Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Heart of a Champion

I have always said that the difference between a good team and a championship team is the ability to overcome adversity. When I hear a team complain about a bad call that "cost them the game," and the call occurred with more than 2 minutes left in the game, I think, it's not the call that lost you the game, it's your inability to overcome it. Of course there are situations that occur so late in the game that it's not possible to get beyond it, but in most cases, it is possible.

The ability to say, "Ok, bad call. There's plenty of time left," and go out there and win anyway; that is the difference between good, and great.

So this caused me to reflect on the Steelers/Colts game 2 weeks ago. As a Steelers fan, it got me thinking, "This is a good sign." Look at how the game was up for grabs at the end. The interception that was ruled not an interception, allowed the Colts back in the game.

Then, when it appeared that the Steelers had it all wrapped up, the ball was head-butted from the grip of Jerome Bettis. That was an opportunity for the Colts to deal a death blow, but Rothlisberger was there to save the day. The Colts had some serious momentum, but the Steelers defense held fast, and kept the Colts at a distance.

The worst case scenario at that point was to settle the game in overtime. The Steelers were faced with adversity, and they overcame it. It came down to one last opportunity. Who had the heart, who had the guts, who would show the heart of a champion?

I don't know why the kick went so horribly wrong, but it did. One of the most respected kickers in the league botched the job. But the point isn't, "blame the kicker." The point is, look at what the Steelers overcame. Look at how they held fast, and didn't let late in the game setbacks ruin their chances. They showed the heart of a champion in that game.

I hope to see more of that heart in the Super Bowl.

Go Steelers!

, ,