Steelers Thoughts #12 (1/18/16): House Money

broncos

The 2015-16 Pittsburgh Steelers season was one wild ride – silly, sublime, heartbreaking, exhilarating – full of adversity and transcendence, rewards and regrets, devastating injuries and edifying teamwork, on field potential both realized and left dangling, tantalizingly unfulfilled…in other words, a football season. The clock finally struck midnight on Pittsburgh’s fairy tale playoff run at Denver’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High – one of the league’s few truly authentic and historic home field advantages – and the Steelers’ golden coach grudgingly turned back into a pumpkin, though the men remained men and not mice. I think those men left everything out there on the field. They have exceedingly little to hang their heads about today, and reason for real optimism going forward. Continue reading “Steelers Thoughts #12 (1/18/16): House Money”

Steelers Thoughts #11 (11/30/15): Deep Breathing Exercises

benland

So, Thanksgiving happened. My apologies for not sending along official season’s greetings wishes in a more timely, graceful, or obviously heartfelt manner, but real life intervened/interfered, as it does so often. Around these parts, owing in equal measure to outside influences and internal convolution, ideas tend to form and arrive on one of two schedules: preemptive or procrastination. I hope you had the finest and fullest of turkey days and experienced the very blackest of Fridays, that you had sufficient opportunity to bask in the loving glow of your family and/or friends and/or 42” television, and that all participants survived the experience with their limbs, digits, and senses of humor intact. Like most holidays, the extended Thanksgiving stopover requires from me a decent bit of driving to get from central Ohio to east Tennessee and back again. It’s a journey I’ve taken so many times now that it’s practically imprinted in my DNA, and, horror of horrors, the return trip falls, far more often than not, on Sunday afternoon. Nothing has the potential to add figurative hours of teeth-gnashing, blood vessel-popping hilarity to the several actual hours you’ve invested in returning home than listening to Pittsburgh Steeler football in real time, Continue reading “Steelers Thoughts #11 (11/30/15): Deep Breathing Exercises”

Steelers Thoughts #6 (12/1/14): Garbage Time

steely

The various quirks and conventions of this blog have taken root and grown in a highly organic, practically accidental way. Because I was particularly taken with a certain swatch of dialogue and decided, apropos of nothing, to quote it at the beginning of my first ever movie review – for the 2013 Superman reboot Man of Steel – the introductory dialogue capture went on to become a feature of my subsequent reviews. Because I happened to be in a serious, self-reflective and analytical headspace, with no traditional subject matter in mind, when the time came to write the blog’s twenty-fifth post, it became an instant (and self-evident) tradition for each twenty-fifth post to focus on personal matters rather than my normal geek and pop culture ephemera. I knew from the moment that I launched DAE that I would periodically write about the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have been my unquestioned favorite sports team since I first “discovered” them at the age of five. I always figured that I would write whenever the spirit moved me, although in my heartiest moments I still never imagined I could stomach analyzing sixteen games per year, not including playoffs. Continue reading “Steelers Thoughts #6 (12/1/14): Garbage Time”

Steelers Thoughts #5 (10/27/14): Rare Air

ben and ab

Expectations are fickle and fragile things for sports fans. They can serve as both crutch and anchor over the course of a long season. The wise fan monitors facts on the ground closely, considers trends and opposition, and, if needs be, adjusts his or her expectations accordingly. But football fans – indeed, fans of anything worth the investment – are just not overly cerebral creatures, or at least not on Sunday. We are ruled by our hearts, and the high expectations Steelers fans took into training camp 2014 and week 1 have already been both sorely tested and somewhat reconfigured through no real action on our parts. Continue reading “Steelers Thoughts #5 (10/27/14): Rare Air”