September 09, 2007

Thank God For Sundays

WELL, FINALLY SOMETHING'S gone right for me this football season: the Pittsburgh Steelers, the greatest football team in the history of sport, pretty much crushed the Cleveland Browns at Browns Stadium today, 34-7. As one might expect, I was thrilled to see a team I support actually win. I was also thrilled to see Ben Roethlisberger throw four touchdown passes, and thrilled to see the offense perform adequately well and the defense perform quite well. Six sacks. Five turnovers forced. We're back!

But here's perhaps the most important news for Steelers fans, at least in the Manchester, N.H. area and surrounding environs: Billy's Sports Bar & Grill, a Patriots bar at 34 Tarrytown Road in Manchester, has apparently set aside their small back room for fans of the Black & Gold.

So not only did I get to watch the game, I got to watch it with a small band of Steeler faithful. Maximum coolness. We also watched the game with one unfortunate Browns fan, a Youngstown native (oy) who really stayed with it until the Steelers made it 24-0, at which point he kind of collapsed into a stunned silence. We all felt sorry for the guy: not only was he outnumbered twenty to one, he was forced to grin and bear it as the Steelers fans cheered and screamed. Really, when you got right down to it, we all kind of felt sorry for the Brownies.

Generally speaking, the rest of the games didn't go as I had hoped, but the Steelers victory made it all OK. The New England Patriots crushed the Jets, the Miami Dolphins lost to the Washington Redskins due to an overtime field goal, and the Buffalo Bills lost a heartbreaker to the Denver Broncos. I mean, New England's going to be tough enough in the AFC East without the other teams making it easy for them. We had a few Buffalo fans in the Steelers room, and they were in tough shape. I was pleased to see Tennessee knock off Jacksonville, though. That was nice.

Of course, Pittsburgh plays Buffalo next week, so we'll be back in the thick of it for next week's game. One of the Bills faithful had the audacity to trash-talk the Steelers, although I didn't mind this gauche and unjustified boasting. After all, as I pointed out, our backup quarterback, Charlie Batch, is a better QB than J.P. Losman, the Bills' ineffective starting QB, so even IF Ben Roethlisberger had suffered an ankle injury in the Cleveland game, we would be fine.

Also, I was stunned that a few of the Patriots faithful -- watching the Pats-Jets game in the main room -- were rather pleased when New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington was hurt in the game. Obviously, this was just a few of the dozens of Patriots faithful present, but still. If there's one thing you expect from Patriots fans, it's that they're a classy bunch. True, this befits their generally effete, aristocratic, fair-weather fandom and their secret first love for baseball, but there's no denying you would rather watch football with a Pats fan than fans of most teams in the league -- especially if they're Cowboys or Raiders fans, who are scoundrels and deserve nothing but scorn and derision.

Of course, football's not over this weekend! I am hoping against hope the New York Giants will defeat the Dallas Cowboys tonight, for although I don't like either team the Giants are less annoying than the Cowboys. And then there are tomorrow night's matches. I think the Arizona Cardinals will prove tough against the San Francisco 49ers -- we shall see -- and as for Baltimore and Cincinnati ...

Uh, I don't know what to think of this game. I mean, I hate Baltimore. But I hate Cincinnati too. Do I want Baltimore to win because it means the Bungles will fall to 0-1 right away, and thus lose out on a potential tie-breaker? Or do I want the Bungles to win because Baltimore doesn't need any extra wins? I'm very torn here. But I have a feeling that no matter who loses, I'll be able to find the cloud behind the silver lining.

UPDATE: Oh! Forgot to mention another good thing about Pats fans -- they hate Peyton Manning almost as much as Steelers fans do. So that makes most of them OK in my book.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at September 9, 2007 06:43 PM | TrackBack
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