It has been a long time since the Pittsburgh Steelers played a football game. Sunday will mark 10 days from that forgetful Thanksgiving night matchup against the Baltimore Ravens where the Mike Tomlin sideline fiasco overshadowed a very entertaining and competitive game that had a myriad of meaning for both football teams. Those 10 days that have passed were filled with nothing more than the same thoughts from the same media outlets.
“What will Tomlin’s punishment be?”
“Did Tomlin intentionally step onto the field to interfere with Jacoby Jones?”
“What is taking the NFL so long to give a punishment in this case?”
“Was Tomlin’s punishment too severe, or not severe enough?”
Those questions were repeated ad nauseum until Steelers fans everywhere were not only renouncing the NFL, but also anyone from Baltimore that kept bringing up the scandal and how it severely impacted their playoff chances, although the Ravens won the game.
All of this has been beaten to death by the media and fans alike, but there is a silver lining to this cloud. This Sunday, the Steelers will finally get the chance to get back to football. When the Miami Dolphins show up at Heinz Field this Sunday, it won’t be about Tomlin’s $100,000 fine, and it won’t be about the potential loss of a draft pick in next year’s draft. No, it will just be about football.
For the Steelers players, fans and the organization, this will be a breath of fresh air. Discussion will sway from fines to field goals and first downs. Talk will be about picks of the interception variety and not about draft picks being revoked from an organization.
NFL teams and coaches have said that a Thursday night game is a very short week and a difficult task to get your team completely prepared for such a meaningful contest on only a few days of rest and preparation. However, almost all alike say that after the Thursday game has passed, it is like an extra bye week with 10 days of rest until their next game.
For the Steelers, I can only imagine that these past 10 days have not been the shortened bye week that they all thought would come after Thanksgiving. A draining week of questions and queries leads to a game on Sunday that couldn’t be more meaningful and important. Plain and Simple, if the Steelers lose on Sunday, their dreams of playoffs will become just that, dreams.
So Steelers fans, this Sunday, sit back and enjoy watching your favorite team do what they do best, play football.
Jeff Hartman covers the Pittsburgh Steelers for RantSports.com and also contributes for the Penguins and Pirates. Follow him on Twitter @BnGBlitz