Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Circle of Life

Consider this quote from Dan Rooney:

"I'm very disappointed . . . Today wasn't good . . . We know we have to take a strong, hard look and keep it open to everything. I don't know if it's chemistry. We were injured, we did get some injuries, things like that. There's no use beefing about officiating or bad breaks . . . We do have to take a hard look."

From this past Sunday? No, this was from December 20, 1998 after the Steelers had lost to Cincinnati, described by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette at the time as "the worst team in the AFC." The more things change, the more they stay the same.

And this item also underscores the cyclical nature of the National Football League. While the Steelers have enjoyed a winning percentage of .688 from 2000-2005 (with only one losing season), in the five season prior to that (1995-1999) their winning percentage was .563, and they had two losing season (1998 and 1999), and never won more than 11 games in any single season.

As difficult as it is to tolerate, if not accept, the NFL lusts after this type of ebb-and-flow amongst its teams; and with all the injuries the Steelers have suffered this season, the integration of young players into key positions, an impending coaching change, and the horribly inconsistent play of some key performers it appears that the Steelers' faithful can expect much more ebb than flow in the immediate future.

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