Hey you’s guys and dolls, this may take a minute so bear with me. I don’t want yaw’ll to get the wrong idea about what I stated regarding Charlie Batch being less than “stellar” when he faced the Cleveland Browns two Sundays ago at Cleveland Stadium. I am not a flip flopper nor am I a band “wagoneer.” I observe athletes on a per game basis because winning and losing is such. I still stick by my opinion that Batch did not deserve an NFL paycheck when he performed horribly against the Browns two Sundays ago. However, he deserved a big fat bonus for his gutsy and victorious performance for punching the Baltimore Ravens in the mouth at their house by the score 23-20.
My words are not really comparable to the words of former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney who was videotaped prior to the 2012 election saying that; “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what.” Well I was for Charlie Batch, and then I was against Charlie Batch but now I am 100 percent for him again but let me explain before all you folks think that I have become infected with the “flip-flopper” virus. Aside from my most recent article I challenge any of you to find one negative article that I have written about Batch. Yes, I said after the Steelers debacle in Cleveland that “at this stage of his career, Charlie Batch does not deserve an NFL paycheck. He was beyond horrible, he was downright terrible. You have rookie quarterbacks that seem to read and react to defenses better than this “seasoned” veteran.” That was in Cleveland. The performance of Batch seemed to have flip-flopped significantly against the Ravens.
See, unlike Romney, my words are written in stone and cannot be taken back even if I wanted to and I don’t want to because what is, is. In 2006, his third year as a backup with the Steelers, Batch’s QB rating was 121.00 and he completed 58.5 percent of his passes for 492 yards and 5 touchdowns. From 1998-2001, his four years as the Detroit Lions starter, he averaged 12 TD’s per season and over 2261.5 yards per season. That was because he was younger and performing on a regular basis. However, any quarterback in the NFL must occasionally perform in at least a semi-mop up role in order to stay with the rhythm and pace of game action. Now compound the fact of inactivity and the aging process and therein lies a potent recipe for disaster. I loved the play of Charlie Batch before I disliked the play of Charlie Batch. Check this out, I am feeling the glow of one of the most unlikely victories by the Steelers since they entered the playoffs as a wildcard in 2005 and brought home the Lombardi from Super Bowl XLV in Detroit. Baltimore had a lot of their offensive components in place and were primed to attack the Pittsburgh defense especially after star cornerback Ike Taylor suffered an ankle sprain during Pittsburgh’s first defensive series. But as I said before if your defensive line puts pressure on the opponent’s offensive line; ex-Pirates and NY Yankees second baseman Willie Randolph could play cornerback for the Black and Gold and he would be effective. I hope that I do not even remotely resemble any of the 100 percent of the liars who will repeat the following “glib fib” over the next few weeks. Can’t you just hear them saying? “We knew that Charlie Batch had this victory in him.” “We knew that he could do it. He did it for Homestead and he did it for Pittsburgh.” Now all of you “yinzers” pay attention to what I am about to say. Charlie Batch did it for himself. He performed admirably because he draws a paycheck as an NFL quarterback. He should expect nothing less than a victory when he leads the team and the Steelers Nation should expect nothing less. He did what he is paid to do. If you don’t believe me, underperform on your job for six months and your own private “stimulus” will cease to exist. As a quarterback it is okay to hold a clipboard but when you are called upon for “real” duty you have to “git to gittin’.”
This unlikely victory just might have been the last hurrah for Batch and if it was then he went out, guns blazin’. It was fitting that he beat the sh-t talkin’, cigar smoking Ravens on their own turf. There was an old R&B classic titled, ‘I believe in miracles’. The song was about the most unlikely of “cats” getting the girl. Hey, this game was about the least expected player producing positive results. Well maybe Ben Roethlisberger will be “miraculously” healed by the time the San Diego Chargers arrive next Sunday to face the Black and Gold at Heinz Field. However if Pittsburgh has to call upon Charlie Batch to step under center again to lead them toward the “Holy Grail” called the playoffs then so be it. I have to whisper this so chill and listen. “Psst, psst, now that Batch is getting his feet wet again maybe him winning a few games might not be so “miraculous” and surprising after all.”
(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-583-6741. Bruce can also be heard on the “Odd Couple Sports Show” where he is the AFC North and NFL analyst. The show is hosted by Adam Ragle streaming live on the WCWA Fox Sports Toledo 1230AM. Bruce is featured on Tuesdays from 10-11am during the NFL season. Listen to Aubrey’s archived “Odd Couple” segments on: www.worldspeakconnnection.com click on “Fair Catch.”)