As a lifelong fan of football, history and the Pittsburgh Steelers, I was compelled to root against the New England Patriots Monday because their owner and coach once received just a slap on the wrist for their lack of integrity. I remember the AFC Championship in 2005, when it seemed as if their coach seemed to know in advance every defensive play the Steelers called — and how his cheating was later proved.
It reminded me of how, once upon a time, true sports commissioners such Bart Giamatti and Judge Landis took proper steps to protect the integrity of their games, and I found myself hoping the Ravens would do what Commissioner Roger Goodell had not — that is punish the cheaters.
As a lifelong Steeler fan, I felt weird because I was happy whenever Ray Rice would turn a no-gainer into a 15-yard first down run. It was kind of eerie to hope that Joe Flacco could see what I could see and hit Anquan Boldin in the slot. It was definitely strange to hope that Dennis Pitta would show himself to be every bit as good as Todd Heap, or that Haloti Ngata would fall hard on some running back.
Now I even find myself hoping that the Ravens win again, and deny San Francisco its sixth Super Bowl championship. I only hope those feelings fade before the beginning of Steelers training camp this year.
Gerald Weaver, BethesdaCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun