PITTSBURGH -- As Ben Roethlisberger's fourth-down pass intended for Mike Wallace in the final minute fell harmlessly to the turf, most bars in Pittsburgh's tavern-heavy South Side bar district sat in stunned silence. Moments later, patrons quietly exited, carrying blank expressions as they flowed out onto the street.
Wiser for the experience of post-Super Bowl jubilation five and two years ago, Pittsburgh Police presence was heavy here. Carson Street was closed, and parking was prohibited on it and side streets.
But streets that hours before in the pregame revelry were filled with black-and-gold clad fans now were mostly desolate.
Two male fans in Steelers jerseys sat huddled with their heads down together, eliciting two policemen to approach them, convinced they'd been involved in some sort of altercation.
"Everything all right here?" one asked. Neither fan answered, one just looked up with the same expression as everyone else on the street.
"Oh, you're just depressed."
The officer was in a group of five policemen -- four of whom worked the same beat for the Super Bowl two years ago. It was a different scene this time around.
"Not much going on," one said. "Just a quiet, slow death march."