Sunday, September 11, 2011

STEELER Season #40: Cataclysm At Canteloupe Crotch

... but, at least, matters got outta hand early, so it was okay to wander away from the contest and hop in the car to take a drive, turning on the radio along the way just in time to hear Christian Adolph Jurgensen and Robert Lee Huff -- born 42 days apart in 1934 -- providing some powerful commentary from the broadcast booth which they share with Larry Michael.

True ... Larry Michael is the radio play-by-play voice of the Redskins ... and Chris Jurgensen actually goes by "Sonny" and Bob Huff is better known as "Sam" -- and, sure, they were great players 78 or 83 yrs. ago (whichever it was), but neither of 'em has any bidniss bein' in the broadcast booth.

America realizes that.

It's not because they were born in 1934.

It's because they fucking suck.

With that in mind, 9/11 seems like the perfect day to pink-slip each of 'em and to earmark the salaries they don't deserve for the next disaster which befalls these United States.

Simple as that: I have once again waved my magic wand and raised $2.7 mil for U.S. Disaster Relief.

Just like my recent proposal in which I informally outlined a program wherein each of the 30 MLB teams dump its bench coach and then re-route that $15-18 mil to tornado-ravaged Missouri or Alabama (and, after that, we'll chop Selig's $14 mil/yr. in half and "presto!" ... we've just raised a total of $25 mil w/o lifting a finger).

Damn right, I'm damn proud of me -- raisin' $27.2 mil for disaster relief ...

Now, even though bad broadcasting is more of a petty crime than an outright disaster, some Terrible Towelistas might argue that the performance by the defending AFC Champion Steelers in their season opener at Canteloupe Crotch was a bonafide catastrophe/cataclysm in its own right, but, let's not be so hasty.

(*Editor's Note: "Canteloupe Crotch" is the affectionate nickname for the stadium of Baltimore's Cartoon Football Birds, whereupon the statue of Johnny Unitas has a bulge in his pants the size of a canteloupe ^^^^ "Google it!" and don't be afraid to either squeal like a 12-year-old girl or shake yer head while muttering, "That's fucking pathetic.")

Yeah, okay ... so it's a major problem to commit 7 turnovers (also known as "giveaways") against an opponent/rival which many people have probably already penciled in as the AFC representative to line up against Green Bay or New Orleans in SB46.

On the other hand, it's important to reference the scripture which reads: "The Ravens' Super Bowl is the Pittsburgh game; the Steelers' Super Bowl is the actual Super Bowl."

That concept was never more apparent than eight mos. ago when everybody from Linthicum to Timonium was convinced that THERE WAS NO WAY! that the Purple Pigeons were gonna blow that 21-7 halftime lead in Heinz -- and, yes, the Linthicumese and the Timoniumians were just itichin' to talk trash for days on end ... until Antonio Brown cradled that 3rd-and-19 / 58-yards-to-the-Baltimore-4 reception against the side of his helmet to set up the game-winner before Ziggy Hood and Lawrence Timmons rattled Flacco's ribcage w/ that awesome sack moments before Houshmanzilli dropped the fourth-down pass at the first-down marker.

The Ravens can have what transpired today at Canteloupe Crotch -- it'll never diminish last Jan.'s outcome ... never negate the thrill for the Blk-N-Ylw or lessen the anguish for the Purple Pigeons.

Now, nobody's sayin' that the Ravens completely shot their wad with today's effort in THEIR Super Bowl (which was a wider margin than those two routs in '06 which we refuse to talk about) -- it's just that since they don't play these games "on paper" (except in the NFL Dungeons & Dragons realm known as "fantasy leagues"), the Ravens are likely to fuck it up somehow some way.

However, the one looming bad omen in a Steelers historical Week One perspective is this sad truth: None of the Steelers' eight Super Bowl teams ever lost its season opener.

Dammit!

So, it's with some concern and caution that we weigh the end of the 8-game, season-opener win streak which began w/ the '03 opener ... the 34-15 win over B'More in Heinz to kick off Year 2 of The Great Tommy Maddox Comeback as well as mark the dawn of a hotshot rookie outta USC named Troy Polamalu.

Alas, the Maddoxian, 5-game slide ruined a bright 2-1 start ... which got us all to thinkin' that maybe it would be a good idea to spend a first-round pick in the next Draft on a QB.

Actually, that thought didn't cross my mind ('cuz maybe I believed in Tommy Gun too much ... for too long) until slowly-but-surely it seemed apparent that the Arena League-slash-XFL-slash-insurance-world refugee might not be a long-term solution (and that rookie QB/5th-round pick on the sideline -- Brian St. Pierre -- probably wasn't the answer, either).

Our thought process BACK THEN was, "Okay, but which QB should we draft? J.P. Losman who has 'all the tools'? Craig Krenzel who has the national championship? Peyton's little brother? Josh Harris from Bowling Green? Who the hell is Josh Harris? What about Rivers from N.C. State? His mechanics are weird. What the hell is a ... Roth-Rothless-Rothlesswho? He plays for the OTHER Miami? Let's think about Losman again. Didja say that he's a disciple of the Steve Clarkson Academy of Mediocre QBing?"

Good memories ... although it feels like a million years ago (doesn't it, though?) when these teams squared off in Game 1 of the '98 season opener in B'More ... the first regular-season game at Ravens Stadium (which might've been before the statue of JohnnyU.HasAVolleyballForGenitalia was, ha ha ha, "erected" -- I mean, I was there for that game w/ my free tix for me n' the Mrs. and all I remember was Jimmy Harbaugh bein' really really so-so ... and then Eric Zeier got into the game ... but that was long after Harper LeBel made that horrendous long snap on a punt for a loss of 31 yds. to inside the Raven 5 ... and, of course, we'll never forgive Richard Huntley for breakin' off that long, 40+ jaunt down the sideline before his TD bid was thwarted by Duane Starks tracking him down and then punching the ball loose, la pelota bouncing free and through the end zone for a touchback ... ).

For sure, we'll hear plenty in the upcoming days (unless we boycott the Disneyland Sports Channel known as ... wait a sec, did Berman spend the lockout chain-smoking and eating spoonfuls of sawdust? 'cuz his voice sounds raspier and more-gravelly than Nina Blackwood's) about how the Steelers' D is too old, blah blah blah ... the offensive line is a mess, blah blah blah ...

Addressing the first concern, the Curtain probably needs some new, younger blood. The only starters under the age of 30 are Woodley, Timmons and Willie Gay (Hampton 34, Keisel 33, Smith 35, von Oelhoffen 40, Farrior 36, Harrison 32, Taylor 31, Polamalu 30, Clark 32 ... okay, so I snuck Kimo's name in there just for kicks).

Oh, and it looks like Crezdon Butler didn't pan out at CB, shucks ...

So, as I begin my 40th season of believing in the Steelers (the first 25 as the head of Blk-N-Ylw ops for the California Bureau; the past 14 as one of the chief deputies of the Mid-Atlantic Corridor's checkpoints), I BELIEVE THAT THEY'LL BE OKAY -- someplace in the W-L potential of 9-7 or even 10-6, injuries permitting.

If they eat their Wheaties and suck down some Geritol ... 11-5, here we come.

The OL will probably be another messy situation, but, it's always that way, isn't it?

Guess they'll figure it out.

Or not ...

More likely, yes.

Yet, this is a roster with five future Hall of Famers (Polamalu, Ward, Roethlisberger, Woodley, Pouncey), so, it'll be necessary to tap into some of that "leadership" which people talk so much about.

That's the way to make sure that an opening-day setback remains marooned in Week 1.

And, that'll eliminate the need for spending as much as five minutes of a future Sunday hearing a potentially-inebriated Sonny quip, "A first down here would be nice" -- to which a more-than-likely-drunken Sam Huff would add, "Ain't that right."

That's awesome broadcasting -- although, if I'd been born n' raised in Squirrel Hill and had spent my childhood and adolescence listening to the amateurish yoinks and rants of Myron Cope, I'd probably, right now, be in my 13th year of rooting for the Carolina Panthers following 16 years of faithfulness to the Browns, interrupted by a 3-yr. stint bein' a Birmingham Stallions diehard.

It's all about distancing yourself from what you can distance yourself from.

Y'know ... steering clear of lousy broadcasters.

And statues with freakishly exaggerated genitalia ...

[ . % % % % % % . ]


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