Monday, January 12, 2009
I'm a Steelers fan. That is not the same as a football fan. I only watch professional football when the Steelers are playing and only care about other teems to the degree that impacts the Steelers. I never watch college ball and haven't been to a high school game since I was in high school.
I know, it is a violent game. It is crazy to have 300 pound men running at full speed into one another. I know that it is a reflection of all of the worst values we have in our culture. I know it is an awful thing to do to young men and their bodies. (I have really mixed feelings when I look at my son who is built like a defensive lineman but only played football one year because of a knee injury at practice before they even played a game. He would be a stellar lineman... but probably would destroy his knees. I know that, but something inside me still would like to see him out there in pads. Maybe he could be a Steeler someday. Sick... I know that.) But... I grew up in Pittsburgh and somehow it gets in your blood there. Steelers are like religion in Pittsburgh and no matter how hard you try you can't get away from it. You may be a recovering Steelers fan, but the mark is always there.
Hey, at least the Steelers don't have cheerleaders. They are there to play football. Go to Hooters to see young women jiggle. The only thing that jiggles at Steelers games are the Iron City tumors of the fans.
I'm hopeful this year. The Steelers have the #1 defense in football. The offense has sputtered at times but yesterday they manhandled the San Diego Chargers on both sides of the ball. They played very, very well. Next Sunday they play the Baltimore Ravens - a team for whom Pittsburgh fans have little but contempt. They can beat them... indeed, they already have twice this year. And then it is the Superbowl.
I have told my congregation that if the Steelers go to the superbowl this year, I am going to wear a Steelers jersey to church that morning. First, I'll have to buy one though. So I have to decide which one. I have some favorite players- Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison... we'll see after next week.