OK, so its been a little over 24 hours now. I was pretty much a waste at work today, because I couldn't think about anything else. In an effort to move forward before I lose my job, I am looking toward the future, and here is where I think we are at this point in the 2010 season
There are, in all probability, only two directions we go from here. And regardless of which path we take, the loss to Pittsburgh will be what everyone looks back to as the defining moment of this season.
This team could spend the next week blaming others. They can bitch. They can whine. They can sulk. They can complain into every microphone they see this week about what "should have been". They can spend all their time feeling sorry for themselves and decide that the world is against us, so whats the point. Then they can spend the rest of the season struggling to stay .500, and continuing to blame a referee, a linesman, and a system that took their season away. They can go quietly into the off-season, never willing to acknowledge their own culpability for a season that started with so much promise, and ended like so many before. Middle-of-the-pack. Relegated to "also-ran" status. And we will all look back at week 7, that goddamn home game we lost to the Steelers, as the tipping point, where it all went wrong.
Or there is another way...
This team could get angry. This team could decide to never again let their fate be decided by anyone other than the 53 guys wearing the uniform. They could come out next week, and make a weaker opponent pay dearly for the injustice they were dealt a week earlier. And let it build. They could let that anger burn for the next three months, and leave in their wake a litany of bruised and bloodied teams who will not know what hit them. I talked a few weeks ago about "a moment". Well, this was taylor-made. And if I were a coach on this team, I would never let them forget what happens when you let opportunities pass you by, and how victory, despite all the hard work, can be taken away with the sound of a whistle if you don't step on the throat of a team the MINUTE you have them down.
For better or worse, yesterday will be the turning point of this season. WIll we look back at it as the moment this team became "elite"? Or will it be the moment this team gave up, and decided this was just an unlucky team in 2010.
Make your own luck, boys. It starts now...