Re: Steelers enjoying typical disrespect...
Suitanim - Your 2004 AFC North Champs hat (as was the case with my 1994 AFC Central Champs sweatshirt I still have) was for something earned on the field, not awarded by Prisco or Dr. Z; my point was that nobody is wearing a CBS Sportsline NFL 2004 Regular Season #1 Peter Prisco Power Ranking hat.
As someone who has DirecTV for the purpose of getting all regular season Steeler games, I also am not arguing that the regular season does not matter - however, I am fairly confident that at no point while while watching a game this season have you been involved in a conversation concerning how that game will impact the Steelers' position in the espn.com, CBS Sportsline, or CNN.SI power rankings.
With that having been said, take it from someone who lives in Atlanta and watched yet another crash & burn by the Braves in the postseason - the price of success is that winning the division again is nice but at some point not enough. Winning a Super Bowl is the realistic goal of this current team and the reason Jerome Bettis came back, not getting to walk around the locker room in late December wearing AFC North Division Champs hats (such a limited goal is better suited for the Bengals). The regular season games matter because no team gets a bye to the post-season. For this team the most important part of the season will begin in January - if theSteelers do not make the playoffs the 2005 season will be a huge disappointment for the team and its fans.