On Second Thought: Homer J. On Browns @ Steelers

img_0606

via Steelers.com

by Homer J

Laundry doesn’t win games, but Landry does, sometimes.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

The Steelers won their seventh straight game Sunday, having clinched the AFC North title a week earlier, and resting their All-pro QB, All-pro running back, All-pro receiver, All-pro Center, and the heart and soul of their defense. Nobody got seriously hurt, and the team heads into the playoffs healthier than they’ve been in months.

It was Fan Appreciation Day, and yet many fans didn’t seem to appreciate it.

The overtime win over the hapless Cleveland Browns was sort of like winning second place in the Ugly Girl Contest. You didn’t know whether to say thank you or blank you.

The yinzers are in a dither over the fact that the Steelers – or, at least those imposters in Steeler uniforms – were darned lucky to defeat the worst team in the NFL. That the worst team in the NFL ran the ball for 231 yards against them. That the worst team in the NFL had a 14 point lead against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Twice. And that the worst team in the NFL fumbled away a pick six on the one yard line, and then fumbled on the Steeler four in the closing seconds when all they had to do was take a knee and kick the game winning field goal. Fire Haley. Fire Butler. And, above all, fire Tomlin.

Okay. Take a nap, yinzers.

After the game, Mike Tomlin closed his press conference by saying that “winning is our business,” but his number one objective Sunday was actually to improve his chances of winning in the playoffs, so the Pittsburgh Steelers you saw Sunday were not the Pittsburgh Steelers you will see next week. Oh, the uniforms were the same. But it was Landry wearing the laundry out in the field, not Ben. And he was handing off to D-Will and Fitz, not Bell. And he was throwing to Cobi and DeMarcus and not AB. And he was getting the snap from BJ, not Maurkice. So, arguably, the four best players on offense all took the day off.

They stunk up the joint on offense for the first twenty-five minutes of the game, but what do you expect?

The reality is D-Will got some of his timing back, the offensive line provided decent protection, and the back-up wide receivers got valuable and precious playing time and experience. Hey-Bay is back, and that’s key. Homer was expecting a breakout game from Ayers, and he got it with five receptions. Cobi scored the game winner. Every one of those guys goes into the playoffs better for having played Sunday. Landry Jones, who was awful until the closing minutes of the first half, played quite well after that.

The defense was vanilla and generally uninspired. But there was no Deebo and no Tuitt. They’ll both be back next week. And, when the D was fired up, like after the bogus face mask penalty against Mitchell, they played inspired football. Sure as hell, they’ll have to play better next week against Miami. And you can bet they will.

This was the game that nobody in Steeler Nation wanted. The Steelers had clinched the division and the game meant nothing as far as playoff seeding or home field advantage. It was against a lousy team, and there was the possibility of injury.

The key here was not to win looking good, but to put the team in a better position to win when it counts. And that’s exactly what they accomplished.

Ricardo Matthews hurt his ankle. Justin Gilbert hurt his shoulder. Javon Hargrave got a bump on the head, but returned to the game. So the early reports are no serious injuries.

Ben and Bell and the starters given the week off were really into the game on the sidelines, working the headsets and assisting the head cheerleader by cheering on their teammates. Cheer, cheer for Old Landry Jones! But, most important, they got the week off to heal and get stronger and ready for the playoffs.

And those guys who DID play benefitted from the action.

Homer remembers a similar Week 17 game in 2004, which meant nothing to the Steelers, and they activated a fourth string running back, a relatively unknown UDFA who came into the game in the second quarter and ran for more than 100 yards against Buffalo. This week, we saw a couple of guys who were on the practice squad till last week, and, once again, Ayers and the Man from Mars were all over the field. They targeted Ayers all day, and he had five receptions and a TD. Folks, he’s a keeper.

For Cleveland, the loss means they’ll get the top pick in the upcoming draft, one of two first round picks. They are rebuilding, and doing it right.

For Pittsburgh, they’re in a better place today than they were a week ago. And, since the NFL doesn’t give out style points, that’s all that matters.

Homer spent a lifetime in Cleveland, or it seemed like it, working there from the fall of 1975 to 1978. He never was much of a fan of the city, or of their football team.

However, given recent events, Homer – like Gerry Dulac – has become a big fan of Turkey Jones. (In fact, Homer was in the press box in Municipal Stadium that Sunday afternoon when Turkey dumped a certain Steeler quarterback on his head.)

Sunday’s game may have been something of a turkey to watch, but it turned out just fine. Let’s hope the feast begins next week.

Laundry doesn’t win games, but Landry does, sometimes.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

The Steelers won their seventh straight game Sunday, having clinched the AFC North title a week earlier, and resting their All-pro QB, All-pro running back, All-pro receiver, All-pro Center, and the heart and soul of their defense. Nobody got seriously hurt, and the team heads into the playoffs healthier than they’ve been in months.

It was Fan Appreciation Day, and yet many fans didn’t seem to appreciate it.

The overtime win over the hapless Cleveland Browns was sort of like winning second place in the Ugly Girl Contest. You didn’t know whether to say thank you or blank you.

The yinzers are in a dither over the fact that the Steelers – or, at least those imposters in Steeler uniforms – were darned lucky to defeat the worst team in the NFL. That the worst team in the NFL ran the ball for 231 yards against them. That the worst team in the NFL had a 14 point lead against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Twice. And that the worst team in the NFL fumbled away a pick six on the one yard line, and then fumbled on the Steeler four in the closing seconds when all they had to do was take a knee and kick the game winning field goal. Fire Haley. Fire Butler. And, above all, fire Tomlin.

Okay. Take a nap, yinzers.

After the game, Mike Tomlin closed his press conference by saying that “winning is our business,” but his number one objective Sunday was actually to improve his chances of winning in the playoffs, so the Pittsburgh Steelers you saw Sunday were not the Pittsburgh Steelers you will see next week. Oh, the uniforms were the same. But it was Landry wearing the laundry out in the field, not Ben. And he was handing off to D-Will and Fitz, not Bell. And he was throwing to Cobi and DeMarcus and not AB. And he was getting the snap from BJ, not Maurkice. So, arguably, the four best players on offense all took the day off.

They stunk up the joint on offense for the first twenty-five minutes of the game, but what do you expect?

The reality is D-Will got some of his timing back, the offensive line provided decent protection, and the back-up wide receivers got valuable and precious playing time and experience. Hey-Bay is back, and that’s key. Homer was expecting a breakout game from Ayers, and he got it with five receptions. Cobi scored the game winner. Every one of those guys goes into the playoffs better for having played Sunday. Landry Jones, who was awful until the closing minutes of the first half, played quite well after that.

The defense was vanilla and generally uninspired. But there was no Deebo and no Tuitt. They’ll both be back next week. And, when the D was fired up, like after the bogus face mask penalty against Mitchell, they played inspired football. Sure as hell, they’ll have to play better next week against Miami. And you can bet they will.

This was the game that nobody in Steeler Nation wanted. The Steelers had clinched the division and the game meant nothing as far as playoff seeding or home field advantage. It was against a lousy team, and there was the possibility of injury.

The key here was not to win looking good, but to put the team in a better position to win when it counts. And that’s exactly what they accomplished.

Ricardo Matthews hurt his ankle. Justin Gilbert hurt his shoulder. Javon Hargrave got a bump on the head, but returned to the game. So the early reports are no serious injuries.

Ben and Bell and the starters given the week off were really into the game on the sidelines, working the headsets and assisting the head cheerleader by cheering on their teammates. Cheer, cheer for Old Landry Jones! But, most important, they got the week off to heal and get stronger and ready for the playoffs.

And those guys who DID play benefitted from the action.

Homer remembers a similar Week 17 game in 2004, which meant nothing to the Steelers, and they activated a fourth string running back, a relatively unknown UDFA who came into the game in the second quarter and ran for more than 100 yards against Buffalo. That was our introduction to Fast Willie Parker.

This week, we saw a couple of guys who were on the practice squad till last week, and, once again, Ayers and the Man from Mars were all over the field. They targeted Ayers all day, and he had five receptions and a TD. Folks, he’s a keeper.

For Cleveland, the loss means they’ll get the top pick in the upcoming draft, one of two first round picks. They are rebuilding, and doing it right.

For Pittsburgh, they’re in a better place today than they were a week ago. And, since the NFL doesn’t give out style points, that’s all that matters.

Homer spent a lifetime in Cleveland, or it seemed like it, working there from the fall of 1975 to 1978. He never was much of a fan of the city, or of their football team.

However, given recent events, Homer – like Gary Dulac – has become a big fan of Turkey Jones. (In fact, Homer was in the press box in Municipal Stadium that Sunday afternoon when Turkey dumped a certain Steeler quarterback on his head.)

Sunday’s game may have been something of a turkey to watch, but it turned out just fine. Let’s hope the feast begins next week.

Laundry doesn’t win games, but Landry does, sometimes.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

The Steelers won their seventh straight game Sunday, having clinched the AFC North title a week earlier, and resting their All-pro QB, All-pro running back, All-pro receiver, All-pro Center, and the heart and soul of their defense. Nobody got seriously hurt, and the team heads into the playoffs healthier than they’ve been in months.

It was Fan Appreciation Day, and yet many fans didn’t seem to appreciate it.

The overtime win over the hapless Cleveland Browns was sort of like winning second place in the Ugly Girl Contest. You didn’t know whether to say thank you or blank you.

The yinzers are in a dither over the fact that the Steelers – or, at least those imposters in Steeler uniforms – were darned lucky to defeat the worst team in the NFL. That the worst team in the NFL ran the ball for 231 yards against them. That the worst team in the NFL had a 14 point lead against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Twice. And that the worst team in the NFL fumbled away a pick six on the one yard line, and then fumbled on the Steeler four in the closing seconds when all they had to do was take a knee and kick the game winning field goal. Fire Haley. Fire Butler. And, above all, fire Tomlin.

Okay. Take a nap, yinzers.

After the game, Mike Tomlin closed his press conference by saying that “winning is our business,” but his number one objective Sunday was actually to improve his chances of winning in the playoffs, so the Pittsburgh Steelers you saw Sunday were not the Pittsburgh Steelers you will see next week. Oh, the uniforms were the same. But it was Landry wearing the laundry out in the field, not Ben. And he was handing off to D-Will and Fitz, not Bell. And he was throwing to Cobi and DeMarcus and not AB. And he was getting the snap from BJ, not Maurkice. So, arguably, the four best players on offense all took the day off.

They stunk up the joint on offense for the first twenty-five minutes of the game, but what do you expect?

The reality is D-Will got some of his timing back, the offensive line provided decent protection, and the back-up wide receivers got valuable and precious playing time and experience. Hey-Bay is back, and that’s key. Homer was expecting a breakout game from Ayers, and he got it with five receptions. Cobi scored the game winner. Every one of those guys goes into the playoffs better for having played Sunday. Landry Jones, who was awful until the closing minutes of the first half, played quite well after that.

The defense was vanilla and generally uninspired. But there was no Deebo and no Tuitt. They’ll both be back next week. And, when the D was fired up, like after the bogus face mask penalty against Mitchell, they played inspired football. Sure as hell, they’ll have to play better next week against Miami. And you can bet they will.

This was the game that nobody in Steeler Nation wanted. The Steelers had clinched the division and the game meant nothing as far as playoff seeding or home field advantage. It was against a lousy team, and there was the possibility of injury.

The key here was not to win looking good, but to put the team in a better position to win when it counts. And that’s exactly what they accomplished.

Ricardo Matthews hurt his ankle. Justin Gilbert hurt his shoulder. Javon Hargrave got a bump on the head, but returned to the game. So the early reports are no serious injuries.

Ben and Bell and the starters given the week off were really into the game on the sidelines, working the headsets and assisting the head cheerleader by cheering on their teammates. Cheer, cheer for Old Landry Jones! But, most important, they got the week off to heal and get stronger and ready for the playoffs.

And those guys who DID play benefitted from the action.

Homer remembers a similar Week 17 game in 2004, which meant nothing to the Steelers, and they activated a fourth string running back, a relatively unknown UDFA who came into the game in the second quarter and ran for more than 100 yards against Buffalo. That was our introduction to Fast Willie Parker.

This week, we saw a couple of guys who were on the practice squad till last week, and, once again, Ayers and the Man from Mars were all over the field. They targeted Ayers all day, and he had five receptions and a TD. Folks, he’s a keeper.

For Cleveland, the loss means they’ll get the top pick in the upcoming draft, one of two first round picks. They are rebuilding, and doing it right.

For Pittsburgh, they’re in a better place today than they were a week ago. And, since the NFL doesn’t give out style points, that’s all that matters.

Homer spent a lifetime in Cleveland, or it seemed like it, working there from the fall of 1975 to 1978. He never was much of a fan of the city, or of their football team.

However, given recent events, Homer – like Gary Dulac – has become a big fan of Turkey Jones. (In fact, Homer was in the press box in Municipal Stadium that Sunday afternoon when Turkey dumped a certain Steeler quarterback on his head.)

Sunday’s game may have been something of a turkey to watch, but it turned out just fine. Let’s hope the feast begins next week.

4 comments

  • Turkey Joe, former attempted murderer, is now St. Turkey Joe. His intended victim has steadily and consistently exhausted the inexhaustible store of good will of the fans. As much as I have loved 12 thru the years, he has lost me. He is a bitter old man, I’m sorry for his demons, but he has become unlovable to Steeler fans and the NFL’s Sunday cartoon character.

    Like

  • So as much as this game didn’t matter, it did matter to me in a few ways. The main one was this. If we had lost the game, though it wouldn’t change our standing for the playoffs, it would mean that we lost our final regular season game… at home…. to the browns. That would be unacceptable to me.

    Like

  • I’m not too hung up on the poor performance, not so much because we were resting starters but because it was a meaningless game and the players knew it. I’d love to see the kind of professionalism where they go out and execute flawlessly anyway, but these guys are human beings. Playing the worst team in football when it doesn’t even matter if you win or lose, you’re not going to see people at peak performance unless its guys like Ayers for whom it is the biggest game of their lives just because they’ve never played before.

    It’s a shame to see Matthews re-injured. Without Heyward, we need all hands on deck on the DL for the playoffs. Hopefully Tuitt is close to 100% on Sunday so Matthew won’t play much if at all.

    Like

  • cold_old_steelers_fan

    Who knew that our favourite martian is played by Johnny Maxey and not Ray Walston.

    Like

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