Thursday, September 13, 2007

Steelers: Super Bowl XXXIV AND XL Champions?

Eric brought this up earlier in the week, but as the story gains steam, I am compelled to comment. The Patriots, as I'm sure everyone is aware of now, are accused of stealing the Jets' hand signals during their game last week. If this is true, it may not have benefited them during that game (which they wound up winning by a convincing margin), but would help them immensely for their second match up this season. In fact, last year the Pats lost to the Jets at Foxboro during the regular season. In the rematch during the playoffs, they crushed them. At the time, it was because of Brady and Belichick's playoff mastery, but maybe it was because they had knowledge they weren't supposed to? Then I remembered something that absolutely infuriated me when I thought of it:

October 31, 2004: Steelers 34, Patriots 20
January 23, 2005: Patriots 41, Steelers 27

The first matchup was when the Steelers broke the Pats record winning streak. The score was closer than the actual game was. The second was the AFC Championship Game that year. The score was closer than the actual game was. Hines Ward has already been quoted as saying that something was fishy with the Patriots that day, that they seemed to know the Steelers' moves one step ahead of time.'s a lot of second guessing at this point, but if it turns out the Pats weren't playing by the rules, what would have happened in the playoff game if they were? That's something we'll never know, but we do know that if the Steelers would have won that game, McNabb would have been vomiting well before the 4th quarter in the Super Bowl and there would currently be a debate on who the team of the decade is.

So here's my advice for Mike Tomlin: we play the Patriots 12/9 in their place. If, when the time comes, it seems that we have a playoff berth secure, I suggest this: dog the game. Treat it like a preseason game, have the most basic offensive and defensive signals you can possibly have. If we get crushed, so what? We got crushed in Indy two seasons ago and managed to turn that around in the playoffs. Whatever you do, don't let the Pats get the same advantage they had three years ago in the playoffs against us. Save your best effort for the potential playoff rematch.

And Commissioner Goodell: If the investigation reveals that the Pats were doing dishonest things for a long period of time, come down on them. Come down on them hard. As fans, we care about this more than we care about Pacman Jones makin it rain, or even about Michael Vick's dogfighting. Those things are negative conduct off the field, these things are negative conduct on the field, that can affect who the league crowns as champions. So come down on Belichick, Crennell, whoever was guilty of this garbage, just as hard as you did on Pacman and Vick.

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