What They’re Really Thinking: Rollercoaster Edition


Did you also wake up yesterday morning with one thought running through your head: “FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Did you also jump up and down and say “FOOTBALL!” over and over again like that dog saying “sausage?”

Can we just first of all all agree once again that sausage might be the greatest word in the English language? Like if I were stranded on a deserted island with just one word, I would choose sausage.

The first game of the season meant of course gathering at Pens Fan’s house for a full spread of deliciousness and beers. Beers are delicious, too. This was Pens Fan’s centerpiece for this particular game.


Poor Tina Fey, stuck in Texas, did not take well to my brother-in-law posting on facebook that we were all enjoying chili in September.

By “your girlfriend” she means her husband, as we regularly joke that the brother-in-laws are in a relationship the way they all gab on the phone with each other like schoolgirls talking about Justin Bieber.

She’s been lobbying for a move back to Pittsburgh for years.

Poor dear.

But let’s talk about the game.

1. Yesterday’s game was like the beginning of the Phantom’s Revenge roller coaster, don’t you think? Such a big majority of it was spent waiting for something awesome to happen, waiting for a thrill of any sort so that we could throw our hands in the air in delight. But before we could get to the fun part, we had to sit there through the boring part. The slow ticking of time part. The click. Click. Click. Click. Zzz. Click. Click. Click.

And then finally, “WHEE!!!!!!!!!!”

2. The “whee!” portion of yesterday’s game was instigated by the very awesome Troysus Polamalu, who WAS NOT INJURED.

[crosses self] [knocks on wood] [throws salt] [kicks a black cat] [stabs the Marian Hossa voodoo doll in the crotch]

Just kidding. Me and Maid Marian are cool now.

Troysus’ interception sucked the boring right out of the air and his hair may have played a part in his interception in that he was hypnotizing everyone with his million-dollar holy locks.

3. Can we talk about Mike Smith of the Falcons?

First, he pulled his hammy calling a time out. That was effin’ hilarious.

I bet he’ll need to rub some Icy Hot into his shoulder, too, what with the enthusiasm in which he called a later time out just as Jeff Reed was going to attempt a field goal.

Did you see the coach? Standing next to the ref practically salivating. He was all, “Watch this ref. I’m going to call a timeout in like fifteen seconds. Here it comes. Here it comes. [giggle] OMG. I’m so excited. See how I’m sticking my elbows out like a crazed chicken? GONNA DO THE CHICKEN DANCE! LOL. OMG. Here it comes. Here comes the time-out call of the century. Hope I don’t jump the gun. That’d be embarrassing. But not as embarrassing as pulling my hammy calling a timeout. OMG. Here it is. Gonna make a T with my hands. TIME OUT! Nailed it.”

And then just, what, like five plays later, the ever cool Mike Tomlin is put in the exact same position, but instead of doing the chicken timeout dance, he channeled Samuel L. Jackson.

Almost made me feel bad for calling him fat.

But then I looked at his belly.

In his defense, his extra weight has in no way diminished his badassitude.

4. SKIPPY SKEEVE! He’s also carrying a few extra pounds. For the entire game, he put our only points on the board, in quite commanding fashion with one of them being a 52-yard-field goal, which was a thing of beauty. He was apparently quite motivated to make it.

Unfortunately, he later missed a 40-yarder that would have won the game in regulation time, so he had to give some back. He and Coach played a rousing game of Rock Paper Scissors Sluts to determine how many.

5. I still can’t adjust to seeing a new #10 on the field. For a long time, when I saw Santonio, I thought of Kordell, and now when I see Dixon, I think of Santonio.

I thought Dennis would choke, and while he didn’t exactly NOT choke, he did well enough to get the game won. Yeah, he missed seeing a few open men, but when he’s given time to throw, he’s pretty accurate. Which doesn’t bode well for the other quarterbacks’ chances of playing anytime soon.

6. James Harrison continues to be the most-held player in the NFL. I’m amazed he doesn’t rip heads off in frustration.

7. Dennis seemed on many occasions like he had a good bit of time to throw the ball, something I rarely saw with last season’s O-line and the ever-scrambling Benny. We’ll see if that remains true once The Duke of Fug returns, because if it doesn’t, then we’ll know for a fact that the O-Line hates the Earl’s guts, as my father has believed for some time now.

8. Like “embarrassed” and “Armageddon,” “occasions” is a word I never ever spell right the first time.

9.  My parents are funny because they’re such staid, quiet church-going people, but when it comes to the Steelers, they sort of lose their shit. When Mendenhall was running his 50-yard run of magnificence, my father sounded like he was a cross between a Kentucky Derby announcer and a Mexican soccer announcer.


This was accompanied by him holding his arms straight up in the air while making spirit fingers. I’m not even joking. Spirit fingers.

My mother, well, she just jumped up and down and started screaming, “WE CAN WIN WITHOUT BEN! WE CAN WIN WITHOUT BEN!”

One of these days I’m going to record them while they freak out and the video will go viral on YouTube.

10. Dear Hines Ward. You are amazing and fantastic and don’t think I didn’t see that awesome block you threw that allowed Mendenhall to get his touchdown.

I love you.

I’m going to go kick some more black cats now. We can’t be too careful about our mojo/juju now that we beat the Falcons when we weren’t supposed to beat the Falcons. Next week, we go away to face the Titans where hopefully we once again win without Ben.

One thing we learned from yesterday. We don’t need to win in commanding fashion. We just need to win.



  1. Clementine
    September 13, 2010 2:15 pm

    That was hysterical, Ginny! Please post a video of your parents someday!

    Who cares about our QB (any QB) when Troysus and Hines are on the field??!! Sweet Lord, I love them. We are so lucky.

  2. Gina
    September 13, 2010 2:33 pm

    Note to self: Keep Ginny away from my cat.

  3. Kathy
    September 13, 2010 2:36 pm

    Where does this kickin’ kittens come from? That is awful! i’ve never heard any such myth. I’ve heard the don’t cross paths with a black cat, but NEVER NEVER anything about kicking animals. It’s awful. Stick with salt, wood, fingers, etc.

    I think if you kick a cat, the Steelers will be 1-15 for the season. Don’t say you weren’t warned….

  4. bluzdude
    September 13, 2010 2:41 pm

    Welcome back to Football and WTRT!

  5. BeauJacques
    September 13, 2010 2:48 pm

    Kicking self for not taking the under also!!!

    Great post V!! :-)

  6. tw
    September 13, 2010 2:56 pm

    Hey question everyone…I missed most of the preseason games since I’m out here in Reading and I was surprised Tomlin didn’t use Dan S. for the kickoffs (just punts). I thought after that one game they used him that it was gonna be a permanent thing. What did I miss? Sorry if this was discussed previously.

    btw Ginny….you had me rolling and I so loved Tomlin’s casual time out called from the side of his mouth. :)

  7. empirechick
    September 13, 2010 2:56 pm

    “He and Coach played a rousing game of Rock Paper Scissors Sluts to determine how many.”


  8. red pen mama
    September 13, 2010 2:58 pm

    My husband, who is of Italian descent, admires Tomlin’s belly. It’s what Italians say of successful men: “He’s a man with a belly.” According to him, anyway.

    We, too, LOVED Tomlin’s corner-of-the-mouth time out. Made the other coach look, yeah, like a dancing chicken.

  9. Pa-pop
    September 13, 2010 3:12 pm

    Even the Fox crew replayed MT’s TO and pronounced it coolest ever. And here in Y-town yesterday we had the best of both worlds on the telly: Steeler W in OT and a Browns come-from-ahead loss over on CBS. Life is indeed good.

  10. LH
    September 13, 2010 3:16 pm

    I really want to see double D do well… Maybe it will humble the duke… On a side note one of our readings in church this weekend was the one he tried to quote in the trib. Kinda weird.

  11. PG Wodehouse
    September 13, 2010 3:19 pm

    Ginny, you should read Chad Millman’s book “The Ones Who Hit the Hardest”, about the 70’s Steelers. There’s a story about Joe Greene playing in Philly at the end of another sorry season in 1971. Joe had four sacks despite being regularly held all game. The Eagles had just gone ahead when they blocked a Bradshaw punt in the end zone. The next time the defense is on the field, Joe says to the guard who’d been holding all game, “If you hold me again, I’m going to hurt you.” One play later the guard is on the ground and out of the game. He repeats the same thing to the next guard. Same result. The next guy was a friend of his from college, so he tells the ref, “If you don’t start calling the holds this game is over.” Another play, another hold. As the ball is spotted for a new play, Greene picks it up and flips it to the sideline. Another ball is spotted, Greene takes this one and fires it into the upper deck at Franklin Field and walks off.

  12. Jill
    September 13, 2010 3:20 pm


    I agree – life is indeed good! I only wish in Ytown we could get the Steelers instead of the Browns when they both play at 1:00.

    Instead we get to have family bonding with my dad, who can get KDKA (yay for us!!!) Sucks for him because he really doesn’t want to watch games with 10 people in his house – he wants to watch the games and PHONE us when good things happen and swear at will when bad things happen :)

  13. Suburban Nor'Side Girl
    September 13, 2010 3:27 pm

    Ummm, Ginny? Seriously, don’t go kickin’ those kitties. Couldn’t you just substitute pigeons? Although I don’t really condone kickin’ them either, but if you have to kick something, I’d rather you kicked a pigeon.

  14. Noelle
    September 13, 2010 3:51 pm

    Yeah, that cat thing is a little too close to home, sorry.

  15. Monty
    September 13, 2010 4:11 pm

    If we can’t kick cats, then the terrorists have won.

    Don’t make us take our cat kicking talents to South Beach.

  16. Ms Redd
    September 13, 2010 4:12 pm

    Hey,Ginny- just a question.. If Ben does appear to be a changed man, is your treatment of him going to be any different? I mean, aren’t we supposed to forgive and forget if someone is truly repentant?
    And I agree with Nor’side girl and Noelle- let’s change it to kicking pigeons.

  17. Virginia
    September 13, 2010 4:16 pm

    Ok. I’m going to have to explain this, aren’t I?

    In the beginning of the post, I was listing superstitious things like knocking on wood, etc. JOKINGLY, I decided to pretend like I misunderstood the black cat crossing a path superstition, so I wrote it as kicking a black cat. As if kicking a black cat is good luck.

    Therefore, at the end of the post, I returned to that joke of kicking a black cat.

    And it was just that. A joke. I would never kick a cat.

    Please stop emailing me.

  18. mary Ann Napoleone
    September 13, 2010 4:17 pm

    “I seem to amaze myself,” said Hines. I love him too. At 34, he is amazing.

  19. Gina
    September 13, 2010 4:18 pm

    I never for a minute thought you would really kick a cat. A pigeon, however…

    Although maybe my cat should be kicked. She’s evil and spends her free time inside the hermit crab tank kicking THEM around.

  20. Beth
    September 13, 2010 4:25 pm

    How is that people who read this blog on a regular basis don’t realize that you got jokes?!

  21. Pensgirl
    September 13, 2010 4:27 pm

    Ginny, I have a 16Y0 terminally-ill black-and-white cat, and I have no issue with your joke.

    As to the game, I would comment but it made me fall asleep.

  22. rose
    September 13, 2010 4:31 pm

    eh, as long as you’re kicking the black cat toward the damned pigeons, i don’t see a problem.

  23. Stacey
    September 13, 2010 4:32 pm

    Yeah, I too am a cat slave (she rules the house, not me) but I knew you were joking.

    Game was boring but a win is a win and I’ll take it. Made me miss hockey season though.

  24. Bobby
    September 13, 2010 5:02 pm

    Is it just me that thinks Dennis Dixon is going to be on ESPN48 throwing darts in the 2014 Pub Olympics?

  25. megrcam51
    September 13, 2010 6:10 pm

    Sausage is the best word ever. My friend was cooking breakfast one morning when he burnt the sausages and proclaimed, “I never sausage a mess!” This was 10 years ago and still cracks me up. But I am a dork, so…

    Also, that time-out with the Falcons coach versus our bad-ass Tomlin was the best part of yesterday. You nailed the description and Tomlin was SOOOO channeling Samuel L.

  26. mfj
    September 13, 2010 6:15 pm

    What are spirit fingers? Team? Holy? Of camphor? Of the high mesa?

  27. Bram R
    September 13, 2010 6:20 pm

    I dunno, I thought it was more of a Ving Rhames time-out. But you nailed everything else.

  28. Trish
    September 13, 2010 6:55 pm

    True conversation from yesterday (for some reason Richmond VA gets a LOT of Steelers games, not that I’m complaining):

    HUSBAND: When did Santonio Holmes start playing quarterback?

    ME: Huh?

    HUSBAND: Look. The quarterback’s wearing number 10. That’s Santonio Holmes.

    ME: No, that’s Dennis Dixon. Holmes plays for the Jets now.

    HUSBAND: Nobody ever tells me these things!

    ME: (facepalm)

  29. Pittsburgh Tom
    September 13, 2010 8:00 pm

    Surprised there’s no mention of Reed’s 55 yard miss. That ball was moving like Skippy coming out of a bar at 2AM: crooked, swerving, and slammed straight into a pole.

  30. Virginia
    September 13, 2010 8:01 pm

    Tom, you’re right. However, I honestly didn’t expect him to make that one. I did expect him to make the 40 though. Excellent description you wrote there, though!

    I also forgot to mention how Troysus caught the interception like a wide receiver, keeping his toes in. That was amazing.

  31. Ekat
    September 13, 2010 8:02 pm

    Please, please ask Woy to make a t-shirt from your “Time. Out. Mother. Effer.” picture for Wear Pittsburgh. I’d be all over that!

  32. facie
    September 13, 2010 9:10 pm

    Hilarious. I love fall. I love football. I love WTRT. I even love Troy’s gray hair.

    Thanks for reminding me of the only non-sleep-inducing parts for the most of the game, the timeouts.

  33. Leslie in London
    September 14, 2010 7:51 am

    Oh, this makes my day. I’ve been in the UK since Saturday. Went to a bar with my boss to watch football, ended up watching Giants/Panthers – no Steelers game available. Still had fun, but I missed seeing Troysus and crew.

  34. bucdaddy
    September 14, 2010 10:35 am

    Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogo stick, do I hate the “freeze the kicker” timeout. I always wish for the kicker to make it, no matter which team it is. It’s so moronic. “Yeah, he’s kicked field goals in Super Bowls, but let’s put some REAL pressure on him. TIMEOUT! Let him think about it while we put the oooga-booga!!! on him.”

    There’s no way you can prove it actually, y’know, works, but that never stops them.

  35. Kathy
    September 14, 2010 12:15 pm

    Sorry G. I’m really not that stupid, but you got all the other superstitions correct so I figured… I normally realize when you’re joking. But not that one.

  36. Miles
    September 14, 2010 12:36 pm

    I second Ekat. The Timeout. Mother Effer needs to be made