Thursday, October 11, 2012

Game Night in Nashville

Jimmie Rodgers: Maybe he can help the Titans on defense?
For the Steelers tonight, it will be just like going to the Grand Ole Opry.

Maybe not, aside from the notion of playing on the  proverbial "Big Stage" -- in this case, a nationally televised game in the NFL's maladjusted accommodation to a TV schedule designed to squeeze every possible dollar out of advertising revenue, audience demographics and data analytics.

Not much to get excited about tonight.

To say the Titans have struggled this season is an understatement: They won one game, surrendering 41 points to Detroit in the process, but their four losses have been lopsided losses -- by 21 points, 27 points, 24 points and 23 points.  Their defense has been shredded.
Yes, she's a Tennessee Titans cheerleader.
The Titans' offense hasn't been much better.  In Sunday's game vs. Minnesota, their star player, running back Chris Johnson, gained just 24 yards on 15 carries.  The Titans enter tonight's game with a backup quarterback, veteran Matt Hasselback, who may or may not have any game left.  We shall see. 

At least their special teams are good.  They have a nice stadium.  And nice-looking cheerleaders.

There's nothing special about this game.  Let's hope the Steelers get through this with a win and without injuries.

Troy Polamalu won't play, and Lamarr Woodley shouldn't play. You never know about road games on national television, however.  Maybe the Titans will somehow conjure up some sort of way to beat the Steelers.  It's not likely, but they have some good players, and ... and ... nah, it ain't gonna happen.

TV Prime Time?
Thanks in part to the TV Monster, the game's not the thing anymore; it's a contrived spectacle.  A Thursday night game is a weekly affair now in the NFL, so this game doesn't feel like a "special" event.
Nate Washington in Game 5, 2011, at Heinz Field.
The NFL "experience" has become diluted. This week's game has come up on us suddenly, with no time to digest Sunday's win over the Eagles. Tonight's game is simply a road game in a short week that, for the Steelers, happens to follow a bye week, with the next game not until the back end of the schedule a week from this Sunday -- making that one a Sunday night game, on the road, at Cincinnati.

It will be Week 8 before the Steelers have just their second 1 p.m. Sunday game of the season.  Week Eight.  Sunday games at one o'clock used to be the norm, something you could count on and look forward to. Now, they're the anomaly.

Well, let's just enjoy the game tonight, though it is a work night, a school night.  Come home with a win, Steelers.