I don’t know about all Steeler fans out there, but one reason I get pumped this time of the year is due to the arrival on various stations of all of NFL Films’ team highlight films.
Growing up I couldn’t wait for the day the VHS tape (yeah I am that old!) was released so I could watch the 25-30 minute presentation over and over again.
I specifically recall the 1992 video – the first for head coach Bill Cowher, and how his energy was so electric to the Steeler fans. Then again in 1994 when the team went 12-4 and SHOULD have won the AFC Title, only to fall to the San Diego Chargers in a stunning 17-13 upset in the conference title game.
These videos have been great over the years, which is why I was super excited to take in the Steelers 2013 Highlight Film – “Uphold the Tradition” - which aired on Saturday night/Sunday morning on ESPN2.
I took notes while watching the highlight film, and today give you a little rundown of the film and what it all consists of.
First off they show some older highlights, the Immaculate Reception, mixed with the team walking in the tunnel coming out for various 2013 battles.
Then is a quick highlight of the Hall of Fame induction for Steelers center Dermontti Dawson, and then it mixes into a profile of Steelers current center – Maurkice Pouncey, and how he’s the first center in history to be selected to three Pro Bowls in his first three seasons.
They then highlight the O-line and the run game, putting some highlights of the Week Two win over the Jets at home, talking about the massive 36 minutes the team had in time of possession.
Then some Ben Roethlisberger highlights, which was interesting due to the fact that they showed Ben throwing big passes in three straight plays to the departed Mike Wallace. These films almost always exclude players that leave via trade or free agency.
Then comes the week five win at home vs Mike Vick and the Eagles, a thriller that is highlighted by the 14-play fourth quarter drive that won the game with a last play field goal.
Tight end Heath Miller is profiled next, talking about his huge season which included 71 catches for 816 yards and a career-high eight scores.
They show then the Sunday night week seven road win in Cincy where Jonathan Dwyer clinched the win with a fourth quarter run, and how it was the first road win of 2013.
The week eight game with the bumblebee uni’s from 1934 is up next, as the team beat up rookie RG3 and the Redskins to the tune of a 27-12 win at home.
Defensive back Jack Butler, who was placed into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is highlighted next, and then there’s a very good retrospective of all the great defenses of the past for the Steelers.
They then talk about the 2012 Steelers D – a number one unit for the second straight year, and they show a couple big picks in the Bengals home loss in December for DB Cortez Allen.
Then it’s on to defensive injuries, including that of all-world safety Troy Polamalu, who they highlight making a big sack of Andy Dalton in the Cincy home loss.
They talk about the teams best defensive player from 2012 – ILB Lawrence Timmons, and show some great highlights of him, including his pick six in Cleveland, and two sacks of Browns QB Thad Lewis in the season finale.
Week nine is up next, and the huge road comeback in New York vs the NFC East’s Giants. They highlight in the game the play of RB Issac Redman, who raced to 147 yards.
Roethlisberger is then compared to HOF QB Terry Bradshaw, and they talk about the records Ben broke in the 2012 season, and show Big Ben’s elusive quickness in the pocket.
Then it’s week 10, and the win over the Chiefs at home, highlighted by the loss of Roethlisberger to shoulder and rib injuries. They show the Sunday night loss to the Ravens with Byron Leftwich, and the loss in Cleveland with Charlie Batch.
The week 13 win in Baltimore is highlighted in full – “Steel resolve” is the title of the win, and they show the famous Ben-Batch hug that was seen everywhere.
Then it’s the late season collapse, complete with the losses to the Chargers at home, Cowboys on the road, and the Bengals loss which ended any playoff hopes.
They then wrap up the 2012 season with the win over Cleveland, with a great mic up of Ben and the final snap of the season.
The highlight film ends with a great 80 year look back, with Chuck Noll, Cowher and Mike Tomlin getting the final shots in the highlight video.
Overall, just what you would expect from a film on a team that went 8-8, and one that in the end didn’t live up to the expectations they set for themselves.
Sorry to say I don’t know when the show will replay, but check your listings on ESPN2 as well as ESPN and NFL Network, as usually the video is replayed 2-3 times over the summer.