Did that loss in Jacksonville a couple of weeks ago surprise you, John Harbaugh? What about that nail-biter last week to the pretty awful Arizona Cardinals? Remember week one when you were celebrating like a goof in the final moments of your team's dominating 35-7 victory over the Steelers? You looked like you had the weight of the world lifted from your shoulders. Your entire team looked like they had just won the most important game in the history of football.
What happened the following week? Oh, that's right, your Ravens lost in Tennessee.
You're probably still trying to figure that one out. Well, I have the answer to all of these questions: You angered my mom in the recent past.
My mom was always somewhat of a Steelers fan when I was a kid and a young man, but her main reason for wanting them to win was so that her oldest son wouldn't wind-up in the psyche ward.
But in recent years, she has become a die hard fan in her own right. She cheers for the Steelers to win for her own happiness.
It's been pretty neat having conversations with my mom about the Steelers. But our conversations almost always center around the Steelers players, coach Tomlin, the Rooneys, and the Steelers fans. Rarely, if ever, does she talk about anyone from the opposing teams.
Well, that all changed last year when you caught her eye, John Harbaugh. It was during the Steelers/Ravens game at Heinz Field on October 3rd. Your Ravens beat the Steelers in the final moments to strike the season's first blow in the AFC North.
It wasn't the loss that really upset my mother. What really upset her, what really got her blood boiling, was when you shoved one of your trainers out onto the field so your team wouldn't be charged with a precious time-out during an injury to one of your players. The poor guy was over-weight and stumbled when you shoved him. Instead of being a real leader of men and telling him it would be a good idea to eat an apple every once in a while, you made him look silly. Didn't your mom ever teach that it isn't nice to put your hands on other people?
Hours after the game, when I went to visit my mom, it was the first thing she talked about. And she has never forgotten that. Just the other day, my mom and I were discussing that unfortunate beat-down at the hands of your team in week one, and that shoving incident from last season was one of the first things she mentioned. She said, "It's not in me to hate anyone, but I have no use for that Ravens' coach. None, whatsoever."
It takes a lot of for my mom to feel that way, John Harbaugh.
This is the same woman that buys dozens of greeting cards and sends them to people she barely knows each and every holiday.
This is the same woman that fell and hurt herself on someone's uneven driveway a few years ago but still didn't want to get the property owner in-trouble even though she was so badly-bruised, she looked like an NFL player after taking a punishing hit from Ray Lewis.
The reason you're in-trouble, John Harbaugh, is because my mother is a praying woman. And now that she loves the Steelers, she prays for them, and you know what? It really seems to work.
Remember when Doug Brien missed those two field goals near the end of the Steelers playoff victory over the Jets in '04? My mother was praying hard for him to miss each time. I was there. I saw it with my own two eyes, John Harbaugh.
Remember the Steelers divisional playoff game against the Colts when Mike Vanderjagt missed that 46 yard field goal that would have tied the game? I couldn't believe how badly he missed it. He hadn't missed a kick at home the entire season. I later found out that my mom was praying to a saint for him to miss that kick.
I don't know what saint it was (maybe the patron saint of missed field goals), but man, did it ever work.
You were probably in disbelief when Troy Polamalu came untouched and chopped the ball from Joe Flacco's hand near the end of that game in Baltimore last season, right? And how in the world did Isaac Redman elude so many tacklers on the way to the game-winning touchdown?
I'm sure you were in tears following that divisional playoff game last year after your team squandered a two-touchdown lead in the second half. How did that happen?
Everything can be attributed to my mom's prayers, John Harbaugh.
Maybe my mom was ready to forgive you for your sin of shoving that poor trainer last year, but you went and embarrassed her Steelers on national television in week one. This Sunday night, in prime time, I have no doubt she'll be in top praying mode.
The Terrible Towel isn't the only thing that possesses mystical powers.
Mrs. Defeo is poised to strike and so are the Steelers!