Monday, November 3, 2008

Steelers Live Blog for MNF!

8:27 Here we go Steeler fanatics, my first live blog in my revival of the Three River Sports Blog. The game is just about to get underway, and I'll be coming at you with the Live Blog of my evening watching the game in my apartment with some of my thoughts and (hopefully) humorous anecdotes on tonight's festivities. The ESPN "Experts" pick slightly in favor of the Steelers, with 48 of their in-house panelists favoring the Steelers and 47 with the 'Skins. Just kidding of course, it was actually 4-3 Steelers but approximately 12 different people spoke on ESPN in some sort of panel fashion. I will never understand why they hire so many different people. Just baffling. Oh, and by the way, Chris Berman just reminded us for approximately the 59th time in the last half hour that his interviews with Barack Obama and John McCain will be airing at half-time.

8:32 Thankfully, we have a very solid crew doing our announcing. I truly enjoy the MNF booth of Tirico, Jaws, and Kornheiser. Tirico pointedly mentions that the NFC East has been a house of horrors for the Steelers, Kornheiser pointedly makes observations about Ben Roethlisberger being the breaking-the-mold guy from the traditional Steelers image, and Jaws pointedly mentions that Redskins blitz like no one's business and Ben could take another beating this evening. Just a very pointed start, apparently.

8:39 Say did you know that there is an election tomorrow? Apparently there is, as Kornheiser and Tirico have spent the vast majority of their pregame talk with weird little tidbits about elections from the past, a weird little history of the Redskins for the candidates, all while poor Jaws sat quietly. The wheels are hurtling off of a promising booth in a hurry. I'm not sure I'm prepared for 214 different Tony Kornheiser/ election jokes tonight. Guys, seriously, I have to get up at 8:00 AM tomorrow, can we get this thing moving? I was promised an 8:30 start.

8:41 Finally! Kickoff! And it's an onside kickoff? Uhmm... what the hell Mike Tomlin? Are we really in full-on desperation mode before the game even starts?

8:45 The defense does their job and only gives up 9 yards to force a 3 and out and a pu... oh wait that's right, we tried a friggin' onside kick and the Skins are in good enough field position to kick a field goal. 3-zip Washington. This one's squarely on you there, Tomlin.

8:49 Oh boy, Large Benjamin throws a pick after his pass at the line is batted, and Max Starks, apparently under the impression that the ball is an icky vegetable, does his best to avoid touching it, only to have it bounce off his clumsy self and get picked. Ugh.

8:51 The Steelers defense very, very quickly forces another three and out and a pu... whoops my bad again, this time the offense screws them as the Skins are already in field goal range a second time and take a 6-0 lead. This one's on you Large Benjamin and even Larger Max Starks

8:59 Critical third down for the Stillers, and a backbreaker of a sack on 'berger as the Skins bring the damn house and take down the Large One as he tried to escape pressure and ended up running right the hell into it.

9:02 Definitely no 3 and out for the Steelers D on this drive, as Portis goes off for 22 yards, apparently the longest run of the season against the Steelers D. I think everyone missed that damn tackle.

9:04 Two interesting headlines just ran by the bottom of my screen... hold on while I double check what I just saw. Yup, the Brownies are starting Brady Quinn this weekend. In a game that takes place in 3 days. So he gets short rest to start for the first time in his career. Nothing like putting your hopeful franchise QB in a position to potentially fail miserably. The other headline? Well it's a little deceiving. I could have sworn ESPN's crawl thingy said Matt Schaub had a torn MCL and will only miss 2-4 weeks, an annoucement that nearly made my jaw hit the floor, as those are usually season ending. However, ESPN's website says it's only an MCL injury and the 2-4 weeks injury number is correct. How about a little consistency folks?

9:07 As mentioned, for the first time all night, the Steelers don't force a 3 and out... and get their first punt of the evening. Seems like we may be in for a weird one. Let's see what the Big 'berger can do out there.

9:11 Two drops for Santonio already. I thought about a few different jokes here, but none could live up to the hype. Give me time, though, I'll get a good one before the night's up.

9:13 Mitch Berger's second gawd-awful punt of the night. Mike Tirico mentions that Mitch Berger has not one, but TWO injured hamstrings. Uhmmm....maybe we should have looked into getting a new punter for this week. I mean I have buddies that can kick it more than the 28 yards Berger just pooched out. Tony Kornheiser wisely points out that having two injured hamstrings means that Berger (not Big Ben 'berger, Mitch Berger) has 100% of his hamstrings injured. Good call.

9:19 Nate Washington drops a pass! Since when does that happen? Mitch Berger out to punt, and after Mike Tirico makes a "hamstrung" joke, Berger puts together a serviceable 40 yard punt. At least we're not losing yards on our punts this week.

9:24 We just had a Jason and James sandwich, with the Jameses Farrior and Harrison being the bread and Jason Campbell being our meat. Ouch.

9:25 Good news, Santonio Holmes hangs onto the ball, ending his dropsies streak of two balls and one dooby into the ash tray when the 5-0 showed up.

9:25 Okay, so that wasn't exactly a good Santonio joke. Don't worry, it's still coming. I have faith.

9:28 Yet another atrocious punt by Mitch Berger. I've got to believe that Jeff Reed could probably punt the ball further than this bum right now. Now, if the Steelers are at the Redskins 35 and need to pin the Skins at the goal line, Berger is their man. I mean they can just tell him to go in their and kick it as hard as possible and they should be good.

9:31 Large Benjamin's numbers thus far: 1/9 9 yards. I hope you're not relying on him for a W in fantasy this week.

9:40 You need a 3rd down conversion, you go to Hines Ward. I'm not sure how we (especially the coaches) haven't learned this yet. The guy is just downright tough and a real horse out there.

9:43 Strangely, the Redskins aren't fooled by Roethlisberger's 8 different pump fakes and as he tries to escape on a crucial third down... he gets sacked... again... despite having ample time... again. Still, Jeff Reed drills a field goal, and this sucker is 6-3 and the Steelers offense finally developed a pulse.

9:51 Ron Jaworski refers to Ben Roethlisberger only as "Ben" four times in about 20 seconds, a trend that has become increasingly common for announcers to drop our beloved number 7's last name. Not sure why or how this happened.

9:52 YIKES! Near pick for Ben, and Slick Willie (not sure if he's fast but he is Slick right now) rips off a nice little run and is having a nice night with 10 carries for 45 yards despite a little gimpiness when he walks off the field.

9:54 Remember what I said about going to Hines Ward on 3rd down? Yeahhhhhhhhhh, maybe that was a misprint as he gets absolutely lit up and drops a crucial third down pass. Mitch Berger is carted onto the field to punt and is carted back off.

9:56 HUGE SPECIAL TEAMS PLAY!!!! Andre Frazier storms in and blocks a punt as Mike "Miss Cleo" Tirico says the words "maybe we'll need to see a big special teams play" and Ike Taylor bumbles over it immediately after and William Gay ends up with it as the Steelers have a golden opportunity.

9;57 Sensing the importance of the moment, getting-smaller-by-the-moment Benjamin is promptly sacked as we head to 2 minute warning.

9:59 Okay here's a question for you: How are they still making Transporter movies? I have absolutely no recollection of the first one being released, I heard the second one was terrible and did rather mediocrely (is that a word?) at the box office. And can we officially end the Jason Statham as a leading man movement? Hey, I like the guy as a supporting badass (like in the Italian Job) but he's no star. And what's up with him always being involved in driving? Talk about a bizarre typecast. I half-expected him to be in the new The Fast and the Furious movie.

10:02 Direct quote from yours truly- "TOU-OHHHHHHHHhhhhh...." I thought Hinesy had it, but he was literally millimeters away, if not micrometers. Steelers should just have Ben fall forward on this one.

10:06 TOUCHDOWN!!! Ben uses his infamously large stature to surge into the end zone and just like that, despite a miserable start to the game, the Steelers are up 10-6 as we near the half, very encouraging last several minutes for a team that clearly got off to possibly the worst start that they could have imagined.

10:09 Okay folks we've reached the half and managed to set the game of football back 40 years in the process. I'm not blogging the half, as I need to focus both on this presidential interview nonsense and on some finance homework. Back in a bit.

10:23 Aaaaand we're back. Aaaand Mickey Tafoya is reporting that Ben is injured and is in the locker room getting X-rays and that Byron Leftwich will open the second half. Roethlisberger is infamous for exaggerating injuries on the field, but it's incredibly rare when he misses time due to injury, so you know this must be semi-serious. We'll see.

10:25 One other update: Not surprisingly, the halftime interviews were lame and pointless and told us absolutely nothing about the candidates except that they are both infinitely more intelligent then our current president.

10:26 Roethlisberger is bak on the side line, no helmet on or anything though. We'll see what happens....

10:27 The Dump Truck (Najeh Davenport, emphasis on the first word) enters the game and gets a 3rd and 1 conversion. Also, Heath Miller is injured. By the way, they tossed it to Tafoya for an update on Roethlisberger and she gave us nothing.

10:28 Byron Leftwich tosses a gorgeous pass to Nate Washington for 50 yards. Huge play for the Steelers.

10:29 Tafoya now reports that Ben's right shoulder is the injury and that he is questionable. He has the backwards cap on though, so I wouldn't hold my breath.

10:29 I hate to keep blogging so frequently, but Tony Kornheiser just made a vague reference to the Bengals being a Super Bowl contender prior the season. It's worth noting that this must be the most insane statement of the season.

10:31 TOUCHDOWN STEELERS!!!! Slick Willie Parker from a yard out. This guy looks real good today, and Byron does a real nice job managing things. And by the way, 'berger's shoulder is being held almost like it is in a sling. Not such a good sign.

10:32 Uhmm.... Jeff Reed just missed a PAT! Quick, sign Conor Lee!!! He never misses!

10:37 It's been open season on Jason Campbell tonight. LaMarr Woodley is absolutely untouched and obliterates poor Campbell for the Steelers' 5th sack of the night.

10:46 The one thing you've got to love about Tony Kornheiser: Just when you hear the subject of a mildly inappropriate joke being discussed, the Korn man comes through with the obligatory joke you'd make with your friends. Just delightful. In this case, it was Mike Singletary's struggle to stay fully clothed.

10:50 A pick by Deshea Townsend! Jason Campbell's first I-N-T of the season. Of course, Townsend promptly fumbles it, and while he does recover, a potential question (though I don't see the validity) is raised by Jaws as to whether or not it was a pick. We'll see.

10:52 Yep the Skins are going to challenge it. It really, really looks to me like Deshea Towsend has it. Jaws doesn't think so but Deshea does the old "football move" and I'd be stunned (and very pissed) if this sucker gets overturned.

10:55 Take THAT Jaws! Townsend's pick is upheld, Steeler ball! They could make things awfully tough on the skins with a nice long scoring drive here.

10:58 Michelle Tafoya claims to have a "source" that told her Ben felt his shoulder pop out in the first half. I wonder if this is the same soure that butchered Roethlisberger's injury report when NBC came to town and had all sorts of false injury info for Messrs. Michaels and MAdden.

11:00 Another nice third down conversion for the righty Leftwich, that's two in a row in this drive.

11:06 Tony Kornheiser makes another mention of the Steelers fans there, as if this somehow surprises him. Hey Tony, the Steelers fans travel better than anyone. Yet this is roughly his 30th reference of the evening.

11:08 Apparently Leftwich is a little banged up after getting lit up a few moments ago, but he's not leaving the field it appears. Nonetheless, Dennis Dixon is warming up. It'd be interesting to see him out there to see what he can do.

11:09 TOUCHDOWN!!!! Byron Leftwich to Santonio Holmes and the Steelers are on an absolute roll right now. Jeff Reed's PAT is good this time and it's 23-6 Steelers and they have now scored all 23 unanswered by the suddenly hapless Redskins.

11:17 James Farrior gets docked for the helmet-to-helmet hit on Jason Campbell and you can be darn sure that he will be having a little something deducted from his paycheck this week for that one.

11:23 Jason Campbell gets in for a touchdown, but call me skeptical. I think I'd challenge it, as it appeared as though he was pushed down before the goal line and stumbled into the end zone.

11:23 Yep, Tomlin challenges.

11:26 Yep, it's overturned

11:28 The Redskins are going to go for it here on fourth down from the 1 yard line and.... it's stopped! They tried a weird play action pass to... a defensive tackle??? What? Naturally when the game is on the line on offense you want to throw it to an awkward overweight defender with no experience catching the ball. That's right, ignore your steady and reliable tight end and your league leading running back to throw to a defensive tackle. That's the NFL in 2008 for you. Always overthinking things.

11:31 Woah Willie! Slick Willie nearly gets safetied in the end zone.

11:33 Mitch Berger's hamstrings collapse underneath him as he attempts to punt. I think someone needs to take poor Mitch out back and shoot him just to put the guy out of his misery.

11:37 On another fourth down, the Redskins bizarrely refuse to kick a field goal even though it would have gotten them within two scores and they could have tried the onside kick. Instead, they go for it, and Lawrence Timmons comes up with a big sack. And MAN is that guy fast. He runs like a defensive back, and is going to be one heck of a weapon when he finally takes Larry Foote's job.

11:44 Two minutes until we lock up that first NFC East W.

11:50 And that will do it from my apartment and from Washington. I hope you enjoyed our festivities this evening, and don't forget folks, it's imperative that you vote tomorrow.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

Hey bud just wanted to commend on a job well done with the live blog. I'm looking forward to your Pitt stuff, let me know when it's up.