expected that egg to come in the Super Bowl, but now it just came two games earlier.
I for one am going to be rooting for the Panthers and Broncos this week. I root for the Panthers mainly because if they win the Super Bowl, I’ll feel pretty good about my prognosticatory skills. That would mean that my preseason pick of the Spurs winning the NBA title last year coupled with this pick, means that at least for two years in two different sports I picked the team to win it all in the preseason. I’m rooting for the Broncos because I went to school in Pittsburgh, and much of my college buddies are die-hard Steeler fans as well as my father and oldest brother. I can’t have any of them holding the Steelers Super Bowl win over my head, especially when the Falcons themselves laid a huge egg this past season. I just can’t bear the torment and the crow-eating.