In Eleven Seconds…It all fell apart.
I have been watching the Steelers since they had ZERO Rings. That is the single most Frustrating Loss I have ever witnessed.
After I sat in Stunned silence and watched Demaryius Run down the I will forever call it Mile High Stadium (Used to be Invesco until the financial markets crumbled and Sports Authority swooped in and Tagged their name all over the place) stadium I felt the desire to watch another NFL game Fleeing right along with him.
Eleven Seconds. And no more Super Bowl…Didn’t even want to watch.
It wasn’t just because it was Tim Tebow. It was because…the whole thing seemed so avoidable.
With all the injuries…and there Were.a.Bunch. The game was right there. Ben Did what Ben does.
- Dramatize every Bump and Bruise
- play his heart out
- Make the obligatory WTF mistake
- Find a Way
Even at 20-6 and 23-13…I knew They had it in them.
The defense…What do I say about the defense?
Dick LeBeau showed Exactly what he thought of all the Tebow Mania. Not very much. He rolled the safeties up and played press Coverage on the outside. When it worked…it was text book. But when it DIDN’T? It was worse than anything I have ever seen watching a Steelers Football game.
If the Steelers had any respect for Tebow’s Passing ability, Four to Five of the Seven significant passes he made Would never have happened. Every time he flinched in the pocket, Coverage Broke Down.
Ike Taylor, bless his heart…his game film will be worse than 2 Girls 1 Cup. (No, I’m not linking that)
Which leads me to my final and most Critical point.
When Troy Polamalu gets his Bust in Canton…it Should have Ryan Clark’s head on it also.
Either Troy Polamalu has never guessed so wrong so often in his entire career, or Ryan Clark has spent his career Covering Troy’s ass.
Ryan Mundy played admirably in Clark’s place…but he is not schooled in Covering up for Troy’s freelancing.
If we have learned nothing else as Steelers Fans…it is this. 43 is only 43 when 25 is next to him.
Which Brings me to Mr. Tebow.
I have already reached my quota on Emo Football analysis, so I will spare you the gory details.
But I didn’t see a prodigious Passing performance…I saw a man who capitalized when mistakes were made.
And BOY, were mistakes made.
The NFC East enjoys a reputation of being THE division in the NFL. So much so, that in spite of Dallas’ very UNeastern geography, this division has remained intact throughout the era of realignment. With Four upper echelon Teams (in terms of mystique and fan Bases, not necessarily on- field performance (Looks DIRECTLY at Washington Fans)) The NFC East always occupies significant space in the mindsets of football fans, even fans of other teams. Here is a recap of last week and power rankings of the NFC East
Dallas Cowboys – Looked good dispatching this year’s trendy darkhorse pick, the Cleveland Browns. Problem is, they looked so good that it was hard to figure out if it was Dallas looking good or Cleveland looking bad. Nothing like a home opener against the Cowboys most formidable rival to determine exactly where they stand. Of course, the REAL answer won’t be given until January (or at least December)
NY Giants – The Giants have a happy and reasonably healthy Plaxico Burress, thanks to a well deserved contract extension. Losing Osi Umenyiora (who has a name that should be attached to some kind of female runway model, then I could repeat it over and over and not feel kinda icky) is REALLY gonna hurt as they get into the meat of their schedule. This week shouldnt be a problem as they have a bye week face the St. Louis Rams.
Philadelphia Eagles – There is cautious optimism in Philly where Donovan McNabb seems to be setting up another career season, now that he appears to have a gamebreaker on the outside in DeSean Jackson. 14 days will be all it will take to see how for real the Eagles are this year. They are in Dallas on Monday night and then go home to host the Steelers the following Sunday.
Washington – Hopefully Jim Zorn was watching football this past weekend, be it High School, College, the NFL, Arena League, CFL, powderpuff, or SOMETHING. Clearly he was using Joe Gibbs old game management notes against the Giants the other night. This is NOT a division where you want to fritter away chances to steal victory from the jaws of defeat because you cannot manage the clock effectively. Washington hosts the Saints this Sunday in a MUST win game. Since the Division is effectively OUT of reach already…winning head to head at home against another playoff contender in your conference is vital. Not to mention that another coaching debacle like The Giant game will stir up the fan base in a way you just do not want.
1. Dallas – This means nothing. The whole world is waiting for January.
2. NY Giants – Without Mr. Pretty Name, the Giants just don’t match up on paper to the Cowboys.
3. Philadelphia – See me in 14 Days to see if Philadelphia can make the jump.
4. Washington – It is September 10. That is a little early for the vultures to be circling, but if something doesn’t change significantly for the Redskins, they could be staring down a year long seat in the Caboose of the NFC East.
On the day of his retirement, I would like to acknowledge Steve McNair for his achievements in Football by hanging his jersey in the rafters.
Let the Steve McNair for the Hall of Fame campaign start here.
A legend is gone.
No individual local sportscaster represented his hometown team like Myron Cope. You can name all the names you want…you aint touchin’ Mr. Cope.
I met Mr. Cope once downtown (dahntahn for you Yinzers). They don’t really come much nicer than him.
Even if his voice annoyed you to no end(and it did) Myron Cope is a legend to anyone who is from Pittsburgh or reps the Steelers.
Younger Steelers fans and Fans not from Pittsburgh don’t really understand the Love/Nails on the Chalkboard relationship that most Black Pittsburghers have with Myron Cope.
We thought it was much ado about not a whole lot, but such is the nature of growing up Black in Pittsburgh. Sometimes he seemed Bigger than the players to Pittsburgh, and that annoyed us, but in the same way, Billy Conn is bigger than Joe Louis, depending on who you ask. It was just the way it was. We didn’t complain, we just gave him his space and loved him from afar.
My mother banned his sports talk show from the house, because his voice was just THAT annoying.
But even she had to shed a lil tear today.
We all did.
And then we dried our tears with the Terrible Towel, cause he would have wanted it that way.
Rest In Peace, Mr. Cope.
There is no longer period in the world than the fortnight that stands between the end of the NFL Conference championship games and the kickoff of the Super Bowl. In what has to be some sort of karmic cycle we recieve some kind of inverted Red Sox/Yankees matchup with the Patriots playing the part of the Yankees evil empire and the Giants playing the part of the proud underdog who carry the hopes of a nation that pleads to be saved from an off season of crowing from the land of white chowder.
But for ME…it’s a bit personal.
I am the ex-husband of a Giants fan and my appreciation has thus far extended beyond the marriage itself.
The current Mrs. Ink is a NY native as well who has an intermittent soft spot for the Giants.
The fact that I spent 11 yrs in the DC area rooting against the Redskins and am finishing up 3 years in Fort Worth rooting against the Cowboys hasn’t hurt my affinity for the G-Men.
So, in recognition of the 2007 NFC Champs, a few props.
Once upon a time, Plaxico Burress was the future of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the official NFL team of the Inkognegro world. He had good days and bad days with the Steelers, ultimately running afoul of the dominant portion of Steeler Nation, the part that treats Steeler football less like an enjoyable part of their life and more like a religious obsession. Toss in the usual amount of cultural incompatibility and a few poorly timed dropped balls and you have the usual irrational hate. After losing a home game to the Evil Empire in the 05 AFCCG, Plax went and got his $ from the NY Giants. As a dedicated fan who knew that Burress would be a better pick than Chad Pennington for the Steelers, I have always appreciated his skills.
Today, Plex did the thing, bum ankle and all. I hope Eli appreciates him. He has saved Eli again and again.
Manning, Rivers, Rothlisberger. These three, much like the class of 84 and the Class of 99, will be linked together forever. Way back when Manning orchestrated his landing in NY, I was positive that Ben was the best of the three, followed by Rivers and THEN Eli. Between his pedigree and the way he bullied his way into NY, I freely admit that I was amused by whatever struggles he had and I was always standing by, shovel in hand, waiting to smooth out the dirt over his football playing grave. After tonight? He gets a lifetime pass.
Still not better than Ben. But his pass from me has been stamped.
I will not say a bad word about the long term prospects of Eli Manning ever again.
and Now….we wait.