Sunday, January 18, 2009

Steelers-Ravens AFC Championship Game "Live Blog"

As we join you, the Stillers are leading Balmer (that's how they say "Baltimore" in Charm City) 13-0. Santonio Holems electrified the Heinz Field faithful with a 65-yard catch-and-run.

There's now under 9:00 to go in the first half and the Ravens are driving. Joe Flacco has been picked off once, but is showing that he has a lot of calm in him.

Earlier today, the Cardinals shocked a lot of people by beating Nick Fox's Eagles 32-25 in the desert. The Steelers are trying to do their part to set up a Super Bowl that will match the current Pittsburgh coach against the two coaches that were up for the job and are now in Arizona.

That will be your storyline.

Plus, not that he cares, the Super Bowl would potentially be me against Will Leitch and his "Buzzsaw."

Haysooz Cristo, if they could just get the score to 20 or 21-0, I'd be liking things a lot more.

Instead, they come up with another stupid penalty...oh, then the Ravens damn near score on a punt return.

Then a penalty puts the ball down inside the Pittsburgh 5.

13-7. My mood has changed.

Well that was quick - three and out. Baltimore's ball.

Phil Simms thinks the crowd is out of the game right now. I agree - the home town team is 1-3 in their last four AFC Championship Games in Pittsburgh. Their nervous.

Limas Catch the freaking ball.

Now the Steelers are playing like they're nervous. Sweed drops one...Ben Roethlisberger throws two nail-biting passes (one shovel pass, one behind Holmes).

Oh, but a personal foul penalty helps. I'll admit it looked a dicey, but punters, kickers and especially quarterbacks are sacred.

Are you kidding me? Throw the freaking ball across the middle of the field as the clock is winding down with NO TIMEOUTS?


As a sports reporter, upon second look, the roughing the penalty call was so bad, it's probably acceptable that the Steelers didn't score. As a fan, you HAVE to take advantage of bad calls.

Fortunately I left the room to put Sean to sleep and didn't have to endure more political nonsense.

The second half is underway, and the Ravens are moving...


What is going on here? Is it really just as simple as Heinz Ward getting hurt?

By the way, I HATE these late games.

As we return to live action, I just get this sick, bad feeling that the Ravens are about to take over.

And yet, Flacco throws these tipped passes that the Steelers just can't quite come up with. So the Steelers will get the ball back. 9:07 remaining in the third.

Wait! It's Jim Mora...PLAYOFFS?

Said it before, I'll say it again. The crowd is nervous. Just going back to 1995, the Championship Game home losses have been brutal...San Diego...Denver...New England...

Heath Miller for 30 yards after the long sack loss. OK, a little the pendulum swinging again?

Willie Parker finds some daylight for a first down. The offense is beginning to click.

Or not. But Jeff Reed, has been seen around the 'net, splits the uprights to make it a two-possession game. 16-7, 'Burgh.

Remember, good radio fans, Greenwich Cardinals ice hockey comes your way tomorrow as the Cards host the Black Knights of Stamford at 2:00 PM. Pregame coverage begins at 1:50. All the action can be heard on The remaining question is what kind of mood the broadcast crew will be in. Nick Fox's Eagles are gone. Our issue has yet to be decided.

3rd and 14 after a Woodley sack of Flacco...get crazy, people!

Todd a lot there. Steeler ball.

Jim Nantz just noted something that I didn't want to say...Ed Reed has been a non-factor in this game. Also, Steve Tasker noted that the Ravens "D" is showing some bad body language.

End around. Dumb.

One quarter to the Super Bowl. Maybe. The Steelers have played Super Bowls in Miami (twice), New Orleans (but NOT in the Superdome), Arizona (at Sun Devil Stadium), and Detroit (where the Bus parked). Is Tampa next?

It's Eli Manning. In a commercial. No, I'm not mocking either Mr. Manning, or the Giants. I'm just stating a fact.

I promise.

Give credit to the Ravens defense. They've held Willie Parker to 46 yards. Then Ray Lewis almost intercepts Big Ben.

Ravens ball...and a shanked punt. Just great.

Clayton gets the ball into Steelers territory on a reverse. Nantz called it a "double reverse." Yet isn't it just a reverse?

Oh for the love of Mean Joe Green, who the (bleep) cares about the Pro Bowl? Who?

Crap. Pass interference. First and goal at the one.

Touchdown. Uh oh.

Time to catch my breath. Off to FOX to watch "Family Guy" for a minute. My friend Lindsey told me it was the "Surfing Bird" episode. Good stuff.

Alright. The Steelers are back on offense. Somebody has to make a play. Now.

And Willie Parker to fighting to get back to the line of scrimmage isn't going to cut it. Nor will Parker for two. Now third and eight...make it thirteen. False start. And a sack.

Ooh...Darren Stone...thanks for that dumb-ass personal foul. The defense must now make them pay.

And Woodley with the sack!

Hey - you know what I just noticed? The Arizona Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl. I digress. Third and thirteen.


That's another reason I hate these late games. Everyone's in bed. I can't go nuts.

But in Pittsburgh, the house is rocking. 23-14, Steelers.

That was some incredible effort by Polamalu. was some hit. Recovered by the Steelers, but wow. Ryan Clark just laid a HAMMER on McGahee.

You know what? I'm thrilled about the recovery (Simms says it's Steelers ball) but Clark has just gotten up off the turf. Willis McGahee is still down, and virtually everybody is on the field. It's a game, and it's life to many of us (me included) but there are still people to remember. This tempers things for a few minutes.

Simms says it was a legal hit, despite it being helmet-to-helmet. Clark is OK. McGahee is still being tended to. Simms and Nantz are doing a great job of not over-talking and speculating. They're letting the pictures speak.

I once got yelled at off the air for doing the same thing. Seriously.

Well done by one and all - players, broadcasters (and crew) and the fans and staff at Heinz Field. Classy. Some yells of "Good luck, Willis" from the fans.

Back to the game.

From the Ravens, via Nantz, "significant neck pain" for McGahee, but he is moving and speaking. Best of luck to him.

2:01 to Tampa.

I'm still not believing it's over yet. Ravens ball - they need two scores.

OK. Now I believe it. Flacco just got picked off for the third time tonight, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are on their way to Super Bowl XLIII.


There's the kneel down. See you in Tampa.

23-14, Steelers. The Towel against the Buzzsaw.

Did I say wow?

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