Tonight I attended the Ravens vs Steelers game, and it was one of the most exciting games I have seen live so far in my life.
I had made it a goal to see the Ravens play the Steelers live, especially after how close the games were last year. When tickets first went on sale, it was impossible to get them via Ticketmaster. I then started watching the resellers sites, but after the first few weeks into the season, prices shot up to the point where it became unaffordable to me to go. However, the thought of going never really left my mind.
Earlier this week I had heard that the Steelers QB, Ben Roethlisberger, had gotten a concussion in the game against Kansas City, and his backup had broken his wrist. Besides that, Polamalu was still out because of his knee injury, and of course, they had lost that game against the Chiefs. So the thought that occurred to me was that people might decide that based on the injuries and that loss, that no one is going to want to pay a huge amount for tickets, and so they'd rather dump the tickets at a lower price just so someone buys them. Well I turned out to be right because I found one ticket in a section I wanted that was way under what other folks were charging for it. I debated it, then snapped it up, so now I was going to the Ravens vs Steelers game!
I hung out with DB and RB at their place in Baltimore before I took off for the stadium that evening. We had the pleasure of being the Sunday night game so it would mean being there late. I decided since I was in Baltimore to use the usual place that I park at for Orioles games, and thankfully the garage was not full when I got there. Then came the long walk towards the stadium, with a stop at the Ravenswalk along the way. I did have to hit some of the booths before going to my usual hangout at Lot O for some cheap beer to get the night rolling before the game.
Got into the stadium, got my rally towel (given away to drown out all the yellow hankies), bought food and beer, and then trekked upstairs to my section. I was in front of the press box up there sitting with a few other Ravens fans as well. One of them had wondered who had bought the seat I was in, and they were hoping it was not a Steelers fan, so they got their wish. The stadium filled up, I shot video of player introductions , though the stadium was so full of screaming fans I don't think it picked up the announcer this time.
The game got underway, and the excitement was ramped up when the Ravens jumped out to an early lead. Then it became lots of back and forth between the Steelers and the Ravens, with both lines holding for the most part, except for a few big plays. By halftime it was Ravens 14, Steelers 7. In the third and fourth quarter is when things got crazy. Steelers scored a touchdown, and then a field goal, so they were ahead 17-14. Then we managed to kick a field goal so it was tied up 17-17. At the last possible minute we got the ball back and tried to bring it within field goal range. There was a rush for one last field goal attempt (51 yards so it was loooooooong) but it fell short, so now it was time for sudden death overtime.
It would be an understatement to say that I was freaking out. Overtime has not always been a friend of the Ravens, and all it would take was one big play the the Steelers and we were done for. Luckily it didn't quite happen that way. Instead Paul Kruger would end up picking off a pass by Dixon during the Steelers second possession of the quarter and would run it back to near the 30 yard line. We moved the ball down a bit, then took a knee on the second down, and brought out Cundiff to make a short field goal attempt. He hit the field goal and the stadium went nuts, including myself.
So tonight I yelled, I screamed, I high-fived folks, I was in high energy throughout. Luckily I didn't have to put up with too many obnoxious Steelers fans except the guy in front of me who kept on standing up and then talking smack to folks. He got fairly drunk and almost got into a fight with the guy next to him because he eventually ended up crossing a line by shoving the guy because he didn't like getting talked back to with the smack talk. Just remember, if you dish it out, you gotta be able to take it as well.
One of the most exciting games I have ever seen, and just a reminder of why I have a long-term goal of becoming a season ticket holder.