If you’re bored at work and want to read something that will really tick you off, I suggest you visit the Pittsburgh Post Gazette website and read Ron Cook’s column from Tuesday. On second thought, don’t bother honoring the hack by clicking on one of his stories. Here is all you really need to read from the column:
The Steelers are going to win the AFC North Division. Let’s get that straight right at the top. As badly as they played in Philadelphia Sunday, they still are better than Baltimore, Cleveland and Cincinnati. They will prove that again Monday night when they smack down the Ravens at Heinz Field.
I’m thinking something along the lines of 35-10.
Now, is it any wonder why I once accused the Pittsburgh sports reporters of waving Terrible Towels in the press box? I mean, it’s one thing for a reckless blogger to write something as irresponsible as suggesting that a bounty should be placed on the head of Hines Ward. It is something entirely different for a card-carrying media member to write “[the Steelers will] smack down the Ravens at Heinz Field.” Does this guy also give the team pre-game pep talks before taking his seat in the press box?
But regardless of Cook’s limited journalism skills, he’s just plain ignorant about the current state of affairs in the AFC North. I’m sure he’s basing his prediction on last year’s Week 9 drubbing on Monday Night Football and dismissing the Ravens season-ending victory over the Steelers because, win, lose or draw, Pittsburgh wasn’t going to change their playoff seed. What he fails to remember is that in the first game between the two teams, the Ravens’ starting cornerbacks were Derrick Martin and Corey Ivy (both Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle were inactive for the game) and their only tight end in uniform was Quinn Sypniewski, as both Todd Heap and Dan Wilcox were also inactive.
If Cook had looked a back to one season prior, he would have seen two absolute butt-whippings by the Ravens in games where both teams were at full strength and both were actually trying to win. Nobody knows if the Ravens’ aging players will make it through the season, but heading into Monday night this is a relatively healthy and rested team (they will have played just two games in the previous 22 days before Monday). And while Joe Flacco hasn’t reached Steve McNair status just yet, I can almost assure you that Flacco won’t leave Pittsburgh after just 63 yards passing, two fumbles, an interception, five sacks and a 44.9 QB rating, as McNair did last year.
Call me a homer (which is okay, because I certainly don’t consider myself a journalist), but I think Mr. Cook and his Steeler brethren are in for a rude awakening on Monday night.
Oh, and by the way, Ron Cook’s email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m sure he’d love to hear your thoughts on his column.