There is a shirt for sale in Quincy Market that reads "I root for the Red Sox and whichever team is playing the Yankees." A little silly but it's true. So as a Patriots fan, watching last night's Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins game it was hard to find a team to root for. In the end UB rooted for the Steelers, not because UB likes the Steelers, but because the Dolphins are AFC East rivals and a loss would automatically put the Pats one game closer to another division title.
The highlight/lowlight of the night was a 87-yard TD pass from Charlie Batch to Heath Miller. Miller was knocked out of bounds inside the 5, but Nick Saban and his coaching staff couldn't decide whether to challenge quick enough, and when Saban did throw the flag he tossed it a few feet and no one saw it. It was classic...The hard ass Saban who is playing himself off as some kind of Mike Ditka touch guy in practice and a Bill Belichick genius in the meetings looked like a fool. Bill Cowher, who UB actually likes as a coach despite his amazing ability to be out coached in big games, told the media after that he would have run on to the field and yelled like a mad man to get the official's attention. Typically SportsCenter anchors commented that the Steelers would have scored anyway...How can they say that? This is a team starting their back up quarterback, who has already fumbled once inside the 5...Anything can happen and to just say, "Well it's no big deal because Pittsburgh would have scored anyway" is just foolish.
As far as the rest of the broadcast went, it was a case of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly for NBC:
- The John Williams composed music that was played going into commercials was cool and could be a memorable march over the years, even if it does sound a little too much like the newer Star Wars movies
- At the half NBC showed a clip of analyst Chris Collinsworth doing a college football game in the early 90s for NBC in which he commented on Jerome Bettis' condition going into the game. Nice work by NBC to embrace their former dominance as a Sports Network, instead of trying to relaunch as some kind of upstart just happy to have football.
- Why is Pink singing the opening song? What about "Pink" makes you fired up for football? On top of that the song the chose to change the lyrics to (Joan Jett's 'I Hate Myself For Loving You) is too slow. Bad attempt at "Are you Ready for some Football?"
- The 4 man commentary of Bob Costas, Chris Collinsworth, Jerome Bettis, and (ugh) Sterling Sharpe. Why would NBC waste so much money signing these guys for a limited half time show and pre and post shows? John Madden and Al Michaels did fine on MNF handling the whole broadcast, they should be doing the same here.
- Who's bright idea was it to bring Jerome Bettis in on a big school bus? I'm surprised he didn't fumble the mike last night when the red light came on the camera the way he fumbled the ball at the goal line during the end of the Colts-Steelers Divisional Playoff? It was bad enough having to listen to this over rated clown ham it up during the build up to Super Bowl XL after proving once again to be a huge goat, but to have to listen to his comments every Sunday night is just not right.
- Are there any good looking women in Pittsburgh? There certainly weren't any in the stands last night.
-What is with the numbers on the Steelers' jerseys? Are they put on with athletic tape? They are always crooked and get this strange rolled up and peeling off. No wonder they can only handle one symbol on their helmets.
- And then there was this:
Isn't Joey Porter supposed to be the most feared man in the NFL according to Sports Illustrated? I guess they mean people are afraid they'll kiss them...
"I want that tape burned!!!"