I can remember the feeling of dread that overcame me like it was yesterday, yet it happened on December 8, 2013.
Pittsburgh can be a brutal place in the winter, and on this particular day, the snow was plentiful. You could barely see green on the field. My buddy and I drank our whiskey, bundled up, and headed into Heinz Stadium. I even bought a pink Pittsburgh Steelers bottle opener for a little girl’s fundraiser. I was feeling good.
The excitement hits as we get into our seats. The Steelers people around us have a good sense of humor, so we’re all exchanging jabs and having fun. The game starts and it’s like a boxing match. I can’t say I expected an offensive shoot-out in the snow but that’s what it became. Daniel Thomas, yes DANIEL THOMAS, had a fantastic game. Charles Clay had one of the most ridiculous TD catches I’ve seen, let alone in person.
After going punch-for-punch with the Steelers, in the cold and snow that we weren’t supposed to be able to play in (a stereotype that still existed at the time), we’re looking at a 34-28 lead and the Steelers have 1 desperation play left.
And then this happens.
I won’t let you into the world of hurt that was going on in my brain. Actually, yes I will. I had a lot of mean things to say about the Miami Dolphins (LOL). When you were in the stadium, all you could hear was the jubilation of the Pittsburgh crowd, some of whom had already left for the exits. The pandemonium set in, the pit set in my stomach: OH MY GOD, THE DOLPHINS JUST DOLPHINED. AND I’M HERE TO EXPERIENCE IT IN THE FLESH.
Let me just say it felt like 20 minutes before the referee came to the sideline and pointed to the fact that Antonio Brown, by an inch, stepped out of bounds. The existential wave that I rode in those few seconds were one of my fondest memories of the games I’ve been to over the years. We haven’t had many instances of feeling vindicated as a Dolphins fan, but on this fateful day in December of 2013, I walked out of the stadium with a “WTF just happened” look on my face (mixed with some goofy smirk, too).
Anybody remember how they felt watching this play unfold?