Sunday, January 23, 2011
Reasons the Steelers Will Win the AFC Championship Today
It's Myron Cope's Birthday!
Need we say more? "Yoi! Pish and tush!!" No way the Steelers lose on Myron's birthday. He was one of a kind. Yes, we remember Myron. His spirit lives (check out the Myron sound bytes here) and he is, no doubt, waving his Celestial Terrible Towel today. The New Jersey Jets don't stand a chance.
Black 'n Gold Steeler Rosary
Only in Pittsburgh: Go to the Sacred Heart Catholic store in Pittsburgh's Bloomfield neighborhood, pick up 10 or so strings of Black 'n Gold Steeler Rosary beads, take them to the Vatican, meet a priest from Pittsburgh carrying a Terrible Towel in Vatican Square who arranges for an audience with the Pope, get the beads blessed by the Pope, sprinkle them with Pope-blessed Holy Water bought at the Vatican, take them back to Pittsburgh, distribute a number of the Black 'n Gold Rosaries to your friends and relatives, hear accounts how they had their own priests bless the Rosary just to make sure, arrange to have a strand sent via FedEx on the eve of the game, learn the delivery wasn't made, call FedEx to bitch about it, and then, lo and behold, a miracle! ... the nice people at FedEx go above and beyond (with a little help from Above and Beyond, no doubt) to deliver the Rosary to the nun, who vows to clutch it prayerfully throughout the game.
You don't believe this sort of thing happens in Pittsburgh? Believe it!
By the way, the nun behind the counter at the store in Bloomfield notes how the Rooneys and several Steeler players carry the Black 'n Gold Steeler Rosary. Really. Believe.
This Divine Intervention stuff really does go Above and Beyond: Another nun sweetly told my friend who made the Steeler Rosary Beads pilgrimage to the Vatican: "We pray for everyone in the NFL, but we only pray for the Steelers to win." Again, only in Pittsburgh. You can't beat that, and the Jets certainly won't.
The Better Defense
The Steelers' run defense this past season was third-best in NFL history. The defense is led by the legendary Dick LeBeau, defensive coordinator, Hall of Famer, and pioneer of the Zone Blitz.
The Better Quarterback
Say what you will about Ben Roethlisberger, he has two Super Bowl rings, which means he's already won two AFC Championship games. He is a tough hombre, all right, and he's mobile, strong and tough to sack. The Jets' defense will have their hands full, and they know it, judging by how quiet they've been all week. Mark Sanchez is a good young quarterback, but Big Ben is arguably a great veteran quarterback. Big difference.
Troy will play today. He is, obviously, a great player, and a special person. We're glad he's on our side. Read "A Defensive Anchor Walks a Spiritual Path" to learn more about Troy's spiritual side.
Troy Polamalu's not the only winner in the Steeers' secondary. Check out the video at this link, and you'll agree: William Gay is a winner, too, as are lots of other Steelers for all sorts of reason. But if William Gay can handle that sort of situation, he can handle Braylon 'Effin Edwards.
Craig Wolfley, Steelers' broadcaster and former player, has been talking up the importance of good mojo all week, and he's right on. Wolf has got the Mojination working for all of Steeler Nation.
Home Field Advantage
This will be a totally different atmosphere than the regular-season game. If the Jets come into Heinz Field and win for a second time in five weeks, more power to 'em. But it ain't gonna happen.
No Touchdowns Allowed on the Opening Kickoff
When Mike Tomlin was asked what needs to be done differently on special teams this week, he replied directly, as he always does: "We need to stop Brad Smith from going 97 yards. That would be a good start."
Tomlin was chuckling as he said it, but you get the feeling the Steelers just won't allow a long kick return today. Ain't gonna happen.
Heath Miller Returns
Tight end Heath Miller one of the best in the game, missed the first game against the Nyets. You just don't replace a guy like that. His replacement, Matt Spaeth, scored a touchdown but also had several dropped passes and a holding penalty. Heath Miller's return to the lineup is huge.
The Terrible Towel
A Pittsburgh original, thanks to Myron himself, with magical powers and proceeds benefiting The Allegheny Valley School for people with developmental disabilities. A worthy cause, to say the least, and Myron selflessly signed over all royalties to the school. That's just the kind of guy he was: "A Pittsburgh Guy." The Towel is everywhere and has even gone to outer space. No team in the NFL can match The Terrible Towel.
Oh, and did we mention? It's Myron Cope's Birthday!
We suggest listening to just about anything by any number of Pittsburghers (such as Billy Price, for instance) and any of the numerous jazz greats born and raised in The Burgh, including Ahmad Jamal, Art Blakey, Billy Eckstine, Stanley Turrentine, Roy Eldridge, George Benson, Billy Strayhorn, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Mary Lou Williams, Benny Benack, Errol Garner, Kenny Clarke, Gene Ludwig,and others.
Of course, there are numerous Steeler fan songs out there, if you're so inclined, but we cannot in good conscience say they're all good.
Here are a few bonus tracks and song recommendations we do kinda like, just for fun ...
Jerry Garcia Band: "Waiting for a Miracle" video on YouTube (recorded 11-15-91)
Kelly Maizee: "City of Champions" video on YouTube (hat tip [h/t] to That's Church)
Gil Scott-Herron, with a shout-out to the Steelers: "Hello Sunday, Hello Road" (h/t to Mike Canton, DJ, "The Soul Show," WYEP-FM)
Ray Brown, legendary jazz bassist and Pittsburgh native: "Sunday" (h/t to Bob Studebaker, DJ at WDUQ-FM)
We're out of time, and we're outta here, for now. Enjoy the game. Go Steelers!