RUSH: Sunday you’ve got — well, those playoffs are in the daytime. Late game’s at 4:30, the Steelers at Denver. And, by the way, let me tell you about that, folks, Steelers at Denver. Everybody is talking about how this is going to be not a slaughter, but the conventional wisdom is the Broncos and Tebow don’t have a prayer because Tebow hasn’t faced a defense like the Steelers. But if you look, the Steelers offense is not scoring points. Thirteen points against the Cleveland Browns. This is not the Steelers team of earlier in the year. They are banged up, Roethlisberger is not as mobile. They’re not putting points on the board.
This game has potential to be much closer. If the Broncos defense shows up — it hasn’t been the last three weeks — but if the Broncos defense shows up as it was in early to mid-December, this could be a closer game. I know the Steelers defense is pretty healthy and they ought to have a pretty good game plan of containing Tebow, but, on the other side of this, the Steelers are not putting up a lot of points. So I don’t know that this is as slam-dunk an outcome as it would otherwise normally be. Just the first take. We’ll have a little bit more on this game tomorrow as well as the other playoff games.
RUSH: No, I don’t think I’m gonna go this year. The last time I was in Denver for a football game was the AFC championship game, 2005 season, 2006, Steelers versus the Broncos. That was the year the Steelers came from the number six seed, the first time that a sixth seed had gone all the way to the Super Bowl. I think it was the first time. Yeah. And the Steelers, every playoff game was on the road, and the Broncos had prepared for the Indianapolis Colts. Steelers game the previous week was against the Colts and everybody figured that Peyton Manning, Colts would cream the Steelers. And I happened to be a guest in Pat Bowlen’s suite, the owner of the Broncos.
I went with a friend of mine from Hawaii, Mike Hartley and wife Sandy, affectionately known as The Geisha. Yeah, it’s a long story, but affectionately known as The Geisha. Anyway, we went to dinner the night before, and Bowlen’s suite is loaded, of course, with Broncos fans. I am the only guy in there — well, Rod Woodson was in there, Rod Woodson worked for the NFL Network was in there and Terrell Davis was in there. But I think I was the only full-fledged Steelers fan. I had to button my lip and shut up in there. And I’ll never forget the first play was about a 25-yard out to Nate Washington, Roethlisberger to Nate Washington, who hadn’t caught three passes all year. And everybody in that suite said, “Who is this guy?” He was number 85, now plays for the Tennessee Titans.
So the Steelers came out and the Broncos were not even prepared for the Steelers. They thought they’d be facing the Colts, and they’re throwing to these wide receivers, who are not the top tier to start the game, and I just got the feel in the first quarter that the Steelers are gonna win this game. I just got the sense in there that it was gonna happen. They were marching up and down the field. Jake Plummer was a quarterback of the Broncos at the time, and they were totally discombobulated in Denver because the Steelers were the last team they thought — they’d been studying the Colts for weeks getting ready for this game. So in the third quarter, just after halftime, the Steelers downed a punt, the one-foot line. I forgot myself and I started clapping, “Yeah!” I was the only guy in the place, about a hundred people in there, cheering. And every face turned to look at me.
Mr. Bowlen’s secretary was literally shooting daggers at me. They take this stuff very seriously. I mean it’s a fraternity, but they take this very seriously. So Hartley and I, we took leave. I went outside for a couple of minutes ’til everybody cooled down ’cause I think some people were upset that a Steelers fan was in there. I mean this was the AFC championship game. But this game, the Steelers offense, Roethlisberger’s hurt, the Steelers most valuable player that they voted, is a wide receiver, Antonio Brown, hasn’t scored a touchdown since December 6th or something. Now, the Steelers defense, they’re pretty full strength, and the Broncos aren’t scoring points, either, but I just don’t think this is gonna be the slam-dunk Steelers win everybody thinks it is. I just don’t. We’ll see.
By the way, Snerdley, just so you know, the Steelers can break a tie with the Cowboys for most playoff wins with their 34th. Cowboys and Steelers are tied 33 playoff wins, whatever level of the playoffs, Steelers win — and they will, it’s just not gonna be the slam-dunk everybody thinks. They’ll go up by one over the Cowboys 34-33, playoff wins.