Monday, January 23, 2006

Kobe & The Steelers: A Comparison

On Sunday, both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kobe Bryant made a huge splash in the sports world.  The Steelers defeated the Denver Broncos 34-17 to advance to the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks.  Bryant scored an amazing 81 points – second all-time to Wilt Chamberlain’s legendary 100-point outing – in the Lakers’ 122-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors.  Like the Steelers, Kobe hails from Pennsylvania.  However, the comparisons do not stop there.



Steelers:  Scored 10 second-half points in Sunday’s victory

Kobe:  Scored 55 second-half points in Sunday’s victory


Steelers:  Feature a beloved running back called The Bus

Kobe:  Plays on a team owned by a Buss


Steelers:  Left Colorado with the AFC championship trophy

Kobe:  Often left Colorado with a team of lawyers


Steelers:  Committed no turnovers on Sunday

Kobe:  Committed a completely unacceptable three turnovers on Sunday


Steelers:  Considered giant killers after eliminating the Colts last week

Kobe:  Feuded with a giant for years before making up with him last week


Steelers:  Inspire fans to wave the Terrible Towel

Kobe:  Plays with the terrible Kwame Brown


Steelers:  Does not have a reputation as a passing team

Kobe:  Does not have a reputation as a passing player


Steelers:  Subdued the Snake on Sunday

Kobe:  Subdued the Raptors on Sunday


Steelers:  Play in a stadium named for ketchup

Kobe:  Plays in an arena named for office supplies, which don’t taste as good


Steelers:  Sunday’s opponent won back-to-back Super Bowls in the late 1990s

Kobe:  Sunday’s opponent might have won back-to-back games in the late 1990s


Steelers:  Described as “unrelenting” by coach Bill Cowher in press conferences

Kobe:  Described as “uncoachable” by coach Phil Jackson in a book


Steelers:  Play in a city that has three rivers

Kobe:  Plays in a city that has Joan Rivers


Steelers:  Felt that Sunday’s win smelled as sweet as a rose

Kobe:  Spent much of Sunday’s win embarrassing Jalen Rose


Steelers:  Hope to win a Super Bowl ring

Kobe:  Hopes he doesn’t need to buy another $4 million ring


Steelers:  Championship glory days evoke images of Lynn Swann’s grace

Kobe:  Championship glory days evoke images of Mark Madsen’s dancing



Now the Steelers will go to Detroit in search of a title.  They hope to fare better than Kobe did there two years ago, when he had to watch the Pistons celebrate.  In one important way, the Steelers’ situation is the reverse of Kobe in 2004.  They’re the team with Big Ben on their side.