Stringing Along The Fan (Part III)

“The Pittsburgh Steelers have managed to keep the candle of hope lit for most of their fans by winning three of their last five games — this is after a painful 0-4 start to the season.  Although, on its face, the recent winning record seems positive, most of the fans believe it’s just a tease and that major disappointment is right around the corner.”

November 26, 2013:  The paragraph above is from my blog post in week 10 of the NFL season.  The stringing along process has continued with the Steelers winning in week 11 and 12 and managing to get themselves back into the wild card race, albeit with eight other teams.  As you can imagine, I don’t hold out a lot of hope for a playoff spot for the Steelers because I don’t think they have improved that much since the last time I blogged about them.

December 5, 2013:  Just a quick update.  We shared the Thanksgiving holiday with my wife’s family in Stowe, Vermont.  The night before Thanksgiving it snowed 6 inches so it was festive outside producing a perfect football atmosphere for the three professional tomlingames scheduled for Thanksgiving Day.

The third game of the day was the Steelers v. Ravens in Baltimore at 8:30 pm.  Since the day was filled with outdoor activities, delicious food, holiday festivities and merry, the Steelers needed to start the first quarter with “guns a blazing” or it was going to be a wrap for me by halftime.  Plus, the anxiety associated with watching a Steelers game would make sleeping difficult, whether they won or lost, so my game plan was to watch part of the game and then get some sleep.  Getting to the punchline, unfortunately the Steelers didn’t surprise this already very skeptical fan.  

I am not going to harp on the details of the game and my correct prognostication.  I do want to point out my three takeaways from the game.

3 points or less:  A Steelers v. Ravens matchup may not have the offensive firepower of a Denver v. Patriots, but nonetheless, the game  will be exciting because the final score will be right around a three-point spread.  Since November 2009, the Steelers and Ravens have played eleven times and the score has been decided by three points or less in nine of those games.  The last five meetings have been decided by three points or less.  On Thursday, November 28, 2013, the final score was 22-20 with the Steelers coming up short on a two-point conversion in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter.

Helmet required to score:  The Steelers were on the Ravens’ one yard line and on the second play from scrimmage when Le’Veon Bell, the Steeler running back, took a handoff from Big Ben. On his way into the end zone he was hit by Jimmy Smith and the collision knocked off Bell’s helmet. Even though he scored he was ruled down just inside the one yard line, the point at which it was determined that his helmet came off.  I have been watching football for 40 years and never knew you needed to have your helmet on to score.

Hard to take the Player out of the Coach:  Mike Tomlin was a wide receiver at The College of William & Mary.  I think his competitive juices overtook his common sense when Jacoby Jones headed down the sidelines during the kickoff return and it didn’t look like any Steeler was going to catch him.  Mike Tomlin, standing in the white strip next to the field of play, took a step onto the field as Jacoby Jones raced for the endzone.  As a result, Jacoby Jones veered back towards the center of the field and one of the Steelers was able to tackle him before he got to the end zone.  This action by Tomlin was considered unsportsmanlike and he was fined $100,000 by the league.

What a great rivalry.  Clearly this game’s result knocks the Steelers out of an AFC North title but keeps them in the wild card hunt.  Classic Steelers: string the fans along.

from Douglas MacFaddin’s Sports Page


Published by: Doug MacFaddin

Douglas Willis MacFaddin was born June 16, 1961 in the Miamisburg Hospital to Patricia Ann MacFaddin and Richard Willis MacFaddin. My mother’s maiden name is Morrison and she is the youngest of seven children who were raised in Lycippus, PA. My father was the second of four children and was a twin. He was raised in the town of Viola, DE. At the time of my birth, my father worked at the Mound Laboratories in Miamisburg, Ohio in research. Mound was an Atomic Energy Commission facility for nuclear weapon research during the Cold War. My mother made a home for our family. My father passed away in 1991 and my mother is currently living in Avon, CT. Doug MacFaddin is the oldest of five children (Doug, R. Stuart, Anne Marie, Megan and Mary (Heather)). I lived in Ohio for two years, spent the next seven years in Murrysville, PA (outside of Pittsburgh), moved to Little Silver, NJ and relocated my senior year in high school to Avon, CT. My four siblings currently live with their families in Avon, CT and are members of St. Ann’s Church. I attended Mother of Sorrows School in Murrysville, PA. In NJ, I attended Little Silver Point Road School, Markham Place School and Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) in Lincroft, NJ for three years. My senior year, I attended Avon High School and I then spent the next four years at Union College, Schenectady, NY. I received a BS in Industrial Economics and graduated in June 1983. While at Salomon Brothers, I was asked to attend a two-week seminar for Public Finance at the University of Michigan in 1986. In Little Silver, I was involved in Troop 126 where I achieved the rank of Life Scout and was both a Patrol Leader and a Senior Patrol Leader. I also was an alter boy at St. James Catholic Church and spent summers a the Ship Ahoy Beach Club in Seabright, NJ and caddying at the Rumson Country Club. At Christian Brothers Academy, I wrestled for the varsity squad for three years. I took second in the districts my junior year and went on to the regionals. I also ran on their cross country team freshman year and was part of the CBA Colt team that hasn’t lost a duel meet since 1973. My senior year at Avon, I won the wrestling States (S). I went on to wrestle at Union College and qualified for the Div III nationals twice (1981, 1982) and was co-captain both years. My senior year at Avon, CT, I also won the States (S) in pole vaulting. It was the first time Avon High School had a state champ in two sports in the same year. During my four years, I earned nine varsity letters between wrestling, track and football. In 1979, I was accepted into The National Honor & Merit Scholars Society. Upon graduating from Union College, I accepted a position at Salomon Brothers Inc in August 1983. I was an analyst in their Public Finance department at One New York Plaza. I lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn and spent the next four years working at Salomon Brothers. As a result of Black Monday, October 19, 1987 the Public Finance Department of Salomon Brothers was jettisoned to conserve capital. By November 1, 1987, I was working at Dean Witter Reynolds in the new Public Finance Department made up of many of my former Salomon Brother’s colleagues. The new Department was located on the 57th floor of 2 World Trade Center.

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