Hommage: Black and Gold

"Big Ben at Quarterback"

The outlook suddenly dimmed for the Pittsburgh eleven that day;
The relentless Ravens lead by four, with two minutes left to play,
When Mendenhall took a dive on first down, and on second Big Ben threw it away,
A sickly silence fell upon the yellow towel wavers that day.

No one budged an inch from their seat.
Not one dared to think or admit defeat;
They thought, if only Big Ben could get us back on track -We'd put up even money, right now, with him our Quarterback!

But Koch had pinned the Steeler's in some mighty deep doo-doo,
It was third and long, but Big Ben wasn't quite through.
He found his TE Miller and then hit the new kid Wallace,
The former was a tank and the latter fast and polished;
So soon that stricken multitude from their grim melancholy sprung,
For it seemed this moment, the Ravens were on the run.

But then Ray Lewis unleashed a shot to the wonderment of all,
That separated much loved Hines Ward from his helmet and the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was big old Pouncey laying on the ball.

Then from 50,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountains and recoiled back down their spine,
For Big Ben, yes Big Ben, was advancing straight toward the goal line.

There was ease in Big Ben's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Big Ben's bearing and his smiling, homely face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly scratched his crack,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Big Ben at Quarterback!

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he got knocked into the dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped blood on his shirt.
Then while Mendenhall lay panting on the frozen ground,
Defiance gleamed in Big Ben's eye, his face a scowling frown.

And now the leather-covered oval came hurtling through the air,
And Ward ran watching it hang in haughty grandeur there.
Close by Chris Carr tipped the ball over Ward's head-
"That's interference," cried Roethlisberg.
"Incomplete" the official said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
"Kill him! Kill the referee!" shouted someone on the stand;
And it's likely they'd have done it had not Mike Tomlin raised his hand.

With a smile of home town charity- Coach Tomlin's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the officials, and once more the "pigskin" flew;
But Hines Ward got tackled by Webb and Landry,
inside the Raven's two.

"Cheers" cried the maddened thousands,
and echo answered Cheers;
But one scornful look from Lewis and Ngata and the audience was awed.
They saw Ray's face grow stern and cold, they saw Sugg's muscles strain,
And they knew that the Raven's D wouldn't let that ball go in.

The sneer is gone from Big Ben's lip, his face is a laughing image;
He calls with cruel voice his cadence at the line of scrimmage.
And now he takes the snap, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the speed of Emmanuel Sanders flow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere a wedding reception;
But there is no joy in Baltimore — Big Ben just threw a td redemption.

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