...before I wrap up my football blogging (flogging?) for 2005. I spent about half my night at work listening to sports talk and all the talk was about how the refs blew the game for the Seahawks. Please! Can't we let the Steelers enjoy their victory? However, I did like Matt Hasselbeck's comments. He said nothing about the blown calls and vowed that the Seahawks would do everything to bring home the trophy next season. Very classy. But as for everyone else in the sporting world, it was Zebras 21, Seahawks 10.
Now I admit, there were a few bad calls and they all went in Pittsburgh's favor, but none of them were game-changing like the one that overturned Polomalu's interception against the Colts a couple weeks ago. The difference between the Seahawks and the Steelers is that when the Steelers got robbed by the refs they got right back out there and overcame it. Polomalu put his helmet right back on and went back to work while Holmgrem was still fuming about a questionable call all throughout the Seahawks' next drive which probably affected his team's ability to manage the clock thus costing them at least three, if not seven points before halftime that would have made it a much closer game.
The difference between championship teams and runner-ups is that champions find a way to overcome bad calls while runner-ups get overcome by bad calls. Every team is going to have bad calls go against them and for them at some point. Like Alabama says, "That's the way it goes. But don't forget, it goes the other way too." This is another reason why football is such a great metaphor for life. Everybody has had a bad childhood or a tragic event or something that they can dwell on and complain about and use as an excuse for everything. The people who spend their life complaining about it are usually the people who end up living in a trailer park hooked on meth while the people who put their helmet back on and get back on the field are generally the people who find they don't have time to sit around and complain.
The true character of the Steelers was revealed when they overcame the zebras and still managed to beat the Colts while the true character of the Seahawks was revealed when they completely imploded after a couple of calls didn't go their way. If you're a Calvinist you have to smile a little when you see these little parables sneak in to give you just a hint of why God created things like football. Perhaps that's one reason why R.C. Sproul says, "I see the glory of God in football."