On Dec. 2, at M&T Bank Stadium, the “eighth” string quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, one Charles D’Donte Batch engineered one of the most unlikely victories of the NFL “decade.” He beat the Baltimore Ravens and put the Black and Gold in a very positive position to not only make the 2012 postseason but quite possibly win the AFC North crown.
A few days later I was in Subway waiting to get my “vittles” for lunch and in strolled two ladies maybe in their late fifties. They were both adorned in Steelers gear and one of them was infected with “talk-itis” and “Steeler-itis” simultaneously. I have been accused of possessing an overactive imagination but what I am about to tell you is not perverted nonsense that I have dredged up from the dark abyss of my psyche. The dark haired talker said to her companion, “I knew Charlie Batch was going to beat the Ravens.” Her partner responded, “How did you know that?” The face of the “talker” became deadly serious. “There were a lot of things that pointed to the Steelers winning but a few things that happened the night before the game convinced me. First, my dog kept running back and forth barking at the team photo of the Steelers in the kitchen and pulling on my pants leg,” she said. I wanted to interject a question, “If the photo of the Steelers is in the kitchen is it possible that “Fido” may have wanted something to eat or drink?”
However, I kept on my listening ears. “Plus” she said, “it was a full moon and the glove ‘Big Ben’ tossed to me after the Steelers beat the Ravens in the playoffs kept feeling warm. But after I prayed to St. Sebastian while watching ‘Sportscenter’ he came to me in a dream, soothed my spirit and let me know that the Steelers were going to bring back a victory.” For those of you who don’t know, St. Sebastian is the patron saint of athletes. “The Holy one also informed me that “Big Ben” was going to be healthy enough to start at home against the Chargers. I was worried because we have four couples that share two home games apiece and the San Diego game is me and my husband’s game but he has to work so my sister and me are going. So you see, as far as I am concerned the Steelers are going all the way to the Super Bowl,” she said. By that time the little cutie that usually takes my order in Subway wasn’t looking or sounding so cute. “What kind of cheese do you want on your sandwich,” she asked in a very irritated and annoyed tone of voice. “What kind of cheeses do you have,” I said, coming back to reality. “The same ones that are here every day that you come in,” she responded icily. “Provolone is good,” I said. See folks I was trying to remember the “talkers” conversation so that I could share it with you. I was not even remotely worried about the choice of cheese on a sandwich. I raced back to my office to record the conversation that I had just heard.
I am going to switch gears to take you on home now. First and foremost, in regards to “Big” Ben coming back and winning against the Chargers, shades of the “that’s the night that the lights went out in Georgia” last season against the San Francisco 49ers when Roethlisberger came back from an injury prematurely, riding into Candlestick Park sitting atop a “white horse” with only “three legs” and almost blew the Steelers chance to make the playoffs. Some folks say that “Big Ben” could have played against the Ravens? Who knows? The shadow knows. Steelers’ wide receiver Mike Wallace seems to be playing for a bigger contract and simultaneously playing not to not get hurt. More importantly if he is trying to raise the value of his “stock” he had better catch any ball thrown near him whether he is attempting to elicit big bucks from the Steelers or any other NFL franchise. Remember, they count “drops” as well as receptions. Before the Steelers faced the Chargers could they have left the remainder of their cans of “whoop-ass” in Baltimore? I thought that the Steelers gained a second wind after their dramatic victory in B-more but judging by their performance against San Diego the Steelers seemed more winded than rejuvenated. The Steelers seem to be of, as jazzman John “squirrel” Mosley might say “a schizophrenic type nature.” Hot one week, cold the next. Rejuvenated and restored one week, tired and jaded the next. Steelers nation pray for consistency. There are various things that we may ask God for daily on bended knees. But whatever our requests may be we; we must always be careful what we pray for.
(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.”)