During my playing career, i became aware around year 7 that i wasn’t recuperating from a game as fast as i did as when i was younger. The legs didn’t come around till Thursday when in the previous six years i was good to go on a Wednseday.
I have participated in at least three or four Thursday night affairs over the course of my 12 years. Off the top of my very flat noggin i believe that i’m 1-2 or 1-3 on thursday nights. Thursday night games stink. It’s such a quick turnaround that your body just doesn’t get it at first. And when you get to double digit years, it’s all about getting your mind to accept what your body is rebelling at.
21 Steelers of the 53 man roster are at 7 years or better. Contrast this with only 7 for the Carolina Panthers. (You might want to investigate this on your own, as i’ve admitted before i have had trouble with math). Though the Carolina Panthers are 2-12 and look more like a layup in the “W” column than anything else, this is not a slam dunk.
The point is that a team of young bucks who bounce back quickly with nothing to lose already out of the playoffs, looking at the end of the season coming into view like a horse heading for the barn after a tough day in the fields, knowing each one of them that they’re playing for jobs, and all of them staring at an “I’ll be home for Christmas” weekend have all the motivation in the world to come out smoking on Thursday night and play their keesters off.
There would be no better way for the Panthers to end a year of misery than to spread a little Christmas cheer by delivering a Grinch-like beatdown in the ‘burgh to the Steelers before heading home for a little Bing Crosby, eggnogg and figgy pudding. Or something like that.