Yes, I am totally enjoying Austin FC and the football (soccer) team--but BRING ON THE STEELERS! Last season, my team flamed out spectacularly in the playoffs, after starting the season with 11 wins. I mean, it was exciting but nerve-wracking. Throughout the 11 wins, my husband, Chris, the Steelers super-fan, kept noting that we did not feel like an 11-0 team. There were so many great things--Chase Claypool the rookie wide receiver out of Notre Dame was a gem. Next-men-up stepped up for the multitude of injuries on the defense. James Washington continued to be clutch. JuJu Smith-Schuster, when they could get him the ball, was a beast. Ben Roethlisberger came back from elbow surgery looking *pretty* good, although his long passes were really inaccurate at times. There were SO MANY INJURIES. So many...oh my goodness, I would have to keep the roster open on my phone while we were watching games just to keep track of all the new players, especially on the defense. When Bud Dupree (who signed in the off-season with the Titans, jerk) went down, we were heartbroken. The Bud Dupree-TJ Watt combo was hard to beat.
But then things started to crumble. People were dropping passes all over the place. It was nuts how many dropped passes there were between Eric Ebron and Diontae Johnson. Johnson led the league in dropped passes in 2020, with 16. That was 13% of the passes he was thrown. Eric Ebron dropped 11% of his passes. It sucked.
So, leaving all that behind, we are looking forward to a new team with new players and an almost entirely new offensive line. Najee Harris, the running back looks amazing, with a fantastic work ethic, and incredible abilities. Pat Freiermuth is the new tight end--sadly not replacing Eric Ebron--but hey, whatever. The big questions are, does Ben Roethlisberger really have another winning season in him? Will Diontae Johnson and Eric Ebron actually hold onto the ball? Will fans get to go to games? (Chris made a good point--if all those passes had been dropped in front of a crowd, the players would have been soundly booed at Heinz Field--since there was no audience, there was not the live audience shame.) Will Najee Harris be as awesome as he seems to be? Will the new O-line be able to protect Ben? Will the Browns suck? I sure hope so. Will someone finally get to Lamar Jackson on one of his annoyingly effective runs? (Running QBs are fair-game!) Will my love of Austin FC and the their version of 'football' taint my Steelers love? Will the Steelers find out I was cheating on them with a soccer team? #HereWeGoSteelers!