I am starting the new year in a bad mood.
My Pittsburgh Steelers missed the playoffs and will not be able to defend their championship from a year ago.
Also, I have to put up with the trash talk from all of my friends, who obviously ate paint chips when they were toddlers and are now Dallas Cowboys fans.
Dallas locked up a division title with a win over Philadelphia on Sunday. Many people who grew up in the late 1970s were either Dallas or Pittsburgh fans, and the rivalry continues today. So today I figured I would assist all my fellow Steelers fans who are having to deal with those mind-numbing Cowboy fans.
When Dallas fans start bragging, here are a couple of facts Steelers fans can use to put them in their place:
Pittsburgh has six titles, more than any other NFL team.
Also, remind them that the Steelers own a 2-1 record over Dallas in their Super Bowl meetings.
Now, if you are not a Steelers fan, don't worry. Here are a few facts that anyone can use to combat those annoying Dallas fans. Dallas has not won a playoff game since Dec. 28, 1996. That means the last time Dallas won a playoff game:
Tony Romo was 16 years old. (Demarcus Ware and Jason Witten were both 14).
Tiger Woods had won zero majors (and had no mistresses or fat lips, either).
Barack Obama was still a law professor.
Terrell Owens had only 35 career receptions and four touchdown. Owens now has 1,006 catches and 144 TD receptions.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was still in elementary school.
Most current eighth-graders were not born yet.
Hopefully, this will help when you have to deal with Cowboys fans. However, I have never met a Cowboys fan yet who let the facts get in the way of their arguments, so I doubt it will shut them up.
My other gripe today involves the South Carolina Gamecocks.
No offense to a few of my friends who pull for USC, but when will the folks in Columbia, S.C., have a little pride in their football team?
Don't get me wrong. The Gamecocks have excellent fan support and they did open up the checkbook to hire Steve Spurrier. However, when one game over .500 calls for a contract extension, you might be setting the bar a little low.
What exactly has Spurrier done that Lou Holtz did not? Holtz took a team that was 1-10 in 1998, finished 0-11 in his first season in 1999 and led them to an 8-4 mark in 2000. He then went 9-3 in 2001 and won a bowl game for the second consecutive year.
Spurrier took over a squad that went 6-4 in 2004 and led them to a 7-5 mark in 2005. He has led the team to four bowl games in five years. However, the Gamecocks are 1-3 in those bowl games. They also are just 35-28 in Spurrier's five seasons at the helm. Yet he gets a raise and contract extension?
I realize that South Carolina does not have a terrific football history (before Spurrier and Holtz they were 1-8 all-time in bowl games), but if you don't set high standards you will continue to wallow in mediocrity. That is what Spurrier has brought to the program: mediocrity.
I admit he is a big name that aids in fundraising. But for a so-called offensive genius, why are the Gamecocks not better on offense? He is also considered a quarterback expert. Where are all the All-American quarterbacks?
Their performance in the Papajohns.com Bowl was simply awful. This so-called offensive genius had more than a month to prepare for the University of Connecticut and could muster only one touchdown, which came with 3:24 left in the fourth quarter with the Gamecocks down 20-0. They had just 205 yards of total offense against a five-loss team.
Fire Spurrier? Of course not. But a contract extension? No way. Congratulations early on another mediocre season in 2010.
(In an attempt at full disclosure, I am a lifelong Cowboys hater; and as an Florida State fan I have never cared much for Spurrier, either.)
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