Ravens v. Steelers.
The best rivalry in sports.
Throw the records out the window because you’re going to see a phenomenal game with hard hitting, memorable moments… and a whole lot of Ben Roethlisberger love.
It being a Sunday night game on Thursday night, we were treated to the third best broadcasting team in football – Al “Do you believe in miracles” Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.
When I say one of the best broadcasting teams in football what I’m really trying to say is that Al Michaels carries Cris Collinsworth to the end zone week after week. Collinsworth does as good of a job hiding biases as Fox News.
One thing I have learned from paying close attention to the broadcasts this season is that the Super Bowl Champions will always get the early nod when it comes to praise. Michaels made quick work of informing viewers how incredible Joe Flacco’s playoff run was last year. At the same time, it’s easy to give a guy respect when he marches his team to a quick 10-0 lead over their division rivals.
Collinsworth, on the other hand, just had to bring up Troy Polamalu at some point during the game, so on a play where he is lined up in a linebacker position and literally stands still, Cris starts going on about how much of a game changer he is!
Don’t get me wrong; I understand Polamalu is a big time player in this game but you couldn’t wait until he at least he got a tackle? Maybe I’m not giving Collinsworth enough credit; maybe the broadcaster knew that the safety would be a complete non-factor in the game and brought him up knowing there would be no opportune time for it.
Now, we all know there is no bigger Ben Roethlisberger fan than Dan Dierdorf but, the former Bengal Collinsworth might be a close second. On a play in which Big Ben was under heavy duress, he moves through the pocket and throws a dying quail over the middle that is completed.
Collinsworth in total awe: “That’s how you know Ben’s getting right when he makes those plays!”
This just after we watched him throw two one hoppers to receivers 10 yards away!
He wasn’t done yet…
Emmanuel Sanders ran a route straight up the sideline makes a great effort on an incomplete diving catch and Collinsworth says, “That’s an easy catch you gotta make.”
Wow, I know you went to three Pro Bowls Chris, but let’s take it easy on the guy who was fully layed out for the grab.
Michaels didn’t have an unblemished broadcast either. Le’Veon Bell was getting the majority of the workload early on for the Steelers and Michaels referred to running back as “the bell cow” for the Steelers. Al made up for his corny-ism immediately saying “Slap me for saying it.” Michaels also referred to Suggs’ multiple Super Bowl appearances, but that’s being knit-picky.
The All-World play-by-play-man did have a great observation on the missed Suisham field goal, saying that the kicker could’ve been called for a false start.
An awkwardly comedic moment of the broadcast came when a flag was thrown on the field and stadium announcer Bruce Cunningham’s feed came through on NBC’s broadcast. Collinsworth and Michaels, completely silent at the time hear clear as day “There is a flag on the field” from Uncle Bruce. Michaels quickly responds with a sarcastic “We know!”
If you thought Cris was done slamming his foot squarely into his mouth yet, he was not. Marlon Brown hauled in a big first down and Collinsworth starts going on and on about his monster preseason.
Umm, you do realize he has five touchdown catches in the regular season right?
Cris did have some good commentary about Michael Oher needing to step up his game in the midst of a contract year. Oher made him look foolish immediately while being flagged three times for false starts.
The worst part of the broadcast, aside from Collinsworth constantly crying about his lack of Thanksgiving dinner, came on the Jacoby Jones kick return that was interfered with by Mike Tomlin. Not only did the team not bring it up at the time of the initial replays, it took them until the ensuing Steelers drive! Meanwhile every Ravens fan that is watching the game is ripping their hair out waiting for the replay of the return.
Look, I understand there’s a lot going on in the booth but how do you go a full drive without bringing up a potentially game changing incident on the sideline? Even after they went back to the replay neither Michaels nor Collinsworth were willing to say it interfered with the return. (Surprise, surprise)
Sorry Chris, can’t blame that lame effort on the turkey hangover buddy.
Consider yourself lucky if you got leftovers.