Lots of folks would like that to be literally true, but what I mean by it is that tonight’s 37-36 win over Green Bay was a classic ride on the drama roller coaster. We had a dagger to the enemy’s heart on the very first offensive play that turned out to be a flesh wound (when Green Bay scored soon thereafter), a field goal that narrowly missed, a field goal narrowly made, and a fourth quarter that saw three lead changes. Copious third down plays were made, a surprise onside kickoff seemed to work only to fail, and the game was finally won on the very last play, a near miracle catch in the end zone by the same guy that let a touchdown pass slip through his hands the play before. If that’s not formula fiction, I don’t know what is.
To top it, the game itself was symbolic of a Steeler season in which they came out of the gate roaring to solid victories, solidifying their incumbent Super Bowl winner reputation, only to lose a game they had in hand in the fourth quarter, then another, and another, and another, each time looking as if they’d won, only to lose to an inferior (by the win-loss record) team. It came down to this Green Bay game. Steelers lose, their playoff hopes are gone. They win, the quest goes on. The game itself was a sort of last play heroic on the same order as that winning touchdown catch tonight.
We won’t know if the season is also fiction until the final two weeks play out, but it’s looking kind of promising with the teams that need to lose losing, and the Steelers pulling this last chance out on a last ditch effort. If this is to be solid fiction, they will win in Baltimore and their final game at Miami will come down to the wire. Whether they win or lose that will not matter so much (each would be a different message).
I, for one, am anxious to find out how this book ends. We humans do love a good story.