The Pittsburgh Steelers reached the Super Bowl for the third time in six years as they battled it out with the Green Bay Packers for the famous 45th Vince Lombardi Trophy last Sunday in a wintry Dallas, Texas.

I have witnessed first-hand the crazy scenes which ensued after the Steelers brought home the trophy to the Steel City in 2008, beating the Arizona Cardinals in a last ditch affair. Two years ago there were smashed windows, flipped cars, people up trees lighting fireworks, sofa’s being burned and over 250,000 thousand members of the self-proclaimed “Steeler nation” congregating downtown. Much of the same was expected this time, with riot police being deployed close to my home, this year the city took no chances with four times as many officers as last time out. The Steelers travelled to Dallas expecting to carry the trophy back once again for a record breaking seventh time.

But as the night unfolded it was clear for all to see a seventh sparkling Super Bowl would not adorn their ever growing trophy cabinet at Heinz Field.

The Steelers offense imploded in the first half as Quarterback “Big” Ben Roethlisberger threw two interceptions which the Packers capitalized on, the half time score was 21-10 in Green Bay’s favour.

The Black and Yellow Steelers rallied and produced two touchdowns in the second half to leave the game balanced on a knife edge. Screams of desperation could be heard throughout the deserted streets of Pittsburgh as fans gazed at television sets anxiously from their homes and the bars.

The house I watched the game in was as quiet as you will ever hear it as the pigskin flew through the air. People watched under bated breath and covered their eyes at every tense moment. Yet the pivotal play of the game came as Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall fumbled the ball with four minutes to go and the Packers did the rest.

Demolishing the hopes of a whole city in the process.

Steelers fans were philosophical afterwards, saying that it “was nice to let someone else win the trophy for a change!” The Steelers are still the most successful NFL team in History, having won six Super Bowl trophies. Yet try putting on a positive spin to the millions of fans in Pittsburgh on Monday morning, the day after the Super Bowl. It was a damp, dreary occasion. Light drizzle and black skies overhead matched the mood of those below.

Vince Lombardi, whom the Super Bowl trophy is named after was one of the greatest NFL coaches of all time. He led the Green Bay Packers to two Super Bowl’s and turned them into a much loved franchise across the world. Perhaps the last word should be left for him in his blunt and determined manner. “Winning isn’t everything…..it’s the only thing.”

People in Pittsburgh understood this more than most the day after Superbowl Sunday.

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