Monday, February 7, 2011

Commencing: Operation Comfort Food

Yep, I’m still pissed about the game.  The Pack won fair and square, 31-25.  They made the big plays to capitalize on our bad plays.

As opposed to what happens when the Ratbirds lose a game, the Steelers, to a man, stepped up and accepted responsibility for the loss.  Ben said it was his fault for the interceptions.  Mendenhall said it was his fault for the fumble.  Polamalu said it was his fault for not making more big plays or stopping the Packers on defense.  Specifically, Troy said this:

I was a step off here and there and we didn’t make plays.  We were unable to get any turnovers on defense; that was the difference.  They made plays on defense and we didn’t.  They played a great game.  They’re deserving of Super Bowl champs.”

Hines Ward said, “They were the better team tonight.”

That right there is honesty and accountability.  Even in defeat, the Steelers still do their fans proud.  I’ve never seen any Ratbird player come anywhere close to that kind of statement, which is another, reason I loath them the way I do.

So let’s go through some of my game day observations, shall we?

The Omen Part 1
I knew it was a bad sign when the Pens lost to the Capitals yesterday afternoon and didn’t look good doing it.  I probably should have concentrated on the game more, but I was pretty wrapped up in blogging and tweeting and pacing around.  Perhaps a better jersey selection would have helped.  Or more specifically, any jersey selection would have helped.  I haven’t worn a Pens jersey for the previous 4 games and they’ve won, so I’ve been riding that streak.  I’ll be suiting up tomorrow night, for sure.

Highlight of the game was the Capitals defensemen getting hit in the head with a puck.  Immediately, all the Caps fans stood up and began gesturing wildly and yelling for a penalty.

Bag the Carpet
I was really hoping for a quality pre-game experience.  Man, was I ever disappointed.  I kept flipping between Fox and the NFL Network.  Both were bringing the “lame.”  I mean, what’s with all the red carpet crap?  There’s no red carpet in football!  The Super Bowl is a game ticket and a flask, not a red freakin’ carpet!  Like I want to hear a bunch of celebrities promote their next movie then mumble about the game when it’s clear they have no idea what they’re talking about. 

I think John Travolta has a career in politics (or maybe coaching), given his rambling answer wherein he spoke for 45 seconds on which team he thought would win, while saying absolutely nothing. 

Harrison Ford looked and sounded like he just got up from a nap.  I used to like him until he wore that green scarf.

Owen Wilson sounded like he was stoned to the bejesus, but then when isn’t he?

All day long I’ve been seeing on TV and online where people are saying that Troy Polamalu has been ineffective during the two playoff games.  And I don’t mean the usual message board morons; I mean the “expert” analysts on TV.

Has it not occurred to anyone that playing deep, covering receivers and destroying the passing game does not equal “ineffective?”  Just because there haven’t been any flying tackles in the backfield does NOT mean the man isn’t doing his job.  I think Troy has spoiled us to the point where we can’t appreciate his job-well-done unless he does something super-human.

Cowboying Up
Hey Fox, WTF is up with all the Cowboys bullshit during pregame?  The Cowboys didn’t even make the playoffs, yet there they all are having a circle-jerk over how great it was to be Cowboys.  Hey Jerry, why don’t you talk about the ruined experience for all those fans that weren’t allowed to take their seats in your expensive stadium, because you couldn’t get the temporary seating done in time?

OK, Jerry’s stadium/homage to ego is real big.  Can we please talk about the game now?

The Omen Part 2
For the love of all that’s holy, can we get Steely McBeam the hell off of the sidelines?  I saw him there during the pre-game.  I’ve never seen a mascot less liked by his team’s own fans.  From what I can see, he contaminated the whole place with mediocrity. 
No wait, maybe I shouldn’t post his pic or else this site will also become… nahhh, never mind.  That horse has long been out of the barn.

Enough with the pre-game concerts, too.  Well, OK, it’s not a bad idea to have them there for the crowd, but do we have to broadcast that shit too?  Keith Urban was bad enough, but that Maroon group?  They sounded like a bunch of weenies.  It was NOT football music.

You want a pre-game concert?  Book George Thorogood.  He’ll get out there and rock those people senseless.  He’ll sing about cars and drinking and partying and ask you “Who Do You Love?”  That’s football music.

Black Eyed Peas at halftime?  Screw that.  Football music should be hard pounding rock and roll, not heartless, soul-less electronica.  Bag the Black Eyed Peas and book AC/DC.  Hell, every stadium in America already uses their music in-game.  “You Shook Me,” “Thunderstruck,” “Heatseeker,” and “For Those About to Rock.”  There’s your set right there; no naughty words and guaranteed to rip the fake roof right off the place.  
We salute you, mates.

And as an olive branch to the nation’s youth, Fergie can stay on the stage and dance, as long as she stays out of Angus’ way.

Strange Bedfellows
Did we really have to drag politics into Super Bowl Sunday.  Not missing any chances to hype their own talking heads, Fox had commentator/gargoyle Bill O’Reilly interview President Obama. 

I would comment on the substance of the interview but I turned to the NFL Network instead.  Can we not escape all the political bullshit for even a day?  Please, give us Super Bowl Sunday for football, then we can go back to making up lies about each other for the next 51 Sundays.

And Now a Commercial Break
The commercials were OK.  Most were spoiled for me because they were featured on the “Best Super Bowl Commercials” show the night before.  Though it wasn’t well received, my favorite was the Audi-Breaking out of Rich Jail spot.  I thought it was wildly clever.  The Kenny G stuff slayed me.  I also liked the Star Wars spot and the CarMax “Mixed Metaphors” bit.  Again, very clever.

Meet the Packers
I hate it when people cry about announcers being biased so it pains me to become one of them.  Now I’m not saying that the Fox crew was doing anything as blatant as rooting for the Packers to win, but they were verbally felating every thing they did.  You know, the Steelers had some injuries too this season, (both offensive tackles, their Pro-Bowl center, Pro-Bowl defensive tackle, played without their QB for 4 games and All-Pro safety for two, and so on), but all we heard was about how Green Bay has overcome their injury-riddled season.

Know what?  Join the fucking club.  Every Super Bowl team overcomes injuries.  It doesn’t make them special.

I know that Fox does the NFC broadcasts and maybe it’s just that the announcers know more about them but it seemed that every point brought to bear was filtered through how it affected the Packers.  It was like everything was from their point of view.  I noticed it.  Did you?

Since I’m crying about announcer bias, I might as well complain about the refs.  First half: 5 calls on the Steelers, 0 on the Packers.  I’m not even saying they were bad calls, but there were none on the Pack.  They at least should have called one when they tackled Mendenhall by the facemask.  At least I think that’s what it was.  Fox never showed a replay.  But it sounded like a stadium-full of people that saw the replay on the scoreboard agree with me.

The refs began making calls on the Pack in the 2nd half, but by then the damage was done.  Penalties sapped the life out of every promising drive the Steelers had and consequently the Pack shot out to a 21-3 lead.

It's Hip to Have Squares
The Packer’s 21 points at least put me in range of hitting one of my pool squares.  I had “1” for the Packers and that paid off for 3 quarters for people that weren’t me.  Unfortunately, I had a Steelers “8”.  One more FG would have done it for me once they ran that 2-point conversion, but no dice.

On the bright side, the Packers winning saved me about $200 I would have otherwise spent on buying Championship swag and 7-Time Champion stuff.  And all of my 6-Time Champion stuff is still valid.  I’ll take my silver linings where I can get them.

All in all, this one isn’t nearly as bad as the Super Bowl XXX loss.  I don’t hate the Packers the way I hated those Cowboys.  (In fact, I don't hate them at all.)  And the game didn’t effectively end on one stupid mistake.  So I can live with this.  I don’t like it, but hell, no one expected we’d get this far at the beginning of the season.  It was a great ride and I’m proud of my boys.

And most importantly, we did better than the Ravens.

Judie, this one’s for you.


The Random Blogette said...

I don't even know if I even paid attention to the game. Sorry! I am there for there food! Hell I didn't even realize that Christina Aguilera screwed up the national Anthem and I WAS paying attention to that. I know that my team will never make it to the Super Bowl so as I said, I am at the party for the food! Hell even the commercials were kind of sucky this year. What the hell?!

Facie said...

I apologize if you covered this in your previous post, which I have not yet read, but I think Christina, a Burgh native, screwing up the National Anthem was a bad omen. Reminded me of when Fleury tripped coming onto the ice during Game 6 of the Cup Finals in 2009 and the Pens lost (at least I think that was the game). For my money, no one has sung the NA like Whitney did in '91 or whenever that ways. Sure, it was prerecorded, but now I can see why.

I was less than impressed with the commercials, though in the addition to some of the ones you liked, I was amused by the Doritos bringing grandpa back to life.

I thought the same thing about the injuries. Um the Steelers lost a lot of guys to injuries, even if just for a game or two. Just b/c they did not put 125 people on IR like the Pack did, does not mean they were not affected. Sheesh.

I thankfully missed Steely.

Gray skies here in the Burgh, in more than one way. But, hey, we still got 6!

Oilfield Trash said...

I agree with every thing you said. Great post. Much better than my post about the game.

bluzdude said...

So given your locale, you have to be either a Browns, Bengals or Lions fan. (I'd guess Browns.) So yeah, no sense on getting hung up on your team making it. Might as well get your eat on.

I agree w/ the Christina omen. Funny thing... when she screwed up, I said, "I think she just booted the words." Pinky said, "No, she didn't... she got'em." So I thought I just heard wrong, until I saw the paper today.

Definitely an omen.

I liked the Grandpa spot too, but I saw it the night before. Good idea though.

I saw Steely down there during pregame. Luckily, he never appeared during the game, or I might have thrown something through the TV.

All things considered, it's still great to be a Stillers fan. Our "6" is safe for a while, or at least until Dallas or SF can field a playoff team.

bluzdude said...

You had a lot more on your plate than I did, my friend. All I had to do was sit on my ass, or pace.

Judie said...

I'm soooo sorry that Santa brought you coal, Bluz, but I am really grateful to see those socks go in the washer at long last!! Despite what you have claimed over the season, I'll bet those two guys could have walked to the washer and jumped in on their own!
your hot Arizona auntie

bluzdude said...

Judie (HAA),
You know you love it when I name-drop you in a post!

And those socks were fine all season, right up until the point that they had to experience the bitter taste of defeet. Ha!

Mrs. Bachelor Girl said...

Not being a big football fan, I REALLY look forward to the commercials and the halftime show, and both were sorely lacking this year. As someone said on Facebook, "Why is that tranny impersonating Axl Rose and dry-humping Slash?!"

bluzdude said...

Mrs. Bachelor Girl,
THAT is hilarious. Although I still think Fergie looks hot. Until she starts singing, anyway. Maybe it's just the boots and mini-skirt.

Oilfield Trash said...

Yes I did have a full plate on my hands.

And I forgot to say that I have been for YEARS wondering why ACDC was not a performer. They would be great for the halftime show. Even my son said as much a couple of weeks ago when he questioned the choice of the Black Eyed Peas.

Cassie said...

That halftime show...OH. MY. GOD. It was horrid. I watched all of two minutes of it.

Being as I'm from Minnesota and my favorite sports guy in the whole world as a kid was Favre, (before he turned loser) I like the Packers.

So I'm glad they were the ones to beat the Steelers. I have hometown pride, of course, and would have loved the W, but I did say at the beginning of the football season that Green Bay was going to take it all. And I'm always right.

bluzdude said...

Good job with teaching the boy the difference between good music and empty electronic beats.

I thought Minnesota people were the mortal enemies of the Cheezers... But like I said in earlier posts... I like the Pack. And if they'd beaten someone else instead of the Steelers yesterday, I'd have bought a Championship hat.

And hey, at least baby Jordan Sidney knew enough to hold off on being born until after the game.

Jessica R. said...

I agree with the whole "red carpet" lead up. What WAS that?

And then the whole Troy Aikman interview with all the Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, they were all talking about how much they loved the Cowboys. Really?! How much did they get paid to say that?

At least it was a good, challenging football game that was fun to watch.

I loved the commercials you mentioned. I also liked the Pug in the Doritos commercial, but that may just be my dog lover side coming out.

Mary Ann said...

As the old Joan Baez sang in "The Night They Drove Ol Dixie Down", 'Ya can't raise de cane back up/when it's in DeeFEET'.
You made a fitting finish to this post.
The twit who mangled the NA should have to listen to the real lyrics until next Super Bowl. If she weren't all about hair and hamming it up, she might have focused on the anthem.

bluzdude said...

If there's a good dog for running into a door, it's definitely a pug. No real nose, to speak of.

Mary Ann,
Vegas actually had a line on how long she'd hold the last note. The over/under was 6 seconds. If I were betting, I'd have definitely taken the "over." I think she went until the fly-over drown her out.

Raven said...

You are absolutely right about football music, George Thorogood and AC/DC all the way!

Kernut the Blond said...

Ok, so I didn't watch the game. Hey, it's 75 degrees at the beach - I just couldn't see staying indoors. I am terribly sorry your Steelers lost. I was rooting for them for you. I really was. Just from the beach.

I have to agree with you about the half-time "entertainment". It leaves much to be desired. I wish they would bring back the old rock bands and get some energy going.

Have yet to see all the commercials. I just googled the Audi one - hella funny!!

bluzdude said...

That's right... football music needs to thump, not beep and squeak!

If it was 75 here and I had a beach, I might have done the same.

OK, maybe not yesterday, but I'da been out there Saturday...

Anonymous said...

Ratbirds. Hell, the Ravens are Satan's spawn. Contempt and hatred for what they represent is real. Anybody who likes them because they're the "hometown" team should at least have the decency to put an asterisk next to their being a "fan." 10% or 20% life points should be taken off just for rooting for them. E.G. if you are a Ravens "fan" and you're "behind them 100%"; you know that's only 80% as meaningful as being a fan of any other true NFL team. Don't be hypocritical. Their mere existence (and certainly the history of their coming to be) should always warrant a measure of pure shame in the hearts and souls of anyone who lifts a finger to support that "organization." If one truly loves the city of Baltimore, then by all means work to rid this once proud city of this horrific, evil blemish. Or be doomed to be haunted by nightmares of screeching colts and U-Haul trucks backfiring in the middle of the cold, dark night. Nevermore? For evermore (!)

bluzdude said...

Ah, new reader... from Australia, even!

I did an extensive post on exactly why I hate the Ratbirds... It's called "Purple Stain." You can link to it from the "Helpful Stuff" tab or the Ratbirds label. It contains a rundown of everything I hate about that garbage organization.

ettible said...

Believe it or not, I accidentally watched all of the game last night. I chose to cheer for the Steelers just because I have good memories of my visits to Pittsburgh, so that little mid-game comeback was a good time for me. I thought the halftime show was UNBEARABLE, but sorry, I sort of love the mascot.

bluzdude said...

"Accidentally" watched the whole game? Admit it... you're a closet sports fan.

And I thank you for recognizing the awesomeness that is Pittsburgh.

Judie said...

O.k., Cowboy! I confess! I came close to having an--an--never mind--when I saw my name in print on your post.

I really am sorry, though, about the loss. So were my friends from Pittsbugh whose home I went to for the party. We were hoping against hope right up until the bitter end. Then I got sick from too much booze and threw up into the pool. I did take a great dip to the party though!!

bluzdude said...

Well, I hope their pool skimmer is in good order.

Let me guess, you had to do a shot every time the Fox broadcasters said how great Rodgers was...

sherry stanfa-stanley said...

Missed out on it all. Sorry to say that football excitement is pretty well lost on me. As my dad used to say, I don't know whether it's pumped or stuffed.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts:

* The pick six is always devastating. In fact, no team that has thrown a pick six has ever won a Super Bowl. (Ask the Cardinals, tee hee)

* I still think Troy has a bad foot/leg/ankle... something. He just hasn't been Troy recently.

* I feel worst for Mendenhall. It just broke my heart.

* Fox really blew it by not treating the thousands of turned away ticket holders as a story. They gave it maybe 20 seconds and it was the story of the game. Big FAIL.

* Your right about the Steelers' injury. No one wants to hear about it. It's amazing that a team can overcome the first 4 weeks without a starting QB. And don't forget Miller's concussion and Aaron Smith. (Although it feels like Smith has been out over 2 years now.)

* NFL keeps wiffing on entertainment. In Dallas, they should have gone with Southern Rock... Lynard Skynard, ZZ Top, Marshall Tucker Band (if they still exist), The Allman Brothers. Multiple stages, playing back and forth. Let Willie Nelson and Charlie Daniels sit in.

* I really underestimated how good both Rodgers and the Packers are. I thought the Falcons and Bears were both overrated, and thus, the Packers, too. But they are damned good. We were lucky to be as close as we were.

Time to move on. Bring on Spring. Hey, Orioles might be good this year. How 'bout we catch a game?

bluzdude said...

No Super Bowl?? What kind of "Amurcan" are you?

It's funny... I read that during this Super Bowl, in Pittsburgh a they closed a lot of restaurants, theaters and museums and stuff, not only because experience told them there would be little traffic, but also as a nice thing to do for their employees, who would much rather see the game.

What's a cultured person to do?

Valid points, all.

I hope everyone isn't giving Rashard too hard of a time about that fumble. It really was a good tackle by the Packers... shoulder right on the ball.

Regarding the seating SNAFU, they did give it a lot more play during the Pre-game, although I don't remember it it was Fox or the NFL Network. I was watching both and they're all mashed up together now in my brain.

ZZ Top would have been a great choice for a pre-game concert in Dallas. Keith Urban? An Aussie? Sorry, but no. This is not the world championship of rugby. Or drinking.

I definitely have to get out to PNC this season. I have't been since 2002. Would be fun to come out and see the recharged O's. They're threatening to creep out of the cellar ahead of schedule. I really like the Guerrero signing. Vladie can still rake.

The Guy's Perspective said...

The commentators get more and more annoying all of the time. And what was up with the national anthem?

I like the half time show. As half time shows go it was reasonably creative, They usually suck.

The commercials were better than I remember as well.

I really respect teams that show some accountability and don't make excuses. That's the kind of team Pittsburgh is.

We're back to blogging on The Guys' Network dot com. Hope you'll visit again. Later

bluzdude said...

Glad to see y'all back on the screen. I'll be there, you know it!