Thursday, October 30, 2014

ravens week 2014, part 2

and so it comes to an end.  the baseball season, which began way back when the trees were sprouting buds, has finished, just as the leaves are letting go of their grip, the giants of san francisco have won in 7 games, and while i may not have been very invested in which team won, i was very invested in the fact that i won't have big league baseball for 5 months.

it makes me very sad.

except for one little thing:


oh yes.  it is the week that the steelers prepare for their evil foes from baltimore, the oily crows.


yes, they've already faced each other once this season.  and yes, that was a game i'd much  rather forget.

but in all fairness, things have changed.  the steelers have shown themselves capable of being both dr. jekyll and mr. hyde, sometimes in the same game, but are on a recent streak of winning two in a row in fairly dominant fashion, over two very good teams.  last week they put on an offensive clinic, which, while not sustainable against the rat-birds, certainly gives them a ton to study and worry about this week as they prepare to come into our house in a game that, while only in the mid part of the season, carries a ton of weight.

it's going to be big.

as in, we want to give them a big punch.  in the nose.  just like cade says.



if we can win this one, we will give the ravens 3 divisional losses, and we will put ourselves in a position to be in control of our own destiny down the stretch, with two games against the division-leading bengals late in the season.  so it is pretty nearly a necessity to squash the ravens this week.

 

if we can get to bert flacco, the closet steelers fan, early and often, they way we were getting to andrew luck last week, we should have a very good chance to win this game.

 




but i have no idea which steelers team will show up.  will they be out of sync and seemingly lost out on the field, as they've looked several times this year?  or will they look like an efficient machine out there, as they did last week?  i have no idea.

but one thing i do know is that "mean" joe greene's number 75 is being retired by the steelers (only the second number to be retired by the steelers) during a halftime ceremony, and that place is going to be wild with emotion, both on the field and in the stands.  let's win this one for mean joe!




Wednesday, October 29, 2014

plastic babies, toose pace, and blood oranges


-last week this creepy scene actually happened at our church.  our music director called me over, saying we had a problem at the church.  i walked up and saw the above scene: what appeared to be a tiny baby left on the doorstep at the church.  for the briefest of moments, there is this sense of overwhelming panic, that we are going to have to take care of a newborn human being.  it got me thinking a little about some of the situations we do get to deal with in the church, and how sometimes people bring the issues they don't want to deal with, and they "drop them off" at the church.  it's not always convenient, but we always try to do our best to help out however we can.  thankfully, this was just a plastic doll, and it disappeared a few days later, so i assume the child who left it was able to get it back.

-here's another update on the ridiculous cuteness that comes out of quinton's mouth:

     "be fries!" = surprise! clink this link to see this one in action.
     "womber peps" = wonder pets
     "toose pace" = toothpaste, and two-face (of batman fame)
     "wonder wonan" and "cat wonan" = wonder woman and cat woman
     "toison ivy" = poison ivy
     "you're not perfect" = he says this to us in an angry voice, but we don't understand why

      and just wait until you see him in his halloween costume!



-last night i listened to over the rhine's new christmas album, "blood oranges in the snow," as the new york times is previewing it online.  it sounded amazing and i can't wait to have it be the soundtrack of my december.
   
-

Monday, October 27, 2014

steelers stack wins, behind ben



here we go indeed.  are you kidding me?  when i turn the tv on to watch a steelers game, i have no idea which team is going to show up.  will it be the one who lost to the tampa bay bucs?  or it will it be the one that put up a 51-spot on the colts yesterday, moving the ball through the air at will, and even put some pressure on the colts and their high-powered offense.  who is this team?  

after the first game of the season, which ended up being a (just barely) win against the browns, i wrote about the jekyll and hyde nature of this team.  i  had no idea just how much that would come to be a theme, at least over this first half of the season.  but, if the steelers were able to win yesterday, and stack their first wins of the season, and maybe move towards some consistency, it was in large part due to the play of ben roethlisberger.  


 ben was hyped.  he had heard about the great andrew luck all week, and i think he felt like he had something to prove.  and boy, did he.  i'm not going to look up all the numbers, but i know that he threw for the fourth most yards ever by a quarterback, and he became the first quarterback in the history of the nfl to throw for over 500 yards twice.  no one else has done.  just one guy has: ben roethlisberger.

unbelievable.

ben was very big yesterday.  he was just on point.  every pass looked sharp.  his decisions were good.
but he couldn't do it alone.



i have to give credit to the offensive line.  ben threw the ball 49 times.  do you know how many times he was sacked?  zero.  no sacks.  he was barely touched all game until a stupid decision he made to try and run it at the end.  great, great job by the offensive line.  great run blocking early in the game, and unbelievable protection for ben throughout.  amazing.


speaking of amazing, how about those wide receivers?  are you kidding me?  huge catches by brown, heath, bryant, wheaton, and moore.  just great execution all over the field in beautiful ways.


but andrew luck and the colts were very good, too.  and we needed the defense to make some big plays.  willie gay's pick-six was really big, and antwon blake's interception in the end zone was critical.  great job by the defense of not quitting and keeping their heads up.





now it's on to the ravens.  here we go.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

steelers continue pattern, move to 4-3.


win, lose, win, lose, win, lose.  can you guess what comes next in the pattern?

on monday night the steelers held off the equally desperate houston texans, using one of the most insane and exciting 3 minutes of football i've ever seen.  looking lackluster (and pretty much just plain awful) through most of the first half, things turned with a few minutes to go in the first half, with a field goal, a sack, a touchdown pass, and then two turnovers inside the 10 yard line, putting the steelers in goal-to-go situations, which they were able to capitalize on.


part of that flurry included a crazy little gadget play in which ben tossed to antonio brown for an apparent reverse, only to have antonio reverse his field and throw left-handed to a crossing lance moore (it was a well-thrown accurate pass), while ben threw a block and j.j. watt tried to chase antonio down.  crazy play, but it gave the steelers a touchdown in the red zone, which has been a rarity, so i liked the call.


bell was great, as usual.  running downhill...catching passes out of the backfield....making guys miss....he just makes plays everytime he is on the field.  very impressed with the season this guy is having.


it was great to see rookie martavis bryant make his nfl debut, and catch a touchdown pass, too!  let's hope he becomes a regular part of the offense.


ben was solid.  didn't make any terrible mistakes (although i wish he wouldn't shed that ball so fast on some of those sacks...,tuck it in, ben!), and he threw some nice passes when necesssary.


i loved seeing keisel make a great play, and if there was some luck involved, it was about time because the guy has been playing his  heart out over these first seven games, and showing the young guys how its done.  i see you, brett keisel, being a leader by example, and laying it all out there on the line.  and i see you and your incredible beard returning an interception like some crazed lumberjack.  i wave my terrible towel in your general direction.


and i see you, too. j.j. watt.  i heard john gruden say that we would probably be inducting you into the pro football hall of fame by the end of the game.  and then i saw you not really get much done.  you did have one sack, and i will admit that that one loose ball rolled to you, but then what happened?  it was like you disappeared?  did our backup right tackle stymie you the rest of the night?  did you get tired?  was it the magic of the terrible towel, holding your superhuman powers in check?  whatever it was, you seemed slower and stiffer than (nationally, sickeningly) advertised.  maybe you were just having a bad night, and, if so, i appreciate your timing.  in any case, thank you for not destroying our quarterback, and for helping our offensive line gain some confidence.  now, please circle december 21st on your calendar, and pin your ears back to get that flacco guy.  thank you very much.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

the pumpkin family


we had the fun opportunity to attend a family art project at our local ymca arts center, here in sunbury.  the project was for the whole family to do individual self-portraits as if your face was a pumpkin.  it was neat to see how the kids interpreted this, and what kinds of things came out of it.  here you can see a couple shots of us at work:



the final project was done on small rectangles of wood, strung together vertically to make a fall decoration for our home.  we had a blast doing this, and here, then, is the milinovich (pumpkin) family:


pumpkin quin


pumpkin cade


pumpkin jack


pumpkin shannon


pumpkin greg

Monday, October 13, 2014

hurts like a (really) bad tattoo


do you see how bad that ink is?  i could draw a better steelers logo with my eyes shut.  while sleeping.  and without the use of my arms.  but that's not the point.  the point is that, as bad as that tattoo is, it really isn't even as bad as the way the steelers tried to play football yesterday against the cleveland browns.  i agree with ron cook who says the biggest surprise of all this year is that the steelers are 3-3, considering just how bad they've played.  i love my black and gold, of course, but it looks like it could be a long year.  hopefully not as long-lasting as that tattoo.



in other news, happy columbus day!  once again i invite you to check out andrew dost's awesome soundtrack to columbus day, called "columbus."  you  can listen to it here.  it is so worth checking out.


Monday, October 06, 2014

out of jacksonville 3-2


well, it wasn't exactly the picture of dominance that many would have liked to see (including yours truly) against an 0-4 team, but the steelers fly out of jacksonville (pittsburgh south?  holy goodness there were a TON of steelers fans there) with a win, and that's what matters most of all.

and anyone who thought that the steelers had to go down there and stomp them in order to prove something is dead wrong.  this was a desperate team; a cornered team; and a team starting a quarterback who was desperate to prove that he could take the reins and turn things around.  this was a jaguars team who saw what tampa bay did to the steelers last week, and who was salivating at the chance to do the same thing.  this was never going to be a cake walk, no matter how bad you think the jags are.

still, steelers fans would have liked to have seen a little more lopsidedness on the scoreboard in the 4th quarter.  it is hard to believe that the only offensive touchdown was a pass to a hardly-recognized tight end, against a secondary that is one of the worst in the nfl to this point.


it was more and more apparent that the steelers were going to need something big defensively.  the defense played pretty darn well the whole game, but what was lacking was that really big play (cortez allen did have an interception, but the pass was so deep, it was almost like a punt by the jags).  enter bryce mccain, playing in the nickel now that injuries have caused some shuffling around.  from here on out, i am referring to mccain as the senator from pittsburgh.  and after the way he sat on that route and then pushed upfield to intercept the pass and take it to the house for a pick-six most certainly won my vote for him.  that was the play the steelers needed, and it came from a backup corner.  hey, whatever it takes.


in any event, the steelers got the win, and combined with the ravens and bengals both losing, it was a very good day.  next week the steelers get to play the comeback kids of cleveland, who almost won the last meeting, so the steelers have their work cut out for them.  it was good to see them respond to last week's embarrassing loss with a team win, now it will be important for them to build on a win and take some steps forward against the browns.  here we go steelers!