Big Lead Sports Bar



STEELERS (8-3) 27
BENGALS (1-9-1) 10

MOORE 15-56

Let me start by getting this off my chest: I don't like Thursday night football. At all. It seems like a major inconvenience for fans and it just doesn't feel right. There's no vibe. I can deal with Sunday night football, I can deal with Monday night football, but Thursday...I'll pass, thanks.

But if anything can get me out of a foul mood, it's seeing a former member of N'Sync sing the national anthem. So hats off to you, Chris Kirkpatrick. You saved my Thursday night football viewing experience. Too bad that Gone Country 2 thing went to Sebastian Bach.

Tomfoolery aside, it's time to get to the serious points from last night's game (with tomfoolery eventually creeping back in heavy doses):

1. That was, without a doubt, the worst performance by a punter [Paul Ernster] I've ever seen in my entire life, at any level. Even Mike Tomlin called it "horrible". For those of you scoring at home, he averaged 28 yards on five punts. Is it too late to see if Josh Miller is still out there?

2. I haven't checked the NFL online shop lately, but you can sign me up for one of those nifty, Gore-Tex-looking Steeler coats that Coach Tomlin was wearing last night. George Costanza would be proud.

3. Great defensive performance by the Steelers on Dick Lebeau night, but the team simply let the Bengals hang around waaaay too long. As Cris Collinsworth pointed out once or 12 times, the Bengals were only one botched Steeler play away from taking the lead well into the second half, although that's more on the offense.

But back to the much-praised defense: how is it possible to allow a team "featuring" Ryan Fitzpatrick and Cedric Benson, and 11-play, 62-yard drive on their second possession?

4. If the playoffs started today, the Steelers would be a #2 seed and have a first-round bye. But the last time I checked, the playoffs don't start for at least another month, so I guess this is just a pointless link.

5. "Saved by Zero" was officially replaced by the roughly eight million spots for the iPhone in the "Repetitive, Annoying Commercials" category last night. Do we really need that many features on a phone?

6. That was the first time I've seen Big Ben run in a while. Usually he's, I don't know...on his back, being jammed into the turf by a 350-pound lineman. But hopefully the mobility means he's feeling better. Of course, it helped that the Bengals have no pass rush. But last year, Roethlisberger ran for 204 yards. This year? 43, which puts him on pace for 63.

7. I'm telling you, those screen passes work. My Main Mewelde had 41 yards through the air and another 56 on the ground. What a great signing of an under-the-radar free agent. The Steelers must have consulted with Ray Shero on that one.

8. Hats off to Gary Russell for his first NFL touchdown, to go along with a 28-yard average on kick returns. Well done.

9. I can't speak for you, but I'm counting down the minutes till that Deion - TO interview on the NFLN. That should be some hard-hitting journalism. What, was Michael Irvin unavailable?

10. It was like a Bengal reunion last night. Collinsworth, Boomer Esiason, and Solomon Wilcots were all there as broadcasters, and Ken Anderson was there as a Steeler coach. And just like the old days, the Bengals lost.

11. Tough night for injuries. Willie Parker went down again, this time "with a knee", as did Brett Keisel. Santonio Holmes got hit so hard, he didn't get knocked into next week, he got knocked into the Dallas game. No word yet on the severity of the injuries from the team, which is always tripping over itself to tell the entire league how hurt their guys are.

12. Speaking of the Dallas game, is anyone in Pittsburgh worried for their safety knowing that PacMan Jones and Tank Johnson will be coming to town? That being said, the local strip clubs should do very well during the Cowboys' visit.

13. Referring to point 12, the Bengals came through (with Chris Henry) and left the city unscathed. Maybe my faith in criminals is not lost.

14. OK, Limas Sweeders, here's something to talk about: 2 catches, 25 yards, 1 fumble (lost, of course). Still not enough to justify a jersey purchase that wasn't even my own.

15. There are few things better or more enjoyable as a sports fan than watching Troy Polamalu run after he gets the football. Period.

16. Great performance by the Steeler fans planted near the NFLN's broadcast booth after the game. Nothing like watching Deion Sanders and his candy cane-colored scarf trying to yell over fans to make a point to Marshall Faulk in his finest cab driver hat, while Warren Sapp slouches at the end of the booth and says very little.

17. Even better performance by whoever the people were that were behind Hines Ward in his postgame interview, which looked like it was held in a tunnel. Now that's a colorful bunch.

18. Seeing that snow last night made me realize something: if the Steelers had a team snowball fight before, during, or after the game, and sides were chosen playground-style, the first pick has to be Byron Leftwich, right?

19. You've gotta admit, if I told you 8-3 after 11 weeks at the beginning of the season, you'd take it. Or did we all forget our 9-7 predictions (which, I might add, are still possible, although unlikely).

20. I picked a winner in yesterday's Chad Johnson-related comment contest, and it is Scott, who said:

"Guys, it's right there in the official NFL injury report ...

CINCINNATI BENGALS at PITTSBURGH STEELERS — BENGALS: OUT: WR Antonio Chatman (neck), DE Eric Henderson (neck), LB Abdul Hodge (elbow), T Levi Jones (back), G Scott Kooistra (knee), S Chinedum Ndukwe (foot), WR Chad Ocho Cinco (douchebaggery), DE Antwan Odom (shoulder), QB Carson Palmer (right elbow), G Andrew Whitworth (ankle). DOUBTFUL: WR Jerome Simpson (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: CB Johnathan Joseph (foot). PROBABLE: WR Andre Caldwell (foot), WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (back), TE Reggie Kelly (ankle), RB Kenny Watson (shoulder). STEELERS: OUT: CB Bryant McFadden (forearm), T Marvel Smith (back), CB Deshea Townsend (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: TE Matt Spaeth (wrist)."

Scott's going to get a free gold hoodie compliments of Champion for his contribution (SRP $65). So Scott, if you're out there, send me an email with your address. And if any of you other sly foxes pretend to be Real Scott, I'm going to be very disappointed.

21. Obviously, I now see what must motivate people to leave comments: free stuff. Luckily, I've got plenty of other things to give out in the newly-thought-of Mondesi's House Mystery Prize Box, so who knows what you'll get. Will it be the Baltimore Ravens winter cap? The Donovan McNabb Bobblehead (unfortunately, it doesn't talk with ignorance about NFL rules)? Or something even better than Scott's prize? The suspense will surely get the best of you.

22. I think my remote officially broke while trying to watch this game and the Pens game (although it wasn't as bad as December 20, 2007: the night the Steelers played the Rams, Pitt played Duke at MSG, and the Pens beat the Bruins in a shootout, with Sid's first fight). The post was titled, "Three Wins, Two Losses", because that was also the night that Willie Parker and Mike Cook went down for the season.

23. Speaking of the Pens, I hear that they played against Colby Armstrong's new team last night. Actually, I heard that roughly 30,000 times last night. But a win is a win is a win, even if it's in front of a crowd smaller than your average WPIAL football game (there were 13,000 in attendance last night? Really?)

Sid had the highlight of the evening, scoring a goal as he was falling down, and Petr Sykora added the game winner with 2:40 left in regulation, sparing the Penguins yet another, and at times, seemingly inevitable, overtime.

24. Come to think of it, I might like this Thursday night thing after all. I'm never in this chatty of a mood on a Monday morning.

25. Patriots next week. Might be a good game to tape.

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okel dokel said...

Did anyone else see Douchemandzadeh grab Troy's hair? It looked like he thought the better of it and let go given his ponytail.

I would not be showing my face at Heinz Field ever again if I was Paul Ernster.

This has nothing to do with Ben, but I have no confidence in this offense becasue of the line. Ben and the rest of the "skill" players would be a much better offensive unit with a decent o-line. Just stating the obvious.

mondesishouse said...

25 points, and somehow I left off the hair-pulling. And might I add, his attempts at pulling Polamalu's hair did not result in a tackle.

Steve said...

That's was a weird Pens game, huh? My friend Donovan M. says he didn't even know a hockey game could end without a tie and/or going into a shootout. That Atlanta crowd was 5,000 at best going by 1st period observations. They obviously let the cheap seat fans move down later on to lessen the embarrasment. Can cardboard fan cutouts be far away and can you say the "Toronto Thrashers"?

No doubt Moore should be the starting RB now and Russell seems to have solidified himself as the "go to" goal line and short yardage back. Parker (if healthy) should only be used as a change of pace and to spell a tired/injured Moore. Maybe someday when the O-line is good enough to create holes big enough to drive a truck through, then Parker and his uncanny ablility to run straight into the tackler can be considered a starting back again. Unless that is, he injures himself shaving or something. Wait a minute, here's a thought...can he punt?

I agree, Thursday night football blows...besides, the Pens play every Thursday and then I end up getting my Roethlisberger in my Crosby and my Crosby in my Roethlisberger.

Unknown said...

Though Scott's was good, HotDog_Zanzabar should have won...

getfreshdesigns said...

I love Thursday Night Football. But then again, I am not a fan of college sports or hockey.

Although, I can do without Collinsworth and his sidekick. horrible announcers.

Now, I didn't watch all the pre-game show, but a part that I caught it seemed like Marshall Faulk had it out for the Steelers.

AJ said...

Thursday night games are horrible. I realize that times are tough and the NFL needs another prime time game on their own network to make ends meet, but enough already. There is nothing about that coverage that makes me want to subscribe to a more expensive cable package

Also... I thought the "caught him going nueve cinco in a cinco cinco" comment was great.

Anonymous said... mention of Deion's "Cosby" sweater??

(To quote Jack Black from HIGH FIDELITY, "It's a Cosby sweater. A Cossssssss-by sweater!")

Also, I throw this one out there to see if anyone else feels the same way:

The whole Carey Davis / Gary Russell tag team is a little confusing in much the same way Keith Gary / Keith Willis and Gerald Williams / Jerrol Williams duos were in the past.

Similar body types playing similar positions and after a few beers, well....

RedHawks Hockey said...

I think the next prize should be a Limas Sweed jersey. I hope I win, so I can have 2 and wear them more often, beccause it is the best jersey out there.


okel dokel said...


Frank Pollard/Sidney "Thundering Bull" Thornton

Anonymous said...

When you include the fact that Pollard changed his number from 44 to 30, I was one confused child.

(To make matters worse, do you remember the Steeler cards you'd get from local police officers? One year, the Pollard card was the negative, so his 44 was backwards.)

Jules said...

I too loved Deion's sweater...Cowher would be proud.

The Steelers are now 1-1 when Chris Kirkpatrick sings the National Anthem.

Dave said...

I think the papa-collinsworth team is pretty good. I mean would you rather have buck-aikman? nantz-simms? I'd say that at least 90% of the commenting teams are absolutely terrible.

I'd love to have a broadcast that still used multiple angles, stat graphics, and the occasional sideline injury report, but without the announcers. use ambient mikes to pick up the sounds of the game -- the hits, the jawing, the crowd. What do the announcers even bring to the table?

Paul Rupp said...

The NFL Network is a scam.

RedHawks Hockey said...

Your mom is a scam, Rupp.

Anonymous said...

Ernster should be cut.