Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beat the Steelers? Nevermore!


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 ourselvesYou 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!

24 comments:

  1. Oh Bluz, I couldn't wait for your post today! Yeah, it was the ref's fault. Right. What about all those awful calls they made against us earlier in the season?

    Gotta tell ya, Bluz, we were in the Baltimore airport yesterday, changing fights on the way back from Florida. We saw so many people wearing Steeler jerseys that I laughed and thought about you and your office. Then...they held our take-off for almost one hour so people could board the "last flight to Pittsburgh out of Baltimore." Phftttt! We didn't arrive in Pittsburgh till halftime, so those people who were going to the game probably never made it. I hope they were from Baltimore!

    Thanks again for the awesome post you did for us while we were gone. I left you a comment there too. Who loves ya, Baby? We do!

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  2. I am so happy about the 2nd half of the game and the win.

    And why was there no roughing the QB call made on the play before Ben fumbled when Ben was hit at the knees? Oh thats right because his name is not Brady (pansy) or Manning (another pansy).

    Oh well we got the result we wanted and Terrel Suggs can sit on the couch, cry, and watch us win some more.

    On a side note, the Ravens player (Corey Redding) who scored on the pick up of the fumble is a guy I used to work with when he was in high school. He is a very nice guy and his career is turning out very well.

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  3. Cher,
    I hope the people you saw were just getting connections there. If they're from Baltimore, they should have driven. I'd have no pity for them, Steeler fan or not. Gotta plan better.

    Thanks again for having me over. And I hope you can get the jelly stains out of your couch. Sorry about that...

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  4. Trash,
    Yeah, I was yelling about that one too. That's the rule now... they can do anything they want to Ben but heaven forbid someone breathes on any of the Chosen Few.

    Redding was the only guy on the field that had any sense, that's for sure. I wanted to complain about the whole thing, but the refs did the right thing. The play was legit. The players, however, were napping, all except your buddy.

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  5. 'And the raven, never flitting, never flitting, still is sitting'
    Old Ratbirds never die, they just talk that way.
    And da Berz are ahead. Another happy Sunday.
    The Steelers could use some new songs, however. Surely a composer/lyricist will surface and provide something more singable than, 'Here we go, Stiillers./Here we go. As inspiring as a morning after Sun sports column.

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  6. I think Flacco summed it up best: "(blah,blah,blah)...and the bottom line is, they’re better at winning right now than we are."

    To think- this superstar couldn't even start at PITT!!!

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  7. I think this game took years off my life. I broke out the new Woodley jersey for the playoffs, and am very happy that it's now 1-0. Halftime was excruciating, but they truly redeemed themselves in the second half. Could not have asked for a more entertaining game, as fun as blowing them out would have been. Now it's off to Foxboro (likely) and face our nemises.

    Mary Ann - if you are looking for Steelers fight songs, go to dve.com (a local radio station in the 'burgh). They've got a ton on their web page.

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  8. Mary Ann,
    The "Here We Go" song is effective in its utter simplicity.

    IKNAB,
    Figures... they didn't run that particular quote in the local paper. They can't stand to give any credit to the Steelers, under any circumstances.

    DG,
    Blowing them out would have been grand, but you know how rare that is...

    I'm going to have to go back to DVE.com... I got a bunch of songs from there back in 2005, but haven't been back in a while. I'm going to have to use one of my favorites for next weekend, that tartan-clad ditty, "Tom Brady's a C*nt!"

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  9. Bluz...
    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/blog/2011/01/flacco_remains_defiant.html

    From reading some of the comments, it seems that there may be an underground movement afoot.

    Perhaps some resignation among the Ratbird fans??

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  10. Was thinking about you yesterday! Glad your Steelers pulled it off!

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  11. The game caused two codes on my floor alone. One lady threw a blood clot and had a minor stroke and another guy had bad chest pains leading to a minor heart attack.

    I LOVE working on game days. Gets the blood a-pumpin'.

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  12. INKAB,
    I'm almost afraid to look... nothing makes me question my faith in humanity more than reading Ratbird fan comments when they're upset. Before computers, these comments would have been mailed in, written in crayon.

    Jessica,
    Thank you for the good thoughts. Sorry your Saints are out of it.

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  13. Bluz, may I borrow your socks to wear to a Super Blow party at Diane's house. No, that is not a misspelled word--her invitation always reads that way. Her sister will be wearing her Steelers shirt, like she does every year, regardless of who's playing, and I thought if I could borrow your socks, uh, and you don't have to wash them.

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  14. Part 2 for INKAB,
    Just checked out your link. Wow. Seems like the entire Ravens Nation... wait, there is no Nation... more like, the entire Ravens Township seems to want Flacco's head. Such short memories... Flacco is such an upgrade over Boller... Dilfer... Grbak, Anthony Wright, Stoney Case, Tony Banks, hell, even Steve McNair at the end of his career.

    Meanwhile... look what the Jets are doing to the Pats! Maybe there will be one more home game at Heinz Field after all...

    J.E.T.S. Jets Jets Jets...

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  15. Cassie,
    You have such a unique perspective on the game... lol... I hope no one was seriously damaged.

    Judie,
    Super Blow party? Sounds like I should be invited over to film it.

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  16. I'm happy for you and the many other Steelers fans I "speak" with online. My mom's also a Steelers fan; she's happy, too.

    Conversation I just had with a friend:
    Him: "Don't tell me you're going with the Steelers just because you're a huge Penguins fan."
    Me: "My mom's a Steelers fan, so I'd technically be second-generation."
    Him: "Yeah, but your mom likes Glenn Beck!"

    Hope you have fun lording it over your entire office tomorrow...and that you survive the day!

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  17. Wow, was I wrong. Home game in the 'burgh next weekend!!! Tommy can finally schedule time to see his barber, uhm, stylist.

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  18. Yeah, o.k., we'll pay you. But what about the socks??

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  19. Lilo,
    Wow... that's pretty hard to defend. So you'll just have to go on merit. Repeat after me, "The Steelers freakin' rock! So bite me!"

    DG,
    I was wrong too. I didn't think the Jets had a chance in hell. In fact, I was ragging on Sitcom Kelly because she was offered playoff tickets and only bought them for the AFC Championship game. I said she was crazy.

    She's still crazy, but she's got tickets to the biggest dance in town next weekend.

    Judie,
    Sorry... if all goes well, the socks will be occupied on Super Bowl Sunday. And if not, I'll still be trying to wash out the blood stains.

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  20. Does this mean the Steelers are going to be in the Super Bowl?

    Because I could TOTALLY live with that.

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  21. MBG,
    This means that they're playing the NY Jets next Sunday for the right to play in the Super Bowl.

    And thank you for your support!

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  22. This week is your holiday. Enjoy every minute of it!

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  23. Burgh Baby,
    I’m enjoying it like a egg nog addict on a bender. If we go no further, I can be content to root for the Packers. But losing to the Ratbirds would have burned until September. Fortunately, they’re the ones experiencing the burning sensation. Of course, as the STD capital of the country, they should be used to it.

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  24. Sorry I can't read all the black and gold stuff, but this line made me snicker:

    "my Diet Coke a little cokier" :)

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