during the steelers monday night game against the ravens, i kept track of my thoughts during the game, and i thought i would include them here. warning: this is a long post, so if football bores you, don't bother reading it. but if you want a look at what goes on in the mind of a rabid steelers fan watching the game at home in his basement, read on. these were my thoughts:
wow. so much intensity to start this game and then it all comes crashing back to reality with andre frazier lying on the ground. i hope he's alright. it sure does remind you that this is only a game. a violent game, to be sure. but only a game, in the end.
haha. flacco fumbles first snap. i hope the steelers are able to take advantage of his rookie status. second down: loss of a yard. third down: incomplete. three and out, baby. let's roll!
as big ben comes out for the first possession, i am crossing my fingers that he is able to stay standing most of the game. after the first first down, a pass to santonio, i am feeling a little better. the protection, so far, looks better. ray lewis was just called for a penalty. can i just pause here and say how much i can't stand ray lewis and all the media coverage he gets? seriously. i can't take it anymore. if i have to hear him do his awful dog barking thing one more time i am going to punch my tv. nevermore.
good job by the refs to throw the flags early for all the stupid stuff happening between the snaps. just play football guys.
the first drive for the steelers ends in a field goal. nice distance by reed, but i was disappointed by the way the drive fizzled out. steelers need to settle down and just play. now that the first two (usually scripted) drives are over with, it will be interesting to see how the game progresses.
mr. flacco, meet mr. harrison. and your second three-and-out. oh, and by the way: welcome to pittsburgh.
there i go again. as soon as i open my mouth, ben throws the strangest pass i've ever seen directly into the enormous gut of a raven defender. it looked like he was about to pass it 40 yards down the field, and he instead hits some nose tackle in the bowl full of jelly, and the lucky son of a gun caught it. what the heck was that?
after the pic, i'm watching baltimore move down the field with relative ease, at least passing the ball. doesn't appear to be much room to run, even without hampton and kiesel. but the passing game looks effective for the ravens. in fact, the one in the end zone looked like a touchdown to me, even though they ruled him out of bounds. the drive ends with a field goal. and the first quarter ends with the game tied up at 3.
so far, ben just doesn't look crisp to me, whatever that means. his passes just seem to float and he seems a bit nervous. of course, you'd be nervous too, if you got sacked 8 times in the last game and you knew that psycho ray lewis was coming after you.
many fans have strange rituals during the game. okay, maybe not. but i do. one of them is that when the steelers are on offense i hold my steelers football, and when they are on defense i hold my terrible towel. when the game gets particularly intense, i cannot sit down, so i stand up and pace and pretty much exhaust myself physically, emotionally, and psychologically. i love this game.
about halfway through the second quarter i'm watching the ravens run right at the steelers and pick up yards. it seems that they are beginning to impose their will on the steelers lineman. that doesn't bode well for the steelers. the defense has been on the field too much.
i just saw ben lose his shoe. his shoe. first his poise, and now his footwear. what's next? his $102 million?
well, its halftime, and it certainly has been disappointing for the steelers. they are clearly not as good as i had hoped they were after they spanked houston in the opening game. now, they could still come back and win this game, but something drastic is going to have to change. like signing alan faneca back from the jets. and teaching the recievers what a hot route is. and tying ben's shoes on tighter. excuse me for a moment. i need a couple of advil.
oooh, tomlin said the players are 'pissed off.' they better be.
after watching the first drive of the second half--yet another three-and-out--i would have to guess that they aren't nearly pissed off enough. i know i am.
not to belabor the point, but i just watched flacco run sideline to sideline before completing a pass down the field, and it reminded me of how roethlisberger used to play.
injuries, injuries, injuries. parker is out. hampton is out. kiesel is out. frazier got hurt. simmons got hurt. now mendenhall is leaving the field on a cart. they may have to pull some fans out of the stands and see how they do.
i am watching the steelers offense and their utter futility, and i'm seriously thinking that our local high school has a defensive line that could sack ben 4 or 5 times a game. its depressing.
i am suddenly less depressed. two touchdowns in 15 seconds will do wonders for your mood. ben's pass to santonio was gutsy (empty backfield), and the sack and fumble recovery was steelers defense at its best. now the stadium is alive again. momentum can swing so fast in this crazy game.
now baltimore has a three and out, including another flacco fumble. the steelers then can't get anything going, and punt the ravens down inside the ten. that's the end of the third quarter, and we've got 15 minutes left to see who's still standing.
the steelers were able to maintain a nice drive here at the beginning of the 4th quarter, helped out by big ben acting like big ben again, eluding bart scott who was unblocked, and then completing a nice pass to hines ward. too bad they couldn't punch it in the endzone after having first and goal from the 4 yard line, but the field goal puts them up by 7 with 9 minutes to go.
the ravens, however, have now marched down the field, too. suddenly, the offenses have come alive. and the game is now tied.
as i type the ravens have just called a timeout with about 3 minutes to go. the steelers have 3rd down with 3 yards to go. this is a huge play. HUGE.
got it. down to the two minute warning. steelers with the ball and a second and 5 at their own 48. but they can't keep the drive moving. forced to punt. ravens get it at their own 13 with 100 seconds to go. looks like they are playing for overtime.
and they were. overtime. sudden death. i'm a nervous wreck, working on an ulcer the size of a nose tackle. fortunatly, my lovely wife has stayed up with me (its midnight right now - way past her beditme) and is making sure i don't pass out or something.
tails. ravens win the toss. my ulcer just got bigger. and, incidently, i just got a text from a steelers-loving friend in pittsburgh that said, and i quote, "i'm pooping razorblades." i know. i totally know.
first drive: steelers hold them. get the ball at their own 43 or so.
second drive: steelers move the ball, thanks to fourth string running back, mewelde moore. now we are down to a 46 yard field goal attempt to win the game. here we go....
THE STEELERS WIN!! THE STEELERS WIN!! THE STEELERS WIN!! ITS PANDEMONIUM HERE IN THE MILINOVICH HOUSE!!! TERRIBLE TOWELS ARE TWIRLING!
now i've got to go let my adrenaline run its course so i can sleep sometime this morning. if you actually read this, thanks.