Since 1969, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had just THREE head coaches. And, with last week’s win over the Bengals, the Steelers are the first franchise in NFL history to have three coaches with 90 or more wins. “Stability provides a foundation for everything you do,” Steelers President Art Rooney II states.
First a disclaimer, I am a Steelers fan. However, this piece is not about how awesome I hink the Steelers are, but rather about stability and consistency. Many people take stability and consistency to mean boring and unchanging, but to me it represents a solid base from which to grow, a safe place from which to try new things.
Children do this all the time. They explore further and further out from their parents at the playground, regularly looking back to make sure mom or dad are still there. Adults need that safe spot as well. Something reliable, something familiar in which to ground oneself, to find some Comfy. For many people, this Comfy spot is a person or a pet. But, it could also be an experience like a hike or other regular event or activity. Just something that brings one back to one’s roots where success, failures, and everything in between can be tolerated, celebrated and learned from.
As a teenager, the Steelers were my stability. It was an “interesting” time in my family then, but I knew during the winter, I could count on the Steelers every week; that this 3 hours of normalcy was mine. Realizing then, how much this reliable, regular experience meant to me, I began to search for something stable in every stage of my life. When I first started my career, the stability was a quiet movie night by myself at the end of a busy, noisy week. After I met Jeremy, regular Steelers game viewing came back into my life, first just the two of us. Then, in Chicago, as part of a larger community of friends. Now, it is not as regular of an event to watch a game, but the Steelers are much discussed and beloved by the three of us. They are part of our family vocabulary, part of our winter routine, and a key element to Joshua's wardrobe.
Much like I discussed in my post about Routine, normalcy is a tool I need to embrace the unexpected. The Steelers’ legacy of stability and consistency has provided me with a very tangible example of that foundation. In retrospect, the Steelers have unknowingly become a very basic block in my foundation. To this day, we will all sometimes sit down and watch Super Bowl XII when we need a little return to our foundation. Watching this game from long ago gives us a chance to sit, to focus on a shared positive (to us at least) event, and remember we are each other’s Comfy foundation. So when a trick play works, it is great. Go for the gusto, the big win, the new adventure. But, if that trick play has hilarious or even disastrous results, well, then huddle back up in your Comfy, learn from what you did, and plan your next play knowing you're surrounded by those who make you Comfy.