As a Fantasy geek and a Fantasy Football nerd, I see a lot of parallels…
When I saw Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, I always thought that Gimli’s ability to be tossed would revolutionise the 3-4 linebacker blitz. Just imagine… a tiny dude leaping over an O-line and crashing into Drew Brees. Plus that bitchin’ playoff beard would be the next Head and Shoulders ad next to Polomalu and OBJ.
Look at that Jump!
However, like most people who own a TV, I have become grossly obsessed with Game Of Thrones. I see the whole league as a collection of the great houses of Westeros, and this year, the Pats and their Lannister-ways are about to get a tasty dose of Stark Steelers revenge. Because it always snows in Pittsburgh, and come playoff time…
WINTER IS COMING!
Sure, the New England Patriots have been the dominant faction in the AFC since Brady-Belichick decided to sell their souls to the devil. Even at 40, Tom Brady is whipping perfect spirals into the hands of any (and I mean ANY) wide receiver with half a brain (Chris Hogan, I’m lookin’ at you). And while the Brady-Hulkamania combo demolished the Steelers like the Starks at the Red Wedding, this year things are a little different.
1. The Steelers just lost Dan Rooney.
- As far as NFL owners go, there are trash like Jerry Jones (how dare you fire Tom Landry AND Jimmy Johnson) there are decent owners who try like Shahid Khan (some day you’ll get your due) and there are the legendary ones who really push for glory and do the right thing.That’s where Dan Rooney sits. The man was just about one of the greatest fans, millionaires, and people to such a historic franchise. He would always shake the hands of everyone in that room no matter if they won or lost, he held onto coaches and gave them every chance to make a change, and he has ushered in victory after glorious victory by letting the team do its thing. After Dan’s passing, everyone in that organization mourned. Hell, I mourned. I mourned his loss like Robett Glover mourned the loss of Ned Stark. And yet, from the death of a hero, comes the inspiration. When Superman ‘died’ the people of Metropolis were emboldened by his legacy, and this years crop of young studs are going to do just that: win the seventh championship for good ol Dan. Hell, I bet Ike Taylor and Polamalu would put their pads on just to help us win one for Mr. Rooney… but y’know… I hope they don’t.
2. The Steel Curtain Becomes Tampa 2.
- The defense has pretty much been in total disarray since the last superbowl win. When Tim freaking Tebow gutted Polamalu with that touchdown so many years ago, it was the beginning of the end for the Steel Curtain. And just as well, because Mike Tomlin was supposed to be a defensive coach. While coach Cowher turned the Steelers into a rough-hitting hulk-smash defense, Mike Tomlin kind of just let Dick Lebeau do his thing. Then Dick left, that DICK! But since then, Coach Tomlin has been doing more than shaking pom poms (Terry Bradshaw…) he has been retooling the offense and defense. While our offense is among the best in the league, it is our defense that will get the focus this year.We have a linebacker in Shazier that can move like Urlacher did (with the swift moves of the first sword of braavos!). We have a defensive stalwart in James Harrison that can literally move mountains (ps he’s our Gregor Clegane). And of course, we have a new secondary that is about to move from league’s surprising under-the-radar defense, to a full on defense of champions. Tampa 2 is what made Tomlin a Defensive coach, and now its time for his system to get its due. I kind of see them like the Night’s Watch. They all were a bunch of losers until… 😀
3. Leveon Bell Is Gonna Get His.
- Not getting paid your due puts a chip on your shoulder. Being a life-long fan and not getting your due will put a life-long chip on your shoulder. I’m gonna say it now, and I’m gonna say it forever: Leveon Bell is the best running back in the league. And its not JUST because he catches better than almost all of the receivers in the league (I’m lookin’ at you Alshon Jeffrey). He has brought in a new technique of patient running (which sometimes is… not so good) and he is the best. Now that he’s more determined to prove his worth, he will easily run for 2,200 yards scrimmage…provided he stays healthy. But if he’s healthy nobody is faster, stronger, SMARTER, or more versatile than our elegant running back. Sir Le’veon Bell, the TRUE King In The AFC North!
4. Big Ben Wants To Go Out As a Hero
- Despite winning two super bowls, Big Ben has never won the Super Bowl MVP, and despite my many Madden campaigns where I went 16-0 and threw oh-s0-many long bombs to Martavis Bryant, video games doth not become reality. But it doesn’t mean our dear Ben Rapelistberger (sigh) won’t want to go out like a champ. When the bus went out like a champ, the whole word shed a sweet tear for the great one. The same is true for Big Ben. Despite all of his many, many, many, many, many, many, many faults (because let’s face facts, we’d be bigger champs with Drew Brees). The towering Ben is the greatest big-play guy next to Tom Brady. And despite his faults (the many many many faults), he is also known for this little gem:
- And I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty much like when Theon saved Sansa from that dog-girl that liked Ramsay. (Yes, that’s pretty much what I think of Big Ben, he’s the Theon of the NFL). Still, when he’s on his game, nobody can harpoon a defense better (except, Brady, A-Rod, maybe Drew Brees). But when he does, he’s a top five QB, and he has the number one RB and the Number ONE WR…
which brings me to…
5. Antonio Motha-$#@*’in Brown + Martavis Motha -#$@#’in Bryant
- Because I challenge you to name anyone in the league that is better than Antonio Brown. And if you say, Julio Jones, you’re wrong. Because AB does it all without the athleticism. He is PURE SKILL. Plus he dances so good. Plus this year he has Martavis Bryant, and the killer B’s just got a bit more.. B…ly..(i’m sorry.) But what does this really mean? It means that Martavis Bryant will be dragging defenders, it means Antonio will be splitting less double-triple-coverages, and it means that they’re both going to wreak havoc on the league’s best secondaries. Who can stop us? The No Fly Zone? Uh, news flash, we have a top 5 o-line, and the best receiving duo in the league.
And this is what we’re going to do to the many secondaries in the AFC
BECAUSE WE PLAY FOR KEEPS!
Yes, this was a highly biased article, but for these basic five reasons, I believe the Steelers will be victorious this season.
The Colts had their day, so did the Broncos… but they’re like the Tyrells and the Arryns. They have the power to change things, but they don’t have the power to stay in power. No, this year, regardless of the Broncos reloading, it’s all about Steelers – Patriots, and come the AFC championship, a new champion will be crowned.
Either that or you know, everyone will get injured and the team will implode upon itself.
But one can dream, can’t he? And this year, there are better reasons than ever before to do so.