I’ve Been Waiting All Day . . .
. . .for Sunday Night! Well, not exactly, but, Faith Hill does the intro song for the Sunday Night Football and tonight it is the big grudge match between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, neighbours – almost, and divisional rivals.
Now I have spent enough time in Pittsburgh to know that they take their sport seriously. We washed up in Pittsburgh central one Sunday afternoon last year to discover that the Steelers were playing at home against the Minnesota Vikings. Of all people! A true clash of the Vikings! The Scandinavians clash! Car parks full of tailgate parties, smoking grills and bottles of Bud and everyone having fun in the Steeler sun!
Tonight’s game is being played in Baltimore, town of John Waters’ Hairspray and more lately, The Wire. If you ever need to see the true Baltimore, take any train from the north to Washington, they all go through the back blocks of hard times in boarded up Baltimore where washing hangs on wires out the backs of houses which front deserted streets. Obama took this train ride from Chicago to Washington for his Inauguration. Was he looking out the window?
But hey, this is Sunday Night Football and Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback (read – Prince Valiant) for the Steelers has led his team out onto the field in spite of a leg injury sustained the week before. I know very little about any football but I do know that Ben Roethlisberger is now a sitting duck for Baltimore. He is vulnerable and they, the Ravens, will be out to get him as soon as possible.
Ben, star quarterback etc etc, has, alas, a reputation and it is not nice. Allegations, accusations, they all mount to his being referred to in the shorthand as . . . the rapist. The first account comes all the way from some gambling den in Lake Tahoe, the Nevada side, while the second allegation comes from a town in Georgia, Milledgeville and the nightclub there – The Velvet Elvis. The scene later moved to Capitol City and its VIP section. The victim, a college girl with the support of her Sorority sisters, lodged an account, 572 pages, with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). Charges against Ben were not pursued but the Steelers management did suspend him for so many games. Four games to be precise. Sadly, but true, the owner of Pittsburgh based PLB Sports, which marketed “Big Ben‘s Beef Jerky” terminated the company’s five-year sponsorship of Roethlisberger, the first such action in the company’s 14 year history! And Ben was to undergo treatment for personal development.
Ten minutes into tonight’s game and Ben is wearing blood splatters down the front of his shirt. The Ravens’ defense rumbled the Ben well and truly and Ben was moved to the sideline trying to keep his nose from falling off his face. But, like a true Steeler, he is back on the field with his nose looking like an arrowhead pointing the wrong way, the leg still keeping him up and out of the Ravens’ way. So far the Ravens are in the lead, doing it good for Baltimore. The Steelers, two times Superbowl champs led by Ben, now have a half-time reprieve. Is there redemption out there for Ben? How many women are out there cheering on the Ravens?
Update: The Steelers won . . . but it was close, 13 -10.
I look forward to reading more on my next visit.
Thank you so much Russell!