I admit I enjoy football.
I became enamored with football when I was a child, sitting crossed-leg on the floor in front of the television during a Steelers game. Terry Bradshaw passed the ball. It flew through the air in a perfect arch and landed in the arms of a receiver far down field. It was absolutely magical, unreal, and unforgettable.
During the 1970’s the Steelers were football’s finest, winning four Super Bowls. Living in a small town along the Rust Belt, not far from Pittsburgh, I could feel the elation for the team’s success permeate everyone in the community. When the Steelers won, our little town won. The emotions ran deep, and for me still do.
It is not unusual to find me glued to YouTube watching footage of the Steelers. My favorites include Troy Polamalu, Mean Joe Greene, and of course Terry Bradshaw. My favorite play, the one I always go back to, is after a missed Steelers field goal in Super Bowl X, Cowboys safety Cliff Harris mockingly patted the kicker on his helmet and thanked him for "helping Dallas out". Harris was immediately thrown to the ground by linebacker Jack Lambert. Talk about sticking up for the members of your team. I have always wanted someone to stand up for me like that. Pummel my nemesis right down to the ground. Lambert's way of tackling is no longer allowed in the NFL. But I still find footage of him defeating his opponents play after play inspiring.
At times, I can barely watch the Steelers play. I get too emotional. I have thrown remotes at the television set in anger and turned cartwheels in the living room in joy. Even during the times when the Steelers have not been successful I have stayed loyal, watching week after week during the NFL season, waiting and hoping for an incredible Steelers win.
My worst moment as a Steelers fan this year was after the horrific loss to Denver. One member of my household, who shall remain nameless because he’s a Colt’s fan and they are insignificant, spent the entire evening “Tebowing”. He’s still not forgiven for that episode of behavior and never will be.
As I anticipate the arrival of Super Bowl XLVI, I feel somewhat agitated knowing there will be no black and gold on the field in Indianapolis. But I am also relieved that I do not have to watch a potential repeat of last year’s biggest game of the year, when the Steelers lost to the Packers. Even though a year has gone by, I can barely talk about it. The weeks following that loss, I yelled at the TV every time a highlight aired. Yeah, don't mention it. Just don't.
But I will be watching on Sunday, even without a Steelers appearance. Of course, I am looking forward to Madonna’s half time show, but more so, I am looking forward to a great game. You see, football is like life. Line up, run your play, if you get tackled get up, line up, and try again. Try not to fumble. But if you do, send in Lambert and get the ball back. Then don’t stop until you cross the goal line.
Kimberly at Sperk*
photo credit: M Bergman via photopin cc