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Old 02-09-2006, 04:36 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Jeff Hartings Journal update

Steelers Excel in Super Bowl XL

It?s still registering that we are the 2006 Super Bowl XL Champs! It?s the year of the Steelers! Yesterday was amazing, as a team we accomplished the number one goal we all set out for before the season starts- it is really gratifying. I am so proud of my teammates and appreciate them so much for their talents and strength on and off the field. We have a great dynamic on this Steelers squad. We are all in it to win it but as much for each other and Coach, as for ourselves. We all have built a strong relationship with one another over this past season. This is an extremely talented team but the sum of raw talent alone does not equal a Super Bowl Champion team. It truly is the dynamic and positive interaction of players working together on that field and behind the scenes that makes a powerhouse team. Max Starks said it best when he said you just have to be the best teammate you can be and walk off and feel good about yourself. We encourage each other. We support each other. We motivate each other.

I am happy for my teammates that rose to the occasion and really shines like Jerome Bettis. Not one guy on this team could I call selfish: not as a player, and not as a person. Because of the team first mentality that Coach really preaches, it will be difficult to select a single MVP on a team full of VP?s. As far as my individual performance in the game I feel like I did well. This season felt good this year. I strive to play up to my full potential, and beyond, and to do what is best for the team: whatever it takes to win. My drive is fueled by my desire to live up to my expectations and my teammates. I never want to be the one to let down the team.

Some of my teammates (like Troy Polamalu and Joey Porter) were named to this year?s Pro-Bowl squad, too. So, still in the wake of the Super Bowl excitement, I?m getting ready to head down to Hawaii for the game. It is a huge honor to get this recognition. I am a very religious guy and I whole-heartedly believe God has offered me a major blessing. As someone who has been in the league for 10 years, I think I did very well this year but there were years I think I have done just as well or better. I thank my team and believe it was the group effort and success that made my personal success more recognized. When I was on Detroit, the team did not do too well and now being on Pittsburgh, it?s a whole different story. The Steelers are so visual around the country; our Superbowl success was icing on the cake of a phenomenal season. I credit this success to God first and foremost but next to the Pitt fans, my fellow offensive lineman, and all my teammates and Coach.

Like I said, God is the most important force in my life. I have a group of friends on the team of some of us Christian guys and we have Bible studies together. On and off the field, we encourage each other and reinforce our faith- personally and spiritually. I no longer feel like the pressures ? external or internal ? are difficult to endure in keeping my faith. Once you have devoted yourself in your entirety, everything seems much clearer and the line between right and wrong is much more well-defined. Whether you are an athlete, a businessman, or a housewife raising a family, you encounter a lot of tough choices and a lot of different voices telling you what to do. You have to look inside yourself for the answers, they are all in there it?s just about finding them and being strong enough to listen when you have. It?s this realization that makes life much easier. Now that I am getting in gear for Pro-Bowl I am looking forward to more time with my family and friends.

It's not just Steeler Football, it's a way of Life! "I'm a Champion"
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