Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Big Game

Naturally, I hope that the Pittsburgh Steelers will win this year’s Superbowl.

But today’s game, the AFC Championship against the Baltimore Ravens, is the contest in which I most desperately want them to prevail.

This isn’t simply because the rivalry between Pittsburgh and Baltimore is so intense; nor is it that a case can be made—especially on the basis of records—that the Steelers and the Ravens are the two best teams left playing and that, arguably, the victor in today’s tilt deserves the title of number one in the league even before February’s championship game.

No, a big part of my desire to see my hometown boys prevail has to do with something any football fan—or indeed supporter of any sports team—can recognize: what you want most in the relationship between you and the object of your affection is that the affair last as long as possible. You want your season to go as long as the season. You want to see your guys out there until the bitter (should you lose) or sweet (should you win) end.

So, the thing is, if (that is, when) the Steelers win today, it means I’ll get to enjoy (or at least, experience) watching them one more time, which is all I can really hope for, whether or not they come out on top when all is said and done.

All in all, I think second place (overall, not in the AFC) is underrated. Oh sure, as motivational speakers like to say, “second place is first loser,” but that’s first something, right? I, for one, would gladly take runner-up over also-ran, especially these days when coming in first typically puts one so harshly under the limelight that, more often than not, one’s recreational predilections come a bit too closely under scrutiny.

Of course, in regards to the Steelers, I’m speaking only hypothetically; I have no doubt that not only will they win today, but come February 1st, too.


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