In my old age (as a point of reference, anything after 30 has felt old), staying up until midnight to watch a football game rarely happens. I will watch until I start yawning, then head to bed, figuring I’ll catch the score in the morning.
Not last night. My Steelers were taking on the Baltimore Ravens, and the Ravens showed up in full-on street-thug mode. Right away it was obvious that hitting Roethlisberger and taking him out of the game was the Ravens’ nasty little strategy, and they did manage to hit him hard a few times, then practically break out cake and ice cream in celebration. It didn’t take me long to glower menacingly at the Ravens’ #55, Suggs, who apparently prides himself on being a low-life cheap-hitting piece of crap.
Seems like the Steelers may have had a discussion on the sidelines, or maybe it just happened naturally, in response to the Ravens’ dirty plays. The Steelers came out fired up, charged up, and ready to go toe-to-toe and beat the Ravens at their own game. After a few hard hit on Flacco, the Ravens switched gears to tacky street-fighting, taking penalties for dirty hits and cheap shots.
Instead of cringing, folding, or cowering down, Roethlisberger and the gang came out swinging, but in ways that mattered, with passes, catches, plays, and scoring. After the Ravens racked up three penalties in a single play, the Steelers used those 15 yards to add another touchdown to the scoreboard. If the Ravens were going to hand this stuff out like it was free, the Steelers were more than happy to keep cooler heads and rack up points.
I knew that when the Ravens came back in the second half still losing, the fist fights would increase to non-stop brawls, and I was right. I watched this game wondering why I have ever cheered for the Ravens. Were they always complete assholes, and I just didn’t see it, or were they playing like bigger jackasses than usual last night? Either way, my days of rooting for the Ravens are over. Laughing at their penalties, taking pride in cheap shots, and purposely trying to injure Steelers players is not football and it sure as hell is not professional. Take it back to to your crack-houses, Ravens. No one is impressed here.
The nasty piece of garbage known as Suggs made a deliberate dirty hit to Blount’s knee, and then I REALLY hoped my Steelers would wipe that smug smirk off his ugly face. They did: the Steelers didn’t fall into the trap of lowering themselves to the Ravens’ slithering level, and they crushed them, 43-23.
Yes, I am still gloating and reveling and celebrating today. It’s awesome to see the Steelers play like they used to, and I love seeing Big Ben in this kick-ass zone he’s in. I hope it continues. But in the meantime, I leave you with this: