I began watching this game at Las Velas where the kids and I were dining with my husband’s family.
At half-time, I headed home with my kiddos and listened to the third quarter while driving.
Then I watched the fourth quarter in my living room while my daughter built her Minecraft kingdom and my son studied William Penn.
Did you know after William Penn’s death, one of his sons, Thomas, who was the leader of the colony called Pennsylvania, claimed to have in his possession a treaty between his father and a Lenape Indian chief — a treaty that stated William Penn could claim for his colony any land he wanted that was “as far as a man could go in a day and a half” to the west of the Delaware River. But while William was alive, they never did the “walk” to see how much land that was. So Thomas and the Indians cheerfully arranged for the walk. Thomas sent out three colonial walkers — who immediately took off sprinting, allowing them to take from the Lenape tribe 66 miles of land instead of the expected 30 at most.
The colonists were just total Quaker bitchez, weren’t they?
Where the hell were we?
Oh. Football. Let’s talk football. And Charlie Batch. And collective footballgasms that probably registered a solid 1.5 on the Richter Scale.
1. First, before the game even started, my hate juices started flowing. Hate started as a simmer and then began bubbling and bubbling until by the time the game started and I was one margarita buzzed, I could have easily punched right into Ray Lewis’ chest cavity and pulled out his still beating heart and then shoved it into his stupid jaw-unhinged screaming face.
Football makes me violent. Ray Lewis makes me SUPER violent. We’ve discussed this.
Biblical hate. Hellfire hate.
And I know, Dad, that the Bible says you shouldn’t hate people, but I’m pretty sure even Jesus looks at the Ravens and is all, “BUT THEY’RE SO ANNOYYYYYYYYINNNNNNGGGGG! [/whine]”
Also, my Facebook avatar photo is easily 10 years old. I should probably update that. My gray hairs are all, “YA THINK?!”
2. There are six constants in life: death, taxes, change, Nutella, Shaun Suisham, and Heath Miller.
Everything else? In flux! Chaotic! Never still! Always in turmoil!
Troysus is hurt. Then he got better for five minutes and then he was hurt. Now he’s better. Ben got hurt so badly that if he even burped wrong his rib bone would puncture his aorta. Byron got hurt. AB got hurt. Charlie’s 100-years-old and he’s in. Rashard is out. Wallace is demoted. Baron Batch who?
But Shaun Suisham is money [knocks violently on wood] and Heath Miller is our rock. Unchanging. Unfailing. (We’ll pretend Heath’s fumble during last week’s Game of Pigeon-Infested Hell didn’t happen. [waves hand] These are not the droids you’re looking for.) Edit: Heath didn’t fumble last week? Why did I think he did? The week before maybe? Either way, these are NOT THE DROIDS YOUR LOOKING FOR.
So when the going gets tough in the remaining games of the season, they are the lighthouses on the hill we’ll look to.
This has been Deep Thoughts, with Virginia Montanez who is Two Margaritas Buzzed.
3. Unfortunately, there’s one other constant:
Steely McBeam will never die.
That’s a Steely McBeam “study buddy,” or as I call him, “Hipster McBeam.” I think you’re supposed to violently rip his head off … ironically.
4. This is pretty much how the third quarter went because I had to listen to it in the car on DVE and with my hearing, it sounds like this, “SHHHHHHHHHHH Brown SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH 18 SHHHHHHHH fumble.”
Me: “What happened?”
My son in the back seat: “There was a fumble.”
Me: “Who recovered it?!?”
Son: “Ummmmmm. Ben … Roethlisberger?”
Me: “ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING?!?!”
Poor kid. It’s a lot of pressure to be the ears for your deaf mom while sportscasters are talking a million miles an hour.
Can you imagine if Myron Cope was still alive?
Me: “WHAT DID HE SAY?!?!”
Son: “[sobbing] I … HAVE … NO … IDEA.”
5. Ryan Clark made an amazing interception and we barely had time to tweet our jubilation because two plays later, the Ravens intercepted that shit right back and then BOOM BOOM touchdown Ravens. It’s 13-3 and Burghers all over America are horrified and desperately looking for something to puke into.
6. Last week I asked my brother-in-law Muchacho if he thought Troysus would ever play football again. He said no.
I asked my sister. She said no.
I asked my dad. He said no.
In my gut, I felt “no.”
He wasn’t a huge factor in the game, but he was A factor.
7. Charlie Batch. Is old. I’m seven months older than Charlie Batch and I’m telling you … he is old. And slow. And old. And toeing the line of decrepitude. My god. That’s a word. Go me.
But despite that age and that decrepitudity (survey saaaays! Not a word), he fought hard during this game. Charlie wanted this win. You could see it in everything he was doing and shouting and gesturing during the fourth quarter especially. He was frantic and determined and fighting for every yard. He even mouthed off to the refs a bit!
Not only that, but when Dwyer ran for a touchdown in the third to tie the game up, it was CHARLIE BATCH who threw the block that allowed him to score. 104-year-old Charlie Batch ran behind Dwyer like a spring chicken on meth and threw a block and all of Steeler Nation is like …
IS THIS REAL LIFE?!
8. As we were nearing our house, the Ravens scored a touchdown and I slapped my hand on my car radio power button a little harder than necessary and the car was filled with my angry silence.
Daughter: “Why did you turn the Steelers off, Mom?”
My son: “Because they suck.”
9. Fourth quarter, we’re down by 7 when Charlie, poor Charlie, throws an interception.
But then something miraculous happens. A Christmas miracle.
James Harrison showed up for the first time since what seems like 1975.
He forces a fumble and two minutes later, Heath scores, but he doesn’t just score. He turns into the love child of Elasta-girl and Gumby and stretches his arms just far enough to tap the pylon, probably tearing every muscle in his arm pit in the process.
The game is all tied up with less than 7 minutes on the clock.
10. The defense does its job and gets the ball back for Charlie and it’s now Charlie’s job is to give Shaun Suisham a chance to win the game in the final seconds. A roughing the passer penalty on the Ravens really really helps him out.
But he needs to get a bit closer to give Suisham a sure thing. We’re looking at a 42-yarder if he doesn’t.
Dwyer. 1 yard.
Dwyer. Minus 1 yard.
[inhale exhale inhale exhale]
Dwyer. No gain.
Up comes Shaun “Sure Thing” Suisham to kick.
Tomlin gives him a look:
Here we go.
Half of us remain calm in our belief of Shaun Suisham.
Half of us can’t watch, and run to semi-hide.
And half of us who can’t do math are staring and then looking away and then staring and then looking away and then grabbing our dogs (not a euphemism) and hugging them like a yipping security blanket. We think about sucking our thumbs (also not a euphemism).
Three seconds on the clock. Game is tied. 42 yards looks like a thousand miles.
He lines up.
The ball is snapped.
It’s good! Time expires!
Steeler Nation loses its almighty collective shit!
It’s beautiful. And emotional. And we’re all a bit teary-eyed and some of us are just flat-out ugly crying:
There there, Dawson. We all want to hug Charlie Batch too because he wanted this win and he got it for us. And it wasn’t just a win. It was a win over the Ravens. It might be the biggest win; it might be the last win of his life.
Charlie has a message for everyone who didn’t believe he could do it:
Shut up. I love the bee uniforms.
So we won. A big game. An important game. And that goes a long way to help us forget last week’s debacle against the Browns.
Everyone is forgiven.
Except Mike Wallace.
11.. Finally, this goes without saying, but Total Quaker Bitchez would be a great band name.