So all week long my plan was clear and present. In fact it was perfect, or so I thought.
Step 1: Cheer for the Texans; they win and come to Baltimore
Step 2: The dirty work – hope for a Steelers win in Denver.
Step 3: Steelers continue their winning ways and beat the Commissioner’s Godson and the Patriots in Foxboro.
Step 4: Ravens keep their home winning streak alive and their lifetime mark against the Texans flawless and deliver another problem to Houston.
The plan if properly executed would set up the third game of the 2011 season trilogy between the Ravens and the Steelers.
How could it possibly be any better than to host Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship?
There is not a doubt in my mind that the Ravens would have taken the Steelers down again. NONE! All that silly talk about how hard it is to beat a team three times in the same season was so off the mark as history has proven that 67% of the time the team that won the first 2 games, wins the third.
The matchups just favor Baltimore and Ozzie Newsome carefully constructed this team with the intent to take down those Yinzers. And with a hobbled and beaten Dick Tracy wannabe at quarterback who the Ravens regularly rough up even when healthy, the beating would have been like a new toy on Christmas morning.
Now as the Steelers @ Broncos game drew near, I began to waffle a little on the plan. Could I really root for the Steelers? Wouldn’t most if not all of my vital organs suddenly shut down? Would my family disown me? What a dilemma!
So I met up with some friends at a nearby favorite watering hole to take in the game and as we walked in we rationalized that we would be happy no matter the outcome. If the Broncos won, cool – one of life’s pleasures is a Steelers loss, particularly in the playoffs when they are a prohibitive favorite.
BUT, if the Steelers won then the plan would still be in play.
So the game gets underway and after the first quarter ended, the Broncos had 10 yards of offense and the Steelers had a 6-0 lead. It started to feel like the plan would play out as drawn up. But still it didn’t feel right. It felt a little dirty.
Less than 2 minutes into the second quarter it happened. The plan and the fading clarity came to a fatal crash landing accented by several enthusiastic high fives. Tim Tebow connected with Eddie Royal on a 30 yard scoring strike and following the PAT the Broncos were ahead 7-6. It didn’t feel good – it felt GREAT!
We deep sixed the plan faster than Ben Roethlisberger walks out on a tab.
The bar was loud. It was almost as if the Ravens were playing. Spirits soared as the Broncos took the lead and then that here-we-go-again feeling dominated the atmosphere when Pittsburgh tied it up at 23. We’ve seen this Steelers Houdini act before.
But Houdini was slain on the first play of overtime. WOW!
Cheering for Tebow felt like a baptism and my sins – my dirty stinking sins and that hideous plan washed away by that beautiful Rocky Mountain spring water. Taste the cold!
So NOW the new plan is for Tebow to work his magic again – to laugh at that 13 ½ point line and believe.
And then maybe, just maybe we can invite No. 15 and his divine connections to our cathedral, M&T Bank Stadium on January 22.
Yep, this Plan B is not so bad…
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m next in the confessional line and I’m sure my penance is going to be a doozy.