November 04, 2008

Activision Blizzard Inc. Winner on Monday Night Football

I NEVER REALLY FIGURED out the whole hoopla over the "Guitar Hero" franchise of video games, but it's worth noting this reaction to one of its commercials aired late in the broadcast of "Monday Night Football," from none other than the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dan Gigler:

As duly noted by our commenters, the second airing of the Guitar Hero ad did not go unnoticed; yours truly and the entire sports department were held in rapt attention. All night no one shuts up back here then, for 30 seconds, total mouth agape silence.

Yep. Heidi Klum does that.

Oh, also there was a football game. A game in which the glorious Pittsburgh Steelers, despite reeling under an initial ferocious assault from the Washington Redskins, turned things around and kicked Washington's ass. This 23-6 victory against Washington was a testament to Pittsburgh's defense, which completely and utterly destroyed the Redskins' offense. When you consider the Steelers shut out Washington for three quarters, and three of Washington's six points were scored because we got clever and tried an onside kick to start the game, that's really an amazing performance.

But then, there's that whole matter of Pittsburgh's alleged offense -- by which I mean, the offensive line that ONCE AGAIN nearly wrecked the thing. I mean, come on. The defense, folks, can't hold the ship together forever. As we saw in our games against Philadelphia and New York, the defense does a hell of a job, but that's problematic if the offense can't do anything when it goes on the field. It just has to improve or we're not going to go all the way.

Still, we can deal with that next week. Let's talk about next week. Let's talk about how Laser Rocket Arm has to play in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Let's talk about what Pittsburgh's defense is going to do to Laser Rocket Arm and the rest of the Indianapolis Colts. Let's talk about how everyone outside of Indiana, who is sick of Laser Rocket Arm, is going to enjoy the game immensely. I mean, if Pittsburgh can sack Jason Campbell seven times, Pittsburgh should be able to separate Rocket Arm's head from Rocket Arm's neck. It's on at 4:15, so everybody watch!

It'll be great. Watch as Rocket Arm flails about as the pocket collapses around him; watch as he blames his offensive line for his failures; watch as he screams "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" in slow motion as LaMarr Woodley runs over him.

It shall be glorious.

This was the one bright spot in a tough football weekend for yours truly. Michigan, for instance, lost to Purdue, a game I didn't get to watch but was a game I'd prefer not to talk about. Then, on Sunday, the evil Baltimore Ravens managed to beat the Cleveland Browns, despite being down two touchdowns at one point. Ugh. It really would have helped Pittsburgh out if the Browns had managed to win, but no, we couldn't have had that, now could we?

Of course, Browns fans were QUITE unhappy about the loss. I know this because I watched the game at Billy's Sports Bar in the presence of Browns Fan Rick, who watches the games each week with extreme interest.

Like all Browns fans, Rick hates the Pittsburgh Steelers and detests all of their fans. Thus, he was naturally suspicious when I was rooting for his team, and then only half-jokingly asked if I would cheer for the Browns at another spot in the room. Other fans might take offense at such a suggestion, but I did not; for my own brother is a Browns fan, and I know how he reacts to the Steelers and their fans.

Simply put, you must understand that although I consider Cleveland my "second" team, such an affiliation is anathema to the true Browns fan. No true Browns fan would ever root for the Steelers under any circumstances, and can't understand why any Steelers fan would root for the Browns. This hatred is so deep, I can assure you that fans at a Cleveland Gladiators arena football game last year chanted "Pittsburgh sucks!" -- even though Pittsburgh does not have an arenaball team.

Anyway, Braylon dropped the ball *cough* again *cough* and Derek threw a dumb interception and the Browns blew it. I offered my condolences to Rick. He said nothing. I offered them again a short while later. He said nothing. I understood. Being a sports fan can really hurt sometimes. However, Cleveland still has hope -- they are only 3-5 and with a good winning streak they can get back into Wild Card contention soon enough.

It seems unlikely, however, they can win the division. After all, Pittsburgh is now 6-2 -- and with just eight games to go, we're in second place in the AFC. That is hugely important and if we make it into the playoffs, keeping second place (or even moving into first) will be a major advantage. But with three teams tied at 5-3 and two more tied at 4-4, though, we're not far enough ahead of the pack to rest easy. We've got to press on -- and if we do, well, there might just be no stopping us.

Unless we have to play the Giants again. Dammit.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at November 4, 2008 03:40 AM | TrackBack

I hear you about deep sports hatreds. When I lived in D.C. I would go to Capitals hockey games, and whenever they played the chicken dance song over the speaker system, during the appropriate time, everyone would yell "THE FLYERS SUCK!", no matter what team we were playing. Good times.

Posted by: Aaron W. Thorne at November 4, 2008 11:36 AM
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