January 22, 2006

Steelers and Seahawks Move On

Super Bowl XL in Detroit will feature one team that's never made it to the championship game, in the Seattle Seahawks, and another who hasn't claimed the title since polyester pants and disco were all the rage, in the Pittsburgh Steelers. Though the Steelers made it to the Super Bowl in 1995, they walked away on the losing side, and have yet to get back. In today's games, there really wasn't much doubt who was going to win. Pittsburgh entertained a 24-3 lead over the hometown Broncos at halftime on the way to a 34-17 pummeling, while the Seahawks stymied the Carolina offense, allowing only a punt return TD by Steve Smith, and a garbage-time TD reception on their way to a 34-14 pasting of the upstart Panthers.

While the network TV folks might not be happy about Seattle/Pittsburgh, I've had just enough of Tom Brady and the boring Patriots year in and year out. I wouldn't have minded seeing Peyton Manning and the Colts get their shot, but they too had the limelight all through the regular season, while Seattle and Pittsburgh quietly prepared for the playoffs. It should be a good game, one that the odds-makers in Vegas will likely say tilts toward the Steelers, though I'm unconvinced.

As mentioned previously here, my Three And Out squad (we're talking Fantasy Football again) needed Pittsburgh to win to get a near-lock on the team's second trophy in five years. Now, it looks like we're there. At the conclusion of today's games, Three And Out is leading 229 to 207 over the nearest challenger, and has more players available than any other for the Big Game. (Matt Hasselback, Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Special Teams and both Defenses) Though I wasn't excited to see Steve Smith scuttled, he did pull off a masterful punt return for a TD, which in itself was worth 11 of his 13 points scored today. You've got to believe I was excited to see that - and doubly so as my Seattle Defense wasn't on the hook for giving it up. A great football day.