As is my habit, I had thoughts during the game, and keeping my thoughts to myself is not my strong suit. Here’s ten of them.
- My dear wife and I went all Johnny Cash to our local sports bar to watch the game. Black pants, black jerseys (she in Troy, I in Hines, both in script), black shoes. Though I don’t deserve it, she loves me like June loved Johnny.
- Remember when the Steelers donned t-shirts calling themselves 60 minute men? The idea was that as the game drew to a close they kept playing. Complete games, on both sides of the ball. But, the first minutes of the game are also part of those 60 minutes. Why must we begin each game as if the first quarter were the preseason? Come on Randy, light Ben’s fire.
- Speaking of slow, Bud Dupree is slowly falling behind in his bid to outscore Boswell this season. In today’s game alone it was 7-2. Still, I’m tickled to once again praise Bud rather than grumble about him. He really has turned his season around, on a dime no less, as, it seems, have the Steelers.
- Like Richard Nixon before him, it was good to see Terry Hanratty back in the game, looking tanned, rested and ready. Especially seeing him take the snap in victory formation.
- I’m investing every ounce of pull, influence, juice I have with the Rooneys to lobby for bringing back the block numbers permanently. Those jerseys somehow managed to look, at one and the same time, the same as the ones we always wear, and really cool.
- I get that safeties are unusual. But they are not unassisted triple play unusual. If you are a professional coach you need to have the players on your squad up on the rules. I’m old enough to remember Barry Foster letting a live ball on the opening kickoff just sit there behind him. I’m old enough to remember Eric Metcalf single-handedly giving the Browns a victory over the Steelers by returning not one, but two punts to the house. Heck, I’m old enough to remember Eric’s daddy Terry playing for the Saint Louis football Cardinals. And I have never been so embarrassed by our special teams.
- Just as with this list, I literally made it well into the second half of the game before Le’Veon Bell even popped into my mind. I suspect I’m not alone. On the other side of the coin I think there are many men out there more frightened of James Conner than Le’Veon Bell is. They are the defensive coordinators across the NFL. Watching Conner run is like watching Vance McDonald after a catch.
- It’s true the Browns had two rookies in their offensive backfield, but keep in mind they were both high draft picks. And the defense took care of business. As nice as it was to score 33 points, it was even more encouraging to see the defense play so well.
- Though it looked obvious to me, I thought at first we were surely going to lose the challenge of Ben’s fumble. Then I realized all turnovers are automatically reviewed, and this wasn’t the result of Coach Tomlin throwing his time-out on the ground. My confidence returned.
- It is just a pleasure to watch Joe Haden play football. That short pass to the sideline to Landry where Joe played it picture perfect? I just shook my head. That’s how you play football. Though of course it’s a different position, it was like watching Jack Ham play- unbeatable technique. Joe Haden will have a successful career as a coach one day.
Bonus Thought- Ask not for Hue the bell tolls. It tolls for (Hay)-ly.