Big Lead Sports Bar

11/06/2007

Payback's a Ben

STEELERS (6-2) 38

RAVENS (4-4) 7

Thoughts from Super Bowl 41.75...

--I can say with little hesitation that last night's game was one of the most enjoyable I've ever experienced as a Steeler fan. From the opponent to the 75th Anniversary Team to the memorable individual performances, it was a fantastic evening.

--I vividly remember some local pundits saying that James Harrison should not be a starter for the Steelers, blaming pedigree and size among other reasons. I never fell into that camp, feeling that Silverback always seemed to make things happen. I think he validated my argument last night. Joey Who?

--Maybe now Harrison will be known nationally for something other than this:

--If Ben Roethlisberger is having a season like this any other year, it's big news. He is on pace for 40 touchdowns. Let me repeat that. He is on pace for 40 touchdowns.

--Roethlisberger's escapability is starting to become the stuff of legends. Is there anyone better at extending a play?

Texas alum?

--The Steelers had at least 8-10 plays last night that legitimately made me jump out of my seat. And the blocking! I particularly enjoyed the one where Hines Ward hit Ed Reed so hard that he immediately signaled the trainer afterwards. Mike Tirico put it best when he said, "Hines Ward has been picking off DBs all night."

--Lost in the euphoria of last night was the 1st quarter play that reminded everyone that Ike Taylor still can't catch.

--I don't know what Tirico was thinking with some of his banter in the 2nd half. As the Ravens are losing 38-7, Tirico is going on and on about how the Ravens have tightened up their defense in the second half and how this could have a carry-over effect to next week. As I was wondering what planet Tirico was on, Ron Jaworski spoke up and said that there was nothing good about a 38-7 blowout.

--John Clayton was especially irritating on Mike and Mike this morning. I believe it was the quote, "Well, the next time they play [in the AFC Championship], Indianapolis will have to travel to Foxboro" that put me over the edge.

Gee, why even bother with the second half of the season or the playoffs? I mean, I know the Steelers don't play in Indianapolis or New England, but aren't they at least in the conversation as a contender at this point? They just got done allowing 104 total yards (33 coming on one play) and 5 first downs. They are a whole one game behind Indianapolis. They've outscored their opponents, 222-98. And they are one of just a handful of teams that have won their first four home games by at least 20 or more. That's OK, though. Keep giving all the attention to the other two teams, and we'll cruise right under the radar.

Apparently, no one learned a lesson from the 2005 season when definitively declaring who will play in Championship and Super Bowl games. My favorite soundbite from the XL run was Dan Patrick asking Michael Irvin about the Steelers' chances of winning in Indianapolis: "Not a chance, Dan!", the Playmaker said emphatically.

--Clayton's next topic tossed to him was comparing football in the 70s to football today. He noted that there are several great QBs today..."you know, the big two, and then guys like Carson Palmer". Regular readers know how I feel on that topic.

--The only negative from last night, other than Roethlisberger's brief injury exit, was the lack of a running game. The Steelers ran 39 times for just 90 yards (2.3/carry).

--Steve McNair was so bad, Baltimore should just cut him today. He was historically bad. He can't move, his long pass was that 9-yarder to the backup tight end, and he leads the league in fumbles. He completed 13 passes for 63 yards; how that is even possible to have that few yards with that many completions, I don't know.

Unlike most QBs, Steve McNair chooses to throw the ball when it's not in his hands

--Baltimore continued to amaze me all night. As the deficit kept growing and growing, the Ravens kept inexplicably whooping and hollering louder and louder. Of course, Mike Tirico chalked it up to the Ravens not quitting, when clearly it was a bunch of thugs hitting after the whistle and trying to start trouble. Luckily, Ed Hochuli was on the case, so any funny business was dealt with quickly and severely.

--Jaws said last night that McNair is banged up and can't properly plant, therefore he can't produce adequate velocity. Fortunately, the Ravens have a backup plan: Kyle Boller will line up on one knee and throw the 50-yard bombs that they drafted him for.

--Anyone else catch the interview with Mel Blount? You know, the one when Michelle Tafoya asked him about the Ravens' performance, and he said, "it's pretty pathetic".

--By the way, was Blount born with that cowboy hat on his head? I believe that's the same affliction that affects Jim Brown.


--The Steelers played Cincinnati last week, and we concluded that they are in complete disarray. They played Baltimore last night, and they're obviously in complete disarray. Of course, both of these teams were picked to finish ahead of the Steelers pretty much across the board, which goes to show you what analysts' opinions are worth.

--Was I seeing things, or was that Lawrence Timmons recovering a fumble?

--Nice little game out of #43 last night, no?

--Skippy Reed, Steelers Enforcer?

--The PG had a fantastic photo gallery today, with memorable shots like this:

Ben hits Nate; Stan is unimpressed

--When did Mean Joe morph into Grady from Sanford and Son?

--For those of you wondering, Joey Porter and Jack Lambert were the only two no-shows for the 75th anniversary festivities.

--I'll close with this: we want you, New England. Preferably undefeated.

14 comments:

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

Did Dan Rooney have a granddaughter in the owner's box last night or did he go Joe Hardy on us?

Mean Joe also looks like Arsenio Hall's character in the barber shop on Coming to America

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Jaws is consistently the only announcer that knows the game.

Someone in the booth mentioned that the Ravens defense had stuffed the Steelers in the 2nd half and Jaws quickly mentioned that the Steeers obviously had called off the dogs. It was pretty clear because we threw the ball, what, 3 times in the 2nd half?

I mean, with the 35-7 lead the correct plan was to run Willie into 12 zillion man fronts for 1 yard a pop... I'm not being sarcastic, we're not the Patriots.

And even with the somewhat-failed attempt at a running game in the 2nd half, I still think in that half we had almost as many yards as the Ravens had ALL GAME!!

Chris said...

Mel Blount don't play!

J P said...

I loved that block Hines put on Ed Reed, then Hines was pointing at him like "check this out." Hilarious! Wasn't Reed the one that blew up a kicker at the Pro Bowl last year? Serves him right.

Anyone see Ray Ray ranting after the game about how anyone can beat them if they turn the ball over that much? How it'll be different in Baltimore? Bitch, please.

GMoney said...

It goes Brady, Peyton, Ben, Brees, and Queerboy Romo. 5 elite QB's in the NFL and only 5.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I think that Hines was legitimately and seriously pointing as if to say "Man down! Get a trainer over here!" after the Reed block.

Then he went on to go block someone else.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

By the way, last night was basically a great night and a great overall broadcast for Steeler fans, as Mondesi already stated.

You had the 75th anniversary celebration with the all time team in the house contributing interviews, and in Terry's case, guest commentary (1st time in history I didn't think the guest commentator during a MNF broadcast didn't suck).

I had a few problems. First of all, I would've much rather seen the on-field ceremony at halftime than that PTI segment. But I guess the rest of America doesn't care about our all-time team.... however, if it were the Yankees we probably would've been subjected to it.

Also, it seems like the announcers only mentioned the players on the all-time team that played during the 70s. There were plenty of players honored that played before and after the 70s too.

One final thing. It was great to see Rod Woodson in a Steelers jersey (well it was a throwback, but still) on the field. And we were playing one of his post-Steelers teams, the Ravens.

God, Woodson playing for the Steelers sure did suck. He was way past his prime then and had been moved to safety, and it just felt wierd to hate Rod Woodson for a few years.

okel dokel said...

A great game. Ben looked good and did not force any passes into coverage. His ability to "extend the play" as Jaws says is truly the difference.

The constant chatter from the Ravens was ridiculous. They were down by 35 points and still celebrating and dancing. I guess Ray said the last game of the year will be a different story. Hopefully, it won't matter and Brian St. Pierre will be running the show with Carey Davis and Gary Russell as the feature backs. I like the Ravens defense and respect their physicality, but the trash talking is just stupid.

The festivities from last night were great. Hearing Lynn Swann and John Stallworth's stories about Heinz were great. *uck the rest of America, it was our night. Now we can go back to hearing about all things Colts, Patriots and aRod.

Speaking of the WWL, I feel bad for Steve Young. He has to endure doing that ludicous post-game show with Emmitt Smith and old Lazy Eye. They must not want him to return next year.

Matt said...

does anyone know why ben does the longhorns thing with his hand after touchdowns? ive never seen anyone explain it.

Brian said...

I really like those uniforms. What's the general consensus on them in Pittsburgh? I'd like to see the Steelers bring them back once a year from now on, but I'm not sure if they're just for the 75th anniversary.

mai wen said...

Glad I'm not the only one that noticed the young lady with Dan Rooney! My husband thought the same thing, but I quickly jumped to what I hope is the correct assumption that that was his granddaughter...

Great post Mondesi, and I thought I was so witty and original when I wrote "Joey who?" on my blog last night, darn! Guess not so brilliant as I thought!

Even though I get pissed off when the Steelers continually get ignored, as partially shown by last year, apparently Ben and the Steelers tend to do better when they are not expected to do well! As soon as everyone expects great things out of them the deflate, so whatever works for them! Let them play the respect card again and get all fired up. I mean, not one person that wasn't a Steelers fan called them making it to Super Bowl XL.

I can't wait for the New England game, not one media person will give us a chance and I'm so ready to watch the Steelers pound the Patriots into the ground.

Boy do I hate sports media more and more every year.

And great Harrison clip, it's a classic. As for the Browns fan, he hates to lose to the Steelers, but really, shouldn't he be used to it by now? I mean, come on! He'd better be ready for it this weekend!

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

HotDot Zanzabar:

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