It is wise to believe, verify them as the best team in the AFC and not discount the Pittsburgh Steelers. That would be foolish. The Steelers, they declare, will be fighting in the playoffs for another Super Bowl championship.

It has been a notion, given that the Steelers are profoundly America’s team, in which Pittsburgh is built of absolute steel. To disrespect them is an insult, suffocating the beauty of what the NFL team embodies in football heaven, a city that values the hard-nosed sport more than any other town on earth. If you haven’t noticed, America needs a heavy-duty and durable team in the NFL, contenders to loathe or love in the midst of jubilee shown toward football now that the satisfied fan is overly fascinated by the game.

That team would be the Steelers, if you will. There’s a reason seas of yellow and black attire exist everywhere in our patriotic country. Simply, the people have called the Steelers America’s team. Screaming wildly, the Steelers faithful believe in the pro football team locally, a franchise run brilliantly by the Rooneys — loyal family owners who articulate the emphasis of good character and dignity.

If you need evidence as to why the Steelers shines as the dominant ones, consider how well the sturdy defense is not allowing opponents to dart past fundamentally potent defenders. Then, as often happens, early on during the season the Steelers begin with a lackluster start, all because Pittsburgh’s defense looks old and sluggish.

It’s time to award the Steelers as the hype is not misguided, but proven true after they won 25-17 Sunday against the New England Patriots in a game that was tight and tense. The weakness that offsets Pittsburgh, should the struggles remain in the course of the season when Ben Roethlisberger has taken the abuse and beatings, is its inability to score depending on its stalwart defense.

For the last decade, the Terrible Towel has crazily swung, and in the secondary, Troy Polamalu, the monstrous safety — has been an anchor for the Steelers defensively. He has been, since he emerged into the league, a domineering athlete, the ubiquitous defensive back of power and mental toughness. It’s one thing to applaud the Steelers, quite another to refer to Pittsburgh as favorites in prevailing at the national setting in the Super Bowl.

The Steelers, as advertised, have become an American habitual, ignoring the hype to stand as one of the smallish market franchises in sports but a business operated cleverly. The brightest day for the Steelers arrived a long time ago. That day came simply when the Steelers won their sixth Super Bowl trophy, on the fringe of presumably conquering triumph again as long as Pittsburgh stays physical and sharp on defense. Without that, there’s no Steel.

He’s not the most lovable guy, although Roethlisberger is reckless and foolhardy, portraying a daredevil willing to attempt outrageous stunts. The only difference is that he tries his unpredictable, headstrong deeds on turf, a $102-million knucklehead who has been accused of sexual assault twice but wasn’t charged in either case.

He’s not always having his best game but he’s normally bailed out by his stout defense, and with that in mind, the Steelers as a whole owned the Patriots, stopping Tom Brady and Belichick, a genius in diagramming the perfect offense. Curiously enough, though ineffective and woeful offensively, the Steelers are 6-2 and won a game that could decide which team earns home field advantage for the playoffs. After all, in winning a statement game, the Steelers are the team to beat in the AFC and it is certainly a no-brainer.

For the time being, the Steelers are 4-0 at home this season. And, for all the talk of the Steelers as favorites, they’ll now prepare for another game on the schedule only this time against their division rivals the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

And yes, James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Polamalu and James Farrior will be ready to pound heads into the turf fiercely and physically. It’s all about knocking down opponents. The Steelers have the heart of champs. They are the team of steel.


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