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Tuesday November 29 2022
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This Isn’t Real

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The headline says it all, really – this isn’t real. “This” is another Steelers’ trip to a Super Bowl. The only thing more difficult to get one’s head around is the idea Pittsburgh has a chance to win its seventh championship in a temple built by Jerry Jones.

And that's something that undoubtedly delights Steelers Nation, if not the Steelers’ organization.

Jerry is smart enough to either convince the NFL they should include Super Bowl crowds outside of his stadium as part of an attendance record, or the league has other motives in approving of such a thing. Good for Jerry that he can charge $200 a head for the privilege of fans watching the game on television from that vantage point, but that’s not exactly why he has a $1 billion building. He expected to be inside.

So the irony, delight and possibilities are not lost on Steelers fans. But that may not be the case when it comes to this.

The information associated with the Steelers just getting to the AFC Championship Game was staggering enough. Two title games in three years. Four in the quarterback’s first seven seasons. Five in the last ten. Fifteen tries, the most in the NFL since the merger in 1970.

Now, nine wins in the team’s last 10 postseason games. Folks, this isn’t reality.

Yeah, it’s the reality in Pittsburgh, but not really reality. What’s that stuff about an alternative reality? That’s going on here.

This pilgrimage to championship games has become such a regular event it’s practically become routine. It’s likely to the point where some of you may actually make vacation plans around it. I don’t mean calling off Monday on the Friday before the game. I mean—I bet—there are people who look at the schedule in April and start to calculate vacation time right then and there.

For January.

Assuming any of that is even partially true, it probably means some of you may actually be spoiled by all this. That’s not thrown out there in an accusatory way. In fact, it would seem more likely that human nature would demand that some fans have become spoiled; it would seem to go against human nature if people were not.

Here’s another way to put it: if your kid is 10 years old, this is all he or she knows. Go back to when you were that age. For all the success the Steelers have had, after the 70’s dynasty, you probably could explain to those kids what a different kind of reality is like.

Or this: look around the league and see how many cities would be glad to have these days every generation or so.

Then consider this.

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