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September 30, 2008

Stupid is as stupid does

Everybody was piling on Jarret Johnson last night for his stupid momentum-changing personal foul in the third quarter, and why not? Do the Ravens have to do something totally self-defeating every time they've got a chance to show the rest of the country what they're made of on a national broadcast?

I guess so. This isn't the same team that melted down at the end of what would have been a huge victory over the undefeated Patriots last year, but Johnson's bonehead burst of emotion certainly made you think of that. Didn't it?

John Harbaugh got into Johnson's face afterward. Ray Lewis also sat him down and talked to him on the sideline. Trouble is, Johnson was more willing to listen to the taunts of Hines Ward, who ought to get a game ball for this win. He did what he does, and what the Ravens know he does. He pushed Johnson's buttons and everything about the evening changed at that moment.

No, Johnson didn't lose the game all by himself. There was a missed tackle by Chris McAllister on the Steelers' first touchdown. There was Joe Flacco's first really costly mistake -- that fumble that completed a 14-point, 15-second Pittsburgh comeback. But football is all about momentum and this game was close to being another fourth-quarter grindout by the Ravens' offense.

Then somebody did something really dumb and it came unraveled just long enough to make it a game again. Maybe we shouldn't be surprised, but if you're a Ravens fan, you have every right to be disappointed.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:07 AM | | Comments (56)
Categories: Just football
        

Comments

One of the things I was watching for most was the attitude and focus of this team on national television under Harbaugh; I really have gotten tired of the hysterics from the players trying to make some "tough guy" point. I did see a difference last night. There were a few personal fouls, etc., but what did you expect? This is the Steelers! This game did seem a bit more controlled than the last few Monday night tilts. But I suppose old habits die hard, and the Ravens still have a ways to go.

I have no doubt that Jarret Johnson had every right to push Hines Ward, a reknown agitator; but face it, both teams have been taunting each other ever since the Ravens developed their defiant attitiude that has served them so well the past nine years.

As a Steeler fan, I am sad to report that the Ravens seem to have finally found themselves a QB. This was a tough loss, to be sure, but I would think Raven fans are encouraged.

Agreed. The Ravens could have put the game away at that point.

Overall, this was one of the greatest games I have ever seen at any level of football--too bad the pendulum had to be swung by a cheap shot.

This lack of discipline...it's all Billick's fault!!! Yeah right.

Johnson ought to spend the rest of the season sitting on the bench for that play, his actions were little league, 12 year old stuff. Embarrassing!

Pete - either rewrite your headline or check the use of the word "their" in the first paragraph.

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Pete's reply: Good catch. I corrected it, so people will just have to imagine that I made a mistake in the first paragraph. Glad it didn't cost the Ravens a game.

The Ravens will not be winners until the Defense learns to control its collective emotions (particularly against the Steelers who know how to manipulate them!).
Also, it would be nice if the Ravens could play defense against the no-huddle offense. After last night, with the whole league watching, they will see a lot of it the rest of the season. The defensive coaches have their work cut out for them.

Johnson lost the game for the Ravens. End of story. The Steelers FANS were beaten. He brought them back to life. He's an embarrassment.

I swear to god, I could kill Hines Ward. What other NFL player makes a career out of trying to provoke other players into personal fouls?

Punka$$.

Why didn't Harbaugh call for a review of the first touchdown pass which was called (wrongly) out of bounds?

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Pete's reply: I thought the same thing. Don't know if it would have been overturned, however, because the receiver readjusted his hold on the ball as he was falling out of bounds.

Good point. I'm sure it's difficult not to get caught up in the game (and it is a game from many different perspectives) but when you know what to expect why get sucked into it. Overall it was a good game, we stayed in it, even after a few bone-head plays.

The "headline" for this new story (?) matches the author to a TEE. No expression or phrase could better describe the stupidity and igornance of MS. Schmuck! The management of the SUN high lights it's own amateurish actions and philosophy.

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Pete's reply: Perhaps you could be more specific.

The Ravens will continue to lose close games because of bonehead plays (johnson). The play calling also appears to be designed not to lose instead putting a team away.

I have to agree, I was saying last night when that foul took place that he just gave the Steelers a reason to get back in the game, and what do you know after a pass and Johnsons 15 yard penalty supplied them with a 30+ yard gain and the emotion to get back in there. This game looked all but over, the team and fans were demoralized and stupid mistakes like that should be gone and over with. But what can you say but stupid is as stupid does.....

"what their made of"?

Stupid *is* as stupid does.

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Pete's reply: I fixed that gramatical mistake. As I said earlier. I'm just glad it didn't cost the Ravens a game.

Pete,

You're absolutely correct. But it is also stupid for the refs to throw a flag on that play. The runner was already out of bounds and penalizing Johnson for reacting to being hit in the back by Hines was over reaction. The entire league knows what type of player Ward is. That he will use childish cajoling to taunt an opposing player into over reacting to draw a penalty. The league should not reward that type of frivolousness. Taunting is taunting. Whether it takes place in the end zone or on the sidelines. The tussling took place out of bounds but after the play was over. The refs should not reward a player who uses taunting to beat his opponent. They, indeed should go out of their way to ignore the type of diversions Ward uses on the field. Let football talent determine the outcome of the game. Not childish tom-foolery


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Pete's reply: I agree, but there were several plays like that. Barnes cost the Ravens 15 yards with a headslap after he go hit cheap earlier in the game. Got to keep it together to win that kind of game.

l like flacko,don't want to hit on him too hard,but tucking the ball away is a fundamental thing that one learns in little league.those personal foul penalties are unforgiveable. the coch ought to fine the guilty parties a couple thousand dollars instead of just talking to them

I counted four personal foul penalties before falling asleep in the third quarter. Looks like Harbaugh has no more control over this team than Billick did.

I don't understand why the Ravens continue to do this. Johnson wasn't the only one making stupid personal fouls, his was just the most costly. But Harbaugh showed the difference between him and Billick. Harbaugh was all over Johnson, Billick would have done nothing. And that is comforting.

Lighten up Petey baby, give coach H some time to put his stamp on this team. This season we play with house money! The team is getting better all the time! Don't worry, be happy and enjoy the ride! We'll be OK!

Speaking of stupid, how about that holding penalty on the kickoff of the overtime period. Figurs had gotten the return to about the 50 yard line and I'm thinking we make 20 yards and kick the game winning field goal. Right? WRONG! Then half the distance to the goal line for a "chop block." There was the game.

My husband was ranting about the TO called by defense on the last regular time drive by the Ravens. What was that about- why didn't they try harder when they had a chance?

fyi- what they're made of

Nice job Pete.

Question: Do you think Harbaugh should have challenged the refs call on the first Qtr endzone pass to Mason? On the replay, it appeared as though both toes were in bounds and he had control of the ball. That's 7-points that never were...

I ask, because a similar play in the 3rd qtr was overturned after review.

Shame we can't grade the refs. So far this season, they stink league wide.

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Pete's reply: Yes, I thought he should have asked for a review, though Mason did readjust his hold on the ball as he was falling out of bounds, so I don't know if it gets changed. It was a four-point swing. They got a field goal instead.

I think Jarret Johnson's play was certainly huge, but there were tons of penalties by the defense and special teams which put the team in difficult situations all night long. Even as late as the kickoff return in OT, when there were two holding penalties negating what could have been a return to midfield. That would have minimally given us excellent field position and when we punted to them, possibly pinned them back inside their 20 yard line instead of near midfield themselves.

A lot of people have talked about how Flacco looked like a rookie in the third quarter. I thought Jared Gaither looked like one there. His blocking on the left side was poor to say the least.

But, Harbaugh is the one who made the biggest rookie mistake in not challenging the clear touchdown by Derrick Mason early in the game. This game might have ended differently had that catch been reviewed and overturned. Forget everything else, the four points lost there were crushing. I don't understand how in the NFL, there isn't a coach who sits in the booth on gameday and reviews each play and tells the coach whether or not the play should be overturned. Do the Ravens have someone in the booth to do this? Because if not, they should. I know they were in a hostile environment and they probably weren't given replays up on the big screen like at M&T, but someone from the booth has got to signal down to them that we indeed scored a touchdown.


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Pete's reply: Yes, there is someone in the booth watching replays. I thought it should have been reviewed, but don't know that it would have been overturned. Derrick readjusted the ball as he was falling out of bounds. Don't know if that would have given the refs an excuse to leave the call unchanged.

Johnson's penalty was absolutely infuriating. I completely agree that that was a momentum changing moment. Up till then the crowd was out of the game and the Steelers looked completely lost. Do the coaches not stress the important of avoiding personal fouls?

Hines Ward should be fined for punching johnson in the face before the shove occoured. I Hope hines has himself a little accident, maybe someone will hit him helmet to helmet and put this annoying little weasel out of commision for a while.


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Pete's reply: I have a policy. I never, ever root for someone to get hurt. Instant Karma is going to get you every time.

Pete: Still think the Orioles are better positioned for the future than the Ravens? Don't think so. While we have some age on the defense - I see a great deal of young talent on this team including Flacco, Rice, a developing O-line, Ngata and Barnes. As for the Orioles, we have Adam Jones and Nick Markakis and that's it.


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Pete's reply: My column on that stated that the Orioles were farther along in their long-term rebuilding program than the Ravens. Didn't say the Ravens won't get to the playoffs first. That's a different issue.

All of the things said before my comment for the most oart ore true, but 2 things, first the Ravens always seem to get caight on defense with their pants down on 2 or 3 critical plays each game i.e. like when big Ben hit the receiver all by himself down the right sideline with no one around him for a huge play , and 2nd, we have no PLAYMAKERS, Flacco threw some balls that recievers on some other teams would have gone after and caught to help the qb out, not our recievers, they just don't make plays.Mason is good but he is more of a 1st down getter instead of a playmaker, and Todd(softie) Heap just plan stinks. Forget about the rest of the non-recievers, they look lost.

Peter, I was upset that we didn't try to beat them at the end of the game with 1 minute and 48 seconds left. I think we should have gone for the kill. Instead we tried to play it safe and try not to lose instead of going for the win. Just my opinion.

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Pete's reply: They played it conservative because they were backed up. It was probably the right move. If they are at the 35 or 40, they go for it. Unfortunately, they were just as backed up in overtime.

Yeah, you mean like the Jabbar Gaffney "catch" in the NE game last year?????

what a shmuck

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Pete's reply: I realize you're probably 12, but if you're going to make fun of my name, at least spell it right. Just a tip: It's written right at the top of the blog.

How did the Steelers avoid so many personal fouls when they acted the exact same way as the Ravens?


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Pete's reply: In some cases, because they committed the first foul, which the refs didn't see. It's often the retaliation that gets called. Too bad they don't have replay on that, but it would be totally impractical since there isn't a camera on every player.

One play by itself seldom loses a game. Instead of singling out Johnson how about finding out who was the bonehead who held on the kickoff return to start overtime. The Ravens returned the ball to the 40 yard line only about 30 yards away from FG range. It was brought back to the 15 yard line because of a hold.

Mr Schmuck,
As only an ardent fan of the NFL, I submit that the standard for the out of bounds play is "clear control". From the various views I saw he appeared to have "clear control". If your choice of word, readjust, was used to convey a degree of control, then QED.

What ever became of the thought to professionalize the referees and judges by having them on the NFL payroll year round? I am not trying to imply the outcome of the Ravens-Steelers game would be different. I simply wonder whether various officials need more training. I thought the chop block penalty was an unfortunate bad call. And my brother in law (who is not a fan of the Ravens) called from Arizona and commented how the Steelers offensive line seems to be getting away with flagrant holding.


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Pete's reply: I said I thought it should have been reviewed, but I still wonder if it would have been overturned. Just about any movement of the ball is going to give them an excuse to leave it as called on the field.

To me the turning point of the game was not the penalty on Jarrett but the punt that started the drive. All night Koch is booming 50yd punts and then the stinker. At that point I said to myself the Ravens will fall apart now. Everything was going there way until that punt.

I was pleased with the performance by the Ravens last night. Yes, there was definitely some stupid penalties but certainly better than 38-7. I don't understand why somebody doesn't pop Ward when given the chance. Ward caught a ball and fell to the ground and C-Mac goes up and touches him down. I thought for sure if the opportunity presented itself, somebody would come out of thier shoes to lay into him. The play calling did look a little conservative at 13-3. I kept thinking one score here and the fat lady will be gargling lemon juice. The penalties also looked lobsided. I truly didn't understand the call when there was illegal formation and two personal fouls and they all offset. The two personal fouls were post play. Instead of 3 and 7, Pitt has a 3rd and 2. None the less the Ravens again were a joy to watch especially when 48.5 states picked the Steelers.

No one has mentioned the poor punt that gave the Steelers good field position prior to the bone headed play. If we had pinned the Steelers offense deep like we had most of the evening- they may not have even tried to pass down the field.


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Pete's reply: Probably because Koch had been great all night and a bad punt isn't because you lack good judgment.

Pete, I agree w/your policy.
In general though, why can't we be happy with the good things. Is bitching so necessary? Man alive, we've got a QB finally. Hurrah! Go Ravens!

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Pete's reply: I am, but they have to eliminate the dumb stuff to get to the playoffs.

why oh why do the ravens only play with one receiver. If Heap and whomever donot get open, why not play two more tackles and give the QB more time to get to Mason. Asof now Heap is done and it is apparent Clayton never was.

HELP

I believe the only way these flagrant personal fouls would be eliminated is if the players are fined a full game's paycheck for each violation. I know I would get the point real quick. Emotions run high during the game, but these are professional ball players and supposed to be adults. This was the turning point of the game. I'm glad Harbaugh was all over him. He deserved it.

That was some game with the Steelers and it gave us all a good indication of just how much the Ravens have improved. Yes, a win would have been nice but I had no high expectations for the Ravens in this game and I was pleasantly surprised.
On another note, is it me or does ESPN intentionally try to find the closest thing to the Three Stooges for its pro football game commentators. After all these years, I've finally found out where the singing chipmunks went!

Strong showing by the Ravens. I take solace in that the Steelers only had one running back and two healthy linemen left after the final whistle. The defense brought the wood tonight. This team will be fine down the road. Cam Cameron has done a good job with the offense so far and with Flacco growing every game I have a feeling this team could go 10-6 this season with a conservative offense, low turnovers, and a feared defense. Next draft should bring us a big, downfield wideout and a tightend. Heap appears to have lost his edge.

Pete,

This is my first time here at your site, and I gotta say, I like it. I have always hated the Ravens, but in a rivalry way, like the Browns. I love having a rivalry this intense. I'm confused about one thing though. I am reading comments here about Hines and how dirty of a player he is and how all he does is taunt. Do you feel the same way? Isn't that what Ray Lewis does? He is constantly out there talking trash and yelling and screaming. What is the difference in your eyes? Why is Hines' trash talking any different?


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Pete's reply: It's not all that different, but he does some stuff to get under people's skin that transcends mere trash talk. He jumped right into Johnson's face and got him to shove him out of bounds. I guess, if your a Steelers fan, it was a pretty smart move. I thought it was bush, but it's Johnson's responsibility not to react like that.

I'll tell you what was stupid. Your prediction that we would be dominated. Advice to Schmuck: leave the word stupid out of your columns for awhile.

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Pete's reply: I predicted the score would be 23-13 Steelers. You can look it up in Friday's paper. I don't see how I'm stupid for doing that, though I wish i had been more wrong.

Let's face it; momentum is HUGE in any game but especially in a game such as this one. This game was all but over. If we stop them on the drive when Johnson shows his mental aptitude, we grind out the win and everyone is raving about the Ravens today.

When Johnson committed that unbelievably stupid penalty I immediately said, "Here we go again". I knew it, the announcers knew it, the Steelers fans definitely knew it and I think the players knew it. It was just a matter of time after that idiocy that we lost sight of what was important, winning.

BTW winning is what truly earns respect. However, we cannot seem to realize that small fact. We want to act like some sort of gang member off the street proving we are tough by doing something completely reckless.

These guys do go to college don't they??? I mean, they may not go to many classes but you would hope just by being in that environment they would pick something up through osmosis. Why is it so hard for so many of the Ravens to rise above the lowest common denominator?

Please, please Ravens get your fat, street thug mentality, heads out of your a$$es. I guarantee it will be worth a couple more wins a year which will ultimately earn you more respect. Perhaps a look in the mirror is necessary. Maybe these players do not have enough self-respect internally to take a little “sticks and stones”. Finally, everyone knows how Hines Ward plays. Live with it and move on. You want to knock the smile off his face then win the game. If you can’t do that then shut up and stop crying!

The Ravens always let Hines Ward get under their skin. Instead of concentrating on him so much, like a pitcher defending his teammates, the Ravens offense needs to go out and take blind cheap shots at their LBs and DBs. When one of them gets hurt as a result, then he will feel the consequences of his wuss actions

Johnson made a dumb penalty, but if McAllister makes the tackle on Holmes instead of bouncing off him like a doll, then it wouldn't matter. Although I think he played well, by far the worst play of the night was Flacco's fumble for a Steeler TD. If that was Boller, a lynch mob would have assembled to greet the Ravens at BWI.

Don't you have to make contact with an opponent to be called for a chop block. Looks to me like McLain whiffed on the block attempt while the defender leveraged and dove over him.

Penalties, Penalties, Penalties! How many chances are you going to give The Steelers to keep drives moving, and improve field position? Big Ben was unbelievable, and after the stupid penalties, he made us pay dearly. Newsflash: If we keep up the penalties, every good team will find a way to make us pay dearly.

With these bonehead penalties, we are nothing better than a 500 team. Our schedule is brutal, and continuously giving up field position in chunks, is a sure recipe to mediocrity.

Challenge to the Ravens, from a loyal fan :If you really want to show how "tough and bad" you are, then act like real men, hit them hard (legally) on the next play, stay professional, and laugh at the idiots on the other team after you beat them. That's the best revenge you can serve up to guys like Hines Ward!

if anyone knows any thing about Johnson, you would know that he is probably the most level headed guy on the team, this was his 1st 15 yard penalty in his 6 year career, it was one slip (albeit stupid and ill timed) but that's it just one slip. He plays hard every single down and plays about 6 different positions on that tough D. Any team in the league would be lucky to have him.

Peter, thank you.

there were plenty of dumb Ravens mistakes. how many personal foul penalties did we get?

Blame Ward, blame Johnson, blame whomever. Hello people....THIS IS WHAT MAKES A RIVALRY GAME AWESOME!!! I am a Steeler fan, but did you all see Ray Lewis light up Mendenhall and Ward crush Reed. It goes both ways. From the movie "Field of Dreams"...."Is this heaven?" "No, it's Ravens vs Steelers!! " These 2 teams have the best and baddest defenses in the NFL and they see each other 2X per Year!! Throw out political correctness and lets PLAY SOME BALL! By the way, Flacco is the real deal. Peace until next time.

Flacco is learning, (otj by the way) so his mistakes are tolerable. McMisstackles is a different story. I’ve seen crack-addicts on COPS handcuffed behind their backs with more fight then him.

What I find interesting is the whining about Ward and his so-called "antics." Half the Ravens team are the same way, like the pot calling the kettle black. The alarming thing for us Steeler fans is that the Ravens may have found their "franchise QB", and all you guys can do is whine about Ward. Seems like he's gotten into you heads as well, and your not even on the field.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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