Photo via Steelers.com
That would be the Steelers, not me, who are back in the saddle. I’m just approaching the stable, at best. But I did manage to carve out enough time to watch the game today, by dint of recording it, beginning to watch when it was half over, and jumping through all of the commercials and even eventually the time between plays. I must say I picked a good game to watch. Today’s game, at least if I believe what I have read in fits and starts about the other games this season, is surely the closest thing to a complete game in all phases the Steelers have played in 2018. (That would definitely be counting The Playoff Game Which Shall Not Be Named.)
Photo via Steelers.com
I have a confession to make. I haven’t actually watched this game. Nor am I going to try and write it up, even though I did watch the highlights, twice. (We had friends over for Christmas dinner, and they couldn’t come until early evening, as they were driving in from a considerable distance.)
I’ve recorded the game and will watch it tomorrow, but it’s just too late tonight. And besides, it’s Christmas. I will make just one small observation, gleaned from the highlight reel, which makes me think there wasn’t a lot of suspense in the game—the vast majority of the “highlights” when the Texans’ offense was on the field were the numerous sacks by the Steelers’ defense. That has to hurt. Almost as much as the fact that the crowd at the stadium appeared to be 90% Steeler fans.
So we can all rest easy, safe in the assurance that the Steelers have a first-round bye clinched. Since the Patriots still appear to have the replay ref firmly in their pocket, there’s probably no need to risk Ben, Bell and so on next week in the Browns game on the off-chance the Pats lose next Sunday. Although I note the Pats play the Jets next week, also at 1 p.m., and Tomlin might have pause for thought should the Jets actually be allowed to score a touchdown or two against the Pats while keeping Brady in check. I have a suggestion to Josh McCown—you might want to throw the ball to someone besides Austin Seferian-Jenkins, just in case…
There’s no doubt about it—Steelers @ Patriots is likely to be a tense game. It’s possible (but not particularly likely) the Patriots will blow out the Steelers, putting the outcome in little doubt early in the game. It’s also possible (although even less likely) that the Steelers do the same. So let’s all assume the game is going to be a nail-biter, right down to the wire.
And if you have to endure a nail-biter, there’s nothing more comforting than a brownie, still faintly warm from the oven. And because this is such a special game, I’m going to reveal for the first time ever my mother’s amazing brownie recipe.
It’s finally here – the day we’ve all been waiting for. Don’t forget your correct mojo items. I was sadly forced to retire my (formerly) lucky black formal Terrible Towel after the Cowboys game, when it was evident that it was no longer trustworthy. The towel shown above accompanied me to to Wales (Ravens game,) England, (Browns game,) and is now with me in beautiful Colorado. Also with me is my vintage Steelers button, which you can also see above. It was found in a thrift store by dear friends and gifted to me just before the Cincinnati game. So I’m ready. I only hope the Steelers have put in the same attention to detail that all of us have. And Here We Go!
Steve Mellon/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Two weeks ago I published a post which I’m not even going to link, because the outcome was so cataclysmic. In it I compared the relative nutritional merits of a Ph**ly Ch*******ak with that of a Primanti’s sandwich. The Primati’s sandwich won, naturally, which would be no surprise to anyone who has ever viewed the contents of a Ph**ly Ch*******ak. But nonetheless the mojo was apparently unduly tampered with.
Or maybe the Steelers just sucked. I suppose this is an option, and I shouldn’t blame myself.
I started to put up one of those tombstones with “R.I.P.” on it or some such, but that would perhaps be over-dramatic for a Week 3 game which is also the first loss of the season. But as Son No. 2 says, it’s difficult to truly grasp just how much that sucked. We weren’t able to watch the game, what with one thing and another, until the evening, and as I write this it is bedtime in Salt Lake.
I’m going to bed now, hoping I’ll be able to get up tomorrow morning and find something good to write about the game. But I’m not feeling very Pollyanna-ish just now.
The one thing I suppose you could point to is that Ryan Fitzpatrick’s day was even worse than Ben’s. According a tweet by Jon_Bois, Fitzpatrick has the first six interception zero touchdown game since Tom Tupa in 1989. Tupa later became a punter.
Ben’s not a bad punter, actually…
And on that note, see you tomorrow.
During this past week we have published a well-researched opponent preview, the second part of a very thought-provoking article about what is behind the continuing refusal of some to give Mike Tomlin the credit he clearly deserves, some ground-breaking statistical analysis, (okay, perhaps I exaggerate a tad,) game reviews, and so on. All serious stuff.
Today’s post is not like those. It’s been a long and interesting week here in Salt Lake City as we await the imminent birth of Grandchild No. 11, and a tiring one too. So what you’re going to get is a bit of light relief, I hope.
Gene J. Puskar/AP photo
Steelers/Lions is in the books, and the usual stuff happened.
Bruce Gradkowski got injured (hamstring) after a three-and-out and a drive featuring two first downs. He played a total of ten snaps. Hopefully it’s not a big deal, but I wrote “out for the season” in my notes. We’ll see.
An offensive lineman got injured, and although he walked off the field by himself it didn’t look great. It was Brian Mihalik, AKA Alejandro Villanueva 2. He is another defensive lineman cut by the Eagles, signed by Pittsburgh, and converted to an offensive lineman. As it happens, he’s also 6’9″. Weird.
Ross Ventrone left with a hamstring injury, the same thing that got him cut last season.
It was that kind of night.
Back when I wrote for Behind the Steel Curtain I received a rather apologetic email from the man who was then the editor asking me to take on the task of writing a sponsored Super Bowl food post. I assume he was apologetic because it did look a bit sexist to ask the only woman on staff to do the recipe article.
And after all, there are plenty of women who can’t cook, and plenty of men who can. Most of the finest chefs in the world are male. And there was no reason to believe from anything I had written that I knew how to cook, either.
But I’m not easily offended and I have a sense of humor. I’m also a good cook, although I’ve never, ever thrown a Super Bowl party, and if I did the food would probably all come from Costco. (I had a friend back in the 80s who was a very good cook, but confessed to me after the first mega-supermarket made its appearance in Santa Fe, complete with upscale deli, that she now only “facilitated” food.)
So this post is not for those of you who have access to a Costco, which is stuffed to the brim with all sorts of lovely things you only have to heat up or put in bowls. It is also not for the sort of person who would make the “Snackadium” pictured above. Nor is it for those of you whose idea of cooking doesn’t extend any farther than the sort of things contained in the Hacker’s Cookbook I saw many years ago.
The Pittsburgh Symphony, a world-renowned organization, teamed up with the Pittsburgh Steelers, (also well-known in some far-flung places) to celebrate the induction of Jerome Bettis into the Hall of Fame. Here’s the video, which I’m sorry to say I can’t embed, since it is from Steelers.com:
And here is the video of just the symphony performance, which is fun to watch in a non-footbally way: