Old Bay? Cinnamon and spice? Cracked pepper?
There are just so many culinary choices for the crow I’ve been eating all week — ever since my Baltimore Ravens did a bellyflop on national television against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Saturday. Maybe I should just ask Marie Cook (of “Marie’s Kitchen” fame ... page B10 this week!) how she’d prepare this delicacy so I can at least swallow it without gagging.
This is my own doing. I got caught up in anticipation of the great NFL rivalry all last week, and the next thing I knew my gums were flapping to nearly every Steeler fan I know.
I believe there might have been some deragatory comments made about Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to our graphic artist Samantha. There’s a small chance that I told our delivery guy Jeff that he should enjoy wearing his Steelers shirt last week because he’d be hiding in shame after the game. At one point, I may have told our classified diva Jane that the Ravens were viewing the Steelers as a small inconvenience on their way to the Super Bowl. And, yeah, I might have suggested to an old Marine buddy that I’d mail him a Ravens sweatshirt after the game so he’d still have a team to root for after his Steelers were served their humble pie.
I wonder if humble pie goes well with crow. Maybe some sweet potatoes, steamed asparagus and a nice warm bread would top off my meals this week as ...
But I digress.
We got humiliated. The Ravens jumped out to their customary lead through good defense and being opportunistic on offense. At halftime, the good guys were up 21-7 and AT&T was monitoring my cell phone account for hackers after the mass rush of text messages I sent out to various parts of Steelers nation.
The third quarter came and, well, the Ravens kind of disintegrated. I wasn’t sure whether to yell at the television because of their ineptitude or turn off my cell phone to avoid the torrent of text messages suddenly firing in my direction.
I did both.
As a Ravens receiver dropped a fourth-down pass that hit him in the stomach, to end their season, I felt as if I’d been hit in the gut myself. A few hours later, after I was talked down from a ledge, I turned on my phone and thumbed through a few choice texts that were received during my self-imposed technological hiatus.
“Need a humble pie recipe for Darin.” — Chris Clark, Point photographer.
“Who do the Ravens play next week?” — jerk-faced friend that I won’t give the satisfaction of mentioning by name.
The other texts? Well, we’re a family newspaper, so I can’t really convey them true to the spirit in which they were intended. I will say, however, that most of them made me laugh, and a few made me want to call for police protection.
But I had it coming for all the talking I did last week, and I’ll eat my crow with the proper amount of humility. With that being said, I offer the following open letter to Steeler fans:
Dear fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers,
It is with a heavy heart that I congratulate you on your team’s victory against my beloved Baltimore Ravens. You are great. We are awful. You are winners. We are losers. You are cool. We are not.
Your team made fewer critical mistakes than ours last weekend, and you made the big plays when you needed them. We, on the other hand, decided to completely implode when success was on our side, and absolutely faltered when it came time to do something great.
Congratulations on your victory, and good luck during the rest of this year’s playoffs.
— Darin J. McCann
p.s. I hope the New York Jets put the smackdown on your team this week and the last thing you see on your television screens is the Steelers players crying on the sidelines. Go Ravens!
Put that in your humble pie.