While it is always a good thing to know how to lose well, we shouldn’t lose sight of this simple truth- winning is better than losing. Here are ten thoughts I think I thought while watching the Steelers destroy the Atlanta (Edie) Falcos.
1. I knew it was going to go well when I waited at the light to turn left into Ruffalo Child Sings, and as the light turned green, the car opposite me waved me through. My face lit up and I said to my beautiful wife, “HA! A Pittsburgh left, right here in Indiana.” Unclear on a Pittsburgh left? First, you wouldn’t understand- it’s a yinzer thing. Second, the brainiacs at wiki have you covered.
2. I explained to my beloved wife that it was likely to be a shootout, both teams having high powered offenses, and woeful defenses. I was half right. Not only did our defense have a good game (with rules change “inflation,” giving up 17 points today is like giving up 7 back in the day) but they had a good game against a incredibly potent offense. I’m not saying we’re ready to compete for the Super Bowl right now, but the defense really does continue to improve.
3. When I was a little kid I couldn’t understand why they called it Franco’s Italian army. It was obvious to me he wasn’t Italian. He was Irish, Frank O’Harris. Yes, during the current games my mind can wander back to older times.
4. It was great to see Bud and TJ play “Meet at the Quarterback.” They both need to do well for the defense to succeed. In fact, it was great to see consistent pressure. I know Matty Ice moves at the speed of a glacier, but he had largely been kept off his back this season, until he came to Pittsburgh.
5. I wondered if Ben’s pick was not so much the fruit of a failure to realize how much coverage he was throwing into, or too much confidence in combat catches, and was instead the fruit of a weakened arm and bad form, that he has trying to throw it out of the end zone. On the other hand, maybe he was trying for the touchdown, thinking the combat catch odds were better than the odds on a chip shot kick from Boswell.
6. Hoping the choreographed celebrations go away soon. The constant need to one-up the previous celebration has led to dumb ideas and distractions from the game. I loved JuJu’s TD catch. That, not his pantomime of giving birth, is what I want to remember from that play.
7. James Conner. James Conner. James Conner. I’ll never misspell your name again, because I kept seeing the back of your jersey at the end of big plays. Strong indeed.
8. It was quite encouraging to see the great plays spread around so much, on both sides of the ball. It is just possible that more important than transcendent players like Bell and Shazier, what we really need is a good team playing together, and on the same page.
9. Last week Joe Haden looked like that former cornerback from the glory days that we used to call Ron Rubber-Ball Johnson. He earned the name by constantly bouncing off receivers, trying to deliver the big hurt, instead of delivering the tackle. Haden, against Baltimore lowered his shoulder, and pinged off several ball carriers. When he managed to be in on a tackle against Atlanta, he tackled like the professional he is. He had few opportunities this week because he was busy being a tour guide introducing Julio Jones to Revis Island, now under new management. Seriously. Julio Jones is quite good at playing football. And Joe Haden owned him.
10. I won’t be taking the family to the Bengals game in Cincinnati this year as we did last year. Instead I’m taking my dear wife to a log cabin to celebrate our second anniversary. Of course, on the way there we’ll swing by Ruffalo Child Sings for some burgers and the game.