What They’re Really Thinking: Silverback Edition

This is the first game of the season that I watched by myself.

My sister Pens Fan, her husband, their son, and my father were all at the game. Maybe you spotted them and their nosebleeds?

My mother was under the weather.

Princess Aurora was up in the tallest tower of her castle in Wexfordshire.

I was recovering at home from my son’s birthday sleepover party in which I had four eight-year-old boys in my house. At one time. Hopped up on sugar. And caffeine.

Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done in my life.

So I watched this game curled up on my couch while my daughter napped and my son built the Legos he got for his birthday.

It was heaven.

Let’s talk Silverback n’ stuff.

1. A note. According to a reader whose email I lost, if you buy that shirt from BelieveMerch and try to wear it to a Steelers game, you will be asked to turn it inside out by stadium staff.

True story.

2. The big story of the game, obvs, is that The Duke of Fug and The Earl of Gross returned to the Kingdom of Quarterbackylonia from which he’d been in forced exile as decreed by King Gooddell.

In true “lost son returning home” fashion, Benny ran into the stadium first. His head held high. His troops following. In slow motion. While humming the Six Million Dollar Man running sound.

Before switching over to the theme from Chariots of Fire.

So moving.

2. Meanwhile, across from the stadium, throngs of fans staged a masked protest that King Gooddell ruled that the Duke could return.

(screen grab from this video, which is hilarious)

And by “throngs’ I mean “less than two dozen people” and by “masked” I mean, “Really?! MASKS?! WTF? This is not Iran. You are not protesting war crimes or crimes against humanity or for human rights or for anything that could get you thrown into prison and then executed. You’re protesting because you feel that a man who has not been proven to have committed a crime has not been punished to your liking. God.”

“We don’t care whether he was charged or not,” she said. “It’s definitely important to get the word out there that he is a sexual predator because of his actions, and he violated consent.”

See. Here’s where I get miffed. I don’t like Ben. That’s a big news flash, right? I think he’s a conceited, self-entitled, jerk who is possibly sexually aggressive. I think he made bad choices. I hold a lot of things against him. I’m not a fan. But I’m not going to go to the media and say with certainty, “He violated consent.” Because, Internet, it hasn’t yet been proven.

You can’t call him a rapist unless he’s charged with rape and found guilty. That’s what makes America great.

However, Ray Lewis is totally a murderer, n’at.

3. Equally, I’m a little grossed out with the fact that Ben has been welcomed back with such wide open arms by most of Steeler Nation. Yeah, he’s served his “time” so to speak, but I just feel like he hasn’t earned the prodigal son hugs yet. YMMV.

Not gonna lie. I kinda wanted him to choke yesterday. I wanted the Steelers to win, don’t get me wrong. I just didn’t want it to be easy for the Duke. I wanted to see him struggle. I kinda smiled when he threw the interception.


I’m a puzzle. Don’t try to understand me. Your brain will break.

And stop throwing things at me.

4. And yes, Ben was welcomed back with open arms. And giant banners.

I don’t get that one. Are they telling Ben to stay focused? Us to stay focused? The Steelers to stay focused. Or are they, inexplicably, at a Steelers game to tell Hinesville, Georgia to stay focused. On Ben’s back? My brain hurts. I’m not the only one who didn’t get it.

And then there was this one.

It’s true!

“And God did send forth a flawed quarterback who eschewed the entire Bible, to save the nation of Steel.”

That’s in First Timothy where it gets really meta and the Bible refers to itself.

5. We interrupt this WTRT to take a look at the love child of Bowser and Steely McBeam:

That one, he got.

At least Coach truly appreciates my sense of humor.

Thank you, Coach. I’m sorry I continue to point out what a chunk you are these days.

6. Yesterday was Colt McCoy’s first NFL game.

Colt McCoy is either a cowboy name or a porn name. I can’t decide.

Colt McCoy in The Naked Dawn


Colt McCoy in The Naked Dawn

Still undecided.

7. The defense had Colt’s number, and did their best to tear his head off. I’m pretty sure they got it completely off at one point. Good thing his team was there to help him out.

Despite the pressure, Colt actually kept his team in the game for several quarters, which doesn’t say much about our Steelers.

8. James Harrison is a beast. A terrifying beast who really will put the hurt on you if given the chance.

And he got the chance with Joshua Cribbs, who the announcers relentlessly and relentlessly and relentlessly referred to as, “The Wildcat.” Update: I’m told, by a sexist jerk in the comments, that “The Wildcat” is the name of the formation. But that doesn’t work for my next picture, so Joshua Cribbs is hereforetoeverafter known as “The Wildcat.”

In related news, here lies the Wildcat.

And Cleveland is PISSED about that hit. Read some of the comments here.

He also destroyed #11 Mohamed Massaquoi with a hit. Literally bent him over backwards.

9. Mike Wallace continues to amaze with his ability to catch the long ball. I love the way he runs. Do you notice it? He doesn’t run with his arms up and pumping; he runs with them kind of down and out.

It’s sexy.

Also, ladies, those of you who weren’t fans of the faux hawk? It’s gone.

“We didn’t want him to be flawless,” said Wallace, who welcomed Roethlisberger back by cutting the Mohawk haircut the quarterback disliked. “Then we wouldn’t have anything to work on in practice.”

I’d like a motivational poster that says, “IRONY: The creator of the Mullethawkenberger disliking a straight-up faux hawk.”

(h/t MadMadMad)

10. We interrupt this WTRT for some comedic relief.

11. In closing. Keep a few things in mind.

Calling Ben a rapist is no better than calling his accusers money-grubbing whores. Nothing has been proven.

Mike Wallace cut his faux hawk and went from ridiculously hot to can’t-get-my-bra-off-fast-enough hot.

Colt McCoy is a porn name.

Or a cowboy name.

Let’s go with porn name.

Benny didn’t choke.

And Silverback will indeed f#%k you up.


  1. Jeff
    October 18, 2010 3:53 pm

    I’m not anti-violence at all. I just think it’d be nice to limit preventable head injuries in football. get started early at work, yes I would like fries with that.

  2. empirechick
    October 18, 2010 3:53 pm

    red pen mama –

    You must have posted before bucdaddy – his comments are always worth the read!

  3. red pen mama
    October 18, 2010 3:54 pm

    I lied: @Magnus Patris, favorite comment. Thank you for saying exactly what I was thinking.

  4. Ugh Why Do I Read These?
    October 18, 2010 3:58 pm


    I do not work in the food service industry but I find it insulting that you would insinuate that there is a problem with someone doing that.

    Especially when it comes from someone who obviously takes their job so seriously that they’ve spent an hour arguing in the comments section of a blog with someone they are clearly superior to in every way.

    Typical New Englander.

  5. L-A
    October 18, 2010 4:03 pm

    LOL@Magnus – THANK YOU!

  6. lampropeltis
    October 18, 2010 4:05 pm

    Aw, Colt McCoy is the greatest QB name ever. He was destined to be either a quarterback or a rodeo star. Porn names have to have something phallic in them, like “David JOHNSON” or “Chris LONG” or “Don CANNON”.

    I’m gonna go with my original assumption, that the “wildcat” nickname thing was a joke. Good one, Ginny! That “Ugh” guy totally doesn’t get it!

  7. Bram R
    October 18, 2010 4:28 pm

    I hear what Jeff is saying, and I’ma little conflicted over cheering for a beast that really loves to hurt his opponents, but “the quality has gone downhill?” Really? You just don’t like it. “The quality of this blog has gone downhill” is the biggest and most popular cop-out for “I disagree with what you’re saying” of them all.

  8. LucyLou
    October 18, 2010 4:30 pm

    I actually sort of agree with Jeff. When you step outside the Steelers universe, most anyone who watches the Massaquoi hit feels that it should have been flagged and agree that Harrison will likely be fined. That opinion extends beyond Peter King who is certainly better suited to give an opinion of that kind than anyone on these boards. When you consider the fact that Rutgers DT Eric LeGrand is lying paralyzed in a hospital bed today, the call to reign in these questionable hits is not without merit. Check today’s SI.com headlines and you’ll see a story about the fact that the NFL is considering suspensions for severe hits. That’s right above the headline, “Steelers Harrison: I don’t care if I injure players.” Yeah, I can’t say I’m proud to call Harrison one of our own after that. My opinion. I simply think Jeff’s point is not as outrageous as some here might claim it to be. Steelers fans tend to see the world through black ‘n gold tinted glasses sometimes. I still love your column though, Ginny!

  9. Magnus Patris
    October 18, 2010 4:33 pm

    @ 53 red pen mama You’re welcome.

  10. Butcher's Dog
    October 18, 2010 4:34 pm

    My simple, but not easy, solution to the head shots: remove the face masks from the helmets. I’d bet within two weeks form tackling would be in evidence everywhere. Maybe within two quarters of the first game played that way. Just sayin’.

    I love bucdaddy’s comments. and his memory.

    Per Ginny’s reason why she watched alone (8-year-olds amped up the day before), on a recent trip to Michigan I saw this sign in a winery: Unattended Children Will Be Given Espresso and a Free Puppy. Should be a deterrent to lettin’ ’em run loose.

    Ginny, if you need help practicing the can’t-get-my-bra-off-fast-enough stuff for any chance encounter with Mike Wallace, I’m available most afternoons. Again, just sayin’.

  11. jeff
    October 18, 2010 4:40 pm

    Thanks Lucy/Bram. And I should substitute ‘quality’ with ‘my interest’. I used to check the blog for new posts every morning, now I’ll check a couple times a month and only find a few articles that I find interesting or written in a way I appreciate. Could be just on me… Had very little to do with this particular post.

  12. Sooska
    October 18, 2010 4:40 pm

    #6 the chosen phrase should be: Colt McCoy IS The Naked Dawn

    if football doesn’t work out for him we know where we can find him.

  13. MadMadMad
    October 18, 2010 4:46 pm

    Relevant to this leetle discussion, no?

    NFL to Review Harrison Hit

  14. Clair
    October 18, 2010 5:02 pm

    Harrison never said he wanted to INJURE anyone, just HURT them…there is a difference:
    “I don’t want to see anyone injured,” Harrison said, “but I’m not opposed to hurting anyone.”

    Say what?

    “There’s a difference,” Harrison said. “When you’re injured, you can’t play. But when you’re hurt, you can shake it off and come back. I try to hurt people.”
    my son is almost 12 and plays defense with a similar mindset….he does not want to INJURE anyone, however sometimes people get hurt and it is part of the game…and he feels bad about it but has to move on. He is not trying to hurt anyone, but football is a violent game…a game of hits and tackles…there will be hurt players…sore muscles, injured appendages, cuts and scrapes, bumps and bruises…it is inevitable. nobody should intentionally injure anyone, but take a good look at those replays and really Harrison’s hits both look legal…in fact the second hit does not appear to be helmet to helmet bur rather he led with his chest/shoulders and maybe even his arms too. That is what *I* saw anyway. need to see it in slow-motion. but anyway…looked legal to me. we all know that fines are handed out like candy, whether the play is flagged or not. So I imagine a fed-ex will be delivered to Harrison in a couple days.

    *the UP motivational poster? that is how the opposing team felt about my son on Saturday. he did not hurt or injure anyone but he was a beast on D, everywhere on the field and making at minimum 13 tackles (in a 40 minute game, of which he plays 30 cuz the lower rated players play a minimum of 10 mins/1 quarter) and even the opposing coach (coincidentally, they were the Ravens and my son’s team is the Wolverines but they wear black and gold! lol) gave him a high 5 after a big hit. Not that I could use that poster, after all my son is only (almost) 12 LOL.

  15. Cassie
    October 18, 2010 5:07 pm

    Wow. Imagine if we were talking cancer or world hunger or something.

    These comments are quite passionate. And it’s football.

    However, Bucdaddy never fails to impress.

  16. Goob
    October 18, 2010 5:07 pm

    Oh, crap! I’m from New England.

  17. Ugh 2: Electric Boogaloo
    October 18, 2010 5:10 pm

    Since someone stole my name, here’s a new one…

    Harrison will not be fined for the Cribbs hit. I love being right.

  18. Heather
    October 18, 2010 5:32 pm

    @Ugh – What’s wrong with wanting Ben to be a nice guy? I personally don’t want to be cheering for someone that is scum, just because he happens to be able to throw the ball. I’d like a team of Polamalus and Millers and Clarks, thankyouverymuch.

    That said, I absolutely agree that we don’t know the whole story about what happened, and I’m not calling him a criminal. But let’s be realistic and say that he’s no alter boy, either. The Big Bens and the Jeff Reeds might be able to deliver on the field, and I’ll be rooting for my team no matter what, but I’d take a good guy on AND off the field over them, any day.

    Why does it have to be about a responsibility as a role model, anyway? Why can’t it just be that everyone on the planet has a responsibility to be a decent human being? I think it says something about us as a society that we no longer demand morality, and we’re ok with all manner of douchbaggery if the end result is a W.

  19. L-A
    October 18, 2010 5:39 pm

    It seems to me that it’s pretty frickin’ difficult not to lead with your head and only with your shoulders, considering said head is on top of said shoulders. Right? I’m a woman, though, so what do I know?

  20. Ugh 2: Electric Boogaloo
    October 18, 2010 5:45 pm


    Leading with your head isn’t the problem, you’re supposed to be looking at what you’re tackling. The problem arises when the crown of the helmet hits another player in the helmet.

  21. L-A
    October 18, 2010 5:59 pm

    I know, #2, I was mostly being facetious. My point, I guess, it’s that it’s nearly impossible for an aggressive player like James Harrison not to collide helmet to helmet with people every once in awhile, as unfortunate as it may be. I think he likes to hit people, but I don’t think he wants to end people’s careers, especially not Cribbs’, who’s one of his friends off the field. I kinda wanna tackle someone right now…

  22. Ugh 2: Electric Boogaloo
    October 18, 2010 6:10 pm

    James Harrison doesn’t have friends off the field.

    But you’re exactly right. James’ quote after the game was that he goes out to HURT people, not INJURE them.

    When you’re injured you’re out of the game. When you’re hurt, you can suck it up and keep playing.

  23. Jann
    October 18, 2010 6:35 pm

    I believe the BIG JERK was not charged simply because the young lady would have been put through hell. Doesn’t mean he didn’t rape her.

    On a much lighter note, I love WTRT !!!

  24. Ugh 2: Electric Boogaloo
    October 18, 2010 6:50 pm


    Drink some bleach.

    The fucking sheriff came out and admitted that he had no evidence. No evidence = no rape.

    If he did something, there would’ve been evidence. There wasn’t.

    The girl’s story was unreliable and there was no evidence.

    According to the law that DOES mean he didn’t rape her.

    I hope some day you are accused of something you didn’t do so that I can come out and say, regardless of the evidence, that you are guilty.


  25. Jann
    October 18, 2010 7:23 pm

    Ouch Ugh2! Sounds like you and the big jerk could use a round of rehab together. Anger management, anyone?

  26. Ugh 2: Electric Boogaloo
    October 18, 2010 7:24 pm

    Excuse me for getting angry when idiots try to claim that an innocent man is guilty regardless of the fucking evidence.

    So I reiterate…go drink some bleach.

  27. DPUTiger
    October 18, 2010 8:05 pm

    I was hoping for a reaction of silence … or at least “quiet” when Ben was announced. But I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

    While I think the protesters have a valid point, I have no time for people who won’t put their name behind their opinions. I said that when the G20 was in town last year, and I’ll say it now. Free speech is important. And it’s a good thing. But if you believe in something enough to say it publicly, you should believe it enough to put your name and face behind it.

    (TL,DR: Anonymity bugs me.)

  28. Margaret
    October 18, 2010 8:27 pm

    I live in Cleveland and went out with (Browns fan) friends for the game. It was awesome cheering by myself and hilarious today when everywhere I went people were up in arms about the hits by Harrison. There is something especially rewarding about being a Steelers fan in Browns territory!

  29. Ugh 2: Electric Boogaloo
    October 18, 2010 8:35 pm


    They had a point? Their point was dead wrong. They kept mentioning that players have been cut or traded for lesser offenses than what Ben was accused of, one person even listed DUI as one of the reasons.

    That is just wrong. Braylon Edwards was ARRESTED for DWI and missed one quarter of a game.

    Their entire premise was flawed, especially when you consider that in a court of law not only was Ben not just innocent…but he couldn’t even be charged. That’s how little evidence there was against him.

    Wanting the guy banned from football or fired for doing absolutely nothing is stupid.

    Especially when guys who have actually committed a crime hadn’t been punished like Ben had.

  30. Suburban Mom
    October 18, 2010 8:56 pm

    Stating the obvious here, but Big Ben is a great quarterback. After 3 Touchdown passes in the first 4 games, of course Steeler fans welcomed him back. The offense wasn’t running on all cylinders until yesterday! Still don’t want him to date my daughter though! I did not applaud his return to the field yesterday, nor did I boo him. Forgiveness is divine. Let’s just hope Big Ben has learned to be a better person. Ben, please treat women with respect and remember to tip your bartender & waitresses. ;)

  31. Noelle
    October 18, 2010 9:52 pm

    I love lamp.

  32. erma
    October 18, 2010 10:33 pm

    awesome heather!!

    my favorite : I’d like a motivational poster that says, “IRONY: The creator of the Mullethawkenberger disliking a straight-up faux hawk.”

    and LOVE : Mike Wallace cut his faux hawk and went from ridiculously hot to can’t-get-my-bra-off-fast-enough hot.

  33. bucdaddy
    October 18, 2010 11:47 pm

    empirechick and Butcher’s Dog,

    Aw, shucks.

    *shuffles feet*

    It’s a blast to know I have fans. Thanks!

  34. bucdaddy
    October 18, 2010 11:50 pm

    You too, Cassie!

    Y’all made my day!


  35. Bulldog
    October 19, 2010 4:37 am

    Bowser and McBeam had nothing to do with my greatness…you can thank the Road Warriors a.k.a. The Legion of Doom.

    Yes, that’s really me…and you’re welcome.

  36. Butcher's Dog
    October 19, 2010 7:45 am

    Seems like this here pissin’ contest attracted more than the usual number of skunks. I wonder what it’ll be like if Ben sucks and loses a game or two.

    If we can separate on-field performance and off-field behavior, we get the on-field results instantly regardless of how good or bad they are. The off-field stuff, which seems to be the point of contention/protest, will take longer to accumulate and assess. So can’t we please give the guy some space to see if he’s really changed or not? The 24/7 news cycle pretty much guarantees we’ll find out if he relapses, so give him a year or two or five and see where he stands then. And regardless…we’ll have Sidney for quite a while yet. If you need a role model to help you raise your kids, point them in that direction.

  37. Leah
    October 19, 2010 8:59 am

    I loved every word of this WTRT! This was a good one.

  38. bluzdude
    October 19, 2010 9:23 am

    Perhaps Colt McCoy was thusly named for being the byproduct of a “shotgun marriage.”

    Disclaimer: I don’t want to hear about if from the gun people that a Colt isn’t a shotgun. It’s just a joke.

    Nor is this a salvo in the ongoing gun control arguement. It’s just a joke.

    Nor is it a statement on the sanctity of marriage, reproductive freedom or Texans. It’s just a joke.

  39. Legallypgh(Kathy)
    October 19, 2010 9:31 am

    @Ugh 2: Check your facts before throwing the insults. The Sheriff came out and said that the girl did not want to prosecute and was refusing to testify. Without her testimony, they could not proceed with a case. Who can blame her given all the media attention, that she would not want to willingly go into a full blown trial.

    THe district attorney’s press conference clearly indicated there was evidence. lots of evidence.

  40. unsatisfied
    October 19, 2010 9:50 am

    I wonder if jeff and ugh/ugh2/ughabuggahboo have suffered helmet-to-helmet shots themselves.

  41. Ms Redd
    October 19, 2010 9:54 am

    @suburban mom— I truly hope you teach your daughters to act in a manner that commands respect from men, and not run sneak into bars when they are underage and wear DTF name tags.

  42. H
    October 19, 2010 10:13 am

    @ Legallypgh(Kathy)

    Please, enlighten us with a list of the “lots of evidence” that you say the GA D.A. had. Because, I don’t remember him saying anything about there being “lots of evidence.” I do remember him saying something about “no probable cause” though.

  43. Monty
    October 19, 2010 10:27 am

    This is like Groundhog Day, if Groundhog Day involved getting a prostate exam while watching Demi Moore act with Crash Test Dummies music playing in the background.

  44. Cassie
    October 19, 2010 10:53 am

    @Butcher’s Dog: Dead on, boy.

  45. McSmooth
    October 19, 2010 11:30 am

    Let’s suppose Ray Lewis knocks out both Hines Ward and Mike Wallace in the same manner that Harrison took out Cribbs and Massaquoi.

    I’m willing to bet Steelers fans would want Ray suspended.

  46. Steelerscansuckit
    October 19, 2010 12:41 pm

    Agree with McSmooth, if those hits were delivered by Ray Lewis to Hines Ward etc you most likely wouldn’t be making jokes and glorifying it. But that is Steeler nation for ya.

  47. Joe K.
    October 19, 2010 12:51 pm

    “Wexforsdshire”. I like that.

    A lot of the big hits are a byproduct of the way offenses play now, having receivers crossing all over the place. Masseqoi was a perfect example of that, he came all the way across the field. Don’t want Harrison to hurt somebody? Then get him blocked.

  48. Bitter
    October 19, 2010 1:00 pm

    @Monty – I just spit the carrot I was eating all over my computer screen when I read your comment.

    The reason why people should care how Ben acts off the field is because our QB is synonymous with the Steelers and the Steelers are synonymous with Pittsburgh. He represents us whether he or we like it or care or not. When I think of the Saints, I think of Drew Brees. When I think of the Packers, I think of Favre (idk who their QB is now), Colts – Manning, Pats – Brady – I don’t know wth else plays on these teams, but everyone knows their QB. They rep their entire team. The Rooney’s have always run a classy organization and we pride ourselves on that. The Steelers have forged a legacy of strength and greatness over the years. Does Ben HAVE to be a saint? No. Do we appreciate him dragging the Steelers good name through the mud with his lack of self control? NO. And it didn’t require him being charged with rape to drag their name, our name, through the mud – all he had to do was act in such a way that he be in a position to be accused. AGAIN.

    On that note, I think Benny’s a great QB and I really think he’ll be less of a jagoff from now on, if for no other reason than to stay in Pittsburgh.

    Also, my thoughts on hurt -vs- injure:

    Hurt = “OUCH. It really hurt when he hit me. He is like a freight train.”

    Injure = … (cannot speak because his brain has been rendered useless for the next few days).

  49. jeff
    October 19, 2010 1:02 pm

    I do feel vindicated that basically everyone who comments on, or is a part of the NFL, has echoed my sentiments on head injuries, and the severity of them this past weekend, as now broad rules/implementation changes will come about. Plus as I’m not a Steelers fan, I’m not stuck in the 1970’s counting all the rings my parents watched the team win, so I have that going for me. All the condescending people here can frankly, kiss my ass. I tried to start what I felt to be an important debate and got personally insulted, maligned, and recieved comments of which I’m still not sure the meaning (what does it matter if I’ve had a serious head injury… I’m smart enough to know the damage it would cause, and would like to avoid it). And I’m not following up, so have at it Ugh, call me a moron.