Archive for January, 2007
I remember very little of the pre-Bill Cowher days. I didn’t start following football in earnest till Chuck Noll’s last year in 1991; seeing the malaise of the team in his final games, thinking on what it must’ve been like in the glory years of the 1970’s before I was born.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve been to at least one Steelers game every year since Cowher took over. I can’t imagine anyone else roaming the Steelers’ sidelines. I can’t imagine not seeing that Jaw jutting out, the fire in Coach’s eyes. As much as Dan Rooney’s silent, steady leadership, Bill Cowher’s tenure taught me the “Steelers Way”, our city’s way – hard work, team work, leadership, intensity, fundamentals with just a little bit of strut thrown in to keep people off balance (after all, it was a WR to WR pass that defined Superbowl XL).
I remember the coaching search after Coach Noll resigned and thinking who was this assistant from Kansas City who could possibly replace the Legend. I thought the trendy candidate, Mike Holmgren of SF at the time, would’ve been a better hire. Fifteen years later, I still marvel at the wisdom of the Rooney’s. Holmgren also won a Superbowl and sooner than Cowher but he could never have shown a 12yr old football neophyte “how we do”.
I hope and pray and trust that the Rooney’s will once again find another Man who embodies “our way”. It surely won’t be easy to hit the jackpot three times in a row (and this guy would like to see Russ Grimm as the next head coach).
You’re probably thinking that I’m over-eulogizing. But you can’t know how it is until you’re one of us, one of the Steelers Nation. I won’t like it one bit if/when Cowher comes back to coaching with a different team. I’ll hate it when he coaches against his hometown team for the first time. But Bill Cowher won’t ever be anything but a Pittsburgh Steeler to me.