Dom’s Saturday History Special, Week 1: Steelers vs. Ravens

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October 3, 2010

Borat To Douchemandzadeh (Gahhhhhhhh!)

Ravens 17 – Steelers 14

Entering the 2010 season the Steelers were trying to weather a storm of epic proportions.  The team was forced to start the year without Pro Bowler and 2 time Super Bowl winning QB Ben Roethlisberger, because he may or may not have raped a girl in rural Georgia.  Despite not being arrested his imperial majesty Lord Goodell was swift and overly firm in his judgment and suspended Ben for 6 games (later reduced to 4).  After a Super Bowl hangover in 2009, the Steelers looked doomed as they started the 2010 season without Big Ben, but behind the Defense just laying the wood to opponents, the efficient play of Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch, the outstanding running of Rashard Mendenhall, and Mikey Wallace making some bomb-tastic plays, the Steelers found themselves at 3-0 and facing Baltimore at home for the final game of Ben’s suspension with a bye the following week.  What ended up happening literally made me sick to my stomach and wondering how the hell something like the end of the game could possibly happen.

The 1st Quarter started off okay enough with Mendy punching the ball in from the 1 yard line and the Steelers took a 7-0 lead.  The Ravens then buckled down and scored on a 9 yard TD run by Willis McGahee on the next drive and Billy Cundiff nailed a chip shot FG to make the game 10-7 at half.  Much like all other Ravens-Steelers games this was a defensive struggle where both teams offenses stalled and were held in check most of the game so scoring would be at a premium.

After a 3rd Quarter that saw the Steelers lose out on cake field position after a Lawrence Timmons fumble recovery and an Ike Taylor INT netted no points when Skippy Reed missed two field goals, the Steelers Offense mounted one final scoring drive in the 4th Quarter.  A 93 yard drive that saw the Steelers just grind it out over the Ravens ended in a Mendenhall 7 yard scamper that made the score 14-10 in favor of the Steelers (He had 79 yards rushing on the day which was some real tough sledding).  The Ravens then mounted a drive of their own yet turned it over on downs on a nice 4th and Goal pass breakup by William Gay.  With just over 2 minutes left, and the Ravens with no timeouts, the Steelers unraveled.  2 false start penalties and a moronic holding penalty by Key Fox (he would screw them over just as bad in the Super Bowl) gave the Ravens with great field position at the Steelers 40 after a punt.  From the 18, Bryant McFadden was fooled and Flacco hit T.J. Douchemandzadeh for a TD to make it 17-14.  What made this just a cherry on top of an excrement flavored sundae was Ray Lewis getting an INT to seal the win with hardly any time left and him doing his usual seizure moves on the field.  Watching the game that day was an adventure in and of itself, and I feel that I should let you know what went on that day and end with a humorous anecdote of what happened when the game ended.

I had watched the first half of this game at home before going to work at my Bookstore.  Well, at work we have T.V.’s and I was living and dying with every play of the 2nd Half and some of the customers actually found my choice words for Jeff Reed’s FG kicking (or lack thereof) amusing.  Luckily we weren’t busy so all was good.  But when Borat threw the game winner I went up to my boss Pablo and asked him to let me excuse myself to the men’s room while he covered the register.  He knew the anger burning in my soul over what had happened needed to be let out appropriately and said it was fine.  I promptly walked to the back, locked the door and let out a string of expletives for a good 30 seconds.  After I composed myself out of sight, I calmly exited the bathroom and went back to the front and finished the last hour of my shift.