Tag Archives: Ben Roethlisberger

NFL 2009: Steelers vampire the Titans’ diaries

But first: Georgia Tech buffy-slayed Clemson 30 to 27.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans blessed the opening of the 2009 NFL season Thursday night.  Broadcast on NBC, and narrated by Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, the scoreboard remained empty for most of the first half.  The CW was also premiering its new undead-teen-fiction-turned-undead-teen-TV-show.  I watched it (Nina Dobrev, who plays the female lead, is lovely).  When the pilot was over, I flipped back to NBC and the score was still 0 – 0.

By the end of the first quarter, each team’s quarterback, the stealing Ben Roethlisberger and the tightening Kerry Collins, had thrown an interception.  The Steelers eventually beat the Titans 13 (a Santonio Holmes touchdown and two field goals), to 10 (a Justin Gage TD and a field goal) in overtime.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Goodness Graceland, Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels.  What were they wearing?  Collinsworth had on a white, long-sleeve button-down shirt, black pants, and a light blue tie with dark blue diagonally arranged squares on it.  Michaels wore a yellow long-sleeve button-down shirt, grey pants, and a gold and dark blue/black diagonally striped tie.   Tres moche.

2.  After returning to the game from a commercial break in the first quarter, one of the cameras cut to a medium shot of Faith Hill (sans makeup) sitting next to Tim McGraw (who had performed in pre-game festivities).   Faith looked great without the makeup, and she appeared to be eating a cookie.

3.  Pepsi is the official soft drink of the NFL?  Vraiment?  There was a then-and-now-in-the-NFL commercial.

4.  I saw two Old Spice Swagger ads (with karate and with arm wrestling) and one Old Spice different scents commercials.  Unsavory.  Disconcerting.

5.  What exactly did Steelers nose tackle Chris Hoke do with his helmet in the third quarter?  He yanked it off and then plopped it back on?

6.  Steelers safety Troy Polamalu took a nasty left knee injury in the second quarter as a result of colliding with Titans tight end Alge Crumpler’s lower body.

7.  Steelers owner Daniel M. Rooney is now also the US Ambassador to Ireland.

8.  Why did Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch jump across the line of scrimmage in the  fourth quarter?  He was charged with encroachment.  It was quite a sight.  I was looking on the Steelers side of the field when suddenly, there Vanden Bosch was…surrounded by black and yellow.  I think time actually slowed down there for a bit.

9.  Hines Ward?! Hines Ward!  Don’t be mad.  Don’t be sad.  Don’t cry a puddle, not even a puddle.   What did he do or didn’t do?  He made a reception in the bottom of the fourth quarter but was bumped from behind by one of the Titans’ players and dropped the ball.  Ward was roughly twelve yards away from the end zone.

10.  A tender moment occurred in overtime.  Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace caught a pass and was cradled down to the field by Titans safety Vincent Fuller.  They remained in that “embrace” for some ten seconds longer than was probably necessary.

Get summary, stats, and play-by-play here.   Have you noticed NFL.com’s new Game Center interface?  You like it? I’m undecided at present.

Super Bowl XLIII: Steelers send the Cardinals a barrel of laughs

On a Sunday a year ago, February 3rd to be precise, the New York Giants danced on the knaves of the New England Patriots 17 to 14 to win the Super Bowl.  We all thought, assumed, presumed that the Patriots were going to march out of the University of Phoenix Stadium with the crown, didn’t we?  Many of us did.

This year, at Raymond James Stadium, would the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Arizona Cardinals be the ones dancing on knaves?

Televised by NBC, the first quarter began with the Steelers at a first and goal within minutes of game-play.  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s surged the ball into the end zone himself a few plays later.   Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt challenged the TD call and won.  Roethlisberger was down by contact just before the goal line.  Steelers kicker Jeff Reed put the ball nineteen yards through the goal posts.  No TD but yes FG.  Pittsburgh 3 and Arizona 0.

The second quarter sparked off with a TD by Steelers running back Gary Russell.  Cardinals tight end Ben Patrick made a TD catch nearly halfway through the second quarter.  Pittsburgh 10 and Arizona 7.   Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby intercepted Ben Roethlisberger in the bottom of the quarter.   HOLY HORSEY SAUCE AND A COWBOY HAT!!!! With under twenty seconds left on the clock, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner meant to throw the ball to wide receiver Anquan Boldin in the end zone but Steelers linebacker James Harrison snatched the prolate spheroid and ran back all the way to the other side of the field (forward rolling to the front, right corner of the end zone and sandwiched by two Cardinals).  A 100 yard interception return for a TD–the longest play in super Bowl history.  Pittsburgh 17 and Cardinals 7.

The third quarter done ticked five minutes and James Harrison nearly turned the corner again by scooping up what was first ruled a live ball but then was overturned and deemed a dead ball.  Kurt Warner threw an incomplete pass and not an interception.  Eight minutes later, the Steelers increased their lead with a field goal…for about a nanosecond.  It was retracted on account of a penalty on Cardinals strong safety Adrian Wilson.  Three plays later, the Steelers tried the field goal again.  Pittsburgh 20 and Arizona 7.

The fourth quarter beat its drum halfway and Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald made a TD catch in the back right corner of the end zone.  The ball made contact with his helmet before he got his hands around it.  Pittsburgh 20 and Arizona 14.  When the clock got to under four minutes, I was thinking it’d be pretty neat if the Cardinals won.  Would they be able to do it, though?  Cheese Louise the Pyrenees.  The Steelers incurred an offensive holding call in the end zone, which gave the Cardinals a safety.  Pittsburgh 20 and Arizona 16.  TANGY TOMATO SAUCE AND TORTELLINI!!!! With fewer than three minutes in the quarter, Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald got their syncopation on for sixty-four yards and a TD.  Arizona 23 and Pittsburgh 20.  A minute left and Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes got to the five yard line.  Roethlisberger threw to Holmes again (no catch), and then again.  Catch.  Thirty-five seconds left on the clock.  Was it a confirmed TD?  Indeed.  Pittsburgh 27 and Arizona 23.  Well, the Cardinals came and saw but did not supercede.  THE STEELERS HAVE WON SUPER BOWL XLIII, “the first franchise in Super Bowl history to win six Super Bowls,” Al Michaels noted.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Al Michaels and John Madden provided the commentary.

2.  Faith Hill (and a gospel choir) sang “America the Beautiful.”

3.  The national anthem was performed by Jennifer Hudson.

4. GI Joe movie trailer! Holy hovan rolls.

5. Lynn Swann, Roger Craig, John Elway, and General David H. Petraeus were a part of the coin toss (well he actually tossed the coin).  Terry McAulay was the referee.  Arizona won the toss and chose to let the Steelers take to offense first.

6.  The Steelers wore yellow pants and white jerseys.  The Cardinals wore white pants and red jerseys.

7.  John Madden commented on Ben Roethlisberger’s bottom-first-quarter scrambling as evidence that he’s like “Superman…he’s just so big and strong.”

8.  Creepy.  SoBe commercial with NFL ballers doing Swan Lake.

9.  Cuba Gooding Jr. was in attendance, sitting in the shadows of the stands.  He wore glasses, a dark hat, and a trench coat-esque jacket.  Al Michaels made a reference to Jerry Maguire.

10.  After coming back from the commercial break which proceeded Larry Fitzgerald’s fourth quarter TD catch, one of the cameras cut to an extreme close-up of Fitzgerald taking a sip of red liquid from a bottle sans label.  Was he drinking Powerade or Gatorade? Hmmm.  Correction.  The label was transparent.  A subsequent shot revealed that he was drinking Gatordade.  G2 fruit punch.

11.  According to Al Michaels, the imagery on the Jumbotron is five seconds behind what happens in real-time.  Thus, when Larry Fitzgerald was watching himself run towards the end zone in the bottom of the fourth quarter, he had passed the ten yard line but he was seeing himself at the fifteen yard line. Wow, watching the past.

12.  Slow-motion instant replay footage after Santonio Holmes made the game-changing TD in the fourth quarter included his using the ball like a bottle of some kind, shaking imaginary things onto his hand.  He then threw the ball into the air (probably backwards).  After the TD was confirmed, there was footage of Larry Fitzgerald, in extreme close-up, mouth “oh no.”

13.  It was heart-scraping to see the juxtaposed images of Larry Fitzgerald and Santonio Holmes.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

AFC Divisional 2009: Steelers storm out the Chargers

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Diego Chargers put all they’ve got on the table for the chance to go to the AFC Championship.  Broadcast on CBS and set in swirly snowflakes of Heinz Field, the first quarter bolted out–no pun intended–with a Chargers touchdown by wide receiver Vincent Jackson.  San Diego 7 and Pittsburgh 0.  Minutes later, Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes returned a punt for sixty-eight yards, flew into the end zone, and toppled a photographer on the sidelines.   It was such a beauty.  The snow, his running–like a bumble bee or yellow jacket into the night.  Another Fortune Cookie moment.  Both teams tied 7.

One of the cameras cut to an extreme close-up of Chargers punter Brett Scifres (pronounced “sigh-fruh-ss”) after that TD.  He wore the look of shock and irritation.

The second quarter continued beyond seven minutes and then Vincent Jackson made a job-dropping leap of a forty-three yard catch.  Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin challenged the complete pass call.  He won the challenge.  Jackson caught the ball in mid-air, but upon hitting the turf, the ball bounced out of his hands.  The Chargers had to punt the ball away.  Nate Kaeding attempted a forty-two yard field goal with two minutes on the clock.  He did it.  San Diego 10 and Pittsburgh 7.  Steelers running back Willie Parker was able to zip across the front, left corner of the end zone with fewer than seventy seconds left in the quarter.  Thus, going into halftime Pittsburgh 14 and San Diego 10.

The third quarter started with Steelers on offense.  That drive, consisting of thirteen plays, ticked all the way to seven minutes for a touchdown by tight end Heath Miller.  Pittsburgh 21 and San Diego 10.  The Chargers shoved back with a sixty-three yard kick-return by running back Darren Sproles.  One play later, Steelers linebacker Larry Foote recovered a loose Chargers ball (technically, his teammate James Harrison got to the ball first but Foote came up with it).  Chargers head coach Norv Turner challenged the interception ruling.  He lost the challenge.  Towards the bottom of the quarter, Steelers punter Mitch Berger kicked the ball down the field, which bounced off Chargers strong safety Eric Weddle’s helmet.   The Steelers got the ball back.

The fourth quarter lashed out without a TD or a field goal by the Steelers…as the previous plays had suggested would surely happen.  But they got that missed score soon enough.  Running back Gary Russell broke the plane sufficiently for a TD.  Pittsburgh 28 and San Diego 10.  Steelers defensive end Brett Kiesel sacked Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers a couple plays later.  After he got up, Kiesel took three to four steps while doing a downward figure-eight, row-row-row-your-boat movement with his arms.   The Chargers got a TD on the board courtesy of wide receiver Legedu Naanee (the first of his career) with about nine minutes on the clock.  Willie Parker got his galloping legs into the end zone some five minutes later.  Pittsburgh 35 and San Diego 17.  Byron Leftwich stepped in as Steelers quarterback for Ben Roethlisberger in the bottom of the quarter.  With under two minutes to play, Darren Sproles ran sixty-two yards into the end zone for a TD.  Pittsburgh 35 and San Diego 24.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Jim Nantz and Phil Simms were the commentators.  They both wore dark suits, light blue button-down shirts, and v-neck sweaters.  Nantz wore a silverish/blue tie and a bluish-gray sweater, Simms a silver and bluish-gray, fat, diagonally striped tie and a dark blue/or black sweater.

2.  What’s this?  While Nate Kaeding was putting up the extra point in the top of the first quarter, the commentators mentioned something about Vincent Jackson’s DUI from the past week.

3.  The Steelers wore yellow pants–black stripe down the outer leg–and black jerseys with yellow sleeves.  The Chargers wore blue pants with–white/bolt stripe down the outer leg–and white jerseys.  The uniforms made me think of yellow jackets and blueberry muffins.

4.  Read more about The Fortune Cookie here.

5.  Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has a great speaking voice.  Watch him on Craig Ferguson’s show from last year.   Gates’s voice reminds me of Tone Loc ‘s. You know. “Funky Cold Medina.”

6.  Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips got elbowed in the adam’s apple/throat area in the bottom of the second quarter.  He walked off the field a couple minutes later.  To his left? An Asian man.  A Dr. Calvin Wong, methinks.  The Chargers’ opthamologist is Dr. Mihir (Max) Parikh.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

NFL 08: Colts tuna melt the Steelers

The Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers. A thumb-war set or two.

Going into halftime, the Steelers were in the lead with 17 points to the Colts’ 14. I started watching from the top of the third quarter. The Colts had a near-touchdown halfway in the third quarter but wide receiver Marvin Harrison couldn’t keep ahold of the ball. Kicker Adam Vinatieri then tied the game with a field goal. The tie would continue through the top of the fourth quarter. And then the Steelers hurled out a field goal. Pittsburgh 20 and Indianapolis 17. Colts defensive back Tim Jennings intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass in the bottom of the fourth quarter. The result of that turnover was a TD by Dominic Rhodes. Colts 24 and Steelers 20. After a sweetly exciting last minute of the game, Indianapolis took the cake, the icing, and the knife. 24 to 20 final score.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

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I also watched the final fortyish seconds of the Kansas City and San Diego game. The Chargers won by one point. Read all about it here.

Pre-S 08: Steelers kick away the Vikings

The Pittsburgh Steelers went to the central time zone to play and then eventually beat the Minnesota Vikings.

As a Steelers fan, I was hoping that Pittsburgh would prevail. From the middle of the third quarter on, though, I was under the impression that I would be titling this post “Vikings longship the Steelers.” Minnesota was quarterbacked by Gus Frerotte and John Booty. Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich led Pittsburgh. The Vikings scored first with a touchdown in the second quarter with a catch by running back Adrian Peterson. The Steelers wouldn’t have anything to show offensively until cornerback Ike Taylor intercepted a Frerotte pass meant for Vikings wide receiver Bobby Wade a few minutes later. Taylor’s steal, however, ended in a field goal rather than a TD. Both teams would increase their score with field goals in the third quarter. Minnesota would remain at ten points for the rest of the game. Pittsburgh would pick up two more field goals in the fourth quarter. The second one occurred with nine seconds left on the clock and gave them the win, thanks to Jeff Reed’s leg.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. CBS televised the game; the 1st and Ten line looked orange instead of yellow.

2. Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte is eight months older than Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

3. Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf provided commentary. At one point Dierdorf mentioned to Gumbel that Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau looks amazing for his age: nearly seventy-one. Indeed, he looks great. LeBeau is six years older than Mick Jagger.

Click here for game summary, stats, and play-by-play.