Lolley: The Steelers' bandwagon will grow

Your Pittsburgh Steelers have become the New York Yankees, Boston Celtics and Montreal Canadiens.

Your Pittsburgh Steelers have become the New York Yankees, Boston Celtics and Montreal Canadiens.

Get used to it. They've become the team that many people love to hate.

That's why we've seen the outcry from many of the national media types in regards to some of the officials' calls in the Super Bowl.

Success breeds contempt and the Steelers are the most successful team in the Super Bowl era.

I'm not going to go through each of the calls the talking heads and supposed NFL national reporters are talking and writing about. It's silly and I don't want to waste your time.

Just know that there's going to be a whole generation of new Steelers fans - some of them bandwagon jumpers. Don't belittle or berate them. Embrace them as your new brothers.

© In the two weeks we had leading up to the Super Bowl, I can't believe I didn't settle on Santanio Holmes as a possibility as the Super Bowl MVP.

Hines Ward was hurting and Holmes had been coming up big throughout the playoffs.

This was supposed to be Holmes' breakout season - his third in the NFL.

It just took him a little longer to make it happen.

© Forget about Ben Roethlisberger being considered in the second tier of quarterbacks behind Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Roethlisberger is now right there with those two guys.

And Brady is coming off a major knee injury, while Manning will be 33 this spring.

Roethlisberger is just 26 and likely has another eight or so years of solid play left in him. He could win two or even three more Super Bowls before it's all said and done.

© Holmes' touchdown catch from Roethlisberger cemented his MVP status in the game and many will remember that as the play of this Super Bowl.

But for me, the play of the game was James Harrison's interception and touchdown return at the end of the first half.

Early in the fourth quarter, the league took the vote for MVP and Harrison was the winner. After the Cardinals scored to take the lead, the vote was taken again and Kurt Warner won that vote. After the Steelers went ahead again, Holmes won the vote.

Harrison should have still be the winner. That was a game-changing play and the best defensive play in Super Bowl history.

© Now that the Super Bowl is over, the work on the 2009 season begins in earnest.

Head coach Mike Tomlin said he won't talk to this team about a repeat and there's a reason for that.

This team didn't respond well to the repeat talk in 2006. Of course part of reason for that was because Bill Cowher's contract situation hung over it like a beer fart.

But there's pressure involved with repeating and Tomlin is trying to nip it in the bud early.

© Of course Tomlin is right when he says the 2009 team will be completely different than the 2008 one.

But the Steelers will still have Roethlisberger and a stifling defense. Apparently, that's enough to win a Super Bowl championship.

© Signing Harrison to a contract extension will be the team's top offseason priority along with re-signing left tackle Max Starks.

It's going to cost big bucks to do both.

As director of football operations Kevin Colbert told me last week, there's a price when you win a Super Bowl, let alone two in four years. Teams want guys who are proven winners and are willing to overpay to get them.

Drafting well is going to be an even bigger priority now, not that it's ever very low on the list of things to do for the Steelers.

Because of those things, you can likely kiss cornerback Bryant McFadden goodbye.

© The team's post-game party was ridiculous, in a good way.

The scene at the team hotel was crazy. But the best thing was seeing the behind-the-scenes people enjoying the Super Bowl victory.

They don't get the credit for all of their hard work, but they put as much, if not more, into it than the players.

© For all the Colbert haters out there - and there are a few - realize that there are only three players on the roster that won the Super Bowl that weren't drafted or brought in by Colbert and his scouts.

Hines Ward, Deshea Townsend and Aaron Smith were big parts of that Super Bowl, but Colbert built this team basically from the ground up by drafting well.

Yeah, he may miss more than he hits on the second day of the draft, but he hits home runs, no, make that grand slams in the first round.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.


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