Pittsburgh Steelers: Suffering Builds Character


Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With my first post on Nice Pick, Cowher I wanted to reflect on 2013’s miserable season.  Sure the season is a few months behind us now, but I haven’t yet had a chance to express my views in a public forum.  Besides, we are at a point in the offseason where all you see is draft coverage everywhere and it is still almost four weeks away.  There will be plenty of time for draft coverage later.

While I was sitting here watching “The Dark Knight Rises” (a movie which coincidentally features a few Steelers players) and trying to figure out the best way to say what I wanted to say, I was suddenly struck with inspiration.  There is a scene when Miranda Tate is at Wayne Manor, shortly after Bruce Wayne loses all of his money.  He makes a comment about hoping she didn’t like him for his money to which she responds “Suffering builds character.”  This idea isn’t new or unique to this movie, but it struck me as a lesson to learned from last season.

As we all know, there was plenty of suffering to go around in 2013.  (WARNING: Skip this list if you are feint-hearted, weak-stomached, or have a case of Post-Traumatic Stress from the events of the 2013 season.

  • WEEK 1: Losing Maurkice Pouncey, the starting center, and Larry Foote, a leader on defense, in the first game of the season began what would be the team’s first 0-4 start since 1968.
  • WEEK 8: A loss to the Oakland Raiders mostly because of one missed play on defense – a 93 yard run by Terrelle Pryor.
  • WEEK 9: That was followed the next week by a historic beat down by the New England Patriots.
  • WEEK 13: On Thanksgiving, the team lost to the Baltimore Ravens because of a failed two point conversion at the end of the game.
  • WEEK 14: This was followed the next week by a game against the Miami Dolphins, where a miracle finish was denied because Antonio Brown stepped an inch out-of-bounds a few yards before he reached the end zone.
  • WEEK 17:  After two weeks of hanging on to playoff hopes by a thread, our Pittsburgh Steelers were one field goal kick away from making the playoffs, after the Kansas City Chiefs’ backups went to work against the San Diego Chargers.  BUT it was not meant to be. 

Sorry about that, but it was necessary.  These were just a few examples of some of the calamity that went on during the 2013 season.  The Steelers and Steeler Nation endured a lot of suffering last season (and the season before) and the character of this team should be at a level to bring success in the near future.  Sure there are still some roster questions, but every team has questions at this point.  The answers will come during training camp and the preseason. 

The character built by this team because of the suffering endured over the past two seasons makes them a better team and makes us better fans.  This character, along with the additions in free agency and some draft help, will ensure the Pittsburgh Steelers will climb out of the pit like Bruce Wayne and WILL be a playoff team coming out of the 2014 season.