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@%^$#!$ Steelers, Part II

SteelersA little while back, I wrote a post called @%^$#!$ Steelers, where I complained about the team's less than stellar performance to start off the season, and resigned myself to expecting them to lose every game from then on out. Well, they couldn't just stay horrible. They had to become just good enough to get my hopes up and then dash them.

Two weeks ago, the Steelers playoff chances looked pretty long indeed. It had to be right phase of the moon with all the planets aligned - they had to win out, and multiple teams had to lose each of the last two weeks. Well, it looked like the planets were all coming together, with it all coming down to one game between the Chargers and the Chiefs. If the Chiefs won, the Steelers were going to the playoffs. But alas, it wasn't to be. I suspect it was Pluto that spoiled it all, upset about its recent demotion to 'dwarf' planet. With only a few seconds left in the game, the Chief's kicker missed a 41 yard field goal that would have put them ahead and almost surely won the game. After that, the game went to overtime, and the Chargers came out ahead. To see just how close the field goal attempt was, plus Succop's reaction, take a look at the article, The Pittsburgh Steelers missed the playoffs by *this* much.

Now, if I was bitter, I might complain about the Chargers playing their last game against a bunch of second stringers, instead of the starters like every other team in the NFL, or about the missed penalty on the last play of the game that would have given the Chiefs a second chance at winning the game, or the bizarre non-call on the fumble in overtime that would have given the Chiefs the winning touchdown, or even the spot on that play (okay, maybe I'm a little bitter). But the truth is, if your playoff chances are in the hands of fate in the final week, then you didn't do a good enough job throughout the season. The Steelers had a dismal 0-4 start to the season, and a lot of close games that they should have won if they were a championship caliber team.

On the plus side, going from 0-4 to 8-8 is a decent turnaround. At least they didn't have a losing record. And they finished out the season pretty well - a lot better than their meltdown last year. Maybe next season will be a good one, and they can climb the 'Stairway to Seven'.

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