I hate to say this, but I told y'all so ... the Pittsburgh Steelers came into Indianapolis, and harassed Manning with a superb pass rush. If it were not for some pathetic officiating from the referee, and a key fumble by Bettis on the Indy goal line, the game would have been another routine upset. But then the refs did play cheats (yeah Joey Porter, you are dead right!), and The Bus did fumble, leading to a bizarre finish ... that included"The Tackle" (or should we called "The Immaculate Tackle"?) by Big Ben that saved the day for the Steelers.
Cocky Payton Manning came up with some boneheaded desperation trying to win the game, and then the 'idiot kicker' missed the field goal so badly, that it seemed like his uprights were actually in some other stadium!! So here the go the Steelers again to the AFC conference championship at Mile High in Denver. An Indian connection (after the Steelers Juggernaut!) has come up again ... in a preview to the championship column about the success of the Steelers and the Panthers, Greg Garber in his ESPN.com column writes:
"We came in from the back door," Steelers linebacker Joey Porter said. "They wrote us off. We weren't supposed to be here, but we like our chances in Denver.
"It's not even the fact that we struggled at home. It's just the way we come in here right now. I think it makes us focus more as a team because they're counting us out. The whole world is counting us out."
Memo to Porter: There are one billion folks in India who have no idea who (or what) the Steelers are.
Not sure where the Indian connection came in from ... but there is certainly no denying that fact - the billion people in India certainly are absolutely clueless (not that they cared a damn about it anyways!) about football - and to whom football actually refers to a game that involves kicking the ball (i.e. soccer!!). but its certainly amusing how sports writers seem to draw up weird connections to random facts.
but coming back to the game, Denver is picked to be a marginal favorite (being the home team and all), and wearing my pragmatic hat on - i am inclined to agree that Denver will win - and comfortably at that, due to the Steelers traditional malaise (turnovers by the QB!) - yeah, Big Ben who saved the day last weekend against the COlts will finally self-destruct (i mean how can there be an AFC Ch'ship game with Bill Cowher coaching where the QB does not bring the team down with interceptions!!). but again I will also put forth my pick for the game, wearing my Steelers hard hat, and waiving the terrible towel:
The Steelers defense shuts down the running game and forces Jake the Snake to scramble around and throw on the run - he does so a few times, but finally shows his true colors by throwing the interception!! Troy Polamalu runs one back and James Farrior picks up a fumble as the Steelers win 31-18 (same score that I predicted the last time around against the Colts), didnt get it right then, but this time I will.