Friday, December 3, 2010

Steelers Insurrection - Updated

Note: Late update at the end of the post.


It's been a rough week around here, as the broadcast media and Internet is filled with Ratbird ravings that are even more deluded than usual.  Much has to do with bringing pressure to bear on season ticket holders not to sell their tickets to Steeler fans.  I saw further comments this week on the local newspaper's Ravens blog advocating that fans steal the Terrible Towels from anyone that dares to twirl one in the stadium, as well as committing other typical mayhem and violence.

The funny thing is that they are planning to give out 70,000 purple towels at the stadium.  Being inexperienced towel twirlers, I'm expecting they'll spend most of their time smacking each other in the face with them.

There's also a movement being pushed by a local radio station asking the crowd to chant "No means no," when Ben goes under center.  I know of at least a couple others planning on chanting, "Where's the knife, Ray?"
Ray did time for obstructing a double homicide investigation, involving members of his posse and 2 dead guys.  Ray disappeared the knife and a bloody coat.

We had one guy that was looking for something good to put on a sign.  I suggested, "Our Stallworth went to the Hall of Fame.  Your Stallworth went to jail."  His wife put the kibosh on that, though.  Something about not wanting to bail HIM out of jail Sunday night.

So as you may remember, we have a little group of Steelers insurgents at my office building in downtown Baltimore, and we now number around 20.  We got together for lunch in the cafeteria again; all dressed in our Steelers jerseys.  We almost didn't get to do that... As of early this week, there was no Purple Jersey Day planned.  If they don't make it a Jersey Day, we don't get to wear our opposing jerseys.  So I put a bug in the ear of the people in the right department that maybe they should do a jersey day, as this is the biggest regular season game of the year.  They announced it Thursday and unknowingly cleared the way for our show of force.

It's always so much fun watching people walk by with their food, spot us, then walk away shaking their heads and muttering.

We might have got in a little trouble this time, because one of our crew put this picture of a (fake) raven bird being hung, on the cafeteria bulletin board. 

A little later, our HR chief walked by and took it down, throwing a major stink-eye at our table.  That prompted our high-ranking company officer at the table to comment, "I guess I'll be talking to HR after lunch..."  

Later, I heard the line of the day as we rode up the elevator after lunch.  One of the women that started our group, a truly sweet natured and gentle soul, said, "Geez, you hang one bird and everyone gets all bent out of shape!" 

And if we lose on Sunday, it might just be US with the ropes around our necks.

As I left for the day today, I felt my customary unease.  That always happens when I’m wearing Steelers stuff when I’m out and about.  Every time I cross the street, I feel like a huge target.  Every time I step off the curb I keep expecting to hear the sound of squealing tires.  But I managed to get home again in one piece and without hearing any taunting.  Seriously, headphones help.

I’ll have more on the game mojo this weekend, as well as a look at some of the Ratbird fan comments on the game.  I swear, it’s enough to give a 5th grade grammar teacher a heart attack.


Update:  The last time the Steelers and Ratbirds played, I sent a similar letter, describing our pre-game office lunch, to Dan Gigler, the writer for the Steelers blog at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and he ran the whole thing.  This post today is a version of the letter I sent him last night and he ran it on the blog this morning.  You can find it by clicking here.  Feel free to check it out, and comment there if you see fit.  I figure, the more clicks they get on that post, the more likely they'll be to keep running my stuff.  

And if I may, let me say that the bloggers they have at the Post Gazette, namely Dan with Blog n Gold, and Seth Rohrbaugh on the Penguins blog Empty Netters, are quality guys.  Both have been accessible, helpful and ready to interact.  I got to meet Seth last year at a Pens game.  I hope one day to catch up with Dan.

19 comments:

  1. Well you live in Bmore, so of course they will be hating on you. Here in Houston, no one really gives me any shit about me wearing my #43 jersey proudly (I wore it today in fact). I do get a bunch of jealous people making comments about my jerseys though. But they are mostly Cowboys fans so I don't even listen to them.

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  2. Wow, and I thought it was tough being a fan of a non-Rangers hockey team around the execs in my office! (And worse--entirely indifferent to baseball's existence!) I'm really hoping you can see a Steelers win now.

    Can't believe the Ravens are ripping off the Terrible Towels. And that "No means no" chant...class, pure class. Nothing like triggering a woman who just came to watch the game.

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  3. I love that you wear a Steelers jersey to work in your Bmore office. And even better that you got the jersey ball rolling in the first place.

    I hope I don't offend my gender (maybe decent people in general) by saying this, but I have moved past the Big Ben crap. Not that I don't still think he is a jerk and perhaps worse. I just have moved on. But I have never been one to make fun of opposing players, and our seats in Heinz Field are on the visitor's side. Not that I have not laughed at what others have said and done...

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  4. Trash,
    Cowboys fans are the epitome of whine and cheese-eaters. When my dad and brother went to the (ill-fated) Super Bowl XXX in Arizona, they told me there were 2 big tent parties in the hotel parking lot. The Cowboys affair was full of people worrying about their fur coats and being seen. The Steeler fans party was a raucous event with all the Pittsburgh touchstones... Isaly's chipped ham, Iron City Lights and a polka band. The Burghers were blowing the roof off the place and the Dallas fans just didn't know what to make of them.

    So like you say, who cares what they think.

    Lilo,
    I expect any "no means no" chant to be completely inaudible on TV. I don't think they're capable of the organization necessary to pull something like that off.

    And I still can't get over the chutzpah it takes to throw stones at a guy that was never even charged with anything, while they have 2 players on their own team that were involved in the deaths of 3 people. Myopia, thy name is Ratbird Fan.

    Facie,
    Here's another funny thing... I got a call from someone yesterday who said, "Doesn't it bug you to be surrounded by all these purple jerseys?"

    I said, "Hell no! I'm the guy that got the Jersey Day done in the first place!"

    Regarding Ben, I covered this back when all the flap was happening but I'll summarize here. They never even brought charges. The prosecutor was dying to book the guy but there was no case. I read the police reports on Smoking Gun. It looked to me like the victim's statements were practically provided by her sorority sisters.

    There are guys in the league that have done much worse and haven't taken nearly the hit that Ben did.

    That said, I still think he's a douche. As you know, the stories of his douche-baggery in and around town are legendary. And at his age, he really should be leaving the college students alone. I don't particularly like the guy, but I'll back him as long as he gets the job done.

    But it's not a crime to be an asshole.

    To me, the starkest difference between Baltimore and Pittsburgh is that Pittsburgh wanted to run their guy out of town after his incident. Here, everyone made excuses for Ray and refused to believe he did anything wrong, right up through his release from prison after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice. Two guys were left dead in at the hands of his posse.

    Then when the Ratbirds signed Donte Stallworth, the guy convicted of vehicular homicide because he drove drunk and ran down a pedestrian, no one said diddly about it. All they could talk about was how he could spread the field for the offense.

    So when they want to get all upset about Ben, it just shows their hypocrisy in glaring detail.

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  5. Bliz--How awesome that you were published on the PG sports page! This was a great post and you deserve much recognition. The photo of the raven was priceless! We will be watching the game and thinking of you! Stay safe. I hear those Raven fans can really get their claws out!

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  6. Too early for my typing---BLUZ! :) Just couldn't wait to congratulate you... :)

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  7. Cher,
    That's me during a snowstorm... Blizdude.

    I'll be safe and sound during for the game, watching it from favorite seat, in the glorious hi-def and surround sound of the Bluz Living Room Lair. And because it's a night game (and I have vacation days to burn) I'm taking Monday off.

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  8. It's OK to be hated once and a while.

    Just sayin'.

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  9. Cassie,
    And I'm OK with that. You need a nemesis to truly enjoy sports... as long as it doesn't get carried too far. (Like theft, assault, destruction of property, etc.)

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  10. Your rants make you sound like a jerk.

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  11. So do anonymous complaints from Dundalk.

    Rant? This is a light-hearted comedy piece. You want a rant? Try this one, which explains why I despise these purple clowns. http://darwinfish2.blogspot.com/2009/11/purple-stain.html

    Or try this one, that goes into the chickenshit "fans", that abuse women, children, senior citizens, and dudes just standing there minding their own business: http://darwinfish2.blogspot.com/2009/11/mojo-boogie-week-9.html

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  12. I don't remember seeing one purple towel during the game. Of course, I didn't see that many Steeler fans on TV either. Not sure what the ratio was.

    Quoth the raven, "Never more..."

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  13. Bagger,
    They didn't really show many crowd shots at all, did they? Except the occasional jagoff leaning over the rail in the first row, screaming at the camera. I was watching intently for any sign of the towels but I didn't see any either. Perhaps the team officials decided against it. I'll have to check with someone that was there and ask.

    I did hear their impotent little 'no means no' chant twice... once during the Steelers first possession, and again when, of all things, the Rats were kicking an extra point and Ben wasn't even on the field. Dolts...

    The announcers never acknowledged the chant at all.

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  14. Agree with Cassie. It's like Mother Bachelor Girl always says, "If they're talking behind your back, that means you're at least two steps ahead."

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  15. Mother Bachelor Girl is chock full of Louisiana wisdom.

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  16. Update for the Carpetbagger:
    They did, indeed, pass out purple towels at the game. I suspect the Ratbird fans couldn't get the hang of swinging them without wrapping them around their heads, so they probably gave up trying before game time. It impeded their ability to browbeat women, children, and seniors that were rooting for the Steelers.

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  17. Maybe they should try stealing the Tomahawk chop since they seem unable to invent any unique form of expression....

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  18. I would suggest their doing some kind of bird-like arm flap, but it would probably result in a stadium full of people with serious noogies.

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