and so it begins. the 2011 nfl season isn't even 24 hours old yet and already we are in full swing. here in steeler nation we call it 'ravens week' and it refers to the twice-a-year (sometimes three times!) divisional matchups between the good guys (the steelers) and the epitome of evil (the baltimore purple browns. why do i call them the purple browns, you ask? well, because they are purple, first of all. and seconly, because they are the one-time cleveland brown franchise that art modell ripped from the fabric of cleveland, relocating them to the city of ugly birds). these are no mere football games. these are grudge matches. these are everything-hangs-in-the-balance battles between hope and despair, right and wrong, hines ward and ray lewis. as much as the steelers-cowboys rivalry of the 70's epitomized the blue-collar/white-collar divide in america, this rivalry has become something even more universal: good vs. evil. in recent years in this rivalry, the ravens have threatened to kill one of the steelers players; put a bounty out on trying to injure certain steelers players; broke a rookie's collarbone and then screamed out with joy, "he's finished!"; spit into a steelers' players mouth; and punched the steelers quarterback in the face, breaking his nose so that the doctor said the insides "looked like corn flakes." and those are just the "high"lights.
this is the good guys vs. the bullies.
and so i do my part, here in my own little corner of steelernation, to pull my weight in this great tug-of-war conflict between all that is good and all that is wrong. one of my favorite targets (it's almost too easy, really) is baltimore quarterback joe flacco, whose unibrow is epic and calls to mind that great paper clip collecting muppet of sesame street fame. in fact, the two share more than a resemblance: it seems they have the same personality, as well. it's why i created this image:
i also found this image of joe flaccid holding a pizza pie pan, and decided i'd spruce it up a bit with some steelers gear, since it seems like joe is really a closet steeler fan, having gone 0-6 against the steelers when ben roethlisberger is playing qb for the steelers. he's has twice helped us advance in the playoffs in recent years, and it seems that under that ugly purple uniform is a black and gold t-shirt. heck, he might even have a terrible towel or two in his closet (he did go to the university of pittsburgh, after all).
and then i just have a few other images that i've made. i need an outlet for my hate. that's right, i said hate. yes, my mother taught me not to say hate, but she also taught me to tell the truth. so, yeah, conflicting advice. i'm going with the "honesty is the best policy" one here. so here we have steely mcbeam crushing the ravens like the dirty rat-birds that they are.
and these last three are new. they are simply expressions of my excitement that the season is about to begin, and that its about to begin in such an epic fashion. the steelers have to go down to the "charm city" on sunday and into the bowels of hate and darkness and gloom in order to try and secure their first win of the season. i hope they've all got their chin straps fastened securely and are ready to be spit on and punched and scratched and whatever else the raisins will try to do to gain an edge. in the end, though, no matter what happens on sunday, good will always triumph.
and finally, my favorite video ever. after the game last season when the ravens punched ben in the face and broke his nose, my three-year-old son was visibly upset by the image of ben walking off the field with blood all over his jersey. he asked me what happened and i told them that the ravens punched him in the nose and broke it. he was so upset that i got out the video camera and captured his determination for revenge. i think it's priceless. you might enjoy it. it's only a minute long. even if you've seen it before, it's worth seeing again, just to get the juices flowing and the towels swirling.
and if that didn't work, this one always does: HERE WE GO, STEELERS! HERE WE GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!