As a football fan who grew up in Western Pennsylvania, I spent most of last week thinking about the Steelers game against the Patriots. Whoever won the game would likely be the AFC’s #1 seed, and the road to the Super Bowl would then go through their home stadium. The stakes were high.
History hasn’t been kind to the Steelers in this match up: the Patriots have won 10 of the last 13 games, including some truly lopsided AFC Championship Games. Tom Brady & Belichick just have the Steelers’ number.
Tonight would be no different, as the Patriots turned up the heat when it mattered, came back from behind in the fourth quarter, and held on through a truly bonkers final minute to win 27-24.
The Steelers had a chance to win the game in the final seconds or, at least, kick a field goal to send it to overtime. Instead, a strange series of plays ended with a fitting interception to prove once again that Pittsburgh is the weaker brother in this rivalry: not quite up to the task of knocking off the champs.
The game kind of crushed me. I actually felt angry and depressed. I was aware that it doesn’t make any sense to get this riled up over a football game played by millionaire athletes, but I genuinely was upset about the outcome. Mostly because I believed they finally were going to beat the Pats, only to be disappointed again.
As I do after every week’s game, I was talking to my best friend about it on the phone. (As guys born in 1980, we’re just old enough to still use phones to speak to other humans.) Midway through my complaint about how we’ll never beat these guys, Mrs. Done by Forty