Tag Archives: Peyton Manning

I Was Wrong. Again.

imageI’m not sure if this is a real article or just a long comment. I do think it explores the complicated relationship I have with professional football. My aim is to I contribute something to the important conversation  started by Momma’s article and commented on by several of our wise writers and regular commenters. 

Rebecca’s Friday article, Knowing” the Steelers – Fan Perceptions and Misconceptions was really a startlingly thought provoking piece. As I read her article and the comments, I immediately knew the issues were important and I wanted to consider and share them here at Going Deep.

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“Knowing” the Steelers—Fan Perceptions and Misconceptions

AP photo, Adam Taylor

Back in 1994 I was talking with a colleague of my husband, a former Brit who taught at a university in Philadelphia and had long before embraced American sports. It was during the O.J. Simpson murder trial, and he made what I thought was a very curious statement. In effect, he said that through watching a player like Simpson, and particularly as he went on to a career as an NFL commentator, he felt as if he knew Simpson. Thus when the news hit the papers, he had a very hard time believing that the O.J. Simpson he “knew” could ever do anything like that.

Simpson was acquitted of the murder charge but is now serving a 33 year sentence, without parole, for numerous felonies stemming from a later incident.

And of course all of the information coming out about Peyton Manning is just the latest incident of someone not fitting comfortably anymore into the neat package he’s created, with his singing commercials, his Saturday Night Live appearances, and hanging out with everyone’s friend, Papa John.

But what actually prompted this article is something quite different. In fact, you might say it is almost the antithesis of “knowing” a player through their public persona.

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How Close Did the Steelers Come to a Championship, Part 2a: Total Offense

Pass interference or just a friendly shove? You decide...

Pass interference or just a friendly shove? You decide…

Since I began this series, former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher gave some validity to the exercise. In today’s Tribune-Review Cowher had this to say:

You have to be careful not to tinker too much some times. Sometimes it is a play here and a play there that doesn’t allow you to move forward. You sit there and go back and overanalyze and make changes that they don’t necessarily need to make. The biggest thing sometimes is to recognize where you are.

I think they are very close [to a championship.] Easily, you can sit there and say if their young running back doesn’t fumble in that game that they could’ve beaten the Denver Broncos. They were a team that nobody really wanted to play. They have a great window of time with a young nucleus. Their quarterback still has many good years ahead of [him.]

Cowher, according to writer Mark Kaboly, warned against tinkering too much, although he said the secondary needed some attention. But it seems clear Cowher thought this year’s Steelers could have very well been the AFC team in this year’s Super Bowl. So with Cowher’s blessing, whether he meant to give it or not, I’m going to continue with my speculations.

In Part 1 I addressed the quarterback position. Not surprisingly, the conclusion was the Steelers were certainly qualified to compete with the Panthers at the quarterback position, based upon how Roethlisberger had played this season. However, you can’t really take these things in a vacuum, so today I’m going to look at how the three offenses under consideration managed against other defenses.

Part of the issue is the relationship between quarterback and receivers (and for that matter, who they had), part is how much of a threat of a running game they had, and part is how proficient the opposing defense was in dealing with that type of offense. Although it is pretty much impossible to say what would happen in any given game, even with powerful computer simulations, there are some things we can look at.

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How Close Were the Steelers to a Championship?

via Broncos Wire

Part 1—Quarterback

In this series I am going to indulge in the sort of pointless speculation we’re all forced into at this time of year if our team doesn’t make it to the final game. I thought it might be interesting to compare the Steelers to the teams who did make it. So this will be a bit of statistics and a bit of narrative/commentary. I’m going to try to avoid too much “Of all the words of tongue or pen, the saddest are ‘It might have been.'”

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