Paul, Jed: I enjoyed your pre-game and first half bantering. Lots of keys to this game, and not just to the Escalade that went to MVP Hines Ward. But in retrospect the bogus offensive interference call that cost Seattle and early touchdown was the biggest key — the receiver did nothing out of the ordinary, against a defender who was completely lost on the play. No way should the referee have given him the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, I do think Roethlisberger did score on that first Pittsburgh touchdown. Just for a split second the ball seemed to “touch” the plane of the goal line before not so gentle Ben tucked it back. That amounts to full penetration into the end zone, so far I know.
I paid next to no attention to ads and commentary, so I didn’t notice the distinct lack of tribute to our soldiers in harm’s way. But it also struck me that no one much mentioned Detroit either; not until the post-game trophy presentation (the worst choreographed annual event in sports — why don’t they just go back to the locker room for those made for TV moments?).
Jed, you think Brunnell’s passes fall short — what about Clinton Portis’s option passes, which resemble falling skeet-clay after it’s been shot. They came to mind after that beauty of an option toss thrown by Antwaan Randle El, a fellow Indiana alum. That was the play of the year, so far as I’m concerned. Big Ben played well regardless — you have to remember his throwing thumb is all but disconnected from his right hand, and he’s been forced to wear a glove to get any touch at all. Hasselbeck clearly played and looked better — yet in the end his ability to “manage” the game was a distant second to Roethlisberger’s, especially when it mattered most.
Finally, you’ve got to like Coach Cowher — a real, mean football tough guy who’s putty in the hands of his wife and many daughters. Finally-finally, you have to be happy for Pittsburgh, a real place, for one thing. Now who’s done more for the city, the Pittsburgh Steelers or Mrs. John Kerry? Was she even at the game?
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