D-Day was three weeks ago for all the Steelers fans such as myself across the nation as they found out that their Golden child, Big Ben Roesthlisberger was suspended for 4 games, and will undoubtedly create a major obstacle for a team that has just won the Superbowl less than 2 years ago.
Big Ben’s suspension will place a major strain on my team to try and build on a mediocre and odd season last year in which it seemed like we lost to every sorry team in the league (Oakland, Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City, and almost loss to Detroit) but beat the good teams (Baltimore, Tennessee, San Diego, Green Bay, Minnesota). True Pittsburgh fans know that what happened last year wasn’t a fluke. It was the Pittsburgh curse and with it, no matter the team, the players, or the coaches, the Steelers always lose to lesser competition after successful seasons. This curse has gone through several Steelers administrations, from the Legendary Chuck Knoll (who had sub par after sub par season following his Superbowl runs in the late 70’s) to Bill Cowher (who took the Steelers to what seems like 20 AFC Championship games and only 2 Superbowls, in which he won one. And now Mike Tomlin is experiencing his first little taste of the curse with a very disappointing season in which many people including myself thought the Steelers had a legitimate shot of repeating.
Last year’s curse may also be Madden related as Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzgerald were both featured on last year’s game. And we all know what happened with Troy. He went down in the first game and was never the same for the rest of the season. Larry escaped this particular curse and went on to have another Pro Bowl season. Maybe Fitz can attribute his escaping of the Madden curse to it catching Troy first. Maybe the Madden curse is similar to death in Final Destination and since the Madden curse was only accustomed and used to dealing with one cover athlete (Madden 2010 was the first game in the series to feature two cover athletes), and since it caught Troy in Week 1, the curse couldn’t make any room to catch Fitz…or maybe I’m reading too much into it.
Anyway, the Steelers curse (anytime you lose to the woeful Raiders, it’ a curse), is the reason for why the Steelers has only 6 superbowl championships instead of 10. And even though I know the Steelers needs Big Ben to help right the ship and shake the curse for this upcoming season, I actually don’t feel sad that our best QB won’t be playing for at least 4, possibly 6 games. I’m actually a little overjoyed that the Steelers and the NFL proved me wrong and actually sat Ben, one of the NFL’s golden children, and made it a point that character should account for something even if he wasn’t convicted of a crime. Isn’t that what the great Dr. Martin Luther King wanted? Didn’t he not dream that one day that we could live in a nation that “judges people on the content of their character and not by the color of their skin?”
This situation with Big Ben could have easily turned into a race issue. Many people already consider the reason that Big Ben didn’t get that “Kobe Bryant treatment” was because he wasn’t Black. Then throw in and compare the treatment Mike Vick and Pacman Jones received and you see the point. The racial tension was then heightened when the Steelers shipped Santonio Holmes to the Jets for a bag of peanuts. The NFL had no other choice but to sit Ben or they could’ve been dealing with a discrimination case that would have been more than justified. I just hope that the NFL sat Ben for all the right reasons and not because they were scared of a potential lawsuit and from all the backlash that would’ve came with it.
My Steelers may be “cursed” but one thing for sure is that Big Ben isn’t. And he’s not the victim here. The fans of Pittsburgh are.