I am a HUGE football fan. I am so excited that football season has returned … BUT … I really need to work on breathing!
Some of my earliest memories are spending time with my dad on Sunday watching the Pittsburgh Steelers play football. He was born in Punxsutawney (yes, the home of the groundhog) and grew up in Western Pennsylvania. Being a Steelers fan was as normal as breathing. It only made sense that I would be one, too.
He taught me about the game. We talked about the strengths of the defense and offense. We cheered on the Steelers through the heydays of the 70s … the Steel Curtain days. Names like Rocky Bleier, Terry Bradshaw, Swann and Stallworth are embedded in my memory more permanently than most of what I learned in school.
So it was yesterday, I found the game on SiriusXM because I had to take Greg to the airport. There’s something spectacular about listening to the local Pittsburgh announcers call the game with interjections of “great googly-moogly” and “Highsmith is tougher than a woodpecker’s lips” that make it fun and entertaining.
But that game was the ultimate nail-biter! The Bengals tied the game with two seconds on the clock. All they needed was the extra point to win … and the Steelers’ Minkah Fitzpatrick blocked it!!
The Steelers won the overtime coin flip and their lackluster offense took the field. It was the classic (and disappointing) three downs and out. Cincinnati took possession. The exhausted Steeler defense did what it could, but the Bengals got within field goal range. Their kicker missed!
The next Steeler possession moved the chains close enough for veteran Chris Boswell to take a shot at a 3-pointer. He hit the upright! Oh! MY! GOODNESS! The whole overtime period was back and forth in a fight to try and miss again. Fans on both sides were holding their breath. The players were getting feisty with each other … I’m was driving home and struggling to breathe.
With mere seconds on the clock, Steelers kicker Boswell took one final shot … the announcers were practically holding their breath. The kick is up … it’s got height … it’s long enough … IT’S GOOD!! The Steelers win as the clock clicked down to zero.
What a game! What a nail-biter … I can’t take this every week … yet I can’t wait for next week. I’m grateful for football and love the intensity of a really close game.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Cheering for your favorite team is part of the journey!
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