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mesaSteeler
01-12-2009, 06:10 AM
[(From the Baltimore Sun)
http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/connolly/2009/01/the_steelers_won_sunday_and_yo.html
Connolly's Corner
Posted by Dan Connolly on January 11, 2009 8:29 PM

The Steelers won Sunday, and you immediately thought what?

Shortly after the Ravens’ victory against the Tennessee Titans was official Saturday, my son Alex, 9, turned to me and said, “Dad, I think I want the Chargers to win tomorrow.”

For those of you in the bar last week, that has to make you laugh a little. It was Alex who spurred one day of bar conversation when he told me he wanted the Ravens to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship -- if the Ravens got there -- because he thought it would be more fun at school to jaw with his Steeler-loving friends (we live just over the Mason-Dixon line).

Now that it’s a reality, Alex isn’t so sure. Here was our conversation about 7 p.m. Sunday:

“The Steelers are really good, Dad.”

“Yep.”

“I think the Ravens could lose to them, and I don’t want the Steelers to win the Super Bowl.”

“Yep.”

“I am little worried about it, Dad.”

“That’s sports, bud.”

So it is official, people. Your Ravens are back in the AFC Championship game with a chance to again play a Super Bowl in Tampa. But there’s a certain curtain kind-of-thing standing in the way. One that’s held steady in two other attempts this year.

Truthfully, I am glad it has worked out this way -- for the drama of it all. In fact, it was a pretty solid weekend for a football fan. Three beat-downs and a last-minute win.

I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the Titans-Ravens game (the half I saw after Alex’s basketball game. Kudos to Jim for texting me updates. By the way, Alex’s club didn’t fare as well as the Ravens). I know it wasn’t pretty, but who expected a beauty contest with those two teams involved?

I’ll be cashing in on all those drink chips my regulars are dropping this way (thanks Rob) after my 16-13 prediction, with the win coming on a Matt Stover field goal. I was a little off and it didn’t go into OT, but I’m still strutting a little behind the bar today.

Also, a free tab all week for Coleen, one of our occasional patrons, who not only made the trip to Nashville, but was shown on national TV in her Ravens’ purple holding a sign during the post-game show (the sign was pulled down a split-second too late for these old eyes to read. I am just gonna assume it said “I love Connolly’s Bar.”)

Anyway, it’s the Ravens-Steelers, Round 3 on Sunday. You know how the first two ended up. And we’ll make you predict the end result of this one at the end of the week.

But we’re gonna milk this rivalry for as much as we can this week (I‘ve already poured out the two stale cans of Iron City that we had in the cooler). Before we break down the match-up, I want to know what went through your head when you realized Sunday evening that, indeed, the Ravens were going back to Pittsburgh.

Was it dread, like my son’s first reaction? Was it exhilaration? Or was it plain old resignation, because you assumed it was going to happen anyway?

Daily Think Special: What was your first thought when you realized Sunday’s AFC Championship game would be Ravens-Steelers? And what are you thinking now?

Posted by Dan Connolly on January 11, 2009 8:29 PM | Permalink

Comments (To the article from Ratbird fans. Looks like we are are already in their heads. - mesa)

First thought: Can the Ravens handle another physical game after they looked tired on the defensive side of the ball?

Posted by: J | January 11, 2009 10:46 PM

Dan,
I'm thinking of this rivalry almost in the same way as I do the Red Sox - Yankees rivalry. Here's how I see it: for Boston, the road to the World Series went through New York. Inevitably, for those long-suffering Red Sox fans, it had to in order for the eventual ALCS win to be as sweet as it was.

In the case of the Ravens, they are now playing the role of the 2004 Red Sox. The Steelers have put them on their heels at 0-2 so far this season. Even still, Sunday is Game 7. For Ravens fans, the road to the Super Bowl has to go through Pittsburgh for any possible Super Bowl appearance to be fulfilling.

I wouldn't be surprised if one unsung Ravens player plays the role of Dave Roberts late in the game on Sunday. I can't wait for this one!

Posted by: Danny Provolone | January 11, 2009 11:06 PM

Before the Steelers won, I wanted them to win so that we could get our redemption. After they actually won and after seeing them play, I'm not going to lie I am worried about next week. While I still think the Ravens can do it, the Ravens are very beat up and the Steelers looked very good. Of course, I will always have confidence in my Ravens.

Posted by: eman | January 11, 2009 11:07 PM

First thought: it's hard to beat a team three times in one season.

Other thoughts:

-The Steelers moved the ball well against the Chargers. Our defense looked tired against the Titans. This is, potentially, a very bad combination.

-This will be the Ravens' 18th game in a row. It's rare that a baseball team plays that many without a rest. Will this be the week that it finally catches up to us?

markymarc
01-12-2009, 09:18 AM
That is a pretty cool article and thanks for sharing Mesa. All I have to say is good luck to the Rats because they are going to need it.

lilyoder6
01-12-2009, 10:01 AM
i rly think that the early early bye week is going to affect them finally in this game.. esp after a beating in ten

TackleMeBen
01-12-2009, 10:04 AM
we knew that the titans/ravens game was going to be a brutal one. and whoever won was going to be beat up. however, i wasnt expecting the ravens to lose three of their key guys.

memphissteelergirl
01-12-2009, 10:08 AM
"The Steelers won Sunday, and you immediately thought what?"

The guys need a day to recover and regroup, and then:

Get mentally and physically prepared for Baltimore, 'cause it's gonna be brutal, mean, and ugly.

steelpride12
01-12-2009, 10:09 AM
The first thing i thought was "wow go figure we got the Ravens in the Championship game."

vasteeler
01-12-2009, 10:46 AM
BRING ON THE RATS
:sign02:

jjpro11
01-12-2009, 11:07 AM
i thought how surreal it is that we are just 1 game away from the super bowl. sure, we've all had that feeling in the past.. but it always feels the same.

the steelers cannot expect the ravens to come into the game tired, beat up, or whatever.. they are going to give it every last bit of energy they have and play just as hard as the steelers.

i really dont think we will come into this game overconfident like we have in some of the other afc championship games because this is a division rival. we have been up for every division game so far this season. where we thought there might be a trap game vs the bengals and cleveland, there wasnt because our goal was to win and if they could, embarrass the other team.. that should be their mentality for this one. i dont think there will be any blowout, but the players should play as if they want to destroy the ravens on every single play.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-12-2009, 11:22 AM
I thought it was a physically dominant performance. I thought that nobody was really injured and that is a good thing. I thought the Ravens saw some injuries to Rolle, Suggs, Leonard, McLain.....but are still gonna be tough!!!

Cool article.

KeiselPower99
01-12-2009, 11:24 AM
Bring on the Ratbirds!!!

GBMelBlount
01-12-2009, 11:27 AM
the steelers cannot expect the ravens to come into the game tired, beat up, or whatever.. they are going to give it every last bit of energy they have and play just as hard as the steelers.



Well said.

I've always felt our season could likely come down to whether or not our offense could perform in the clutch against the top shelf defenses in the playoffs.

This is it and I couldn't be more fired up! :helmet:

lamberts-lost-tooth
01-12-2009, 11:29 AM
My first thought was...."toughest schedule in 25 years?....two teams form the AFC north in the championship?

We DESERVE to be there!

:tt02::tt02::tt02::tt02::tt02:

westcoastransplant
01-12-2009, 11:34 AM
Great article, very good read. With all the ribbing I got from Chargers fans here, my first thought was the joy of victory. My sister lives in San Diego and got a lot of ribbing too. She hung some of her T.T.'s outside her balcony for all of San Diego to see.
Now thats over, bring on the Rat Birds! :tt02::tt02::tt02:

fansince'76
01-12-2009, 11:34 AM
The Steelers won Sunday, and you immediately thought what?

One down, two to go.

revefsreleets
01-12-2009, 12:06 PM
Actually, my thoughts were formed a day earlier when the Ratbirds won. My first thought was "Good, we get to beat the NFL's least classy franchise on our road to our 6th ring".

Dino 6 Rings
01-12-2009, 12:09 PM
My first thought was, Home Field Advantage in the AFC Title game, against our hated rival...it doesn't get any better than this...for a playoff game anyway...

One more win...and I'm deciding on Driving to the Burgh or Driving to Tampa.

HometownGal
01-12-2009, 12:16 PM
My immediate thoughts after the Steelers won?

How very familiar it felt and how truly blessed I am to be a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan! :tt03:

Hammer67
01-12-2009, 12:16 PM
My first thoughts were actually of the "glass is half empty" variety:

"Wow, I hope the damn Ravens aren't the ones to end the season on ANOTHER home AFC championship loss...that would suck"

Then I came to my senses and thought of the joy that would be there with a win over them to go to a 7th Super Bowl....