So, we're trying something new here, based on the inspriration of this great American. We're "live" as it were at Smokin' Joe's on the South Side, watching the game, and hoping to give running commentary on it. Bear with us, as we try and navigate this. Oh, and since the Steelers are in Canada, if anything happens injury-wise to any Steelers starters tonight, blame these two:
- Tight End! Tight End! The Steelers open the game throwing to the tight end! A 6-yard completion to Matt Spaeth no less! What's next? In the word's of Dr. Peter Venkman -- "Dogs and Cats, living together! Mass hysteria!"
- Steelers are putting together a nice opening drive. Ben is sharp but already getting too much pressure, nonetheless, a couple of sweet passes to Santonio and Hines. The boy looks good.
- Holding on the new center Hartwig. My friend Nick makes the trenchant observation that if you're gonna hold someone, it should go for more than 3 yards.
- Colon holds, Ben under pressure ... and PICK. Ugly.
- Bills possession opens up - Trent Edwards, who has a name like a soap opera doctor completes two in a row, under absolutely no rush from the Steelers front line
- Marshawn Lynch -- a hot pick for you fantasy drafters -- runs straight over Ryan Clark.
- Steelers middle getting shredded. Lynch rolls again.
- Bill Toland notes that James Harrison has shiny muscles.
- Touchdown Buffalo. 7-0 Bills.
- Steelers punt - Paul Ernster lets fly a beaut but Nate Washington blows the coverage.
- Best jersey of the night:
END OF QUARTER: BILLS 7 STEELERS 0
- Big Ben to Hines like a laser.
- This should have been noted a while ago, but Rashard Mendenall is wearing the number of such Steeler luminaries as Walter Abercrombie and LeRoy Thompson. Bad mojo, mo fraire.
- Mewelde Moore with a nice catch out of the backfield. Exactly what they got him for.
- SANTONIO!!! WHAT a nice throw and catch. Touchdown Steelers, eh?? The first team O redeems itself, and we expect to see the Steelers debut of Byron Leftwich on the next possession. Bills 14, Steelers 7.
- Steelers D forces a dominant three and out, but its hard to glean anything from that as it was against J.P. Losman. Might as well have been against Sammy Baugh. And by that we mean present day Sammy Baugh (He's 94).
- WE ARE MARSHALL! Byron Leftwich opens his Steelers career with a completion and Matthew McConaghey runs out and pats him on the back.
- Two straight completions to Nate Washington. This Marhsall-Tiffin connection is lethal.
- Third and 2 and ... incomplete. Isn't this why the Steelers are carrying a metric ton of Running Backs on the roster? To get TWO YARDS???
- Shank. Bills take over.
- Nice batted down pass by Nick Eason, but it's against Losman, so it doesn't actually count.
- Nick questions whether the Steelers are bothering to run actual tackling drills in Latrobe.
- And now we see why Jacksonville released Leftwich ...
HALFTIME -- BILLS 14, STEELERS 7
- Note to self: Next time you live blog from a remote location, pick a spot that pipes in the game audio feed. Nothing wrong with the Stones on the juke, but missing Edmund Nelson's generally insightful commentary.
Timmons gets mauled.
Again with the no tackling thing. Last I checked its an important tenet of the game.
Bills FG. 17-7.
Smokin' Joe's wings -- it's what's for dinner.
- Willie Reid with a nice return. Again, hard to take anything from that given that all the scrubinskis are starting to enter the game.
- Breen's awesome vintage shirt. She paid 95 cents for it at the Red, White & Blue thrift store.
- Ummm - sign the Bills punter. That thing must've gone 75-yards in the air.
- Limas Sweed finally get the ball tossed his way ... incomplete.
- Mendenhall gets two the hard way. First & goal Steelers.
- Touchdown Mendenhall! Max Starks with a sweet block on the play. Bills 24 Steelers 14.
- Bob Ligashesky is sweating a little right now. Bills go end-to-end on the kickoff return, setting off a firestorm of profanity from the guy at the end of the bar.
- Leftwich to Bill Latsko on the Steelers subsequent possession. Latsko sounds like he should be running a refrigeration company or something. Like Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration.
- Dennis Dixon at quarterback. He promptly demonstrates his ability to heave the ball 65-yards. Would be nice if it was to an open receiver. The man has the ugliest throwing motion I've ever seen.
- Mitch Berger crushes a punt, exactly when he didn't need to. Out of the end zone, no chance for the coverage team to get at it.
- Multiple close-ups of Anthony Smith. Can't be good what they're saying, BUT I CAN'T HEAR IT, so instead we'll let Bill Toland fill in the commentary: "Anthony Smith: Jerk Store."
- I'm informed by a member of our party that her cousin is dating the ref. Seriously. This is the same member of the party who ordered a Framboise, which is OK for pre-season, but way too frou-frou for the regular season. Get a man beer, for cripes sake.
- More Toland insight: "Dennis Dixon: He's fast." That was a gorgeous scramble, and Mike Tomlin should find a way to work him into the lineup. Seriously, you're gonna give this guy the clip board when he could be the ultimate changeup? Dream up some set with Hines under center and Dixon split wide. At bare minimum it will force a timeout from the opposition. Good gamesmanship. Bills 24 Steelers 21.
- Toland: "Why is Jeff Verszyla wearing a sweater in the middle of August?" And an argyle one, no less.
- Two-minute warning. Thank you dear lord, we'll be delivered from this sloppy mess of a football game soon.
- Dixon to Dallas Baker touchdown maker with 10 seconds left ... hail mary and ... no ...
FINAL SCORE BUFFALO BILLS 24 PITTSBURGH STEELERS 21
First of all, thanks for sticking with us ... we'd like to do this throughout the season but tonight was a dry run, just to get the feel of it. Jerry Micco will be doing it from home games, and I'll give it my best for the away frays. Also, a quick thank you to the friends who were nice enough to hang with me whilst I toiled. You can see them here. You can imagine this was a hard sell: "Hey guys -- wanna go to Smokin' Joe's and watch me work and type while you get to gorge wings, drink beer and watch the Steelers? You do? Wow, thanks for being such troopers." Although Bill Toland said it was practically the same as watching Picasso work a canvas. Then he bust out laughing.
And now, we open it up to you -- leave us comments on how we did, and what can be better.