I hate when Aaron Smith is out for the season. It happens often enough that I'm very familiar with the particular feelings involved. And disappointment is at the top of the emotions list this morning, even though the Steelers stole an important 23-22 win yesterday in Miami. Other feelings include disbelief (that we escaped with the W), irritation (at Ben Roethlisberger's failure to protect the ball on the biggest play of the game), and fraternity (with referre Gene Steratore, Jr.). We'll get to those.
- No sense belaboring the point that Smith's loss could cripple the Steelers' Super Bowl chances. I bet Ron Cook can sum this up with four brief declarative sentences and one rhetorical question:
It just can't be.
This is not a good trend.
That about covers it.
But for the rest of the season?
- This is the trouble with professional football. It's just a war of attrition out there. Injuries happen in every sport, but in the NFL it's not really about who's better, it's about who's left standing at the end. If you can make it through 16 games of getting mauled repeatedly by Haloti Ngata, congratulations. Bet you won't make it through 18 games.
- I don't really question the integrity of Steratore (hereinafter the "Mayor"), but I've, uh, seen better officiating. I was just hoping against hope that the officials would determine there was no conclusive video evidence that Ben fumbled before the goal line. When Steratore announced that it was indeed a fumble, I was downcast. Then the guy says, "However." However? Really? After a Dolphin player handed me the ball in the endzone, I don't think I would have even considered a "However." Good thinking, Mr. Mayor.
- You can't fumble there.
- I would feel better going into New Orleans next weekend if Saints hadn't just been pummeled by Cleveland, the best football team in Ohio.
- The Ravens really went out of their way to try to lose at home to Buffalo on Sunday, but they couldn't pull it off. Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has a terrific beard, but it just wasn't enough.
- Chris Collinsworth last night on the Brett Favre/Jenn Sterger drama: "This is an issue of sexual harassment. If Jenn Sterger were not an NFL employee, this would be an issue in Brett Favre's bedroom, but it wouldn't be an issue for the league." (Al Michaels nods in agreement.) What? OK guys, feel free to sexually harass non-NFL employees. Just keep it off the field.
- Farve has reportedly admitted to leaving Sterger harassing voicemails, but denies sending her inappropriate pictures. Al Michaels reported this story last night like he was bored with it, and he has every reason to be. Brilliant PR strategy by Favre: become so overexposed during multiple offseasons of handwringing over your possible retirement that when you actually do something both terrible and newsworthy, we can't even deal with it. Well played, sir.
|Good Luck To You.|