Well, the dream is dead for all Steelers fans. The magical 2004-05 season has come to an end.
Pittsburgh lost at home in the AFC Title Game 41-27 to the defending champions, the New England Patriots. New England will face Philadelphia on Feb. 6 in the Super Bowl.
As a lifelong Steeler fan, I am extremely disappointed. Pittsburgh had a terrific season, and has the nucleus of a solid team for years to come.
I have received 50 or so e-mails from people ribbing me on the Steelers' loss, and that's fine. When you pull for a team as fervently as I do, you must be prepared for that.
Keep in mind, however, that we finished 16-2 (including 15 straight wins) with a loss to a great team such as New England in the Conference Championship Game, all with a rookie quarterback. The Steelers also are the only team in the league to post wins over both Super Bowl teams. I, for one, would call the season a huge success.
In addition, I have to look for something to cling to or I would not be able to make it to next season.
McCrommon having great season
While the Lakeside Panthers have had a rough year on the hardwood with a record of 1-14, diminutive point guard Earl McCrommon has consistently put up big numbers for the Panthers.
Despite being only 5-foot-7, McCrommon has been one of the area's most exciting players this season.
Lakeside's all-time leading scorer, Matt Scott, graduated last spring so everyone knew that McCrommon would play a huge role for the Panthers this winter, and he has exceeded preseason expectations.
As of Jan. 24 he is averaging 24 points with games of 36 (vs. Evans) and 31 (vs. Statesboro).
He has failed to score in double figures only once this season. This all from a player who was not even a starter at the beginning of last season. When McCrommon did get in the lineup as a junior, his talent was obvious.
However, with Scott pouring in nearly 27 points per game, McCrommon's role was to handle the ball and play defense. It was on defense where he impressed me so much last season. He used his quickness to terrorize opposing point guards.
He got better and better as the year went on.
I pride myself on assessing basketball players. I did pick McCrommon as a pre-season first-team all-county performer, but I must admit I did not foresee his offensive explosion.
Lakeside is suffering through a rough season and the wins have been few and far between, but Earl McCrommon has been worth the price of admission.
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