If you follow the NFL, you know that just a few years ago, the Steelers were the last seed in the post-season. They barely made it into the playoffs. In fact, some sports networks had actually proclaimed they were mathematically eliminated. They weren’t eliminated, but few gave them any hope.
Being the sixth seed in a playoff system where a loss means elimination puts you at a big disadvantage. First – you have to play more games to advance through the rankings. Second – you have to play the harder team as you go. Third – you have to play all your games away, eliminating home-field advantage. The Steelers did that.
On January 8, they beat their division rivals and leaders, the Cincinnati Bengals 31-17 at Paul Brown Stadium. Was there any hope that they could move forward?
On January 15 they played Tony Dungy’s Indianapolis Colts – a team that had humbled them earlier that year. Thinking they had the game sewed up, the Steelers were shocked when Bettis fumbled the ball giving life to the Colts. But after the tackle, the most accurate kicker to ever play in the NFL missed a field goal in the closing moments of the game to allow the Steelers to advance. Who could have hoped that would have happened?
Next it was off to Denver, where more than 76 thousand fans watched the Steelers force turnover after turnover, doubling the points scored by the Broncos. Who would have any hope that the Steelers could win the Super Bowl?
Finally the day came. The Steelers were in the Super Bowl. From last place among the contenders, to playing for the number one slot. No one gave them any hope of being there. But they were there and they won. They won Super Bowl XL.
How did they do that? Skill, yes. Luck, yes. Passion, yes. Coaching, yes. But there is one ingredient that went into that Super Bowl run that you seldom hear of.
That ingredient is hope.
Without hope, they would have lost in Cincinnati. Without hope, Ben Roethlisberger wouldn’t have even tried the tackle that saved the touchdown on Bettis’ fumble. Without hope, Hines Ward would have headed to the locker room after costing Pittsburgh a touchdown in Denver. Hope is that invisible force that runs in the background and keeps people moving.
I believe that one of the most underrated powers in the world is the power of hope. And the Bible agrees. The audio below speaks of the power of hope in our lives.
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