Thursday, October 31, 2013

Just two years ago, the Steelers beat the Patriots.

Tom Brady walks off the field after a last-gasp pass.
Hard to believe, but it was only two years ago (Oct. 30, 2011) that the Steelers held Tom Brady to 188 yards passing in a rousing Steelers' victory over the Patriots at Heinz Field. How times have changed.

It seems so long ago. Bruce Arians was the offensive coordinator, and that raucous win featured the following, according to the write-up on Joey Porter's Pit Bulls:
  • "The Steelers jumped out front, controlled the tempo, maintained a two-to-one edge in time of possession, converted 10 of 16 third downs (including multiple third-and-longs), and played well in every phase of the game, mistakes notwithstanding."
Can you imagine?  And then there was this:
  • "LaMarr Woodley sacked Brady twice and played a monster game before leaving with a pulled hamstring."
Uh-oh. An ominous portent.  That was effectively the end of LaMarr Woodley that sesason, and he hasn't played to that pre-injury level of excellence, consistently, ever since.

How times have changed. Today, the Patriots are 6-2, and the Steelers are 2-5. They truly are different teams. This merits checking, but the Steelers must have 35 players from that 2011 team who are no longer here.

Happy Halloween.

It's Hallowed Eve: Buenos de Los Muertos

It’s Hallowed Eve, also known as All Hallow’s Eve, or Halloween, the eve of All Saints Day or The Feast in Celebration of the Day of the Deador, Dia de Los Muertos, as it is known in Mexico, where skulls are considered a symbol of life and regeneration.

This celebration of Hallow’ed Eve is rooted in Christianity, since it is on the eve of All Saints Day (Nov. 1), which honors those who have made it to heaven and “attained the beatific vision,” which Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls would like to see some day.
The subsequent All Souls Day (Nov. 2) commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been made it to heaven ‘cause they ain’t yet purified and sanctified, ‘n ‘at.
Got it? Saints first, Souls to follow. "We ain’t jaggin’ around."

Anyway, the celebration of Hallowed Eve dates more than 2,000 years to ancient Ireland and Scotland. The Celts believed their departed family and friends returned home during harvest time to eat and drink before going to heaven. Being harvest time, food was more plentiful, and some was left out in the evening for the souls of The Departed.
So, in this way, it was in Ireland and Scotland and England that All Hallow’s Eve became a combination of merriment and prayer; prayer and merriment.
Following the break with the Holy See, however, England’s Queen Elizabeth forbade all observances connected with All Souls' Day.

Tight-ass, no-fun prude, she was.  What was the "Holy See" anyway? It was probably when the Queen said, "See? See-ee? Three to five wins this year!  I told you so. I TOLD you so!"

Still, kids eventually started dressing like ghosts, goblins, witches, etc, to have fun and play along with the notion of the dead returning to their homes. The pranksters would demand treats of neighbors … or, you guessed it, threaten to play some sort mischievous "trick" on them.

Soul, soul, an apple or two,
If you haven't an apple, a pear will do,

One for Peter, two for Paul,

Three for the Man Who made us all.

I went down to the St James Infirmary,

Saw my baby there,

Stretched out on a long white table,

So sweet ... so cold ... so fair.

Let her go ... let her go ... God bless her,

Wherever she may be,

She can look this wide world over,
But she’ll never find a sweet man like me.

When I die want you to dress me in straight lace shoes.
I wanna a boxback coat and a Stetson hat,
Put a $20 gold piece on my watch chain,
So the boys’ll know that I’ll be back.

Louis Armstrong, “St. James Infirmary”