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|01-24-2011, 07:51 AM||#1|
A Son of Martha
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Mesa, Arizona
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Bires: Not pretty, but effective
Bires: Not pretty, but effective
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times
Monday January 24, 2011 12:05 AM
PITTSBURGH — What a sight it was late Sunday night on the North Shore as 66,000 or so fanatical football fans celebrated another landmark moment in Steelers history.
As the NFL set up a stage at midfield for the Lamar Hunt Trophy presentation, the Steelers donned their AFC championship hats and T-shirts. They congratulated each other with joyous bear hugs. A few of them even took a victory lap at Heinz Field and exchanged high-fives with their adoring fans.
“This is what the Steelers do,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said.
Since Roethlisberger became a Steeler, making it to the Super Bowl is what the Steelers have done as well as anyone in the league. After holding off the New York Jets, 24-19 in the AFC Championship Game, the Steelers are going back to the Super Bowl for the third time since they took Roethlisberger with the 11th overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft. During that span, only the Tom Brady Bunch in New England has played in as many Super Bowls.
The Steelers did it the hard way this year, overcoming a ton of adversity. But along the way, they never wavered.
They followed the company line established by coach Mike Tomlin to a tee.
“The standard is the standard,” linebacker James Farrior said of his coach’s favorite saying. “Not only does he say that, he has everybody believing that. We all believe that no matter who’s in the game, the standard is the standard. You still have to play at a high level. That’s what we believe in.”
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In beating and finally shutting up the loud-mouth Jets whose coach predicted a Super Bowl title, the Steelers didn’t always play at a high level.
Roethlisberger, for example, had a lowly 35.5 passer rating. He threw two interceptions. He didn’t throw for any touchdown passes. He only threw for 133 yards. He lost a fumble. Yet, he picked up critical yardage on a few scrambles and ran for a score.
There were unlikely heroes, too.
There was versatile lineman Doug Legursky who filled in for injured center Maurkice Pouncey.
And there was cornerback William Gay, who started in place of Bryant McFadden who’s been bothered by an abdominal problem in recent weeks. It was Gay who scored what proved to be winning touchdown after returning a fumble 19 yards in the second quarter.
“It’s not always pretty,” Roethlisberger said. “But that’s the Pittsburgh Steelers. Some how, we find a way to get the job done.”
By getting done Sunday night, the Steelers earned the right to add to their amazing success story.
Next up are the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV.
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