Our names are Slash and Tommy Gun. We run a poorly-planned and even more poorly-executed Steelers blog called XFL MVP.
We are Steelers fans, Penguins fans, Pitt fans (13-9, bitch), and will be Pirates bandwagoners if they can ever string a few wins together.
We started XFL MVP the day after the Super Bowl. What you're thinking is absolutely correct. What kind of assholes start a Steelers blog in the dead of the off-season, the day after the team just won the Super Bowl? Well, it sounded like a cool idea at the time, but when the drugs wore off? Regret city.
Writing about Jeff Reed dishing out Free Candy to a Sheetz paper towel dispenser didn't quite compare to watching Evgeni Malkin score a hat trick so we stopped with the Steelers bullshit. Six months later, here we are again.
Pittsburgh may be a football town, but when it comes to happy fans, there's no competition. Below are the top five reasons why it's better to be a Pens fan than a Steelers fan.
5. Season Length
Pens fans, we need to talk. It's us, your old pals in Pittsburgh sports fanaticism, Steelers fans.
Though our teams have recently won championships, it's not easy to be either of us. People call you fair weather fans and bash us for the weather always being fair in Steelers Nation. But right now, you don't realize how good you have it, do you, assholes?
While we wait all week for our game to come on, you will have watched three in the meantime. Our sixteen game schedule is dwarfed by the NHL schedule. At best, the Steelers will play 19 games in a year, while a Pens cup run means you're looking at 100 games.
One. Hundred. Games.
A Steelers fan would void his bowels in delight at hearing of a 100-game schedule. The dry spell between February and September could be filled with touchdowns and point spreads instead of interventions and bruises on your wife.
You pricks don't know how lucky you are.
We fucking hate mascots.
Maybe it's the six-year-old in Tommy Gun that still holds a grudge after the time that the Pirate Parrot raped his innocence by lifting him up and pretending to swallow him, leaving him a crying mess confused at why he saw a human face staring back at him from inside the bird's mouth.
Maybe we're just too old to remember a time when mascots actually mattered.
Mascots are a mainstay in professional sports and they aren't going anywhere. While little kids love them, adults just want them out of their lines of sight. Honestly, who wants some 8-foot-tall walking stuffed animal getting your already sugar-binged children even more wired? After having that damned thing around, you'll never get the little bastards to shut the hell up and watch the damn game.
That's where Iceburgh shines. Neither intrusive nor obnoxious, Iceburgh makes his presence known without bothering the hell out of you. Plus, he's always lights-out in his ESPN cameos.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, borne of the depth of hell and looking like the love spawn of Mr. Clean and Pensblog Charlie, is the unholiest of the unholies - Steely McBeam.
McBeam's existence taints the history of a franchise that has never sank so low as to hire cheerleaders to roam the sidelines.
The Steelers put faith in their immediately and universally panned mascot, figuring the fan base would grow to love him.
3. A top-notch blog
Pens fans have The Pensblog. Since you're reading this, we're going to assume that we don't have to point out why this is a big deal.
Adam and Derek were blogging before having a blog was chic. They blogged through the days when they were the only ones reading the posts. They blogged through the bad times, which helped them more heartily appreciate the good. Through it all, they blogged.
The Steelers are one of the most storied franchises in all of sports, with a fan base that dwarfs that of the Pens. Yet the Steelers have no Pensblog equivalent. There are several very good Steelers blogs - One For the Other Thumb, Behind the Steel Curtain, Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies, Mondesi's House and Steelers ‘N ‘At to name a few, but none is head and shoulders above the rest. No Steelers blog has the reach that TPB has or the pull within the organization. The Steelers locker room doesn't have photoshops from any Steelers blogs taped to the wall before the Super Bowl.
The PensBlog is a special thing and as wannabe Steelers bloggers, we understand just how much work and selfless effort goes into the creation of something this magnitude.
Note: Everything we said in the last few paragraphs is wholly true unless our check from Derek bounces -- in which case, fuck these immature, no-talent hacks.
2. Talent Level
When you watch the Penguins, you know you're watching two of the best players to play the game in their primes. You see a supporting cast littered with past and future All Stars and several that could one day be candidates for the Hall of Fame.
The Steelers Dynasty of the 70s included 9 Hall of Famers, two Hall of Fame Executives and a Hall of Fame head coach. Looking at the potential Hall of Famers on the current Steelers roster, you'll be able to make a case for Roethlisberger, Ward and Polamalu. None of these are currently shoe-ins, however.
Parents watching the Steelers with their children are not telling the youngins "Watch this carefully, you're watching some of the best to ever play the game" much like our father's told us as we watched the Bulls of the ‘90s.
When you watch a Pens game, you know you're seeing top-quality hockey from some of the best to ever lace up, and for that, you should be eternally grateful.
And they're all still in their early '20s? Jesus.
Number 66 is a much cooler owner than Dan Rooney.
Yes, we know that the Rooneys have owned the Steelers since the day football was invented or something like that, but the Steelers also have been one of the few teams to consistently operate at huge profit margins not only recently, but in just about every year since the Rooneys have owned the team. There's not much incentive to sell when you're raking in that much money.
Sure, Dan Rooney still owns a majority of the Steelers, but look at what happened to his siblings - lowered profits due to a combination of a higher payroll and keeping costs down for fans led most of the Rooneys to split over the past couple years.
For a family that loves its team so much, it still seems to all come down to the bottom line.
Then look at Mario Lemieux. He bought into a shitty team in a poor hockey market that was close to relocation. He transformed it (one can argue through lucky drafts, but fuck those people) into the best team in hockey that will soon be playing in the arena that he personally lobbied for and received.
Plus, we dare you to find an owner with such a powerful statement to highlight his accomplishments.
66 buries it. Beautiful.
The only time you'll hear Dan Rooney and "buries" in the same place is in the obituaries page about 7 months from now.
Slash and Tommy