The Baltimore Ravens marched down to the Pittsburgh Steelers to the tune of I-wanna-go-to-Super-Bowl-XLIII. Broadcast on CBS, the first quarter spritzed out a forty-five yard run by Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward. This play was filmed in a high-angle, medium long shot. The Steelers looked like yellow jackets, again, and the Ravens looked like pandas (white jerseys, black pants). That drive ended with a Jeff Reed field goal. Pittsburgh 3 and Baltimore 0. Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend intercepted Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s pass halfway through the quarter. Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes did or did not make a (touchdown) catch two minutes later? Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh challenged that it was even a catch (apparently Mike Tomlin was reaching for his red flag at the same time and wanted a TD call). Harbaugh won the challenge. After all that hoopla, the Steelers came away with a field goal. Pittsburgh 6 and Baltimore 0. In the bottom of the first quarter, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis hit Steelers running back Willie Parker, who then lost control of the ball, and safety Jim Leonhard recovered it.
Well, well, well. The second quarter sprang out with a sixty-five yard TD thread for the Steelers. Denied twice in the first quarter, Santonio Holmes ran that ball in to the front, left corner of the end zone. Pittsburgh 13 and Baltimore 0. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggled to on that play–he didn’t have a solid move and just threw the ball (I’m guessing in the direction of Holmes). John Harbaugh threw out the red flag again toward the bottom of the quarter on a complete pass call. Did Steelers Nate Washington keep control of the ball? He sure did, by the space between his kneecaps. No more challenges for the Ravens. By the bottom of the quarter, Ravens running back Willis McGahee got the ball into the end zone. Pittsburgh 13 and Baltimore 7.
The third quarter boiled down to three-and-a-half minutes before anyone scored…the Steelers and a forty-six yard field goal. Pittsburgh 16 and Baltimore 7. The fourth quarter rocked to nine-and-a-half minutes and Willis McGahee raised his team’s score with a TD. Pittsburgh 16 and Baltimore 14. Five minutes later Joe Flacco threw an interception. Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu abducted the ball mid-flight and ran it–weaving in and around the Steelers–back forty yards for a TD. Pittsburgh 23 and Baltimore 14. A few plays later, while the Ravens were back on offense with under four minutes on the clock, Willis McGahee and Steelers safety Ryan Clark collided full speed into one another. McGahee had just caught the ball, took one step, and within a nano-second, Clark had plowed into him. Clark eventually got up and walked off the field, flanked by teammates, but the cart had to come onto the field for McGahee. Stewed to the rockpit bottom of the quarter, Joe Flacco threw another interception, that time the ball ws caught by strong safety Tyrone Carter. Pittsburgh 23 and Baltimore 14. Final score. The Steelers will go to Super Bowl XLIII.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. Martina McBride sang the national anthem. She stood on the middle of the field, methinks, where the Steelers logo is on the turf. Another great performance. I’d even say I like hers more. The CBS cameras didn’t put her on screen as much as the Fox cameras did Jordin Sparks.
2. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms rattled out commentary.
3. Was it snowing? Oh yes, it was.
4. Interesting screen graphic. Like graffiti blue trails of players’ paths.
5. Hines Ward suffered an unsightly right leg mishap during the top half of the first quarter. Imagine wringing a towel…and then if the towel was Ward’s leg. He did come back towards the bottom of the quarter…briefly.
6. After Willis McGahee made the TD in the second quarter and the extra point was kicked, there was replay footage of Ray Lewis, in a medium shot, on the right side of the screen. The uprights were in the background and out of focus. Ray was looking offscreen left, towards the upper corner of the frame. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms noted that Ray Lewis was watching the extra point on the jumbotron, not wanting to watch the “real thing.” Fascinating, isn’t it? Why would Lewis prefer to look at the jumbotron? Better view? A different perspective? Or…the camera lens (and the monitor) add an extra dimension of distance. Good news is good and bad news is less bad.
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