Boomer Grigsby did not make the NFL playoffs in his rookie season with the Kansas City Chiefs because of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Steelers' 11-5 record was good enough to claim the final American Football Conference wild card spot and left Kansas City out of the running at 10-6.
Pittsburgh has taken advantage by advancing to today's Super Bowl against Seattle at Ford Field in Detroit. That makes Grigsby think about what might have been.
"I think I'm going to be cheering for Pittsburgh. One, because we play them next year," Grigsby said. "Two, as much as I think they stole our wild card spot, in my own way if they win it's like we could have won the Super Bowl."
The former Illinois State All-American believes the AFC was superior to the NFC this season "without a doubt" and expects the Super Bowl to reflect that, predicting a 28-14 Steelers' victory.
"I think Pittsburgh's going to win," said Grigsby, whose team did not play the Seahawks or Steelers in the regular season. "I think with Jerome Bettis going home for the Super Bowl, he's going to go out with a bang. The Bus is going to be rolling."
Grigsby sees Bettis' possible retirement as a negative to a Pittsburgh victory.
"I don't want him to retire. I want to say I tackled The Bus," he said. "Maybe The Bus will stick around and I'll get the chance to knock him around next year. People say the bigger they are, the harder they fall. But sometimes the bigger they are, the harder they hit."
Grigsby said Seattle defenders will need to "stay low and drive their feet" when trying to tackle Bettis.
The linebacker/special teams player believes the Pittsburgh defense will be able to control the Seahawks' offense.
"Shaun Alexander is a great all-around back and an experienced back. He sees the field very well. Their line has done a good job for him," said Grigsby. "But Pittsburgh has three or four fast linebackers, and their scheme is well suited for an Alexander type running back. They are high energy and they take pride in their defense."
Grigsby spent some time with Seattle rookie linebacker Lofa Tatupu at the NFL Combine before the 2005 NFL Draft.
"I'm so envious of him," he said. "A rookie comes in and gets a starting job and gets to the Super Bowl. I would like to think I could do the same thing in the same situation. But he did it."
Even though he has played a full year in the NFL, Grigsby said he will still watch the game "with the same perspective as 10 years ago. The only difference will be seeing someone and thinking I can smash them, thinking I want to smash them or thinking I might have a chance to smash them.
"I feel like a fan still. It's still a roller coaster ride."
Grigsby will be enjoying that ride in Las Vegas, watching the game with Chiefs' teammate John Welbourn.