Laughter Hurts

Did you catch the end of the Ravens game in Pittsburgh Monday? Of course you didn’t. You left after the second series of the second half. Once it became evident that the half time adjustments worked like Bill Belichik’s new best seller “How to cheat in the NFL and not get caught”, you went to bed or cried into your beer watching home videos of your Super Bowl Party from 1/28/01.

I had to work, had to keep watching. Rarely will I complain of my job but seriously Monday night left my head aching till Thursday morning. But not everyone seemed too distraught.

Obviously Mike Tomlin thoroughly enjoyed his first game of the rivalry. He laughed himself silly like a teenage girl after a Ravens 3rd down incompletion late in the game. It seemed a bit much, but he’s only 16 so what do you expect.

No, the painful laughter came at the 4:23 mark of the 4th when the ESPN cameras caught a fairly boisterous chuckle on the sidelines between Steve McNair, Kyle Boller, and Todd Heap. The next shot pictured Jonathan Ogden also with a look of bemusement on his face.

I know that a four second moment of time caught on camera hardly defines the mood of a sidelines. For all we know Kelly Gregg broke wind while stretching to keep loose. And I certainly know football isn’t life and death, that a little more laughter in the world probably makes it a better place.

But that doesn’t mean the gestures didn’t sting Ravens fans, or that they made you wonder just how much these guys cared about the worst loss this decade. The last place amusement seemed appropriate was on the face of Steve McNair.

For weeks the players kept saying that a win is a win and that this team is fine. When we saw the Ravens play with focus and purpose that could never be described as fine, the last thing to see on the sidelines was humor.


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