ARLINGTON, Texas -- I've covered the Pittsburgh Steelers for three seasons now while doing the AFC North blog, and this was by far the most downtrodden I've ever seen this team.
There were a lot of blank stares from a group of veterans unfamiliar with losing Super Bowls. Players who were usually boisterous and upbeat were extremely sullen and shocked. It was an inner pain that could only come from being within six points and one drive from the ultimate goal of winning a championship.
Here is some emotional reaction from the Steelers after their 31-25 Super Bowl XLV loss to the Green Bay Packers:
Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison
"I don't feel anything but pain. … I know I lost an AFC Championship game one time and the pain was there for about four to six weeks. I don't know how long this is going to last but I hope it is over with fast."
Steelers safety Ryan Clark
"To win the Super Bowl, it's an amazing feeling. It's a feeling of satisfaction. It's a feeling of fulfillment in your job. To lose it, to actually be here and lose it, I don't know. There's nothing worse athletically. There's other things in life that could happen, but nothing worse athletically."
Steelers receiver Mike Wallace
"The lowest I've ever been down after a football game. I know you win some, you lose some, but this is one you can't really lose."
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger
"You know me, I hate to lose. Like I said, especially when you feel like you’re letting down guys that really stepped up today in a big way. So it's really hard."