In case you haven’t heard, Super Bowl XLVII is a week away and it pits San Francisco, going for their record-tying 6th Lombardi trophy and Baltimore who is going for their second. On a personal level and for many of my fellow Steelers’ brethren, this match-up is a nightmare wrapped in a horror movie.
It’s a catch-22 of epic proportions. Root for the 49ers to beat the hated-Ravens? If they win, they tie the Steelers with six Super Bowl titles. Root for the Ravens and you’ve pretty much turned in your card as a Steelers’ fan. It’s a horrible proposition for all of us, unless you play for the Pittsburgh Steelers where apparently its’ OK to root for your most hated rival.
In the last week, Steelers’ All-Pro centrer Maurkice Pouncey announced that he was rooting for the Ravens to win. In essence going with the ‘represent the AFC’ line of thinking which as a player, I suppose I understand to a certain degree.
This morning on Twitter, Charlie Batch also threw his support behind Baltimore and went so far as to say “he’d like to see Ray Lewis go out the same way Jerome Bettis did.” Ummmmm, what? Let’s get the facts straight Uncle Charlie.
First of all, Jerome Bettis going home to play in Super Bowl XL was a huge story but Bettis didn’t exactly find every camera within a 5-mile radius of him to heap praise on God and tell everyone about it. Most of us knew that it would be the Bus’ last game but in his defense, the media put far more into the story than he did. I know he enjoyed the attention, but he didn’t seek it out like a certain purple-clad number 52.
Secondly, Bettis had never won a Super Bowl let alone get to one. Ray Lewis won the title in his fourth season so he already has a ring. Sure, any professional athlete could only dream of winning the championship in his very final game but there are only so many John Elway stories out there.
The bigger issue in all of this centers around the decisions of both Pouncey and Batch to use social media to announce their line of thinking. Do we as fans take our rivalries too seriously? Of course we do and we need to remember that NFL players do in fact belong to a unique brotherhood where men on both sides of the field may be rivals but also may be friends.
A lot was made about Ryan Clark going over to the Ravens’ locker room after they played earlier this season. Personally, I think it wasn’t as big of a deal as it made out to be but where Clark erred was in his timing and his location. You have to consider the ramifications of such decisions.
The same could be said now for Pouncey and Batch who have really thrown themselves into an unnecessary cauldron of pissed off Steelers’ fans who cannot believe the men they root for are supporting the enemy.
Do we all need to take a step back and breathe a bit here? Your damn right we do. These men are entitled to support whomever they choose. My problem and the problem so many have with their decision, is why make it public? The comments of both men can do no good for anyone in the black ‘n gold.
As one of my very awesome and opinionated twitter followers put this morning, “Do you think any Ravens were cheering for us in any of our recent Super Bowl appearances?”
I think not.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.