Pittsburgh Steelers and Congressional Date Night

Well, I still haven’t heard from Kirsten Gillibrand, or Steny Hoyer for that matter, about the State of the Union social mixer Tuesday night: “Holding Hands and the State of the Union.” But if invited to attend, at least I’ll have something to chitchat about. The Steelers are heading to the Super Bowl — as usual. Woot.

And I expect that disappoints many of the gasbags in the national lamestream media — most anchored in New York City — who view coach Rex Ryan as the story for his chatter behind the podium. The Steelers, of course, just go about the business of playing championship football on the field. Go figure.

Here’s from Sally Jenkins, writing in WaPo: “2011 AFC championship: Steelers’ play spoke louder than the Jets ever did.”

All of a sudden, there wasn’t much to say. The Pittsburgh Steelers had shut up the New York Jets abruptly and completely. They beat the smack out of them by halftime, and then smothered them, choked them off, and practically did everything but stuff rags down their throats.

All season the Jets had been the noisiest team in the league. But it’s pretty hard to talk when you’re getting blasted off the ball and knocked tumbling backward on to your butt. Which was what happened for much of this AFC championship game at Heinz Field. Let’s put it this way: It was as much of a laugher as a 24-19 score could be. The Steelers led by 24-0 with 1 minute 13 seconds left in the first half, and they still led by two touchdowns at the start of the fourth quarter. Then, when it got close, they beat down a feisty Jets rally led by Mark Sanchez with a goal line stand. The right team is going to the Super Bowl.

“The game is played out on the field, and words can’t make you play any better,” Steelers linebacker James Farrior said.

The Jets were a team of big mouths, playing on big emotions summoned by their roaring Coach Rex Ryan. But they were finally met by something bigger, a great surging team in the Steelers. Everything about the Steelers seemed huge, from their Mountain Man of a quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, to Troy Polamalu’s massive flying wedge of hair, to the way they physically overwhelmed the Jets at every important turning point in the game. When the clock finally ran out the Jets stood on their sideline, sullen and still. Ryan issued a curt, wordless handshake to Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin and trudged into the tunnel, leaving all the big words and emotion behind him on the field, where Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor was sailing around with his arms open, imitating a Jet doing a crash landing.

Maybe there is a lesson here for the congressional pooh-bahs as they attempt to usher in a new era of civility — even symbolically — Tuesday night: actions really do speak louder than words.

So regardless of the rhetoric, we need action to create jobs, strengthen education and reduce what really is a crippling national debt.

Still, if invited to attend and if Kirsten asks me about the Super Bowl during Prez O’s remarks, I’ll jump out of my seat, wave the Terrible Towel and holler: “Go Steelers.”

I expect that would get the loudest ovation of the night.


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