Well, that sucked

So, let's start out by just stating the obvious - the Steeler's lost.  And if you ask me, that sucks.

Picture of smiling faces taken BEFORE the Steeler's lost

Of course, I'm not really sure that they deserved to win.  It wasn't their best game ever, and they made a lot of stupid mistakes that cost them the win. You can't make stupid mistakes when you're in the Super Bowl.  All of the fumbles, the sacks, the turnovers - just plain stupid.  But like any true fans might, we truly believe the entire time that they could win it - would win it - right down to the last two minutes, until they missed that 4th down pass with just over a minute remaining. Then we left.

We went to a party at Mullen's in the South Side for the Super Bowl.  We had to pay a $10 cover, which simply got us in the door.  The party was a friend of a friend of a friend's wife (or something like that) sort of deal, so we didn't really know anyone but were happy to have a home base.  We lucked out and were able to get a table, which was really nice, since we got there around 4 p.m. and didn't leave until after 10:30.  I hate standing for long periods of time so having a place to sit was essential for me.  The vibe was great, and there were a great number of really drunk people, particularly large football-player-sized men.  I kept my distance, and I think that sporting events are one of the only times where there's a line for the men's bathroom and not for the women's.

In preparation for possible craziness, the Pittsburgh police closed East Carson street and prohibited parking along Carson and up side streets one block on both sides.  We were lucky enough to be walking by when the tow truck caravan arrived, and it was really a crazy site to see.

Of course, the craziness didn't happen.  Do you think that the police were relieved?  Since that meant no craziness? Or do you think they were sad, since that meant no Steeler's win and they were probably Pittsburgh Police?

Either way, we walked out of the bar after the game and the streets were pretty much empty.  Not filled with cheering, celebrating people like they should have been (if they had won.)  I know there was worry that if we lost people would be belligerent and angry and try to cause mayhem by doing things like setting couches on fire, but that didn't appear to be the case, at least where we were.

Even though the streets were closed, everyone stayed on the sidewalks.  As we walked near the Birmingham Bridge we passed the police, SWAT, and military barricades that had been set up.   There were at least 8 police officers on enormous, beautiful Clydesdale horses, all standing in a line.  We even got to see the LRAD device which they used during the G20 riots last year, which puts off crazy noises and dispersal messages (which they obviously did not have to use.)  They were clearly prepared for the worst, and I guess in the "public safety" sense, the best case scenario happened.

Can you see the horses back there? On the other side of the street from the cop car?

People were sad.  Some were stunned into silence.  Others were still positive and hopeful, saying things like, "It's ok, we'll get it next year." Or "It just wasn't meant to be." But no one really seemed to be angry.

And really, how could they be?  The Steeler's are one of the best teams in NFL history.  We've been to the Super Bowl THREE TIMES in the last SIX YEARS!!! That's unheard of!!!  What other city can say that about their team!!? Of course, not winning means that you're the first loser, but if you're the first loser of the Super Bowl, is that really such a bad thing!?!?  Only two teams get to go to the Super Bowl, and our team has been there 50% of the time in the past 6 years.  That's actually remarkable.  Pittsburgh - a football town at heart - got to host two playoff games at Heinz field this year.  We got to wear our jerseys and tailgate and watch our team on TV into the month of February this year!!!!  February people!!!  Only one other city gets to say that!

Yes it's sad that the Steelers lost.  But what a game!!! What a team!!! How awesome is it to say "I'm from Pittsburgh" right now??  I'm over that game. We didn't win - so what. Moving on. We'll get them next year!

I'm going to end this with a video, taken at the bar.  It's pretty poor quality, from a point and shoot digital camera, but you'll get the gist of it.  THIS is why people do things like go to the South Side on Super Bowl Sunday even though we live in the suburban wilderness.  THIS is why we dress up in black and gold and this is why people drive all the way from Baltimore to be in Pittsburgh for this game.  To be a part of something big.  Bigger than ourselves.  To hug people we don't even know and not care in the least, because we all want to the same thing. To experience to gamut of emotions from extreme excitement - shown here - to extreme sadness and loss.  That's what sports teams can do to us, and I think it's an amazing thing.

Thanks, Steelers.


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