Inside Conditions—Let the dead, bury the dead


The Pittsburgh Pirates late GM Syd Thrift said this when asked about the struggling chances of the franchise achieving future success when he took the job, “It ain’t easy resurrecting the dead.”
Recently the Pittsburgh Steelers appeared to be just a step or two from the graveyard but a funny thing happened on the way to the cemetery.  The grave robbers got cheated because when the pallbearers opened up the door of the hearse to remove the body and transport it to the gravesite, the hearse was empty.
There have been, I say there have “been” not “Ben” reports that the dearly departed was spotted over at the North Shore getting blasted on a 1/2 keg of Bud Light. The demise of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2014 has not only been exaggerated, it may have been totally fabricated. The Indianapolis Colts breezed into Heinz Field looking like Arabian stallions but left looking like “Aunt Bessie’s” mule.
The Steelers were a team that had been almost totally out of sync both offensively and defensively for almost half of the season, cringing after suffering hideous losses at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns sometimes appearing as if they were boys against men. The light switch for the Steelers seems to have clicked on at the most opportune time with the Steelers outlasting the Colts last Sunday evening at Heinz Field by the score of 51-34. It was an historic win for Ben Roethlisberger who may have almost singlehandedly rescued the Steelers from the coroner’s office.
Big Ben had this to say.  “We just felt like they couldn’t stop us because we were just clicking. It was one of those nights that players talk about when things feel like they’re going right.” Ben Roethlisberger might not have been a pure hater of other teams’ QBs but the way the Steelers offense had been performing over the past three or four weeks, very few people gave the Steelers even a remote chance of competing with the high kicking Colts.
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin also offered his postgame thoughts. “He won’t admit it but I’m sure it bothered him. You don’t ascend to the position that he is professionally without that competitive fire burning.” Whether the defense of Pittsburgh or Indianapolis were clicking was a moot point because both defenses surrendered 907 combined passing yards, the second most ever, trailing only the 971 yards that the defensive squads of the  Detroit Lions  and the Green Bay Packers gave up on Jan. 1, 2012.
I have witnessed some great games in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers but none may ever top this historic performance. I was there when “fast” Willie Parker ran the Steelers to victory when he scooted 75 yards to clip the wings of the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit Super Bowl XL. I was also able to witness the “Immaculate Reception II” the touchdown catch of Santonio Holmes that pulled the feathers off of the Arizona Cardinals in Tampa to win Super Bowl XLIII.  However, this victory may have breathed new life into the Steelers 2014 season and may have saved the journey of a few other folks that may have been on their way to the gallows.
(Aubrey Bruce may be reached at: abruce@new­pittsburgh­ or 412-583-6741. Follow him on Twitter @ultrascribe.)
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