"64 percent of all the world's statistics are made up right there on the spot. 82.4 percent of people believe 'em whether they're accurate statistics or not."
- Todd Snider (from the song "Statistician's Blues")
The NFL is a media driven league. From the television networks to the Internet, a select few media personalities have an overwhelming influence on the opinions of Joe Football. In my experience, I'm convinced that most of them don't watch that much football aside from the games they cover in person.
You can't tell the whole story of a baseball game by looking at the box score. You can't tell anything about a football game by looking at the box score.
There is no other sport where stats are as useless, but contribute so much to conventional wisdom.
Yet another abysmal chapter in the book of the 2008 Steeler offense.Big Ben and company looked to come into this game as healthy as they’ve been since the season started and hoped to put up an impressive showing in front of the hometown crowd. But if the first half was any indication,it was going to be a long day.
"What a beautiful game; and I mean that. I just told the team that. People get too preoccupied with style points. That was a beautiful football game because we displayed mettle and we hung together."
- Mike Tomlin, 12/7/2008
For almost two decades, Steeler fans measured the arc of a season against the championship teams of the 1970's - the Steelers needed a dominant, ultra-talented roster on both sides of the ball to make big noise in the postseason.
Then it happened. In 2005, a football team (one that was not among the most talented teams in the league that year) simply went on a tear, winning their last 8 games and bringing home to Pittsburgh a fifth Lombardi Trophy.
After vanquishing the Cincinnati Bengals in the usual fashion, D-Day is here in the form of a Foxboro matchup against the undefeated Patriots. I'll break form a little bit and join every other media hack galaxy-wide in discussing The New England Patriots vs. The Victim of the Week, which happens to be the Steelers.
I keep a copy of the Pro Football Weekly Preview issue around for quick reference, a habit that pre-dates the Internet when you actually had to look up stats and schedules in the back of a book instead of pulling up every piece of data you could dream of with the click of a mouse.
Well, there's one line that has stuck with me all season long.
"The Steelers have a top-flight QB, a rugged defense and a team-wide toughness.