What They’re Really Thinking: Take Away Edition

You know, if you take away the fact that it’s pretty late, this What They’re Really Thinking post is actually right on time.

Yesterday while watching the game, I believe right around the time Ben threw his third and final and according to Bob “I Heart Benny” Smizik, “harmless” interception:

Mom:  Why aren’t they booing him?  They should boo him.

Me:  Why do you want them to boo Ben Roethlisberger.

Mom:  Because he DESERVES IT.

I can’t argue with this kind of logic.

Let’s talk Steelers.

1.  I’d say The Duke of Fug and the Earl of Gross is one poorly fought battle away from taking the crown of the Kingdom of All Football Suck.

Clearly he’s hurt, which is why I don’t understand why he’s playing.

I mean, Willie Parker takes a game off if his snot runs out of his nose wrong and The Duke is playing with a separated shoulder all, “It’s just a flesh wound.”

2.  This from one of The Duke’s minions yesterday, before the game:

Pittgirl pittgirl pittgirl…

Sweet heart I would like to see you do the things ben does on the football field with a hurt shoulder. And its not just any shoulder, its the shoulder of the man responsible for taking Steeler Nation to the Lombardi. Seriously Name one QB in the league that would still be playing right now. And by the way he holds the ball because he HAS NOTHING TO THROW TO! Seriouly learn the game!

Ben is the man and if you can’t ride the highs and lows with him then get off the bandwagon!

First, if his shoulder is hurt, maybe he shouldn’t be playing when we’ve got a perfectly capable backup.

Second, there is a whole team responsible for taking the Steelers to the Super Bowl and that includes the coaches who should be playing the quarterback that can throw long if needed.

Third, Benny sucked donkey omelets yesterday.

Fourth, I don’t want to ride Ben Roethlisberger.

Fifth, I’m on Benny’s bandwagon?  When did this happen?  ‘Cause I’m pretty sure I waved to that horse-drawn buggy of carrot chomping Fug Bunnies and teeth gnashing minions as it passed me by three seasons ago.


3.  Hines Ward had a pretty good game and that flea-flicker or bug-squisher or whatever the heck it’s called?  Excellent play and so fun to see.  So fun to see it work, more importantly.

Also, he took care not to break any jaws yesterday.

4.  Troysus managed to drop what would normally be an interception for him.

Polamalu figured he would hear about it when he got home.

“My wife will ask me, ‘How could you drop that interception?'”

Theodora isn’t the only one shaking her head in dismay.

5.  Bob Smizik is clearly in love and wants to have Benny’s babies for this quote alone:

Beyond the interceptions, he outperformed the great Peyton Manning, who completed 21 of 40 passes for 240 yards.

Reader Joey parsed it this way:

Manning: 21/40, 240, 3 TD, 0 INT
Roethlisberger: 30/42, 284, 0 TD, 3 INT

So, taking away the interceptions, according to Bob 44 extra yards and negative 3 touchdowns = outperformed.  Is this that newfangled New Math?

6.  US Airways has more ground coverage than our running backs did yesterday.

7.  Watching that final interception, Pens Fan said, “You know, I was sure that was going to get tipped into the hands of a Steeler.  Stupid Steelers.  Stupid Ben.”  And then she shook her fist at the TV.

Word, sis.

[shakes cute little fist]

8.  Next week.  The San Diego Chargers come to town and Bob Smizik hopefully removes his lips from Benny’s ass long enough to really watch the game.


  1. B
    November 10, 2008 9:50 pm

    Must agree. His play has been terrible. We all know he is hurt. But this is a team sport. And if he is hurt to the degree that he is playing for the other squad–welllll….I think Leftwich can get them through a game or two until Fuggy is feeling better.

  2. a minion
    November 10, 2008 9:59 pm

    First of all, Byron couldn’t even start on the Falcons last year. What makes anyone think he’s capable of being being a decent backup, when he couldn’t start for the worst team last year. And one half of football doesn’t count!
    Second of all, it starts with the QB. And the Roonies paid Ben to win Lombardi’s.
    Third, like I said learn the game. For a guy who couldn’t throw the ball very well he played a hell of a game. And he has been doing his best and taking the blame for things arn’t his fault his whole career.
    Fourthly, Fine that just gets me closer in line!
    Fifth of all,The Steelers Bandwagon. If you can’t ride out the lows, then you can’t enjoy the highs. And therefore that makes you a bandwagon fan. Which is fine with me because its a little crowded and I always like when the bandwagon fans get off because then I can strech out and do yoga!
    and last but not least SWEETHEART!

  3. B
    November 10, 2008 10:05 pm

    A Minion, seriously, are you on Ben’s payroll? I don’t think PittGirl is any less of a fan for being honest. Neither is anyone else who thinks he needs a rest. There’s no rule against a little criticism. I don’t think he sucks. He’s a great player. But I’m not a homer to the degree that I’m blind to the obvious. He’s hurting and needs to rest because we will need him to be well as soon as possible. The schedule is not getting any easier and we need him to be healthy. We should be thankful that we have a backup that may be able to get us through a game or two if Ben is hurt.

  4. a minion
    November 10, 2008 10:10 pm

    Why is the Backup QB always the most popular guy in town when the starting QB has a bad game?
    If Ben is medically able to go, then he should. End of story.

  5. Poopington
    November 10, 2008 10:14 pm

    Oh, those minions…

    Hysterical as always, but why is Benny “boing”-ing at the beginning? Am I missing something? Is that his mating call to the Fug Bunnies? What?

  6. Ms. Trois-Rivieres
    November 10, 2008 10:52 pm

    If you take away the complete lack of logic or judgment, The Minions are pretty astute football fans.

    Srsly, of course you have to take the bad with the good for your home team, but that doesn’t mean they can do no wrong. Loving your team for life is like marriage – they’re gonna eff up royally on a regular basis, and you’re gonna rant and rave about how idiotic they are, then you’re gonna forgive them and still love them. If you never see their flaws, you aren’t watching.

  7. YinzerInExile
    November 10, 2008 10:59 pm

    Oh, man. I’ll out myself as a 3/4 bunny. 3/4 because even I can’t muster the level of obtuseness that would enable me to say (with a straight face) that, because Ben still has an arm physically attached to his body at the shoulder, he should be playing because that’s what he’s “paid to do.” Boyfriend needs a break. Boyfriend has *been* needing a break. And just because someone points this out (note: increasingly more someones, with increasing volume) doesn’t mean that they’re a fairweather fan. Nobody that I’ve seen / heard has shaken their fist — cute or otherwise — and suggested that the Stillers suck outright. Nobody’s even suggested that Benny sucks, fundamentally. He’s more than a bit detrimental at this point, and acknowledging that doesn’t place anyone on the bandwagon. Unless by “bandwagon” you mean “wagon full of people who think that he should rest up and prepare for the (hopeful) post season, so that he can help (as in, contribute) lead us to another Lombardi.”

  8. B
    November 10, 2008 11:17 pm

    YinzerInExile = Awesome.

  9. TacoGrande
    November 10, 2008 11:55 pm

    Should Ben take a game or two off, maybe. The truth is that his shoulder won’t be 100% unless he takes a month or 2 off, like in the offseason. From what the training staff says, he can’t really hurt it more so there is no real danger in him playing. As much as most people would like Leftwich in, the Steelers won’t make the playoffs w/o Ben. It may take a team effort but the QB is still the most important position and great teams have great QBs (with a few exceptions, notably the Ravens though the kid is getting better). What Ben really needs is for the O-line to block for longer than 1 second, Fast Willie to be healthy and run, and for his recievers NOT TO DROP THE BALL!! How many times can the Asshat drop a perfect pass? Maybe if we tell him he gets a joint for every catch and a blunt for every TD he’ll stop dropping them!

    Oh and Smizik is an idiot. 90% of his columns are pure garbage.

  10. Three
    November 11, 2008 12:58 am

    Item 2, sub-point 6: When using terms of endearment in a potentially sexist and/or condescending manner, I prefer to go with any of the following terms: Snookums, Schnookylumps, Muffin, Dearest, Darling, Woogums or some combination thereof. Why? Because if I know full-well that the woman in question is going to no-holds barred gank my arse for it, I may as well go down in a completely hilarious blaze of glory. “Sweetheart” is just way too vanilla of a word to die for.

  11. yinzerinphx
    November 11, 2008 1:12 am

    I didn’t see a lot of dropped passes or completely horrendous blocking by the O-line in this game. What I saw was a QB trying to win the game entirely by himself about a minute before HALFTIME when any professional football player knows that with a 10 point lead with a minute before HALFTIME, you make sure to KEEP THE BALL and go into the locker room with the lead, not a stupid interception on our side of the field. If you don’t have an open receiver, then throw the ball AWAY Ben. We’ll still love and respect you tomorrow. Srsly. But, like any family member, I will still root for the Duke and I hope he does well next week. If not, I’ll be the one muttering to myself and banging my head against a wall… again. #@#$#%@#!!

  12. SportyGal85
    November 11, 2008 2:25 am

    YinzerInExile and yinzerinphx covered this one. There really wasn’t any reason for him to play the way he did except (hopefully) his injuries, which he refuses to take time off because of even though it’s obvious he should. Furthermore, I guess the minions have forgotten that if we don’t get to the playoffs b/c Ben plays us out of the hunt there won’t be a bandwagon for any of us to be on.

    As for Asshat, the people who keep harping on the interception play involving him clearly didn’t read or listen to Benny’s postgame interview. Ben admitted that Santonio ran the correct route (yes, he was supposed to stop there), but Ben forgot where Santonio was stopping. So, by Ben’s own admission, that interception was his fault, not Santonio’s. Nonetheless, I still love Benny Boo, but he has to sit…seriously.

  13. InSewickley
    November 11, 2008 7:36 am

    Ben sucks.

    And Smizik? WTF.

    Play better and we’ll like ya Ben.

  14. JamieO
    November 11, 2008 8:10 am

    MiamiShyner, you can shrink those links on any of the sites for that, like http://www.tinyurl.com. Not bitching at ya, just know how much of a pain those big links are to copy and paste sometimes :).

    PG, reality is what it is (to coin a Tomlin cliche). You are right to point it out. Ben’s first six games were good, last three awful. Something physical is definitely up.

  15. red pen mama
    November 11, 2008 8:11 am

    I just want to complement PittGirl for another brilliant and funny post-game analysis. I love WTRT. It makes my Monday.

    Which, if not for the fact that this is Tuesday morning, it would be Monday.

    I think Ben’s a good quarterback, but he made A LOT of bad decisions. He’s lost focus and confidence. I also think he has to stay in there, if, medically speaking, he can. I’m no minion, but he won’t get better as a QB sitting down. Unfortunately.

    Matt Spaeth was a good sub for Miller, incidentally. And the running game needs to make a comeback, too.


  16. Summer
    November 11, 2008 8:27 am

    Is it awful that I read the Fug Bunny’s email, yet was more concerned about the terrible grammar than the gnashing of teeth?

    Also, my husband wept into his Terrible Towel Sunday; it was a bad game. Bad. As in, not good. I don’t see how anyone could say any different.

    People have good days and bad. Sunday was a bad day for Ben. Pointing it out doesn’t make you any less of a fan, just an honest one.

  17. Still A Fan
    November 11, 2008 8:38 am

    I’ve been reading both of these last posts and comment threads. I’m usually 100% honest in my assessment of The Stillers so I reckon it’s time to jump into this fray. Is he hurt? I dont know. I really don’t. I saw some zip on the ball at various points in the game. Did his picks have anything to do with injury? I think not. I think they were very poor decisions. Very poor. Was the first pick his fault? Yes….but who called the play? With the defense playing their asses off, I have a feeling Bill Cowher would have ran the ball 3 times and if he didn’t get a first down, punt and allow the defense to take over. So, if you have a supposed injured qb, wouldnt the coaches know what he can and cannot pull off? If he couldnt make all the throws in practice, would he be playing? We’re acting like it’s his fault he’s playing. He is not in charge of his own fate, trust me. Tomlin allowed him to play for a reason. Tomlin wants to win a Super Bowl any way he can, not just satisfy Ben’s ego. If he thought Ben gave them a better chance over a healthy Leftwich, don’t blame Ben. If he is a little banged up and the half is almost over and you’re up 10 deep in your own territory…..what in the good goddamn are you doing calling for a pass? Srsly! WTF. Again, Ben takes the blame, but isn’t Arians really at fault here? I’m not a minion and I’m not an apologist. I think if he is taking on the entire burden of winning, it’s because of all the injuries around him. I am not trusting him to make the right call about whether to play or not, I am trusting the coaches. Ben made that tackle with his throwing side and didn’t seem to wince after doing it. I think the picks were bad decisions on his part, not injury related. But that’s just a hunch……

  18. NorthSide15212
    November 11, 2008 8:56 am

    All in all, not a whole lot of football knowledge on this thread outside of “Ben play bad. Ben no look good as David Conrad. Me no like Ben. Play back-up.” Ben’s interceptions-a poor decision on the first (and IMHO, poor play calling considering clock/situation), a misread route (by Ben) on the second, and a Hail Mary on the third, were certainly as costly as any mistakes made by the Steelers on Sunday. Ben is hardly alone in the CrapFest that was Steeler football on Sunday: a dropped pick (and certain touchdown) by Troy, a blown coverage by Troy (resulting in the go-ahead TD), and an inadequately defended/tipped pass/poor containment on a “fluke” 65 yard TD pass. I’d also be willing to nominate our offensive line as perhaps the most aptly named unit in the NFL: only the Lions (0-9) and the 49ers (2-7) have accumulated more sacks on the offensive side of the ball this season; pretty crappy company and even worse that we celebrate when Ben is “only” sacked twice in one game. And who would have thought that our backs would average 2.1 yards per carry against one of the worst rushing defenses in the league? And why can’t the Steelers put the ball in the endzone when they have first and goal from the two? A good ground game will open up passing lanes and relieve some pressure on the QB, and ours is among the bottom echelon in the NFL; again, lumped in with the Detroits and Cinncinnati’s of the NFL. Ben’s mistakes were costly, but there were plenty of opportunities to stave of defeat had we executed in other areas, something the Steelers have always done. I think SteelerNation needs to face the ugly reality: we are not that good this year. At this point, if the Steelers finish at 9-7 and Ben isn’t confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, that’s a successful outcome.

  19. NY Luvs Pitts
    November 11, 2008 9:15 am


  20. red pen mama
    November 11, 2008 9:27 am

    There’s been a lot of talk of Troy’s dropped ball. But to paraphrase Ron Cook who was paraphrasing Terry Bradshaw, if defensive backs could catch the ball, they would be wide receivers.


  21. NorthSide15212
    November 11, 2008 9:43 am

    Yes, RPM, and to quote Nathan Arizona, Sr., “if a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his ass a hoppin’.”

  22. sarcastodon
    November 11, 2008 11:07 am

    I’m a little bit of a minion, though I like to think that I can see when Ben’s playing bad.

    In my opinion, Sunday’s loss is less about Ben and more about the whole team simply not playing a full game. Which, in my mind, tends to look like bad luck. Several of Peyton’s big throws could easily have been interceptions, but instead were dropped (or worse, tipped into the receiver’s hands by Ike Taylor – I’m not faulting him for trying to make the big play, he did what he could). Had any of these been interceptions, then the game would have gone completely the other direction. Peyton didn’t necessarily play THAT MUCH of a better game than Ben (though it was definitely a little better), his errors just didn’t mark major turning points in the game.

    It’s true, Ben made some bad decisions in Sunday’s game, but I thought that overall his play was really good. Any quarterback is going to make a couple bad plays in a game (see Peyton, previously, who could just have easily had two interceptions), it just so happened that the bad throws Ben made turned out to be REALLY bad throws because Indy’s defense was actually able to hold onto the ball.

    You could mark Peyton’s lack of interceptions and Ben’s wealth of interceptions as luck, but I think a part of it comes down to individual defensive players “finishing their play”. Again, not knocking our defense, which has really been outstanding this year, just saying that there were a few specific plays that could have changed the outcome of this game.

    All in all, it was a game that I think we should have won, but I think the blame lays a little less on Ben and a little more on playing a full game.

    Also, really agree with those blaming Aryans for the pass call at the end of the first half. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid move, but I hate the dude and think he needs to be gone anyways.

  23. Sofa King
    November 11, 2008 11:25 am

    There were multiple breakdowns in Sunday’s game, the most obvious of which being Ben’s 2 bad interceptions. I realize that Ben said at the onset of the season that he truly wanted to take on a leadership role this season, and I can respect his efforts- playing through injury, etc. However, Ben needs to learn that sometimes in order to lead, you need to be able to delegate effectively and learn that it’s okay to relinquish control every now and then. I think that Tomlin has let him get away with this because, despite his injury, we have still been able to squeak out some wins- last week’s in large part to our more-than-capable back-up. Psychologically, I wonder how the press release naming Big Ben as the highest paid player in the NFL weighed into his decision to play against the Colts, instead of taking a seat to Leftwich.

    My other major criticism of this team is the play calling. At times, it looks like Bruce Arians based his playbook around Tecmo Bowl, with only 2 run and 2 pass plays. When they actually open up the playbook and get creative, our offense can be tremendously effective, such as is evidenced in the flea flicker we scored on this week. However, when Arians keeps hitting *left arrow-A* on the controller and picking “Run 1,” disaster ensues.

  24. windy city steel city
    November 11, 2008 11:27 am

    Oh no! The offensive coaches have become Nazis. As sarcastodon stated, the Aryans are calling the plays.

    I sure hope Bruce Arians isn’t involved.

  25. sarcastodon
    November 11, 2008 11:57 am

    Oh geez, ha ha. I actually had it spelled the other way first – should have gone with my gut.

    The true sign of my white liberal guilt is that I actually feel dirty for mis-spelling it.

  26. Sofa King
    November 11, 2008 1:31 pm

    That would explain why the playbook has a play called the “Sieg Heil Mary” in it.

  27. wendi
    November 11, 2008 3:06 pm

    Sofa King #24 post is right on target. I am not criticizing Ben but he does need to gain the maturity or leadership role that enables him to see past himself. If he’s truly hurt then he needs to rest. If he’s not hurt then there is a bigger problem altogether. If he truly isn’t hurt bad then his play has gone downward for no reason.
    During last game the short passes were working. Why (at end if first half) does he feel the need to go long? A short pass or run would do it for short yards. Not sure if Arians called the play, but it sucked. Ben tried to be a hero and it backfired yet again.

  28. IC Lion
    November 11, 2008 3:52 pm

    Facts- Ben is the best QB on the team. Sitting a game or two out will not improve his shoulder situation. Ben’s two interceptions were the most costly mistakes in Sunday’s game, and probably are the main reasons the Steelers lost.

    Given those 3 statements, I don’t think Ben should be benched for Leftwich, because I’ve seen no evidence that says Leftwich could put together a better 42-passes-attempted game. So what went wrong?

    We should all know by now that if Ben is passing the ball 42 times, the Steelers are probably in trouble. Ben is most accurate/successful/comfortable/in rhythm in the play action passing game. An effective PA game relies on a better running attack than we had Sunday. The O-line has had its problems, yes; but on Sunday MMoore still got 24 carries. That’s about as much as you can expect out of him.

    Bottom line: For a better running game, therefore better play action, therefore better Ben, WE NEED OUR PRO BOWL RUNNING BACK WILLIE PARKER BACK.

  29. Sofa King
    November 11, 2008 5:03 pm

    Yes, Ben threw 30 for 42 this past weekend, but most of his completions were well under 10 yards. It is obvious that the injury has effected his ability to throw the long ball accurately, as was witnessed during the Redskins game where he underthrew Ward by a country mile on one occassion.

    If it weren’t for Leftwich, it’s unlikely we would’ve emerged from FedEx Field with a win, as the first half was another run-of-the-mill Big Ben suckfest. His throws were so inaccurate, it looked like he was trying to untie the receivers’ shoes with the football instead of actually completing the passes.

    Bennie’s minions like to claim Leftwich “couldn’t even start in Atlanta” last year, which is a half-truth, at best. He actually won the starting job off of Harrington in Week 7, but got injured. He returned to the starting position again in Week 11, but struggled due to his injury, further hurting his chances with a tailbone injury that very game. I personally, am not concerned with what happened last year while playing with a poorly-coached and poorly executing Falcons team. I’m more concerned with what I have seen this season. So far, Leftwich has been spot-on in his relief of Ben and has turned in solid performances both times.

    Big Ben is, and will remain the franchise QB here. I am a fan of his and respect the hell out of what he is trying to do…he just needs to do the right thing and let himself heal so we can have him for the (hopeful) playoffs.

  30. stacey
    November 11, 2008 7:15 pm

    Okay, ignoring all the Ben played bad, ben should/shouldn’t sit… the BOING BOING BOING photo – yeah, didn’t get it at first but then it hit me and seriously, that was funny. What an incredibly dorky photo of him on the sideline. HA.

  31. yinzerinphx
    November 11, 2008 9:36 pm

    Tecmo Bowl… heh. Good times. And yes, sister Stacey, Ben looks like a dork. I love how they scored the touchdown and he does the celebration bump against someone with his BAD shoulder.. you can almost hear the circus music playing in his head sometimes..