Skip to main content

...and so it begins

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …