Let’s take a trip back in time, about 28 – 29 years-ish. I’m an elementary aged kid, watching football around the holidays with my brothers and an uncle or two. We’re watching our favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, and it looks like they’re going to be playing the Steelers in the Super Bowl. It would have been a major transgression to cheer for any team other than Dallas. They were the family team. Fast forward a couple of years. Now I’m in junior high, and Dallas is going to play Denver in the Super Bowl. My school is overrun with people rooting for Denver and the “Orange Crush”. Meanwhile, off by myself, I quietly cheer for Dallas, because to do so out loud was to risk the wrath and ridicule of my peers, but I won’t disappoint my family, either. I also quietly gloated the Monday following the Super Bowl after Dallas beat Denver. I don’t remember the score, but I remember having this mysterious yet happy grin on my face. I would never have dreamed, at that time, of rooting for the Broncos or, even worse, the Steelers. I would NOT dishonor the family.
Now, fast forward back to the present. Time changes things, and so does participation in a fantasy football league. Once the fantasy season was over, I could back any team I wanted, but I found myself cheering for teams on which I had fantasy players. I rooted for the ill-fated Packers, then rooted against the Vikings. And I found myself rooting for the Steelers. Yes, the Steelers, probably much to the chagrin of my brothers. But I was counting on Big Ben Roethlisberger; he was my primary quarterback for the last half of the fantasy season, and he rarely let me down. I was pleased when they beat the Jets, especially since I was rooting for San Diego in the wild card game (Nate Kaeding was my fantasy league kicker – poor schmoe). But I digress. On Sunday I was rooting for the Eagles and the Steelers. I wanted the Steelers and Big Ben to win, and I wanted the Eagles to win because I thought it would be neat to have an all Pennsylvania Super Bowl. You know, kinda like the I-70 World Series (Saint Louis Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals).
Well, I only got half my wish. I got the Eagles, but not the Steelers, because the Patriots shut down the Steelers running game and Big Ben’s rookie side really showed. He has potential, that kid, but Tom Brady had the experience so its the Patriots vs. the Eagles in the Super Bowl. I am NOT cheering for the Patriots. They already have a couple Vince Lombardi trophies and they don’t need another one. So go Eagles! Find a way to sack Brady, and the game is yours.
Too Tall Jones, where are you when I need you?