Dec 10 2010

a change in the live-blog plans

Last weekend, I announced my imminent return to the live-blog milieu.  Well, I regret to announce that my initial plan has been thwarted by the idiosyncrasies of the NFL broadcast schedule and the miserable football team in the Washington, DC market.  But I have something better to announce.

Remember last spring when a bunch of people cleaned up their bookshelves and (ostensibly) their residences and I didn’t participate?  Well, I may have missed that party but I’ve got my own going on this weekend.  Starting tomorrow – or perhaps even tonight – I will be undertaking a major organization and purge of all the crap in my dingy hovel.  This will be my first spring cleaning ever, and some of the treasures I’m about to unearth haven’t seen the light of day in a decade.  Or longer.  And I’ll be live-blogging the whole process.  So stop on by this weekend.  This should be fun.  And by “fun” I mean – obviously – “moderately terrifying.”

Sep 21 2008

upon further review

I’ve had a couple of long-ass days on the bike this weekend.  Yesterday, it fell to me to sweep the course on our last long training ride before the Seagull Century.  What should have been about a seven-hour day for me (maybe less, the way I’ve been riding lately) turned into just over ten.  The last thing I wanted to do this morning was get up at five-thirty to get back out on the road.  But I had promised to help out a friend on a charity ride that he and his oncologist organized.  I didn’t realize when I offered to help that I was volunteering for Ride Marshal duty, but there you have it.

So my modified plan for this afternoon is to become as close to horizontal as my sofa allows.  I will stare at the television – with Towel in clenched fist – until I start drooling on myself.  I briefly considered on the way home from Poolesville making some chili so I could have a four-way by the second half, but I frankly don’t care to expend even the modest mental energy required to dice onions.  So yeah – no live-blog today.  Maybe I’ll try again next Monday night when the Steelers take on the Ravens.  As for this afternoon, though, yinz’ll have to find your own way to hurl insults at the Cap’n.  You’re a bright bunch; I’m sure you’ll figure something out.

Sep 19 2008

locker room of broken dreams

A week ago, I brought up a conversation I’d recently had as a somewhat tangential introduction to five-year anniversary of Johnny Cash’s passing.  Dabysan, however, is not the sharpest tool in the shed and took the first part of the post at face value.  He said he’d want to be a defensive back in the NFL.  That’s not an especially uncommon opinion.

Yesterday, I finished reading A Few Seconds of Panic.  This book was written by the author of one of my very favorite books – Word Freak – and it chronicles a summer spent in training camp as a rookie kicker with the Denver Broncos.  I found it endlessly fascinating and would recommend it without hesitation to both football fans and non-fans alike.  It turns out that many football players – just like many regular people – are not always thrilled about their jobs.  More than a few continue to play just because that’s what they have done their whole life.  Toward the end of of the book, Ted Sundquist – the then General Manager of the Broncos – opines:

….certainly professional football is something you think about, you dream about since you’re a kid.  A lot of people don’t necessarily grow up thinking ‘Boy, I can’t wait to be an architect.’  It kind of grows on you as you get older.  But sports is deeply ingrained.

Amen, brother.  What kind of loser grows up dreaming of becoming an architect, anyway?

Oh, and by the way, now seems as good a time as any to mention that I’ll be revisiting the live-blog milieu this coming Sunday as the Steelers take on their cross-state rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles.  Expect a lot of ad hominem attacks on the, ahem, City of Brotherly Love in general and Cap’n Crunch in particular.  Should be fun.

Jan 4 2008

i think i might rather run twenty-six miles

Look, don’t let this get around, but every now and then Cappy has an idea that’s not totally stupid.  Sure we initially rejected the idea of a “marathon live-blog” to coincide with the beginning of tomorrow’s NFL Playoffs, but upon further review – so to speak – our call has been overturned.  The professional football season is too short as it is, so we best make the most of it.  And we sure did have fun with the live-blog last time around.  And how often is it that our favorite team and our second-favorite team have playoff games on the same day?  Not often – that’s for sure.  Who knows when our second favorite team will be back in the post-season?  It could be… well, years.  We mean, the Steelers – they’re there every year; they’ll be back soon, for sure.  But the ‘Skins?  That’s anybody’s guess.  Our money is on 2017.

Festivities begin around four o’clock Eastern Standard Time tomorrow – below the video, natch.  And in the meantime, speaking of the video, here’s a timely clip of Coach Mora to hold yinz over until game time.

Game One: First Quarter

4:42 — All right I’m a little late getting started.  I’d feel worse about it if I had other plans for the next seven hours or so.

4:45 — Why do I listen to Cappy’s suggestions?  Upon further further review, this is a really dumb idea.

4:47 — So this is the first time I’ve openly rooted for the Redskins in quite a while – maybe since the beginning of the Danny Snyder era, certainly since Marty Schottenheimer was run out of town.  Helping me win my fantasy league earns my loyalty for the remainder of the season.  I’m cheap that way.

4:50 — It eases my mind that they’re playing the Seattle Crybabies.  I love rooting against them ever since they tried to ruin my Super Bowl XL buzz with their incessant excuses and accusations.  When they lose today, rest assured it will be anybody’s fault but their own.

4:59 — That was the best I’ve seen Shaun Alexander run all season, until the end of the play when he fumbles.  Fred Smoot picks up the ball and takes off like he’s just found a dildo and there’s a boat full of hookers in the end zone.

5:02 — And Seattle wins the challenge.  It’s the right call, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

5:04 — And touchdown Seattle.  By some guy.

5:05 — The Seahawks, incidentally, are wearing about the ugliest shoes I’ve ever seen.

5:08 — Todd Collins follows up a nice twenty yard pass with a Dabysan juice-ball.  Maybe that’s part of why he went ten years between NFL starts.

5:11 — My heart is really not in this thing, in case you can’t tell.  This is kind of a pain in the ass when one is actually trying to watch the game, and nobody is paying attention anyway.  I’d say the chance of me making it all the way through the Steeler game is slim, but that’s not really accurate.  The chance of me making it to halftime of this game is slim.  The chance of me making it through the Steeler game is abyssmal.

5:16 — Oh, hey!  I saw “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” this afternoon.  Man, that was a good movie, and it really tied up a lot of loose ends from the first one.  And I really like movie that teach me something.  Nicolas Cage makes history come alive.  I just wish that he’d been able to work the phrase “I’m a prickly pear!” into his big freak-out scene, though.  That would have been special.

5:21 — “I’m a prickly pear!” – for those that don’t know the reference – is a line from “Leaving Las Vegas”.  That’s the movie in which Nic Cage plays a guy who moves to Las Vegas to drink himself to death.  I went to see the movie on a first date.  Awkward.  Almost miraculously, there was actually a second date.

5:23 — Oh, I missed the end of the first quarter.  Oops.

Game One: Second Quarter

5:24 — Things are not looking too good for the Redskins right now.  That’s a fumble.  Or something.

5:26 — Incomplete pass.  Nobody asked my opinion, but I think that’s a stupid rule.

5:30 — Hmm….  The Redskins have been on the field for a while and through the tops of my eyes, it looked like they’d been making progress down the field.  I would have expected them to be farther than their own thirty-five yard line.

5:36 — Over an hour into the game, and I’m a little surprised I haven’t heard the name “Sean Taylor” yet.

5:43 — I though when Clinton Portis tore off on that twenty yard run that the Redskins might get their shit together and move the ball down the field.  I was wrong.

5:44 — I really hate the Seahawks.

5:54 — Ugh.  This is going really poorly.  I feel bad for Dabysan.  I’m disappointed so far, but am able to console myself with the knowledge that the Redskins won their Super Bowl last week when they beat a Cowboys team that wasn’t trying.  And that ultimately I don’t really care about this game.  It’s not like either of these teams has a shot to make the Super Bowl, regardless of what everyone around here is saying.

6:00 — Just between you and me, though – I’m a little concerned that the Steelers might come out of the gate looking like the Redskins.  I’m nervous.  And my turn on the hot seat is coming.

6:03 — It doesn’t look like the Skins are going to get the fourth down here.  And they don’t.  I like them going for it though.

6:05 — I just noticed the Seahawks have gloves to match their ugly-ass shoes.  Nice.

6:10 — West Coast Offense coaches are borderline retarded.  Seattle had a perfect opportunity to run out the clock and take a ten point lead into the half.  Instead, they ran about four seconds off the clock and gave the ball back to the Redskins.  Not that the Skins are a threat to do anything with it today, but still.

6:11 — And that’s the half.  I’m surprised I made it this far.  I’ve put in a real heroic effort this afternoon, and I’ve earned a break.  I’m not definitely pulling the plug on this train-wreck just yet, but second half updates are likely to be more sparse.

Game One: Third Quarter

6:53 — Wow.  That quarter went by fast.  I missed the whole thing.  Looks like I missed another Crybabies field goal, so I didn’t miss much.

Game One: Fourth Quarter

7:00 — And there’s touchdown for the Skins.  Miraculously, they’re only down by six after Antwaan Randle El’s catch.  I like Randle El.  I like most of the former Steelers.  The Skins overpaid fr him, but I wish there was a way he could have stayed in black and gold.

7:05 — Interception, Redskins, and suddenly they’re looking very much alive.  I guess Joe Gibbs woke up from his nap.

7:07 — Ladies and gentlemen, we have a football game.  Another touchdown pass – to Santana Moss this time – gives the Redskins the lead.

7:08 — And in the midst of all that excitement was that Sean Taylor tribute I’ve been waiting for.  I never would have dreamed it would take until the fourth quarter.

7:09 — Holy fucking shit!  The Seahawks kickoff team shits the bed, and that should have been a Redskins touchdown.  Instead, they’re in the red zone.

7:15 — Oh, Jesus.  How do you miss that field goal?  Redskins blow a fantastic opportunity here.  I’m pretty sure this is karma finally getting back at Daby on my behalf for that other live-blog a few weeks ago.

7:18 — Hasselsuck throws another interception, and I sure am glad I’m not a real Redskins fan right now.  I wouldn’t be able to handle the wild mood swings.  My own are bad enough.

7:23 — Speaking of Daby, I just want to get it on record that I wish it were possible for me to share with you a transcription of the phone call I received at the start of the quarter.  I can’t remember the last time I heard such hateful bile spewing forth about a city, its residents, and the teams they support.  Oh, wait – I
can.  It was during the Steeler/Patriot game, and it came from my mouth directed toward the city of Boston.

7:25 — Well, that doesn’t help matters.  Touchdown Seattle.  Daby claims he’s rooting for Dallas if next week if Seattle wins.  So now I’m torn, because that thought makes me smile.

7:28 — A two-point conversion makes it a seven point lead.  This has turned into a really good game.  If you’re not a Skins or Seahawks fan, that is.

7:31 — Scratch that.  This has turned back into a good game for the Seahawks fans.  Whoever they are.  Ouch.

7:37 — Just when I was thinking that the Redskins might be able to pull off a quick score and have some hope to tie the game, the Seahawks leveled Todd Collins.  And now Clinton Portis is on the ground.  Uh, not good.

7:41 — Over at Deadspin, the tragically unfunny Unsilent Majority is also live-blogging the game.  And not to boast but he’s not doing as good a job of it as me.  And I even took the entire third quarter off.  He’s a Skins fan, so it pleases me that he’s suffering about now.  Yes, I am this petty.

7:41 — For the record, I’m glad I rejoined this game in time for the fourth quarter.

7:50 — Okay, so this one is all over but the shouting.  Seahawks are going to wi-  Oh, sweet Jesus,  Another interception for a touchdown.  Yes, it’s definitely over.

7:53 — Anyway, as I was saying….  This is going to wrap-up game one of the live blog double-header.  I’ve found my second wind, but I’m not going to be “live-blogging” – per se – game two.  I’ll be posting updates.  Mostly so yinz will know whether or not I’m still alive.  My fragile constitution can’t handle a quarter like the one Daby must have just gone through.

Game Two: First Quarter

8:12 — Alright, I’ve got my tantrum towel at hand, and for better or for worse, I’m ready for some football.

8:14 — And we’re off….

8:27 — So far, so good.  A Najeh Davenport run makes it 7-0, Steelers.  It may be the anxiety pharmaceuticals talking, but I’m feeling okay.  And for the record, assuming Davenport is going to be in Picksburgh for a while, I heartily endorse the “Dump Truck” nickname.

8:30 — Ugh.  Nevermind.  Now that the fantasy season is over, it’s okay for me to hate Maurice Jones-Drew.  A great kick return sets up a Fred Taylor score.  We’re tied at seven.  I think my anxiety meds are wearing off already.  How many is it safe to take during the course of one football game?

8:44 — Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio looks like the kind of guy who enjoys porn.  Oh, how about that?  He is.  And so, apparently, is McLovin.

8:50 — Hey, speaking of coaches – has anybody ever mentioned that Steeler coach Mike Tomlin kinda looks like Omar Epps?

Game Two: Second Quarter

9:06 — Daby says I’m not a true football fan and – it pains me greatly to say this – he may be right.  After an initial flurry of activity, game two of our double-header has settled in to what seems to be a good football game.  I don’t like good football games- at least not when the Steelers are involved.  This reminds me of something Cappy said a few years back during the Eagles’ four-year run of futility.  He opined – late in the season after a long winning streak – that he wanted the Eagles to lose a game to get it out of their system.  I countered with the opinion that that’s a bullshit statement and that I want my team to go undefeated for the rest of time.  I stand by that opinion, and I’m feeling about the same right now.  I don’t want a good game.  Good games are for the fans of the twenty teams that didn’t make the playoffs.  I want the Steelers to destroy the Jaguars.

9:11 — And now we don’t even have a good game.  A Jags interception is returned for a touchdown to make this one 14-7 Jacksonville.  Seriously, I need a answer about these anxiety meds.  Rigsby?  Where are you?

9:15 — Fuck!  Another interception.  I take it back.  I take it all back.  This wasn’t a good game.  It isn’t a good game.  I wasn’t being arrogant, I swear.  There’s no jinx!  No jinx!  No jinx!!

9:20 — Maurice Jones-Drew did exactly jack-shit for my fantasy team all season and now he’s having a career game.  You can go to hell, MJD.  Those of you who had 9:20 in the pool of when I would become seriously pissed off, it’s your lucky day.  21-7, Jags.

9:23 — Text message from Dabysan: “On the bright side MJD is on your fantasy team…”

9:33 — It’s a sad occasion for a football fan when a missed field goal by the other team becomes a cause for minor celebration.  Still 21-7, Jaguars.

9:45 — And it stays that way going into the half.  I need to focus more on the game.  Updating during commercials has bled over on occasion into the game.  I need to regroup and make some adjustments.  I’m going to start drinking.  That ought to help those meds settle down.

Game Two: Third Quarter

10:06 — I took a longer than necessary halftime break, just to show who- or whatever controls karma that I know that there are more important things – in the grand scheme – than this football game.  I turned back to the game in time to see a Steeler field goal sail throught the uprights, so it might be working.  I have appropriate perspective, I promise.  I remain hopeful that in the twenty-five remaining minute Pittsburgh can overcome an eleven point deficit.  I’m hopeful, that’s all.  Not confident.  Certainly not cocky.  Just hopeful.  21-10, Jacksonville.

10:18 — Another MJD touchdown.  My bottle of anxiety meds is empty, and there’s still a six-pack in the fridge.  This can’t be good.  28-10, Jaguars.

10:33 — I get the stages of grief all kinds of confused.  I never bargain, and I go straight to acceptance.  Anger is pretty much a running theme with me, I never even see denial, and depression comes way way after the fact.  Even this Steeler touchdown doesn’t cheer me up.  Pittsburgh is going to lose this game.  Call me, ladies – I’m a real catch.  28-17, Jags.

Game Two: Fourth Quarter

10:42 — Linebacker James Harrison (aka Silverback) was voted MVP by Steeler players.  I’ve read a few journalists and bloggers stumping for Ben.  Tonight, I’m casting my vote with the team.  Harrison hasn’t thrown three fucking interceptions.

10:54 — I don
9;t mean to seem like a sore loser here (or, hopefully, a sore winner) but Heath Miller was also on my fantasy team.  He posted a goose-egg in the championship game.  He’s got eighty-five yards and, now, a touchdown tonight.  Those points would have come in handy a few weeks ago.  I might not have had to root for the Redskins.  Thanks, Heath.  Come on!!  Pittsburgh misses on the two-point conversion after a penalty.  28-23, Jaguars.

11:09 — Ike Taylor is known among those of us who know more about the Steelers than our own families as the guy you can count on to drop the sure interception.  So that pick a few moments ago – only his fifth of the year – is almost certainly the biggest of his career.  And holy shit, what a cluster the last few plays have been.  The Steelers went for it on fourth-and-goal.  Missed.  Got a fortuitous face mask penalty.  Scored.  And missed on the two-point try.  But the momentum seems to have turned in their favor.  My mood is: restrained pleasure.  Not confidence.  Certainly not joy.  I am lukewarm.  I am vanilla.  29-28, Steelers.

11:26 — I hate football.  Have I mentioned that lately?

10:42 — All those nasty things Daby said earlier about Seattle, its teams, and its fans – that goes double for fucking Jacksonville.  There’s never been a city less deserving of an NFL franchise.  Jacksonville isn’t in a fly-over state but it fucking might as well be.  Does Minnesota have a football team?  Does anybody care?  Minnesota Jaguars has a nice ring to it.  Let’s make this happen.  Meanwhile, I have to root for the fucking Patriots next week.  Goddamn.  Instant karma is gonna get you.  31-29, Jaguars.  And that’s a final.  Fuck me gently with a chain saw.  Football blows.


12:11 — I just got off the phone with Daby and rest assured, we have this thing all figured out.  See, the official outcome of today’s games is incredibly bad for the NFL.  The thing is: both the Redskins and the Steelers travel well and sell tons of tickets and merchandise.  And the teams in Spokane and, uh… where was the other one?  Jefferson City?  uh, don’t.  So we’re both confident that the results of today’s games will be overturned.  It’s only right.  The teams that generate the most money for the league should be the only teams permitted to continue into the post-season.  Who’s going to tune in to New England/Johnstown next week?  No one, that’s who.  I look forward to live-blogging Steelers/Patriots II.

Nov 5 2007

monday night countdown

So the New England Patriots apparently sacrificed a goat at halftime to appease their Dark Lord and continue their unholy assault on the NFL record books.  In the post-game wrap-up, one of the wise sages of CBS Sports (now with 25% MORE Yinzer!) reminded us all the the Steelers travel to Boston in December and could be the last spoiler of the Patriots season.  In a way, I am almost glad Peyton and Tony returned to their choking ways yesterday.  I want the Patriots record to be untarnished when the Steelers show them what a real football team looks like.

It's hard to imagine now, but there was a time when the New England Patriots weren't my most hated team.  They've held that status for a good six years now (I was way out in front of the curve when it comes to hating the Pats), but the team from which they took that dubious honor was the Baltimore Ravens.  I'm not sure what it was about them….  Maybe it was that their team leader was a murderous thug.  Or that their corrupt owner had moved the team from Cleveland when his attempted extortion of city officials proved fruitless.  Or maybe it's because they were the most counterfeit Super Bowl champion ever.  It was probably a little of each.  Thankfully the team is now a shell of their former thuggish selves.

Anyway, in a few short hours I will sit with towel in hand in front my television for tonight's contest – pitting the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Baltimore Ravens.  And I thought to myself, "You know, Hotrod, sometimes I think your friends and family forget that you're a huge nerd.  Maybe you should live-blog the game tonight just as a friendly reminder."  If you were wondering what makes football better, the answer is watching it with a computer.  So yeah – I'll be online during the game, updating just below the towel.  I have no idea how this is going to go.  It could be a small insight to the agonizing joy I experience when I watch my favorite football team.  Or it could be a complete disaster.  Disaster is a six-point favorite.


7:11 PM -  The waaaaaaaiting is the hardest part.

7:47 PM -  This may be heresy, but I don't actually like when the Steelers are on prime-time.  As far as I am concerned, they should be receiving undivided national media attention anyway, so the games may as well be at four o'clock on Sunday afternoons so they don't screw up my schedule.  Either that or I should get Tuesdays off.  I'd settle for Tuesdays off.  It's annoying to have to watch the clock and hope for the game to be over so I can go to bed.  My Steelers deserve better.

7:51 PM -  To make matters worse, I can't just saunter in to the office any old time I please tomorrow morning.  I have a meeting at 8:30.  Who schedules 8:30 meetings?  Seriously?

7:52 PM -  I had a spectacularly foul train ride home from work today and then nearly got hit by no less than six motorists walking from the Metro.  Yes, I realize it's dark an hour earlier today, but you still have to watch for people in the crosswalks Mr. Northern Virginia Asshole Driver.  In case you couldn't tell, I'm in kind of a rotten mood right now.  If the game doesn't go well, this little experiment could be either very short-lived or very interesting.  Live-blogging is FUN!!

8:09 PM -  All right, I just went and shaved so that I won't have to tomorrow.  If there was a way I could also shower and take a dump now to save time in the morning, I'd be doing so.  Yeah, I know.  Your image of me is shattered.

8:16 PM -  I finally got around to turning on the TV just in time for an ESPN puff piece about Hines Ward's "soft hands."  Call me old-fashioned, but I am not the slightest bit interested in NFL players' manicures and pedicures.

8:21 PM -  Oh, YES!!  Throwback unis!!  Yes, I'm serious.  I love 'em.

8:28 PM -  Wow.  As ESPN cuts to the live feed, we are treated to the last few lines of one of the very worst renditions of "The Star-Spangled Banner" I've ever heard.  This renews my faith in the power of our national anthem as a potential Karaoke to the Death song.

8:33 PM -  Tony Kornheiser – who lives in Washington, DC and used to write for the Washington Post – just said on national television that the Steelers are the greatest team of all.  Even better than the ***skins.  He specifically mentioned the ***skins.  I wish I'd been taping that.

First Quarter

8:39 PM -  And we're off.

8:41 PM -  See, right off the bat we have an example of why football is vastly superior to baseball.  If this was a baseball game, it would have been cancelled.

8:44 PM -  One of my co-workers predicted about six months ago that this game was going 37-0 in favor of the Ravens.  I don't see both teams combining for thirty-seven points in this slop.

8:46 PM -  In other news, I've got a lot riding on this game.  I work in Maryland, and a few people commute from Baltimore.  If you think I've been keeping my mouth shut the past few days of work, you haven't been reading this little corner of the internets very closely.

8:50 PM -  I always liked Ozzie Newsome, even when he was killing the Steelers catching passes for the Browns back in the 1980's.  And I still like him as GM for the Ravens, especially for making personnel moves like signing a quarterback who was old and busted five years ago.  Fumble.  Steelers ball.

8:53 PM -  And just like that it's 7-0.  Touchdown pass to Heath Miller, and Ben looked as good escaping that pressure as McNair didn't a few plays earlier.

8:55 PM -  I'll say this much about the Mike Tomlin/Bruce Arians era so far in Pittsburgh.  It's refreshing to see coaches say they're going to throw to the tight ends and actually mean it.  The Toledo Maroons didn't need those extra six fantasy points, but we'll take 'em.

9:02 PM -  As Sister #1 pointed out, it hasn't looked good for the Ravens tonight.  Everybody and their brother was in McNair's face on that 3rd & 6.  With that kind of pressure it might not be long before we hear any opponent's favorite sentence: Coming into the game for Baltimore, Kyle Boller.

9:07 PM -  So far there have been approximately fourteen plays run and eleven penalties.  Uggggg-ly.

9:09 PM -  It's possible this game might not be close.  I'm okay with that.  Another Ravens turnover.

9:14 PM -  Did the Ravens really win the division by five games last year?  Really?  That seems like a lot.  And I think Jaws might be reading this.  He just mentioned penalties.  And we have another touchdown pass.

9:16 PM -  I like the aerial attack here.  It reminds me of Ben's NFL coming out party.  In Miami.  In the hurricane.  The Ravens can't catch up with 57-year-old Matt Stover kicking field goals all night.  And there was some odd Tony K. audio coming out of that last commercial break.

9:20 PM -  Another fumble.  This is almost not funny.

9:21 PM -  And by "almost not," I mean "tremendously."

Second Quarter

9:25 PM -  Goodness me.

9:26 PM -  I was in the middle of sharing my thoughts on Terry Bradshaw (have I mentioned that I love that man) and scrapped it to comment on Ben's third – THIRD (!) – touchdown pass of the evening.  In the rain.  As Tony so succinctly mentioned, the Ravens are a DONE blitzing football team.

9:34 PM -  Here's the tale of the tape on this game: that sack didn't faze me in the slightest.

9:36 PM -  Ouch.  We're five minutes into the second quarter and the Steeler defense hasn't been officially introduced yet.  That's something.  And the Steelers got robbed on that safety.

9:39 PM -  Its worth noting here – and I realize the not-at-all superfluous Michelle Tafoya already touched on this – that James Harrison is the player waiting on the sidelines that convinced the Steeler front office that we could do without the services of one Joseph Porter this year.  It's also worth noting that Mr. Porter has done exactly jack and shit for the Dolphins.

9:42 PM -  Those officials really know how to contain my uncontainable glee.

9:44 PM -  I've been pleased overall with the Tomlin era, but he hasn't done well in the Coach's Challenge department.  That play was an indication that he's learning.  That's a good thing.

9:47 PM -  Oh, come on.

9:48 PM -  Might we see one Charles Batch enter this game?  That would totally rule.

9:51 PM -  If I ever get tired of hearing things like "Right now the Ravens just need a -  goddamn it.

9:53 PM -  Every time I think of something really clever and start typing, the Steelers ruin it by turning the ball over.  There are bigger problems to have.

9:54 PM -  Anyway, If I ever get tired of hearing things like "Right now the Ravens just need a first down to stop the bleeding," I don't think I want to live any more.  I wish I were joking.

9:58 PM -  Touchdown pass number five goes to Nate Washington.  I was worried about Nate Washington during the preseason because he was dropping a fair amount of passes and it seemed for a while he might not make the team this year.  He's a Toledo native, and he played his college ball at tiny Division II Tiffin.  I'm proud he's a Steeler, provided he doesn't drop any catches he ought to make.

10:03 PM -  Willis McGahee scores.  Meh.

10:07 PM -  Hey!!  Ben Roethlisberger went to the same college I did!  How did I not know that??!?


10:15 PM -  Okay, I'll admit I am biased.  And I'm not saying the Ravens are a bunch of classless cheaters.  But I don't know how anybody watching tonight anywhere other than Boston can view this performance by the Steelers and not think – not hope – that they might beat the hated Patriots.  I know I am a homer, but I've seen a more explosive offense tonight than that of the Colts yesterday.  I've seen a more dominant defense tonight than that of the Colts yesterday.  There really aren't a whloe lot of team left on their schedule that have a chance of beating the Pats.  The Steelers have a chance, and that makes me immeasurably happy.

10:28 PM -  The "Steeler Greats" presented at halftime almost make me cry.  I thought I couldn't be more proud to be part of Steeler Nation than I was on opening day last year.  I am pleased in this case to have been proven wrong.

Third Quarter

10:32 PM -  I'll be honest right from the beginning of the second half.  I'm having fun here but I don't know how much more I have in me in a 35-7 blowout.  If Ben sits down, I might too.  In any case, I for one consider my first live-blogging experience to be a success – despite some initial snags.

10:39 PM -  So this is what it's like to call Monday Night Football during a blowout….  Okay.  Maybe I should mention that my official favorite Steeler for the 2007 campaign is Daniel Sepulveda.  Sure, he's just a rookie punter, but he's been a beast so far.  He kills the ball, and he hits like a linebacker.  We traded up in the fourth round of the draft to get him.  Totally worth it.

10:43 PM -  If ESPN keeps filling time in the second half with former Steelers like Mel Blount and his hat, I might stick it out to the end after all.

10:49 PM -  I just heard the name "Kyle Boller" which the record will show I mentioned way back at two minutes past nine o'clock.  I really didn't think this game could get much better for Pittsburgh.

10:51 PM -  Another nice play by Ben there.  It's a long completion to former Buckeye Santonio Holmes.  Ben's shaken up on the play, which may knock some sense into the Steeler coaching staff to get him out of there.  We aren't the Patriots here.  And if I have Santonio Holmes on my fantasy team, I am kind of hoping I didn't keep him on the bench this week.

10:55 PM -  Now I am a little worried.

11:00 PM -  Fortunately, the next four weeks four the Steelers look like: Cleveland, at the NY Jets, Miami, and Cincinnati.  It says quite a bit that "at home versus Cleveland" is the toughest game in the next month.  I think we'd be able to get by with Batch at quarterback through that stretch, if necessary.  And Ben is warming up on the sidelines.

11:07 PM -  James Harrison is having kind of a good game.  I'm just sayin'.

Fourth Quarter

11:10 PM -  That's the second time in one game that the Steelers have been robbed of a safety.  If there's a better indicator of a solid defensive game, I don't want to know what it is.

11:12 PM -  Wait.  Why is Ben still in the game?

11:14 PM -  Allow me to clarify: GET HIM OUT OF THERE!

11:19 PM -  I'm running out of things to say.

11:23 PM -  Is it wrong – after all of my own bluster – to disapprove of the MNF crew propping the Steelers up as the team to beat the Patriots?  Is a little perceived disrespect too much to ask?  Do we really have to resort to actually resort to cheating in order to play the disrespect card?  If we have to resort to being the Patriots in order to beat the Patriots, I'm not sure I want to win.

11:28 PM -  Who am I kidding?  Of course I want to win.

11:36 PM -  Okay.  They're talking about next week.  Jaws just used the words "awful" and "embarassed" in reference to the Ravens.  I'm done.  You're done.  We're all done.  Thanks for stopping by, everybody.  This – in my opinion – didn't go completely horribly.  I might just try it again sometime.

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