Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Live From South Florida: Steelers-Dolphins Recap

I traveled to South Florida to attend Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Miami Dolphins game at Joe Robbie, er, Pro Player, no, Dolphins, I mean Land Shark Stadium. No again? The stadium that opened in 1987 is now known as Sun Life Stadium since the company was unsuccessful in getting KC and the Sunshine Band to change its name.

Is the Sun Life Stadium name going to stick for more than a few years?

Before I discuss the game and my experience at the game, let’s take a look at the Sun Sentinel’s preview. Although the paper predicted a Steelers 24-21 victory, I thought the rationale in giving the Dolphins an edge in “intangibles” was interesting.

“This is the first 1:00 PM game of the season, and considering it’s still warm in October it’s possible the Steelers could wilt courtesy of South Florida’s heat and humidity. The Steelers have won the past four games in this series.”

So the newspaper suggested that it wasn’t hot during the Steelers’ training camp? It seemed pretty warm during Pittsburgh’s road games at Tennessee and Tampa earlier this season. I’m sure that players like Ryan Clark (LSU); Bryant McFadden (Florida State); Mewelde Moore (Tulane); Troy Polamalu (USC); Maurkice Pouncey (Florida); Max Starks (Florida); Ike Taylor (Louisiana-Lafayette); Lawrence Timmons (Florida State); and Mike Wallace (Mississippi) aren’t used to heat and humidity. Besides, the fact that the Steelers won the past four games of the series indicates that the heat and humidity weren’t a factor.

Perhaps the paper should have given the edge to the Dolphins since the Steelers may not have been used to the alternating rain and sun throughout the game. Regardless, the Steelers clearly won the intangible battle thanks to the odd and controversial call by the referees. More on this momentarily.

The Dolphins had promotional messages on the scoreboard during timeouts of celebrities essentially saying Go Fins. Of course, some of the celebrities like Venus and Serena Williams and Gloria Estefan are actually part (I’m sure a very small part) owners of the Dolphins. This led to the following exchanges with my friend, a Dolphins fan.

Me: Are Cheech and Chong owners?
Friend: No

Me: Is Daniel Tosh an owner?
Friend: No, but he’s from here and is a big Dolphins fan.

Me: Fergie’s an owner?
Friend: Yes
Me: Really? Why?
Friend: I don’t know.

The best video featured Ozzy Osbourne. I have no idea what he said except for something like, “Are you ready to party South Florida?” To my knowledge, he never mentioned the Dolphins.

My guess is that between 1/4 and 1/3 of the crowd consisted of Steelers fans. This made for some good-natured trash talking in the parking lot and inside the stadium. There’s nothing quite like being with your mother when she talks smack.

My favorite “trash-talker” though was one Dol-fan who just kept yelling 305. 305 Baby. He totally disrespected the 954. Apparently, I was standing next to Pitbull.

After every Dolphins first down, the stadium announcer yelled, "That’s another Dolphins..." followed by the crowd responding “first down.” It was cute.

I enjoyed seeing two fellow Woodland Hills graduates live: Ryan Mundy for the Steelers and Lousaka Polite for the Dolphins, who did a nice job of blocking James Harrison on this play.

The Army Golden Knights jumped into the stadium during halftime. Simply awesome. The black and gold parachutes were a nice touch. Read more about the jump at the US Army Golden Knights website. What wasn’t mentioned on the website was the fact that it was quite windy during the jump. It was a little scary watching them land, but they truly are professionals.

OK, let’s talk about the play. Actually, today is Wednesday so both Steelers and Dolphins fans are tired of talking and reading about Ben Roethlisberger’s fumble and the referee’s decision. I will refer you to ESPN’s article quoting the former NFL vice president of officiating, Mike Pereira, if you truly want to read more.

The only negative about attending the game is that you have no idea what's going on. Specifically, it wasn't until I returned from the game that I learned about Aaron Smith's injury. Smith will be a big loss for the Steelers, but I hope that Ziggy (Hood not my cat) and Nick Eason can try to replace him.

Overall, the Steelers are now 5-1 and off to a great start to the season. Plus, I had a great time watching a Steelers victory.


tiny350Z said...

Do you think Ziggy (your cat, not Hood) would be fined by the NFL if he tried to go claws out on a tackle?

If not - that could be some effective defense.

Sean said...

Ziggy would be tough for any offensive lineman. The only way they could stop Ziggy is by holding him. Ziggy does need to work on his tackling though. I'll work on drills with him this week to make sure that he doesn't go claws out or lead with his head!