I can’t speak for every Pittsburgh Steelers fan, but there’s still football being played in the NFL on this late day in January. Even though my Pittsburgh team didn’t advance in the 2022-23’s post-NFL season, I’m still interested.
As I sit at home, eager for this day’s competition on the gridiron, I don’t have a horse in this race. I remain captivated by this sport, however.
First up today, 1/29/2023 is the NFC Championship game between the 49ers and the Eagles. Philadelphia will host San Francisco with a 3 p.m. E.S.T. kickoff.
Later today at 6:30 p.m. E.S.T., the Chiefs will host the Bengals in the A.F.C. Championship game. Cincinnati has defeated Kansas City in the last three matchups between these teams.
I’m not an analyst, so I won’t break down any stats or make predictions of how this fine Sunday will end for any of these teams. Later this evening, we’ll all know the teams that’ll meet in Super Bowl LVII on February 12, 2023, in Glendale, AZ.
What I will say is it’s a great day to watch football. These four teams have earned their spots as the NFC and AFC’s best teams this year.
Enjoy, my fellow NFL football fans!
R.H.W. Dorsey is a multi-genre writer and Steelers fan.
Why thank a team that didn’t make the playoffs, you might ask? The struggles and small triumphs this season gives fans like myself hope for the next season of play for my Pittsburgh Steelers.
By mid-season this year, the Steelers had 2 wins and 6 losses on their record. On the team’s Bye in week 9, I heard whispers of gloom and doom via predictions of an ending fictional 5-12 record or worse. The fact that the Steelers’ season ended with 9 wins and 8 losses can’t be overlooked, considering the first half of the season was dismal. The 7-2 run to end the season can be called impressive, given the performance in the weeks before the Bye. Towards the last games of the regular season, the Pittsburgh Steelers had rallied with more wins than losses. What wasn’t so great was the fact of needing help from other teams to advance into the NFL playoffs. I can only speak as a fan of the team to say it’s not a good feeling to find your team in that situation. So, in the final week (18) of regular play, my Steelers hosted our division rival Cleveland Browns. The task was to win the game and hope the game being played concurrently by the Jets and the Dolphins would end up in a Jets win. The Steelers were still “in the hunt” for a Wildcard playoff spot at the beginning of the game, where they hosted Cleveland at Pittsburgh’s Acrisure Stadium. It was great to see the Steelers win the game against the Browns. Sadly, it’s now history that the Jets lost to the Dolphins 6-11. The Dolphins’ win dashed any hopes for an advance to the post-season by Pittsburgh. This scenario may sound familiar to those paying attention because it’s happened in past seasons involving my Steelers’ team. But let me say that the fact that this Pittsburgh team rallied the way they did is something to mention. It’s too little and too late, but now it’s time to move on to the future.
In my opinion, what most will call a disappointing season (and it was for diehards like myself that feel the Steelers should always be in the playoffs), is actually an opportunity. The opportunity comes in looking forward to a better season in 2023-2024. Hope is a beautiful thing.
This Steelers team has lots of young talent and seasoned veteran players to help with the rebuild for the next season. The head coach’s lead remains consistent, in my opinion. The consistency is referenced by the cohesiveness of the team by the end of the season. I can’t fail to note how the offensive line came together nicely in those last weeks of the season. It was exciting to watch.
The coming weeks and months will tell the story of how the team will look going forward into next season. There are free agency opportunities, as well as restructuring that will be done. Win or lose, the Steelers shouldn’t be counted out until it’s time to count them out. So, thank you, Pittsburgh Steelers, for showing your drive and heart in playing this game.
R.H.W. Dorsey is a multi-genre writer and Steelers fan.
The past week in NFL play has been unprecedented. The on-field collapse of Bills’ Safety, Damar Hamlin, last Monday night (1/2/2023) made most spectators both attending and watching the broadcast hold their breath. The Bills were playing the Bengals at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. The sudden fall to the ground occurred after Damar stood up from making a tackle on an opposing player. CPR was initially administered by athletic trainer Denny Kellington on the field as reported while fans watched the game. It was reported later that Damar wasn’t breathing and had a heart attack on the field of play. The life-saving measures done by the personnel on the field that night were phenomenal. It’s said Damar Hamlin’s heart stopped twice before he was transported by ambulance to the hospital. Still, the days that followed had his loved ones, teammates, the NFL, fans, and many around the country praying and hoping for a positive outcome for Damar. Reports of the former Pitt University player having a subsequent heart attack in the hospital were concerning to everyone in the days that followed his collapse. The University of Cincinnati Medical Center staff is being praised for the excellent care given to the young athlete with roots in this blogger’s hometown. As I write this piece, Damar is said to be speaking, posting on social media, and communicating well. I’d imagine there wasn’t a dry eye at the team meeting when Damar appeared over FaceTime on January 6th. The Buffalo Bills organization reported Damar was able to speak to his teammates and coaches that day. The game between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots today, 1/8/23, was dedicated to the Damar. With the win by the Bills over the Patriots, the New England team is eliminated from the playoffs. The win gives the Bills the number 2 seed in the AFC. The game from 1/2/23 between the Bills and the Bengals has now been canceled by the NFL with no changes to week 18.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the decision to suspend the game the night of the incident when Damar collapsed on the field. Personally, as I watched the live broadcast, I had an issue that night. I don’t know why it took a little of an hour after the collapse of Damar and the pause of the game for the decision to be made to end the game. I understand the need to call the League office, and/or other higher-ups. However, it seems things could’ve been handled timelier. I have no doubt that rules and protocol either have been made since the incident or will be drafted – should a situation like this ever occur again (hopefully not).
It was amazing to see how the entire NFL community and its fans came together to root for the recovery of Damar Hamlin. The Bills’ Safety’s charity that benefits kids in his former Pittsburgh neighborhood has received millions in donations since Damar’s injury.
Good Luck with your recovery, Damar Hamlin. You’ve got a lot of people pulling for you.
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