This morning, I got to do one of my favorite things in the world. I have to warn you that it is very petty so don't think too badly of me. Let me set the stage: I drive to work through Baltimore. This used to be a lot more fun when I drove home through B-more, too. I leave the house at a completely uncivilized time and it is too dark to see all of the Steelers paraphernalia on my car. Driving home in daylight, I've had people flip me off for reasons other than my driving and a couple people have actually tried to force me off the road. So, yeah, I just love Balti-morons.
All this just makes my evil little pleasure all the more fun. I love to listen to Baltimore sports talk radio the day after the Ravens lose. I love the rationalization. If this had just happened; if that pass had not dropped; whatever. I am sure that fans of other teams can be whiny, too. There is even a very small possibility that one or two Steelers fans may whine about a loss. Nah! Such a world can't exist!
This morning, it was the refs fault that Matty Ice was able to drive the length of the field in less than a minute and find Roddy White in the end zone. Crappy calls allowed the Falcons to sustain the drive cause the refs ABSOLUTELY hate the Ravens. (Hmmm...questionable calls to sustain a drive, allowing marginal QB to find, say, TJ Houshmazilly in the end zone? Nope, couldn't be.) And, fortunately, the Ravens are on the side of the angels, as they have never benefitted from bad calls. Beating the Titans in the playoffs two years ago because the refs forgot to call that delay of game was simply an oversight, not a bad call. This went on for thirty minutes or so, till I got out of radio range, but cheered me up for the whole day.
I contend that, to be a champion, you have to beat the other team AND the refs. Those who remember the 2005 playoff game against the Colts know exactly what I am talking about. I was disgusted with how many blatant calls went against the Black and Gold. Sure, Peyton is a great quarterback who kept them in the game but he had significant help. I was convinced the script was already set and the Steelers were just upsetting the apple cart. We proved it again last week against the Bungles. Two horrendous calls in a row allowed Palmer to stay on the field and come within one reception of the upset. Casey Hampton's bogus Roughing the Passer call and the horrible Pass Interference call on Ike were particularly egregious. (Check it out! I used egregious, the hot new word this season, in a sentence! Yay, me!) The NFL came back with a mea culpa today.
So, what is the title about, you ask? Is the NFL really becoming a league for sissies? Are we getting ready to chug on over to Mamby-Pamby Land ? (Great GEICO commercial, by the way!) Well, the fact that Bart Scott still has a job leads me to think it is true. I don't pay attention to that puss bag anymore. Is he still whining about the Hines Ward hit from 83 years ago? Get over it, you girl.
Now we could talk about the completely bogus $75K fine to James Harrison or we could focus on the Troy Polamalu comments but that would be taking the easy way out. The fact that the Commish does not fine Troy for so blatantly criticizing the league is testimony in itself. I would prefer to focus on the comment of Ravens stud (?) Haloti Ngata. When explaining why his team got their butts handed to them in Atlanta, Ngata said, "“I don’t know if it was that we just played Sunday, but I was tired.” Are you serious? You get paid 14 gajillion dollars to play and you're too tired to do your job? Did you happen to notice that the team who made you look so bad ALSO PLAYED ON SUNDAY?!?!?!? Oh, my sweet Aunt Mary! What's next? No Gatorade showers cause it stings the eyes? Maybe we should have cupcake parties on the sidelines after a win. I'll bring the orange slices to pass out at half time.