Well his pessimism might have been running rampant because of the performances (or lack of) of the Pittsburgh squad during the first four weeks of the 2013 season.
The Steelers had lost to the Titans, Bengals, Bears, and Vikings. They then traveled to Gotham city to face the NYC Jets and barely beat the men from Gotham and their inexperienced quarterback Geno Smith by the score of 19-6. Therefore, there was no reason to whistle Dixie, drink mint juleps or break dance in anticipation of the Steelers 2013 season ending on a positive note.
There were trade rumors in regards to the future of Steelers starting QB Ben Roethlisberger. I have two theories. The first is someone may have prematurely anticipated the demise of the team in 2013 and beyond and may have initiated the gossip to inflate Roethlisberger’s value just in case the team continued on with it’s terrible performances.
My second theory is that the chatter could have started to light a fire under “Big Ben” so that he would up his game and discontinue his sloppy play. Both theories may hold a liter or two of water.
Why? Well, consider this; “week one the Tennessee Titans held on to beat Pittsburgh 16-9 (Pittsburgh lost by only a touchdown) even though Roethlisberger committed a fumble and a pick and the offense could only score 9 points.
I am not going to waste space giving you a review but all I can say is this during the next three Pittsburgh losses Roethlisberger threw 6 interceptions and committed 7 fumbles.
The Steelers were done in all probability because the Pittsburgh offense continued to give the opposing offense, chance after, chance after, chance to score points.
Roethlisberger played, reckless and juvenile, looking more like a first or second year performer at his position.
However he has demonstrated, time after time that when he manages a game and is careful with the football, he has the ability to “just win baby.”
If the Steelers turn their season around it will be because of “Big Ben” and in spite of him.
The law of probability suggests that if not for the “perverted” number of turnovers by him during the first quarter of the season the Steelers had the opportunity to win all of those contests.
Ben Roethlisberger is a Hall-of-Fame quarterback regardless of my opinion or the opinion of anyone else. However, this season will most likely reveal to all of the sports world whether he can enter the “cocoon of selfishness” and exit as a true “monarch of team spirit” navigating and leading “Mike Tomlin’s team” except for a few Bill Cowher leftovers to the hallowed land of Vince Lombardi.
If “Big Ben” leads the “men of steel” to the postseason along with the “Big Nasty D” starting to regain its mettle; well let’s just say that the smoke rising from the camp of Mike Tomlin may not be coming from a peace pipe.
The last out time I sent out my scouts they reported on last evening there were about forty UPS trucks loaded with turkeys, crab cakes and all of the trimmings along with about 6,000 aerosol cans of “whoop-ass” leaving the frozen tundra of “lake scary” in route to B-more scheduled to arrive early in the AM on Thanksgiving Day.
I now hear the barn door being opened and I see the blacksmith making his way over to grease the wheels of the “bandwagon” and the palms of the “midnight scalpers” who have tickets for sale to highest bidder and anyone else who wishes to “get down on it and get their backs and butts off the wall.”
I can almost guarantee you that the folks who sold their Pittsburgh at Baltimore tickets for a significant discount for regarding the game to be played on Thanksgiving night are now crying in their Iron City Beer.
The Pittsburgh “brigade” has never jumped off of the bandwagon of Ben Roethlisberger. They have stuck with him, as they should have through “thick and thin.” However, football is a team sport and fans must taste the bitter, the sweet of “all” the performers and swallow the results.Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412.583.6741