Thanks to my friends Rich and Christian, I was able to prepare for yesterday's eventual Steelers win by talking Pittsburgh football with a legendary NFL personality. Former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson, owner of a few big, shiny rings, was in town near where I was going to watch the game, so I decided to take the opportunity to ask him about the upcoming season.
He was promoting Proctor and Gamble's partnership with the NFL, so I'd be a jerk not to at least mention that. Without Febreez, Head and Shoulders, Old Spice, Prilosec and other random "Official Locker Room Products of the NFL," I wouldn't be able to get this guy's thoughts on the Steelers for all you. So respect to them.
It was a last minute arrangement to get a brief moment with the coach, and I was almost late from tearing my apartment up trying to find my Terrible Towel. Plus, Jimmy was going to appear on whatever show Sean Hannity has immediately after, so we had just a little window to talk Steelers.
Tec: What are your thoughts on the Steelers going into this season? Can they continue having success?
JJ: The thing about the Steelers is that they haven't lost anybody. They've lost what, 1 or 2 guys? We have a team that just won the Super Bowl, and has almost the same personnel the next year. That's good for stability and chemistry. They always have a good team, and that's the same this year.
Tec: How about Santonio Holmes? Lately, Super Bowl MVP WRs are fickle. You got guys like Hines Ward, who just continues to get it done, but then there's also the Deion Branches, who have done exactly what since he won the award? Can Santonio replicate what he did in the Super Bowl tonight, and over the course of the regular season. (ed: question via Pamela)
JJ: Yeah, Holmes is a very good, young receiver. He's kept getting better, so there's no reason to believe he wouldn't have a good year. I think he can come back out and do exactly what he did in the Super Bowl tonight and over a full season (ed: 'Tone DID exactly what he did in the Super Bowl, 9 catches, 131 yards and a score. JJ is a clairvoyant!)
Tec: I got one last question, and it partly involved a guy you used to coach. Big Ben is a guy who has had an incredible amount of success, and continues to win games. However, he gets the same flak that Troy Aikman got...that he isn't the main reason the team wins. Troy always had great players and a great team around him, so critics use them to justify his championships. Now they do the same with Ben, saying his defense and skill players are the reason he's been so successful. Have you seen a parallel in how both QBs are received by the critics?
JJ: I do, and people are always going to say stuff like that. Ben is a great quarterback no matter what anybody says. The object of the game is to win championships, which is something Ben has been able to do in his career. At the end of the day, rings are what matters. Ben has taken two teams to championships, so there's only so much negative you can say about that. He has the rings to back him up.
Thanks to Jimmy for taking a few minutes to talk Steelers. Oh, and it totally looks like I'm flipping off the camera with the way I was trying to hold my Terrible Towel, so there's that, too. Who else can say they're almost flipping off a Cowboys coach while holding a Terrible Towel? I mean, besides any Steelers fan at any Steelers/Cowboys game ever, that is.