Super Bowl week is upon us, and in order to prepare ourselves mentally for the big game ahead, it often helps to look back upon the season that was, to remember how exactly we got here in the first place.
Fortunately for those with attention deficit disorder, the folks at ESPN put together highlights from the 2013 NFL season in just 2 minutes and 40 seconds, so you don’t have to waste any of your valuable time with a more in-depth analysis.
In case you turned off the Steelers-Ravens game after the final whistle, you might have missed this post-game exchange between head coaches Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh.
After coming out on the losing end of a hard-fought 23-20 battle against their division rivals, John Harbaugh swallowed his pride and stepped toward midfield to congratulate Tomlin on the win. But Tomlin was having none of it, and tried to pull the ol’ drive-by handshake, barely even looking Harbaugh in the eye.
That’s when Harbaugh tightened his grasp on the Steelers coach’s hand, physically pulling him back into the exchange, so he could make sure that Tomlin really heard and appreciated his heartfelt congratulations. Watch for yourselves:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
In case you missed it, Troy Polamalu was a one-man highlight reel in the first half of last night’s Steelers/Titans game. The Pro Bowl S was everywhere, firing into the backfield with speed and power that you just don’t see, even at the NFL level. He led both teams with 6 tackles in the first half, all the while his thick black hair floating majestically in the Pittsburgh night air.
And then there was this, ridiculous one-handed interception at the end of the 1st quarter:
With their defense picking up right where they left off, everything was looking good for the Steelers and their faithful.
But then, it happened. With about three minutes left in the half, Polamalu injured his left knee when a Titans player fell on him after the Steelers blocked a 31-yd FG attempt. Head Coach Mike Tomlin stated in his post-game press conference that Polamalu will miss 3-6 with an MCL sprain.
In addition to being a major blow to the SB champs, Polamalu also becomes the latest victim of the Madden Curse, after gracing the cover of Madden NFL 10 with Larry Fitzgerald. I’m not normally a big believer in this sort of thing, and I thought the SportsIllustrated curse got overblown. But as Shutdown Corner points out, this is becoming a real trend. Other recent victims of the Madden curse include Michael Vick (broken leg/prison), Donavan McNabb (hernia, missed 7 games), Shaun Alexander (broken foot, 6 games), Vince Young (moron/back-up) and Brett Favre (douche bag).
The injury happened when Polamalu was attempting to pick up the ball and make yet another play for his team. He was taken to the locker room before the half, and did not return, with back-up Tyrone Carter taking his place. Tomlin said that Polamalu will undergo further tests to determine the exact extent of the injury, and couldn’t rule out the possibility that it could be worse than initially thought.