View From 522: Steelers vs. Lions

Since Gretz is a season-ticket holder, he’s going to take a look at the debauchery and insanity that takes place in the Heinz Field stands after every home game he attends. 

When I returned home from the Steelers 37-27 win over the Detroit Lions I had this Tweet waiting for me.

Well done, sir. Well. Done.

And no, I did not take my seat cushion after the previous weeks security debacle. Instead, I had several ponchos (one to wear, one to sit on) to keep my ass space relatively dry during what was, outside of maybe five minutes, a non-stop rain. Let me tell you this: You   really begin to appreciate how absurd the NFL’s score-commercial-touchback-commercial sequence is when you’re sitting in the stadium for four hours and it’s 50 degrees, windy, and raining.

Sure, nobody MADE me sit through it, but there was football to watched. And my goodness, was it good football.

I imagine for fans that weren’t cheering for the Steelers or Lions that was probably a fantastic game to watch. I know I enjoyed it, and it was probably one of the more entertaining games I’ve been to in quite some time. It had a little bit of everything. Big plays. Comebacks. A fake field goal attempt. Some of the best players in the NFL (Ben Roethlisberger, Calvin Johnson) playing at their absolute best. I’m not sure I enjoyed it that much in the second quarter when the Steelers gave up 27 points, but the ending made it all worth it.

And forget the final score. Forget the fact it was a win. Forget that it kept the Steelers in the AFC Playoff race (seriously, look at the standings — if they had just beat Oakland the would be in the No. 6 position in the AFC right now). Forget all of that. The most satisfying part of Sunday’s win was that it left the Detroit Lions Fan-girl seated a couple of rows behind us speechless for a few seconds. Before every play (EVERY. SINGLE. PLAY), no matter which team had the ball or what the score was, she would let out an ear-piercing “LET’S GOOOOO LIOONNNNNNNNNNSSSSSS.” Let me tell you, when Matthew Stafford threw that fourth quarter interception, she quickly bailed.

Speaking of Lions fans, there were a TON of them in Pittsburgh this weekend. I went to the Pitt-North Carolina game on Saturday with my family and we noticed quite a few people walking around town and the stadium in Lions gear (I figure they probably came in for the weakend and saw cheap tickets for Saturday and said what the hell, let’s go). Then on Sunday they were everywhere. That’s the third time this season (Chicago, Buffalo) that the visiting team has had a huge, vocal contingent of fans. I guess that’s what happens when you’re having a down season.

Lions fans for the most part seemed pretty cool, including the guy sitting next to me and his buddy (who happened to be a Falcons fan) who spent most of the afternoon waiting for Reggie Bush to fumble again (“He does that all the time”).

A few other additional thoughts on the game.

– While the one guy sitting next to me was a Falcons fan, that wasn’t the most random jersey I saw on Sunday. While walking to our seats I saw a guy wearing a Brian Sipe Cleveland Browns jersey. Amazing. Contender for one of the most unusual jerseys I’ve seen at Heinz Field.

– I guess games like that are why you don’t trade Ben Roethlisberger.

– For the second week in a row I thought William Gay was really, really good. The Lions were 0-for-6 on passes in his direction and I thought he was once again solid in the running game.

– Another strong performer on the defense: Jason Worilds.

– Sunday was the rare “double Renegade” day. Speaking of the Renegade video, after seeing a Pitt game on Saturday and more than decade of Steelers games I’m going to say that Pitt has better scoreboard videos and graphics. I have no idea why.

– I complain that we haven’t seen it enough from him, but a big-time showing from Antonio Brown in the big-play department on those two first quarter touchdowns. And a couple of more big catches from Jerricho Cotchery.

– So the Steelers are 4-2 in their past six games and have two huge divisional games coming up over the next week with a chance to stay in the race. After starting 0-4 that’s probably the best you could have hoped for at this point.

 

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  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Sipe in Pittsburgh is weird. During the preseason, I saw someone wearing a white Staley 22 jersey. I’m not sure whether it is weirder that this exists (I think there’s a good chance it had to be custom made) or that they weren’t game-day sweats.

  • Rob D

    I always enjoy these “man on the scene” posts! I hope to make it to Heinz next year. Haven’t been to Pittsburgh in a decade or more. I went to two games in the 70′s during the reg. season and remember next to nothing. Drinking days of youth..where hast thou gone?? lol…Well, I do remember having a grand time. I was working in a steel plant at the time so you could say I fit right in with the yinzers…

    I know I will buy every bit of memorabilia available when I am there…so I’d better start saving now.

    I miss the opening shot on TV of Three Rivers stadium..that was football heaven back in the day.