PITTSBURGH - Distasteful as it is to keep returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers' overtime playoff loss in Denver, it's also necessary.
People have been calling it the worst postseason loss in Steelers history.
People, have we forgotten Jan. 15, 1995?
The Steelers were home at Three Rivers Stadium to host the AFC Championship game against the San Diego Chargers.
The Steelers were heavy favorites for a couple of reasons: They were better than the Chargers, and west coast teams traditionally have trouble traveling across the country for games.
The day dawned weird. Instead of the usual January blustery weather, which would have conceivably worked against the Chargers, it was mild and misty.
Kickoff temperature was 59 degrees, and rain was light but constant.
It wasn't Steelers weather, but that seemed to matter little.
The Steelers didn't lack confidence. In fact, word leaked that tight end Eric Green had led a bunch of teammates in a rehearsal for a Super Bowl rap video.
They used an empty locker room at Three Rivers during the week to work on their dance moves.
The Steelers jumped out to a 13-3 lead and seemed to be in control.
Then things got as weird as the weather.
Somehow, the Steelers lost track of tight end Alfred Pupunu and he got open on the right side of the field.
It was a 43-yard touchdown pass from Stan Humphries, and the 13-3 lead was 13-10.
Things didn't reach the critical point until Humphreys found receiver Tony Martin streaking down the other sideline and dropped in a perfect pass.
The 47-yard touchdown gave the Chargers a 17-13 lead.
But the Steelers weren't done. They drove to the Chargers' 3 and had one more play on fourth down.
During the timeout, quarterback Neil O'Donnell and coach Bill Cowher smiled after a sideline conference.
One play left, and O'Donnell attempted a pass to Barry Foster. Linebacker Dennis Gibson got a hand on the ball, the pass was incomplete and the Steelers were sunk.
They outgained San Diego, 415 yards to 226. They ran 80 plays to the Chargers' 47. And they lost.
Tim McKyer, who tried to defend on Martin's pass, was sobbing as he left the field with security guards propping him up.
A lot of other people felt like crying, too.
The Chargers embarrassed themselves in the Super Bowl, losing 49-26 to the San Francisco 49ers.
Yes, what happened in Denver 10 days ago was bad. But that was on the road, with key players missing because of injuries and a quarterback hobbling on one leg.
When it comes to worst Steelers playoff loss, Alfred Pupunu has done nothing to lose my vote.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org