As has been painfully documented here in the past, I am a Minnesota Vikings fan, so I don’t have a dog in the upcoming hunt on which I am about to elaborate.
And it is certainly not my intention to “start anything” between fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, two franchises for which I have only the utmost admiration. That is the furthermost thing from my mind.
I only bring up the issue — if indeed it is an issue, which I myself do not believe that it is — because I see so many Ravens and Steelers jerseys in the supermarket on Sunday mornings. The wearers are always well-behaved, and almost never throw a cube of Pepsi on top of the powdered doughnuts in the other guy’s cart.
What started me wondering, however, was a report on ESPN that the Steelers’ winning touchdown against the Ravens in a playoff game last week should have been called back, but the referees ignored a false-start penalty by a member of the Pittsburgh offensive line.
Now if you’re a Steelers fan, don’t you hate the way that loser sports teams and their fans always want to whine and moan that the officials “stole” the game, when the fact is, if they were that good, then maybe they should have scored another touchdown or two?
Show me someone with the words “blown call” on his lips and I’ll show you someone who couldn’t beat an egg if you spotted him the whisk.
Of course, if you were a Ravens fan watching the Steelers-Jets game Sunday, you probably noticed that a controversial call toward the end of the first half “gave” the Steelers seven points, much as they had been awarded an “unearned” touchdown against the Ravens.
This isn’t me talking, you understand, and frankly, I would be appalled if any Ravens fans were to take these two entirely unrelated calls and tried to “make something” of them.
Matter of fact, I’m sure Ravens fans didn’t even notice. So certainly I would not be one to add fuel to the Steelers-Ravens fire by pointing out that the “quarterback’s hand moving forward” call that went in the Steelers’ favor against New York was almost identical to the “quarterback’s hand moving forward” call that, just by chance mind you, went in the Steelers’ favor and sealed the Super Bowl two years ago against the Cardinals.
Let’s face it, it isn’t the officials, it’s the fact the Ravens’ vaunted “defensive” players start screaming like girls when they see Ben Roethlisberger on the field because they know the only chance they have to win is if half of the Steelers’ starters are injured.
Crybabies. I couldn’t be more disgusted if the Ravens fans were to bring up the Seahawks-Steelers Super Bowl, in which Seattle lost because the referees called back a Seahawks’ touchdown on a bogus call and later penalized Seattle’s quarterback 15 yards for blocking (blocking!) at a critical point in the game.
Just because in the Steelers’ last four high-profile games there coincidentally has been an errant call that gave Pittsburgh the winning touchdown or took the winning touchdown away from the other team, I hardly think that is indicative of anything. Now, maybe if it happened 10 or 12 times in a row, it might raise an eyebrow or two. But four? Nah.
Well, I don’t even know why I brought it up, really. Perhaps I shouldn’t have.
I’m sure Steelers and Ravens fans will put the whole thing behind them, and be good friends again by the time the season begins anew in the fall. So long as the Packers don’t lose the Super Bowl on the “tuck rule.”
Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tune in to the Rowland Rant video at herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable’s WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.