I wrote in my game recap yesterday that I was more perplexed by the Jeff Reed unsportsmanlike conduct penalty than I was with the overturned TD catch by Santonio Holmes. This report out of Baltimore helps explain the story:
With 43 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Steelers kicker Jeff Reed converted an extra point after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Santonio Holmes.
Reed and Berger then started jawing with Walker, and Reed was flagged for a 15-yard personal foul for shoving Walker. Afterward, Berger told the Pittsburgh media that Walker tried to make contact with Reed's knee and when Berger approached Walker, the cornerback allegedly spit in Berger's mouth.
"I tried to get in the middle to separate him, but he got in my face and spit right in my mouth," Berger said, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "He spit right in my mouth. I'm still trying to spit that ... out. I was talking to him, trying to separate everybody, and he spit right in my mouth."
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh of course denied the allegations:
"That's the first I heard that. I don't believe it for one second," Harbaugh said yesterday during his weekly news conference at the team's training facility in Owings Mills. "Frank Walker wouldn't do it; none of our players would do it. I don't believe it for one second."
Ah, lovely. Classic Baltimore. No sense in trying to figure out the he said, she said game here. But really, Mitch Berger? Looking to start a flame war? I know he must have felt emboldened and fairly badass for his TD saving tackle earlier in the game, but come on. We're talking about Mitchell Shannon Berger, our 36 year old emergency punter. Not likely.
San Diego Baltimore.