Thursday, February 02, 2006

Why do I care so much about this team?

I just realized that I'm going to be a complete mess by the kickoff of Super Bowl XL on Sunday. I'm so excited already, I may not even be able to watch the game. Part of me wishes that I could just wake up on Monday morning and know the outcome, just so I can get past my own anxiety. This party ought to be interesting.

I've waited ten years to see my team back in the Super Bowl. It's been 26 years since they last won a championship, so long ago that I barely remember it and certainly didn't appreciate it at the time. I know that it's just a game, that whether Pittsburgh wins or loses my life won't change on Monday morning. I'll be the same person I am now because the team isn't playing this game for me. But it doesn't matter. When I see the Steelers black and gold, whether it's on a player's uniform, a fan's jacket, or a team tchotchke at home, it stirs a feeling inside me. It's a kind of love, irrational, intoxicating, and exhilarating. I was raised a Steelers fan, and my love for the team stuck with me throughout my childhood and into adulthood, even in the lean years when the team was awful. I know that I'm cheering for a uniform and a color scheme, not for players or coaches. I know that it's absurd to care this much about a bunch of millionaires playing a game. It doesn't matter. The Pittsburgh Steelers are MY team. They have always been my team, and they will always be my team. Even if they lose 10 games a year for the next 20 years, I will always love this team. Women, friends, jobs: they all come and go, but the Steelers will always be my team.

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