6:44 p.m.: No early warmups. No pregame ritual as if it were a line dance: throw, one, two, throw, one, two, sashay. . . . Ben Roethlisberger is nowhere to be found on the field as he usually is this early before a game. In fact, just starting moments ago, it's only default starter Dennis Dixon tossing to receiver Limas Sweed, who flips it to default backup Tyler Palko, who tosses it to quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson. A television camera is in each quarterback's face, too. But still no sign of No. 7.
7:25 p.m.: Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs, a dude with 10 sacks in 13 career games against the Steelers, won't play tonight because of a balky knee. The Ravens included him among their inactives -- but their pregame announcement means that middle linebacker Ray Lewis (foot) and supersafety Ed Reed (illness/foot) will start and play despite being listed as questionable on the injury report. The inactives list:
Steelers -- S Troy Polamalu (PCL), G Chris Kemoeatu and QB Charlie Batch (wrist) due to injuries, CB Keenan Lewis, G Kraig Urbik, DE Sunny Harris and DE Nick Eason . . . who, poor guy, went from capable starter the past three games to extraneous tonight. And the No. 3 quarterback is Ben Roethlisberger. Discuss, class.
Ravens -- Suggs due to injury; CB Cary Williams, FB Charles Ali, LB Antwan Barnes, OT Oniel Cousins, OL Tony Moll, NG Kelly Talavou.
7:34 p.m.: Amid mild boos, guess who just ran onto the field with the quarterbacks?
Interesting to note, as Vin Scully would say (holy baseball reference): Roethlisberger is wearing a backwards ballcap while the rest of his teammates entered the field in helmets. Dixon and Palko promptly began warming up topless.
That's: without helmets, silly.
7:54 p.m.: While his fellow quarterbacks are wearing helmets, Roethlisberger is participating in seven-on-seven passing drills without one still.
Charlie Batch, with his surgically repaired left hand in a bandage, is helping out by tossing a few passes behind the three active QBs.
8:22 p.m.: Still no helmet for No. 7, but he's warming up with the QBs.
Quite a few gold towels in the crowd, where everyone fan was offered a Terrible Towel-sized white handrag (with purple-and-black lettering, of course).
8:25 p.m.: No Big Ben in the coin toss. The Ravens won that and opted to play defense first -- and defer to the second half. Game time.
And to give you a highlight-reel glimpse of what made the Steelers' starting quarterback a onetime Heisman Trophy front-runner. . . .