What they’re really thinking: The Black Screen of Death Edition

I must begin this post by telling you that I only laid my eyeballs on about two quarters of this game because of something that happened to my family yesterday during a Toyota commercial early in the second quarter. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. That’s right. My satellite went out.

I could get every channel but the local channels and you know what was playing on a local channel? The Steelers game. Know what was playing on the non-local channels? Not the Steelers game, people.

At first the screen was just a mocking black screen of death, and then Direct TV must have been deluged with phone calls, hopefully all of them from angry Steelers fans because after ten minutes of us missing the game, we saw this:

Sorry?! Sorry isn’t going to cut it, Direct TV. I’d like an apology written in YOUR BLOOD!

After reading it, sister of PittGirl said this:

Yes, even though I’m one of those people that when playing the word association game and you say Comcast, I will scream out SUCKS! at the top of my lungs, I would have right then and there starred in a commercial for the cable pig all, “Cable works.”

We were forced to experience the majority of the second half of the game while listening to my brother-in-law do shitty play-by-play while madly clicking the refresh button on the Yahoo game tracker page all the while cursing Direct TV and everyone who has ever existed that had anything to do with the future invention of Direct TV including Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison.

1st and ten.

2nd and ten. Ben incomplete down the middle.

3rd and ten. Ben incomplete to the left.

Interception by Anthony Smith! Anthony Smith has been forgiven!

Touchdown Steelers!

Extra point conversion is good and thrown by CEDRIC WILSON?! We’re missing this!! This game is taking place 30 minutes away and we can’t SEE IT!!

Oh, my GOD! Troy Polamalu’s pants just fell off!

Swear to God he said that, knowing my sister and I would be all, “What?! We’re missing Troy Polamalu’s naked ass?!?! Noooooooooooooooooooo!”

So my family stood crowded around the computer monitor freaking out when the game was finally all tied up, promising Jeff Reed the sluttiest of sluts if he would win it for us, and then being all “sadcakes” as Julie Gong would say, when it said “4th and 7. Completed pass to Heath Miller for a six-yard gain. First down Jacksonville.”


Now, what I did see:

1. My sister giving the TV the bird every chance she could.

2. I saw Troysus give an inspired performance, complete with self-sacrifice, gorgeous tackles that upended Jags at exactly the right moment, and a beautiful leap in the air that forced the Jags to punt. It was awesome to behold.

Speaking of Troysus, did you read this?

“It’s crazy,” Polamalu said. “Am I supposed to make a play here” — he tapped the center of the cafeteria table — “when I make this amount of money and make plays here, here, here and here” — he tapped the four corners of the table — “because I make more? That’s just crazy.”

Not that the expectations change how Polamalu plays.

“I have to play the same techniques if I’m playing for free or for Bill Gates money,” he said. “It’s not like I see the ball coming and it’s green and I’m thinking, ‘I’ve got to make this play because I make the most money.’

“People can expect anything they want. My expectations for myself are always going to be higher. They can throw cups at the television when I get beat, but it hurts me 100 times worse.”

Aw. Troysus, we don’t throw cups at the television, we throw trash in peoples’ lawns, honey.

But not yours. No. Way.

3. And now, here it is at nine o’clock at night and my brain is going GRCK! every time I try to caption a picture because I DIDN’T SEE THE IMPORTANT PARTS OF THE GAME, DIRECT TV!!

So that’s all I can give you today. If you have a problem with that, you know what will make you feel better? Two things:

  • A PittGirl t-shirt.
  • A dead pigeon.

Make it happen.


  1. mpc72
    December 17, 2007 10:01 pm

    I’m guessing there wasn’t a radio near by? I know, not as good as the television but better than trying to read the details from the internet.

  2. Cynthia Closkey
    December 17, 2007 10:04 pm

    Last week, cable went out for part of the first half of the game. Perhaps 20 minutes worth.

    Is it possible that the Steelers lost both weeks because great chunks of the fan base couldn’t see what was going on, and therefore couldn’t send their invisible fan karma through the ether to the team?

    Nah, I guess not.

    Besides, we could still hear the play-by-play over the radio on WDVE. We’re old school like that.

  3. tw
    December 17, 2007 10:08 pm

    Well, at least you saw part of the game PittGirl. Here in Eastern PA we lost power at 11:30am Sunday…until just a few hours ago. Aghhhhhhhhh. No TV, no computer, not even a radio to listen to the game (of course I had to lend it out). And hubby wasn’t too thrilled about my idea to drag the kiddies to a bar so that I could see my game…the nerve.(kidding) And we don’t always get the Steelers games out here so I was elated that I was actually gonna see one. I guess we were more worried about the lights, food, and heat of course. Oh, that damn ice!

  4. pittgirl
    December 17, 2007 10:24 pm

    Radio?! RADIO?! Is that even still a word?!


  5. Kevin
    December 17, 2007 10:31 pm

    That’s pretty sad PittGirl. I would have crowded the family around the clock radio in my bedroom if I had to.

  6. Scott
    December 17, 2007 10:37 pm

    Actually for about 5 or 10 minutes in the first half Comcast crapped out on me with poor audio, so I ended up listening to DVE. I used to do that for every game, but it doesn’t sync with the HD broadcast. Its kind of funny because I hear on the radio what happens before it happens on the screen.

  7. Goob
    December 17, 2007 10:49 pm

    Oh, the radio is fun! And considerably better commentary. And strange, time-twisting split-second discrepancies between what’s happening on screen and what’s pouring out of the speakers.

    Plus the commercials are, if anything, more awful.

    But I’ll take Bill over whoever is in the television broadcast booth any day.

    (I will not point out that you can still get the local channels over the air. I tell people that sometimes, and they look at me funny. “You can still -do- that?” they say. And then they back away all careful like.)

    Gonna have to find a Steeler bar when I visit my folks next week. In New England. Hurm.

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  9. returningBurgher
    December 17, 2007 11:14 pm


    ever hear of rabbit ears? hook up a friggin antenna… and you’ll get the game. i had to do it last week when the game went out on the local station.

  10. Still A. Fan
    December 18, 2007 12:53 am

    you may have been better not seeing the second half

  11. pittgirl
    December 18, 2007 7:21 am


    Sweetheart, I don’t own a friggin antenna, thank you.


    We tried to get the local channels by switching off the cable setting on the TV, hoping for a grainy shot at best, but had absolutely no luck getting anything. Probably, we needed a friggin antenna. Which I don’t own.


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  13. REARless
    December 18, 2007 8:17 am

    Your sister’s arm is kinda hot….

  14. BBM
    December 18, 2007 8:28 am

    The best thing to happen the entire game was when my one-year old toddled up to the TV, pointed to Troy, and said, “pretty hair.” I’m not sure if the tear rolling down my cheek was from pride or disappointment at the last Jacksonville touchdown. Maybe both.

  15. pittgirl
    December 18, 2007 8:50 am


    My SISTER is kinda hot.


    Awwww. Passing down the Troy love. That’s awesome.


  16. PittinDC
    December 18, 2007 9:55 am

    I feel your pain. I’m stuck in the DC/Baltimore viewing area, so I couldn’t get the game, and my boyfriend refused to stop at a bar and let me watch the end of it on the way to his parents’ house. The nerve! But, I did get to watch the DirtyBirds lose to the Dolphins. Which was probably better, in retrospect.

  17. NY Luvs Pitts
    December 18, 2007 10:21 am

    How about being in NYC. I’ve seen every game after the bye week except for the last two. I don’t know if that’s bad or good beings that they lost the last two games but anyway… I was getting so spoiled seeing my Steelers every week. Now I feel…I feel..I feel like “THROWING A CUP AT THE TELEVISION”!!! :'(

    10 touchdowns?!?! You go Troy!!! Sorry I missed it :'(

  18. Zsa
    December 18, 2007 10:54 am

    Comcast went out (or more accurately, it was off & on snow) for the last 2 minutes of the game. Not that that was an entirely bad thing.

  19. Steve
    December 18, 2007 11:24 am

    Here’s a little trick that the guys I bought my HDTV from told me…

    If you have an HD tuner built in to your TV, all you have to do is take a paper clip (the thicker ones work better), unbend it, and stick it into the “antenna” co-ax jack on the back of your TV. It’s how they had their TV’s set up in the store and it worked for me at home until I got my HD cable box. I can get channel 2, 11, 13 and 53 in HD over the air and it looks just as good as the cable. I don’t get channel 4 for some reason, which is odd because I live close to their station.

  20. coach99
    December 18, 2007 11:24 am

    Don’t have an antenna????? Did you ever hear of the “DOLLAR STORE”? Go gets ya sweet self a cheapy to keep on hand for emergencies…and you get the HD for free too over the air.

  21. Amy
    December 18, 2007 12:26 pm

    That sucks big time about the antenna…especially because it sounds like you may have missed the best quote of the game. I think Dan Deardorf might be a Ben minion. When Ben was in the process of being brought down, he managed to get the ball off to one of the recievers on the way down (I think it was Santonio, but I can’t remember). Deardorf was freaking out, and he exclaimed, “Ben Roethlisberger, you are a stud. You are a big, giant stud.” It was classic.

  22. Eileen
    December 18, 2007 1:41 pm

    A coat hanger also works. Or aluminum foil.
    That’s what we did as kids. I tried it on Sunday out of sheer desperation and it still works.

  23. Megan
    December 18, 2007 1:54 pm

    We have DirecTV and only missed the last 7mins or so, which, I probably didn’t want to see anyway, since we didn’t win, sigh. However, it gave us a chance to turn on DVE and listen to the superior game coverage!

    Troysus played like his old self on Sunday – good to see him back in good form!

  24. Jmat
    December 18, 2007 5:17 pm

    Troysux made the Pro Bowl?!?! WHAT!!??

    No sacks. No interceptions. Many missed tackles. Injuries and missed games.

    Yet he made the Pro Bowl. That’s a travesty.
    Well Troysux didn’t give a shit about making the Steelers 75th Anniversary team so I’m sure he’s indifferent to making the ProBowl.

  25. Ivan
    December 18, 2007 7:52 pm

    It was probably a good thing your tv was out on Sunday. I almost destroyed my 4000 dollar tv when the jaguars scored that ridiculous long touchdown pass after el sackmeister managed to go 3 and out. Thankfully my wife managed to grab me and stop me from doing something stupid.

  26. Me Too
    December 19, 2007 12:31 am

    ME TOO. THAT WAS TERRIBLE!!! I HAVE A GENERAL MORAL OBJECTION TO ALL CAPS, BUT THIS SITUATION DESERVED IT. THAT WAS A NIGHTMARE. Seriously, I wanted to slit my wrists, bang my head against the wall, go find an automatic weapon and search and destroy the idiots who were responsible for blacking out a STEELERS GAME. In Pittsburgh. WHAT THE F*&#?????

  27. Me
    December 19, 2007 11:46 am

    Dish Network had the same issue. But, I have an antenna from back when I was morally opposed to paying for TV. But, I caved and got a dish. Because I loves me some HGTV. And The Closer.

  28. Michael Sorg
    December 19, 2007 1:01 pm

    Oddly, the feed went on the Dish for us (providing a similar, but more colorful “don’t call us” message) but the HD feed was just fine. Odd. Probably KDKA starting to have WPXI sized issues over there…