Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Steelers-Ravens Playoff Recap (Notes From Charleston)

It may seem silly to write/read a recap of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens playoff match-up four days after the game finished. I know that you’ve already moved on from this game to this weekend’s AFC Championship, so I thought that I would include notes about my Charleston, South Carolina vacation with thoughts about the Steelers-Ravens game.

Thanks to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s list of Steelers bars, I found a place, King Street Grille, located only a few blocks from the hotel to watch the game. I even called King Street Grille twice to make sure that they were in fact a Steeler bar. We arrived at the restaurant to find an American flag and a Steelers flag hanging from the building. Good sign! I also visited the restaurant’s website prior to game and saw the picture below on the top of the main page. Very good sign!

However, I’m not convinced that King Street Grille is truly a Steeler bar. When I go to a Steeler bar, I expect there to be only Steelers fans. I expect there to be loud cheers when the Steelers make a big play and silence (or swearing) when the opposing team scores a touchdown. Yes, the majority of people in the bar wore Steelers jerseys but there were also a significant amount of folks wearing Ravens gear and/or supporting the Ravens. Therefore, I was not pleased to hear cheers when the Ravens scored. I may be spoiled by The Pour House in Washington, DC and Fast Eddie’s in Fairfax, Virginia.

My theory is that King Street Grille is the only (or best) sports bar in downtown Charleston; therefore, it can’t truly be a Steeler bar since the restaurant attracts fans for all sports. For example, I learned that the place was packed prior to the Steelers game because of a University of South Carolina-University of Florida college basketball game. I’m just glad that the football and college basketball games didn’t overlap.

Oh, an indication that a restaurant isn’t a Steeler bar: I had a beer in a Carolina Panthers glass featuring Panthers’ “Past Great” Steve Beuerlein.

Ike Taylor may be the most underrated cornerback in the NFL. He is never selected to a Pro Bowl and is overshadowed by defensive teammates Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley and others. It seems like the only time I read something about Taylor is when he drops interceptions. Taylor quietly does his job, which generally consists of shutting down the opponent’s top receiver. Did you happen to notice the stats put up by Ravens’ receivers on Saturday? Houshmandzadeh, Mason and Boldin combined for only 4 catches and 41 yards. Taylor deserves a lot of credit for this.

My wife (and by my wife, I mean me and my wife) gets very excited when the announcer points out plays made by Ziggy Hood. Ziggy seemed to be everywhere against the Ravens. He also seems to be everywhere in our house. Even in this picture, he's just taking a break in the huddle before the next play.

This is not meant as a slight to Daniel Sepulveda, but if I was an NFL GM looking for a punter, I want Sam Koch on my team even if he spells/pronounces his name incorrectly. Koch is the former New York City mayor. If your last name is pronounced Cook, there should not be an “H.”

I love U.S. history, so visiting Fort Sumter was cool. What I found interesting was a pamphlet the National Park Service distributed to guests about being safe (ex. Watch your step and climbing is unsafe). The pamphlet also warned visitors to beware of fire ant mounds. Awesome! You don’t see that at the Liberty Bell now, do you?

The pamphlet did not include a warning about the bathroom sinks on the island. The water coming from the Fort Sumter sinks was freezing. I’m surprised that ice cubes didn’t shoot out.

Pittsburgh’s James Harrison and Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs are both beasts. The only difference in favor of Harrison is that he generally did his damage against a 1st round draft pick with a movie made about his life while Suggs dominated back-up offensive linemen. Forget this previous sentence; I’ll call it a draw.

There was a huge scare during the first quarter. I thought I dropped nacho cheese on my black Louis Lipps jersey, but it turned out that the cheese spilled harmlessly on the black napkin.

Where does Antonio Brown’s 58-yard, pinned against the helmet catch rank in Steelers history? It can’t be a top 5 catch (Immaculate Reception and Super Bowl catches by Swann, Stallworth and Holmes are definitely more important), but I think it could be among the top 10.

This is a really long post, and I’m not even close to finishing. Join me tomorrow for more about the Steelers and my trip to Charleston.

1 comment:

fantasybooks said...

Useful information indeed! and I must say a great sense of humor too!