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10-30-2013, 12:34 PM
  #51
Sethis
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Join Date: May 2004
Country: Canada
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Honestly, it happened awhile ago and we're already well on our way to recovering from it. This team has a lot of means for hope, ladies and gentleman. I hit little spots of complacence with my sports teams, but that's only when they're going through the collapse and burn phase when there's no imminent hope in sight.

The second Bosh-less year for the Raptors, I realized there was problems with the team dynamic, with management and with the approach they were taking (ie. throwing **** at the wall in hoping one journeyman would turn things around). I distanced myself from the team, and basketball in general, during the lockout. Now, things are looking better. I turn away for a few years and I like the coach, GM, and identity, and they've loaded up on players I've always loved on other teams (like Kyle Lowry, Rudy Gay and Amir Johnson) and a couple kids that are looking okay (Terrence Ross, Jonas Valanciunas). I'm looking forward to watching them this season.

With my Steelers, I've been following football since 03 and have been absolutely spoiled by them. But bit by bit, that truly legendary team--one with an identity, cohesion, integrity, and legit characters among their stars--has fallen apart, moved on, etc. This year they're crashing. I've put some distance between them and myself for the next season or two, recognizing they have some decent enough young talent and just need some health and a couple home runs. I still have absolute faith in management and coaches, and Polamalu is the one guy that makes every game worth watching if I can stomach the rest of the team. Years down the line, it'll be him, Manning, and Peterson that I talk to my kids about from this era.

For the Oilers, the breaking point was a long time ago. My distance and complacence was at it's height in the 2 or 3 years before the Hall draft. Those were my distance, crash and burn years. And it started getting better when we drafted 4 and I could see a real future forming. We were on a high after the cup run because that team was like one year out of the 10 I've gotten to enjoy the Steelers: identity, talent, cohesion, integrity, and legit characters among their stars (prime era Smytty and Horc, young Hemmer, Stoll and Torres the banger twins, lovable Pisani, Gator my all-time favorite Oiler, crazy saviour Roloson, and of course the rake). But that was one year after 5 wandering following the dismantling of another team that was similarly constructed: the Smyth-Weight-Guerin years were when I was initiated as a fan. Wonderful teams to cheer for.

Now, I've always been most heavily invested in the Oilers out of all my teams and it's not even close. Watching them rise so far so quick, and having hopes that it would sustain the 5 years of Pronger's contract, only to see it devolve into that husk of a team with massive holes hurt. I, like everyone, wanted to burn everything and rebuild proper. We're doing that. So, as much as it hurts, I am enjoying the process. I want it faster, I want better coaching, I want quicker moves, but I'm not watching a team spin it's tires, I'm just watching a team that's really slow in picking up the pieces. MacT has done some good things. We're coming together though and we get to see the kids grow up. And as a 24-year-old, it's cool for me seeing the kids grow up pretty much in step with me. I relate to them. The talent is here, we need to become a team. We need integrity. We need cohesion. We need integrity. And we need the kids to turn into (and have Craig surround them with) legit characters.

The Steelers are like the Spurs or the Red Wings of football, consistently in the top 5 and well run. Art Rooney, their "Mike Illitch," has a wonderful quote about the process that sums up what we need to learn: "Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing." Once this team starts winning, it won't stop. And for the first time in years, I sincerely believe we're on the cusp. Most of our problems are mental. Just sit tight folks, it's a lot closer than you think.

Sorry about writing the essay.

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