Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Afternoon Additions / Fun Links

  • One for the Other Thumb: Well-deserved props to Tyrone Carter, James Farrior, Larry Foote and Daniel Sepulveda, among others
  • Fortunately at least this (Post Gazette: “Porter’s Dogs Get Loose”) didn’t happen (again).


  • Joey Porter's Pit Bulls still can’t figure out what the Steelers are trying to do with the center position. The Steelers carry three centers on the roster (plus long-snapper Greg Warren), and two of them, Darnell Stapleton and Marvin Phillip, once again were inactive for Monday night’s game against Miami. Meanwhile, starting center Sean Mahan continues to get tossed around like a rag doll. If he had gone down with an injury Monday night, who would have played center? Kendall Simmons?
  • Watching the game last night, we kind of half-expected to see players run out with leather helmets and no facemasks.
  • As Mondesi's House correctly noted, "Don't forget, the Steelers are now 2-0 with two shutouts without Troy Polamalu and Santonio Holmes in the lineup."

A Perfect Storm, a Field of Dreams

Well, that worked out well, didn’t it?

In a nationally televised Monday Night game slopfest that set back the game of football more than 60 years, the Steelers defeated the Miami Dolphish, 3-0 last night. We hope you bet the “under.”

Not to say we told you so, but a week-and-a-half before the game, Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls flagged the field as an issue, which was no secret, anyway: Let’s see … end of November weather, four high school football games on Friday, marching bands, a Pitt football game on Saturday, more marching bands, brand new sod laid on top of the existing surface – what could possibly go wrong?

Well, for one, a driving rain that began about 8 p.m. Sunday night and which continued all night, all the next day day and all last evening – with lightning, for cryin’ out loud, to delay the start of the game by a half-hour. You couldn’t even see the yard markers. The grounds crew dumped kitty litter on the field.

For all that, several individual performances stood out. Ben Roethlisberger completed 18 of 21 passes. Hines Ward was awesome. Joey Porter played very well, indeed, as did James “Silverback” Harrison. Miami’s Jason Taylor performed well in returning to his hometown. Fast Willie Parker became the second NFL running back to surpass 1,000 yards for the season. Miami defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday played very tough, and his teammate Will Allen executed several successful corner-fire blitzes. Steelers’ offensive tackle Max Starks stepped up, and Ricky Williams got stepped on.

And, oh, yes, Jeff “Skippy” Reed stayed sober long enough to kick the field goal that won the game with 17 seconds remaining. Until then, there was genuine concern that anybody would score, and even more concern that if anybody did, it would be the 0-10 Dolphins. Of course, after Reed’s field goal, the thought occurred, “Just watch, Ted Ginn’s going to return the kickoff for a touchdown, and the Dolphins’ll win.”

The Steelers prevailed, however, and all is well in Steeler Nation this morning. Well, except for the offensive line, which somehow allowed the Dolphins to rack up five sacks while committing several holding penalties.

For all the continuing doubts about the offensive line, one thing’s certain: The Steelers’ offices are sure to be inundated this morning with cold calls from dozens of sales reps pitching their “turf system solutions” – real grass, artificial turf and hybrid surfaces alike, ensemble. And, hey! The Steelers’ management might do well to listen.

Anything to seek "Shelter From the Storm."

Footnote: If you're interested to read the message on the scoreboard in the above photo, just click on the photo for a larger image.

Addendum: R.I.P. Sean Taylor, 24 years old, Washington Redskins Pro-Bowl Safety, shot dead in his home south of Miami.