Is it just me, or is the sun a little sunnier and my Diet Coke a little cokier this morning?
Life is good at the House of Bluz this morning, after the Steelers’ huge 2nd half comeback against the Ratbirds. My black Polamalu jersey and other mojo gear got the job done. And once again, I reclaim my title as Poster Boy for Schadenfreude.
Also, please allow me the opportunity to celebrate my prescient abilities to identify the excuses to be used by the fans and media in this town, to explain how victory was so unjustly snatched away from their dear football “team.”
Yesterday, I wrote:
“But whenever the Steelers beat the Ratbirds, there is always an excuse. It’s the League, the officials, bad calls, bad non-calls, and the ever popular, “We beat ourselves.” That one’s the most annoying because in most cases, it’s designed for the sole purpose of avoiding giving any credit to the other team.”
Cut to the 3rd paragraph of the lead story in the Baltimore Sun sports page, quoting Rats QB Joe Flacco: “When you look at those turnovers… and then you could look at it and say we beat ourselves.”
That didn’t take very long. So, the turnovers by the Ravens were because they beat themselves. But let me guess, the turnovers by the Steelers were due to the incredible ability of the Rats’ defense, right?
Speaking of, in the same article, Sun homer and hack Jamison Hensley goes on to say this about Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall’s fumble, “In a pile, the Ravens’ Dannell Ellerbe knocked the ball from Mendenhall.”
I’m not sure what Hensley was smoking, because everyone in America watching the game on TV could see that Steelers guard Chris Kemoeatu knocked the ball out with his elbow. But the hack writer doesn’t want to mention that little fact because it might accidentally take a chink out of the idea that the Ratbirds defense is the bestest ever. Plus, “we beat ourselves” is the Rats’ excuse and no one else is allowed to use it.
Again, in the same article, the writer says of the Steelers opening drive: “Helped by a questionable 37-yard pass interference penalty on the Ravens’ Josh Wilson…”
Oh that’s the questionable call? And no mention of the 31-yard interference penalty called on the Steelers? That one was legit, right? The one that gave the Rats the ball right up in the red zone? Not even worth mentioning, huh? (FYI, in my opinion, both were legitimate penalties.)
At least there were a couple of players that spoke the truth. Terrell Suggs, who spent the day rampaging through the Steelers backfield and generally being a beast, said this: “We didn’t put them away. We have nobody to blame but ourselves. We have to take a long look at ourselves. You can’t say the refs took one.”
Hmmm. When I first marked this quote for use, I read it as he was taking accountability. But in reading it again here, it does seem like a longer, more indirect way of saying “We beat ourselves.” At least he wasn’t blaming the refs. (The fans will take care of that… just check any Ratbird blog in the state, today.)
I will also give Rats’ cornerback Lardarius Webb some credit. He’s the guy that got torched by Ben’s long pass to rookie Antonio Brown for a 58-yard completion on 3rd and 19. He said, “He just ran by me, man. That’s it. I wasn’t expecting something different. He just ran by me.”
I was stunned. This is a Ratbird player actually giving credit to an opponent for playing better. Obviously, Webb hasn’t been with the team that long and may not have fully gotten through their media-quote playbook. I’m sure they’ll give him a crash course in the off-season to make sure he learns his lines.
But with the media in this town, you can’t trust them to run it, if it goes contrary to the expected company line. In the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Rats’ coach John Harbaugh is quoted saying: “It was one heck of a comeback, and the Steelers earned it.”
Obviously, there is no such quote in The Sun. That would go against the “They stole it/We beat ourselves” company line.
Another item not mentioned in the media here is that the Steelers lost their starting cornerback and both starting tackles during the game. They literally did not have another offensive lineman to put in the game if there were to be another injury. And what did the substitutes do? Drove down the field for the winning touchdown. Granted, none of them blocked Suggs worth a damn…
If I may address a few facts here, the Rats gained a total of 126 yards of total offense, including 28 yards in the entire second half. That is not “beating yourself,” that is getting owned by another defense.
Also, throughout this entire season, fans have been complaining about Rats’ offensive coordinator Cam Cameron for going conservative once they have the lead. This time, up 14 in the second half, he kept his foot on the gas and called a number of passes, leading to a couple of turnovers. Guess who’s now getting criticized for NOT going conservative? Just goes to show, “the fans” don’t know jack shit. (Except me, of course…) (Snork…)
One other item of interest… just to combat the “The refs robbed us” contingent, the Rats were called for 6 penalties for 74 yards. The Steelers were called for 9 penalties and 93 yards. Yeah, the refs are reeeeeeally bending over backwards for the Steelers, aren’t they? So when Hines Ward and Ed Reed get into that scuffle where they both take pokes at each other, then 4 other guys jump on Hines in the pile-up and only Hines gets penalized, that’s Steelers bias, right?
I agree that the officiating was not good, but I didn’t see a slant one way or another. The refs had entirely too large of a presence in the game. It was like you could never just enjoy or appreciate a play without worrying about what the penalty would be.
Anyway, I get to enjoy going to work tomorrow. I get to revel in the sweet salty tears of the Ratbird fans and listen to them squawk about the grave injustices that must have been done to their purple warriors.
Hey Rattie fans… I’ve got a purple warrior you can worship, right here!