Sunday, January 20, 2013

Recent articles I've written for Behind the Steel Curtain

As you may or may not know, I'm a regular contributor to the awesome Steelers fan site, Behind the Steel Curtain.

I always have fun writing for that blog, and I actually find myself checking there first for insight and breaking Steelers news (you should check it out).

Periodically, I like to use this blog to update you anonymous readers on my latest articles from the site--truth be told, I'm so far behind in that regard, I should just take a whole day and post something called: "Recent Years I've posted on Behind the Steel Curtain."

Anyway, here are some of my most recent articles from BTSC:

-Let's face it, the 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers were pretty mediocre. And after they were mercifully eliminated from postseason contention, I wrote this article, which was both mediocre and about the team's mediocre campaign.

-If you're like me, you might notice some real obscure nuances when following a sport (probably not), and two truly eerie consistencies during "famous" years in which the Steelers previously missed the postseason--for my money, 1980, 1998, 2006 and 2009 stand out as years when Pittsburgh infamously crapped the bed--were losses to both the Bengals and Raiders. The 2012 season was no exception and now joins those previously mentioned misses.

-Since I've become a more "serious" Steelers blogger in recent years, I tend to suffer from a bit of late season anxiety out of fear of running out of things to write about once the season ends. I can't begin to tell you how easy it is for me to write blogs during the football season. In fact, the closer we get to the finish-line, the more I like to write, and that's especially true if the Steelers are in the race. Unfortunately, when Pittsburgh is eliminated from the playoffs, sometimes, the inmate in my little brain escapes from the insane asylum and I write fake injury reports. Truth be told, I was never more nervous about submitting something than I was when I submitted this post to BTSC editor, Neal Coolong. Thankfully, he didn't express any anger (at least not that I know of), and it actually got a better response than I anticipated.

-The 2012 Steelers may have been mediocre, but they probably could have had a more exciting finish to their season with some better timing. Unfortunately, they seemed about one step off the entire year. When the season was zigging, they were zagging, and vice versa.

-Sports are there to entertain us, and I found Antonio Brown's celebration after his game-winning touchdown catch against the Cleveland Browns in the regular season finale to be highly entertaining--and touching.

-If you're like me, you probably consider it your birth-right to see the Steelers at least make the playoffs each year. When they don't, January in Pittsburgh just seems a lot colder.

-One of Mike Tomlin's most famous Tomlinisms is "Style points don't matter." While that certainly may seem like a nice quote to rally around, when a team plays in as many close games as the Steelers have in recent years, sometimes, that team finds itself out of the playoffs because it couldn't make enough key plays during the course of the season.

-The Steelers released running back Chris Rainey, the team's fifth round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, following his arrest in Florida after a run-in with his girlfriend over a cell phone. Rainey's release came after an underwhelming rookie campaign for the mini-back; a performance typical for most of the 2012 draft class.

-I believe, as fans, we're always paying it forward and paying it back when it comes to the emotional highs and lows of following a sports team on a yearly-basis. The latest example of this was the almost-miracle like 70 yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones in the last minute of the Ravens divisional playoff game in Denver that tied the game and ultimately led to an improbable overtime victory for Baltimore. The last two seasons, the Ravens exited the playoffs in heartbreaking fashion. For them to come back and defeat Peyton Manning and the Broncos had to be both thrilling and soothing to the collective psyche of not only the players, but the entire fan base.

-Speaking of those Ravens, they're part of a quartet of playoff teams that are hard for most true Steelers fans to root for. The Falcons are the only team left that Steeler Nation can even remotely stand, and that's by default, more than anything. One of the more enjoyable things I've written in a while.

That's it for now. Hopefully, I'll get you further caught up on all things Tony/BTSC.

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