Friday, September 11, 2009

FriDay in Football

Rochester said that, because of the NFL opener, no one would be watching Georgia Tech take on Clemson. I'll admit that, after the former started, the latter only functioned as something to watch during commercial breaks - especially since the halftime 24-0 GT lead had all the makings of a grade A beatdown. A strange thing happened, though; it seemed like each time I flipped back to ESPN, Clemson had scored more points: 24 unanswered, in fact, to tie up the game, and then another three (again unanswered) to take the lead. Ultimately, Georgia Tech was able to kick two field goals - to tie and then win - in the final six minutes, dodging a yoooge bullet, closing out Clemson 27-24.

The NFL season opened with bang: the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Tennessee Titans. We discussed what a great game this was on the podcast, and it did not disappoint. (Unless you consider a Steelers win as a disappointment, which, yeah, I kinda do.) The game was an interesting mix of big offense (Roethlisberger seemed to hook up with Santonio Holmes for 20 yards at will; Chris Henry was able to cut back against the Steelers defense for big gains, seemingly, on every other drive) and big defense (before leaving with a knee injury, "You asked with your eyes*" Polamalu was all over the field; the Titans front four was always in Roethlisberger's face and absolutely shutting down the Steelers' running game).

It's no secret I dislike the Steelers, and when I dislike a team, I tend to develop a bitter hatred against some of the players on that team (before, it was Jerome Bettis and Joey Porter - undeserved and deserved, respectively; now, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu - deserved and undeserved?). As a result, I was probably one of the happiest football fans in American when Ward was stripped from behind late in the game when he should have gone down setting up a game winning field goal. All the close ups of the sour puss of the "league leaders in smiles*" was sweet, sweet frosting on my delicious schadenfreude cup cake (tainted only because the mistake didn't ultimately lose the game for Pittsburgh).

Steelers win or no, if this game was any indicator for how this season'll shape up, we're in for a good'n.

* I thought Peter King, et al., jocking Ward for being the greatest blocking wide receiver of all time (cheap shot artist? You decide!) as well as praising him for always having that shit-eating grin plastered to his face (who loves the game more than that guy? Er, other than Brett Favre...), was about as bad as it could get, but I was wrong. Over the summer, when ESPN was doing that stupid fucking Mort Goes to Camp segment - a wrongheaded attempt to make Chris Mortenson a likeable or charismatic WWL personality - when he was at Steelers camp he honesttofuckinggod asked Hines Ward if he took "smile enhancing drugs."

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