Like just another random flock of tech-obsessed gamers, the Steelers will spend Sunday playing Angry Birds, but their hyper-specialized version promises to be a lot more painful.
We presume a high level of anger whenever the Baltimore Ravens and the Steelers convene. We presume a matchup of enraged defenses, of offenses trying to function amid their own barely controlled fury, of special teams just about certifiably psychotic. Yet, the issue of who starts the NFL season 1-0 in Baltimore won't likely boil down to which team is angrier.
"Who's angry, who's not, we all know that's irrelevant by game time," Mike Tomlin said Tuesday at his inaugural regular-season news conference. "The root of the matter is that you have two very good teams with the same intentions -- to dominate the AFC North and to put themselves in position to win the Lombardi [Trophy].
"It's two trains on a track. See you Sunday."
That should provide the Steelers global fan base some quantum of solace, because I can't believe the Ravens won't be the far angrier team when the 2011 division struggle begins in the broad daylight of Baltimore's inner harbor.
They're mad they can't beat the Steelers in the postseason (0-3). They're mad they can't beat Ben Roethlisberger (who has solved 'em seven times in a row). They're mad that their first mission of the new football year demands they measure themselves against a franchise they never seem to beat when it counts.