I would be remiss if I didn’t at least acknowledge that the Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC Championship game last night. By the time Superbowl Sunday rolls around I know my wife will be thrilled but last night the primary sensation was one of relief. When the Steelers ran up the score early there was still too much football left to play for things to feel foregone, and then the Steelers offense kind of stopped and the Jets started a run of unanswered scores and the game got a little crazy and anxiety-inducing. So much so that it was kind of unbelievable that the game ended the way that it did. I can’t remember the last major playoff game that essentially was decided not with a game-winning touchdown or field goal, nor with a drive-ending interception or fumble, but with a first-down conversion on 3rd and 6. My wife and I had been debating the merits of Rex Ryan’s clock management strategy, utilizing the Jets’ timeouts while the Steelers had the ball and before the two-minute warning, and then the next thing we knew the Steelers had a fresh set of downs with under two minutes on the clock and the Jets had no timeouts and three kneeldowns later it was over. A strangely low-key finish to an otherwise nervewracking contest, but the end result, the one that allowed my wife's blood pressure to return to normal, was the one we both ultimately wanted. (Even though, hailing from the greater NYC area, I have a lot of family who are diehard Jets fans, I was nevertheless 100% in my wife’s post-season corner.)
Also the single-digit ambient temperature on Heinz Field and the subzero wind chill meant that Ed Hochuli was layered up and we didn’t get to see his guns, which was disappointing. But! Steelers vs. Packers in two weeks should be pretty epic.