While the Pittsburgh Steelers exploded from the first snap in the game, the Oakland Raiders gave their best effort throughout trying to keep up. Ben Roethlisberger shined as the seasoned quarterback he is, connecting with over 10 receivers again and throwing four touchdown passes, two of which went to the more than capable hands of tight-end, Heath Miller.
LaMarr Woodley completed his 50th career sack and Miller joined only three other Steelers; Hines Ward, Louis Lipps and John Stallworth, to have at least 350 receptions. With the records stacking up and momentum in full-force the Steelers led 17-14 at the half. But they came back from the locker room a bit too cocky to maintain the upper-hand in the second half and the Steel Curtain was looking a little weak without Troy Polamalu and James Harrison for the second game in a row. Sadly, the Steelers lost to one of their biggest rivals, the Oakland Raiders, 34-31, in a down to the last second nail-biter kind of game.
Especially after such a powerful first half, I did not think that my actions would come to this. You know what I’m talking about if you have a strong alliance with any team. The superstitions. Those little ticks that some fans just do not understand and others swear by. The game defining moments where you must, at all costs, and if necessary, look like a complete fool for your team.
My brother, Eric, who is only a year older than me, had the oddest superstitions when we were growing up. When we watched the games in our living room, he always laid out a blanket in the middle of the floor that looked like Three Rivers Stadium and whenever the Steelers scored, he would run around it as many times as the amount of points that we were given. No one was allowed to step on said blanket and only Eric could lay out the blanket for each game. And if you’re wondering, yes, this was about the same time that I learned to roll my eyes at silly boys.
Now I’m sure some of you are thinking Eric might be a little bit crazy, trust me I would have once agreed with you, but since then he has toned it down quite a bit and I have realized that crazy superstitions are everywhere. During Sunday night’s match-up I even caught myself playing these mind games. In the same minute that I thought “I need to sit back on the floor they were playing better when I was down there,” I was also telling myself, “You don’t have to do this.” And so the mental dilemma ensued.
Go ahead. You can make fun of me. But I know you were thinking, “I need to stand up, I was not sitting on the couch when Ryan Clark caught that interception! He’ll do it again if I’m standing!” Be honest with yourself, you totally thought that or something similar when the game was tied 31-31 with just a few minutes left on the clock and the Raiders with possession of the ball.
Thankfully; however, Bud Light has made a beautiful commercial clarifying to me, and superstitious fans everywhere: we are not alone.
Now, if only I was sitting about two inches closer to the TV where I started the game, I am sure the Steelers would have pulled out an amazing, unbelievable win in those final seconds. Well, only unbelievable if you’re not the superstitious kind of fan.