My reaction to the Steelers' fifth straight loss last night (to the Cleveland fucking Browns) was to finish off a bottle of rum and send texts and e-mails that I would later regret. Sleep did not make me feel much better.
I'm not here to swear off my team or call for anyone's head. The Steelers won the Super Bowl last year and have two championships in the past five years. I've been blessed as a fan. But five-game losing streaks are not something I'm used to seeing from my team. Especially when those losses are to the Chiefs, Raiders, and Browns, all among the worst teams in the league. Now we can include Pittsburgh in that group. Those six wins on the schedule look like flukes now.
I have a plane ticket and a game ticket for next week's game vs. the Packers. I'm going to get up before dawn next Sunday morning (also my birthday) and fly to Pittsburgh to see my team. Two weeks ago it looked like a playoff contender showdown. Now the Steelers are just playing for respect. I'm going to the game with Holly, a Packers fan (though I won't hold that against her). It's the first time I've dated a serious football fan and then had my team play her team. That scenario alone will make the afternoon more interesting. If we don't kill each other during the game we'll have a great time.
It's going to be hard to watch the playoffs without the Steelers. The good thing is that my blood pressure will go down and I won't order my best friend to leave my apartment because he's rooting for the other team. And then there's the long off-season of regret and ruminations. The Steelers won't be down for long. I have faith.
And I have the Penguins.