Notebook: Are Steelers disrespected again?

PITTSBURGH – They love being underdogs and they love to prove the world wrong.

But the Pittsburgh Steelers are favored to win the Super Bowl by four points over the Seattle Seahawks. How will they play the "disrespect card" this time?

"I think people have misconstrued that," said Ben Roethlisberger. "I don't think we've been playing the underdog card. We've been playing the us-against-the-world card. I don't care if you're a favorite or not, you can still play that card. I think it's us. We believe in ourselves and we believe that nobody believes in us except us. That's the approach we're going to continue to take because that's all we need is each other."

"We never played the disrespect angle," said Jerome Bettis. "We knew what it was. It wasn't disrespect. It was us being the sixth seed, so it wasn't disrespect. No one believed we could do it but us. We didn't feel disrespected, we just knew we were a better football team than people portrayed us to be."

Joey Porter was asked the same question, but the reporter framed the question by calling the Steelers the new "America's Team."

"We don't believe we're America's favorite team," Porter said. "Now we are? Now you're going to tell us we are after y'all wrote us off for dead? So why should we believe you now? You've been saying we were dead a long time ago. … So you can't say that you're with us now when you wrote us off for dead."

Porter looked around at the group of reporters at his locker and began pointing fingers at various local writers.

"I still got all the articles when YOU said it; articles when YOU talked about it; articles when YOU talked about it. I've got all the articles, so there's no way I can believe you now that you're truly with us."


Arnold Harrison hasn't been on a pro roster, but that will change for the Super Bowl.

The rookie linebacker from Georgia was promoted from the practice squad to the Steelers' active roster Monday. He was told about it by his mother.

"It was leaked out through a newspaper on Sunday that I was going to be activated some time that day," Harrison said. "My newspaper and the radio stations back home (Augusta) started airing it before it even happened. My mother called me Monday morning about seven o'clock saying, ‘Why didn't you tell me that you'd be activated?' I said to be honest, mom, I didn't know anything about it.

"She was angry at me because I hadn't told her, and I said mother I don't know anything about it. But I came in and they signed me and I told her it was true."

Harrison believes that since he's replacing an injured special-teamer, linebacker Andre Frazier, he could be active on game day.

"Man, it's amazing," Harrison said. "But that's what you work for. No matter what, just stay ready. I'm a prime example."


Porter distributed all of his allotted 15 tickets on Tuesday. "So I'm Super Bowl panic free," he said. "I got all my troubles out of the way. I've got one more media day, Tuesday, and then y'all can't pull on me no more and I'll be ready to focus on football. After that, it's going to cost money. If y'all want to talk to me, it's going to cost you."

Porter won't talk at all?

"No, I'll be done. I'll be focused. I have Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to finish sharpening up my skills and get ready for the biggest game of my life. So I can't be taking those interviews unless the money's right."


Not only is Bettis going home to play the Super Bowl to cap off his career, he'll be playing it Feb. 5, which is …

"I know. The 36th day of the year," Bettis said in finishing a reporter's statement.

Bettis, of course, wears No. 36. It seems to all be adding up for him.

"Yeah, but I thought it all added up when Super Bowl 36 was at our doorstep," he said. "It was the AFC championship and it was in New Orleans, Super Bowl 36. It didn't happen. Sometimes it doesn't add up, so I'm not buying into that."

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