People wonder why I obsess over smartphones as much as I do. It’s because of days like today. My choices for the day are:
a.) Going to Varsity Ale House to be with my fellow Steelers fans, or
b.) Blogging the conference championship games from home for you people.
It’s the 21st century, and there’s no reason why I should have to choose between these two things, dammit.
Of course, it’s not as bad as the choices Eagles fan may have to make tonight. There’s so much angst in the Illadelph today that if the Atlanta Falcons pull off the upset, Eagles fan may find himself choosing between tearing out what’s left of his hair and jumping into the Schuylkill River. Several Philly commentators quipped that the streets will be littered with bodies if the Eagles lose.
That probably won’t happen. But what will happen?
I was all set to turn my back on the Falcons, because they’re a dome team playing in sub-freezing temperatures, and no dome team has ever gotten to the Super Bowl playing outdoors. The Falcons, however, are the #1 rushing team in the NFL, and they can push T.J. Duckett up the middle 25 to 30 times and get first downs. Michael Vick played well in the cold in Green Bay two years ago, and he won’t have to throw much into that cold whipping wind at Lincoln Financial Field. Instead, he could have himself another 100-yard rushing game. The Eagles, meanwhile, barely have a running game, and Donovan McNabb will force throws into that wind without his number one target on the field.
Conditions favor the Falcons, and so do I. Falcons 21, Eagles 14.
Of course, I’m a bit biased, because I’m a Steelers fan, and as the Governor of Pennsylvania reminds us, you’re either a Steelers fan or an Eagles fan. You cannot be both. That’s just how it is.
So all week, I kept hearing about how Bill Belichek was a genius who owned the best QB in the game and was 13-0 against quarterbacks he faced the second time. I also kept hearing about how all the pressure was on this rookie Ben Roethlisberger to deliver after his disaster against the Jets last weekend, and how Corey Dillon, who did not play in Week 8, would be the big difference in this game. Oh, and New England is a 3-point favorite on the road.
Here’s what these people keep forgetting…
Corey Dillon has only gained more than 100 yards in Pittsburgh only once, and his former head coach in Cincinnati, Dick LeBeau, is putting together the Steelers’ defense, which happens to be the #1 rushing defense in the NFL. Dillon ran for 144 yards against the Colts. These ain’t the Colts.
As for Roethlisberger, who’s apparently going to wear one glove on his non-throwing hand today (insert your Michael Jackson joke here), he doesn’t have to win the game. He can give the ball to either Jerome Bettis or Duce Staley 40 times, and they are more than eager to prove that the Steelers’ 221 rushing yards against the Pats defense was no fluke.
All Roethlisberger has to do is manage the game, sort of like Trent Dilfer in Baltimore 4 years ago. Dilfer won a ring, too, and he didn’t have Big Ben’s talent or receiving corps.
Defense wins championships, and Pittsburgh’s defense is the best in the game. They beat Tom Brady before, and they can beat him again. Steelers 14, Patriots 10.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Now the only thing left to decide is whether to stay in or go out to watch the games. There were 160 accidents in Durham yesterday, mostly because of black ice, and it’s not going to get above freezing today. We don’t handle cold weather here as well as the Steelers and Patriots do…