The Baltimore Convention & Visitors Bureau 'Welcome' sign.
Given the mutual feeling between personnel on these two teams, the graffito above could be a likely outcome. Loser gets put in a West Side vacant by Chris & Snoop. Peter King has dubbed it the Bounty Bowl while down in Bawlmer they're already calling it the most-anticipated regular season game in Ravens history.
They're even saying this at the "bar" in Baltimore, so it must be big. And that's to say nothing of the fans, who loathe the Steelers and their fans as evidenced by this analysis (with a colorful PG-13 rating system). But hey, at least our coach doesn't wear lavender ...
Baltimore bloggers and Pittsburgh columnists think their teams are having seasons reminiscent of their Super Bowl seasons, 2000 and 2005, respectively, and the convetional wisdom on this game is that it will be all defense -- the Steelers are the top unit in the league -- and while Steelers bloggers are already heralding the 2008 unit among the franchises best ever, Football Outsiders and their high falutin' statistics says the Ravens unit is even better.
That doesn't bode well for the Steelers who stink in Charm City. A likely score might be a hockey-ish 3-2, unless both defense score touchdowns, which isn't out of the realm of possibility -- but wouldn't it be something if this ended up like a Big 12 game -- some ridiculous 49-45 score or something like that? Betcha a Natty Boh to an Ahrn that doesn't happen ...
- Regardless of what happens on Sunday, the Ravens might mop up future meetings because of their stellar rookie class, as opposed to the Steelers rookie class which -- thus far anyway -- must rank among the worst in the modern history of the franchise.
- Head-exploding scenario of the day: Schottenheimer as Browns GM, hires Cowher
- In praise of Ike Taylor
- Limas Sweed caption contest
- The power of positive thinking
FROM OUR RESEARCH DEPARTMENT ...
Which consists of exactly one William Toland (read his bio box on the right), with whom I was in discussion earlier today about whether or not Saunday's game against the Cowboys was the Steelers most exciting regular season home game in, well, a long time.
We agreed that while we could remember games that plenty of games in which the Steelers were better and more dominant (2004 vs. Pats/Eagles), or better home postseason games (2003 vs. Cleveland, 2005 vs. Jets), we had trouble coming up with a more exciting (which by definition suggests a close or come-from-behind) regular season home game than Sunday, esp. since it came against a hated opponent in a stretch run to the playoffs.
We tracked Steelers seasons back through the beginning of the Cowher era, and there weren't too many contenders. Bill did most of the legwork and writing on what's below, so if you don't like it, take it up with him. But if you do like it, well, it was my idea.
- 2008 -- Monday, Sept. 29 23-20 OT win over the Ravens. Couldn't have known then how big it would be now. The Dallas game is still better.
- 2007 -- Sunday November 11 2007 vs. Cleveland Browns W 31-28 ... we were down by 17 in this game, I believe. And there was much at stake in this one -- late in the season, Browns second in the divsion. [ed. note: The Browns haven't been the same since. That counts for something.]
- 2006 -- Sunday November 12 2006 vs. New Orleans Saints W 38-31 ... great, back-and-forth game -- probably the most exciting game in an otherwise down year. Not much at stake in this one. Plus no one cares about the Saints.
- 2005 -- Monday October 31, 2005 Baltimore Ravens W 20-19, ... The Halloween game .... Myron Cope tribute, after his retirement ... Monday night ... come from behind ... not as good as the San Diego game from earlier in the year, which was played in San Diego.
- 2004 -- nothing too exciting at home - we went 15-1, but all of the home games were the same -- get the lead, sit on the lead, end of game.
- 2003 -- 6-10 record. Nothing at stake the whole season, really, after the five-game losing streak.
- 2002 -- Sunday, December 29 Baltimore Ravens W 34-31 ... last game of the year, Tommy Maddox's breakout year, this game sent us into the playoffs on a win. We scored 14 in the final period. Also: Sunday, September 29 Cleveland Browns W 16-13 (OT) -- the Tommy-Maddox-comes off-the-bench game. He scores a TD to put the game into OT, throws a pic, Browns miss a FG, we hit a FG to win the game. Great playoff game against the Browns at home; best game either of us have been to personally. Also, an honorable mention nod to the epic 34-34 tie against Atlanta.
- 2001 -- we go 13-3, but nothing very compelling at Heinz Field that year.
- 2000 -- Didn't make the playoffs. Most memorable game was the Redskins, final game at Three Rivers, but that was a blowout. We also had a nice 21-20, come-from-behind win v. the Raiders at home that year, Kordell and the Bus were awesome.
- 1999 -- Crap.
- 1998 -- Crap.
- 1997 -- Sunday October 26 Jacksonville Jaguars W 23–17 (OT) -- I remember this game pretty well -- it ended on a shovel pass to the Bus. Big home game against a divisional opponent. This was the year we won three overtime games.
- 1996 -- Tomczak takes over for O'Donnell. Crap.
- 1995 -- All the way back to Super Bowl XXX. The best games were on the road that season, including the barnburner against the Bears. Season opener, 23-20 squeaker at home against the Lions -- Woodson tears his ACL. The AFC Championship is the most exciting game of the year at home, bar none, and maybe the second most exciting home game in Steelers history after the Immaculate Reception.
- 1994 -- The first of Bill's AFC championship clunkers. Nothing stands out from this season.
- 1993 -- Apparently the Steelers beat the Pats 17-14 at home but I remember absolutely nothing of this game, even though I was there. According to the media guide, not many other people would remember either as a season low 51,358 (that's it???) turn out for the proceedings at 3RS.
- 1992 -- Nov. 1: Bill Cowher calls a timeout just before Al Del Greco attempts a chip shot game-winning field goal for the Houston Oilers; Cowher's ploy works and ices the Houston kicker who honks it wide (left, I think) and the Steelers win 21-20 over Houston as time expires in the 4th quarter.