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Lonbull
02-11-2009, 05:07 PM
The Epic Run – A story of both James Harrison and the Steelers 2008-2009 Season.

Impossible –

James Harrison, a former NFL Europe player who had been undrafted and released by NFL teams three times, attempts to run back an interception the distance of the entire football field. He is not the fastest player on the field nor the most agile and he has only 17 seconds to achieve the unfeasible.

http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/nfl.james.harrison.run/images/00.1.new.opis-4091-mid.jpg

Impossible –

The 2008-2009 Pittsburgh Steelers face the most difficult 17 week schedule in NFL History with the goal of reaching the playoffs, and winning a record Sixth Super Bowl.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/vitw/trophy.jpg

You have to wonder which side of this story had the longer odds.

James Harrison had been on the field for almost four minutes of playing time (with the two play exception when the Cardinals caused an INT). The defenses had their backs against the wall, and were looking to stop one of the NFL best offenses from scoring a touchdown from the two-yard line.

http://media3.steelers.com/MediaContent/2009/02/01/17/09_SBXLIII_Harrison04_103005.jpg

At the beginning of the season, The Steelers had just lost former All-Pro and perhaps our best Offensive lineman Alan Faneca, and they had several players coming off significant injuries (Marvel Smith, Aaron Smith and Willie Parker).

Many message board members had significant questions about:

Santonio Holmes finally having a break-out season? Lawrence Timmons making any headway this season? Rashard Mendenhall being productive? LaMarr Woodley starting for the first time?

And of course some were questioning whether Mike Tomlin would reveal himself to be the wrong choice as Head Coach and falter under the weight of not only such a difficult schedule, but also surrounded with such high expectations.

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/044ybWrftv6fx/340x.jpg

And of course no one should forget that the AFC was locked up at the beginning of the season. The Patriots were coming off a dominating 18-1 season and everyone knew that they were looking to avenge the enormous embarressment they had suffered in the Super Bowl several months before when former Steeler Plaxico Burress made a touchdown in the corner of the endzone to seal the game -

http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2008/02/19/1203454229_9581.jpg

Did the Steelers even have a shot? Did James Harrison?

Of course at first the competition didn’t look that daunting – the Texans and the Browns were as unlikely to stop the Steelers as Kurt Warner was trying to stop the play.

http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/nfl.james.harrison.run/images/00.opgm-50154-mid.jpg

However any Steeler fan worth their salt would tell you that no matter how much a team looks like a push over on paper there’s always a chance for a lucky trip up that could inevitably cost you the season.

http://gallery.photo.net/photo/4546774-lg.jpg

Unfortunately in the middle of the schedule (and the run) it appeared that the Steelers were going to trip themselves up

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0bPTb8B7uPcwR/610x.jpg

Three losses in seven games – one including James Harrison miscalculating his ability to long snap to our punter in the game against the Former Super Bowl Champion Giants. And as time is winding down in the second quarter of the Super Bowl (giving us no chance at a Field Goal should he fail) could it be that James Harrison had again miscalculated his ability and could eventually cost us a Championship?

http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/nfl.james.harrison.run/images/3.jamesHarrison.6.jpg

In retrospect perhaps the biggest turning point for the Steelers as a team was the one point victory over the San Diego Chargers, which of course depended on another amazing defensive play to keep our hopes alive.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/11/17/troy.jpg

The Chargers game was the beginning of a 10 game stretch where we would win all but one of them.

Similiar to many of the Cardinal players (especially Larry Fitzgerald) during the 100 yard dash and smash, our opponents were in many cases desperate and frantic for victory as their impending playoff chances counted on beating us during that ten game stretch –

We played the Chargers twice, a team who believed they were destined to go to the Super Bowl after their disappointing injury filled 2007-2008 season.

http://www.pe.com/imagesdaily/2008/11-17/chargers_steelers_football_400.jpg

The Patriots were trying to win without Tom Brady and eek out one more victory on an aging team, and despite an impressive 11-5 record they just missed the playoffs.

http://media3.steelers.com/MediaContent/2008/12/01/10/08_NE_timmons_100364.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys in a tailspin of a season, used any tactic possible to get them a win and into the playoffs – including spending four draft picks (including a 2009 first round pick) to aquire Roy Williams.

http://media3.steelers.com/MediaContent/2008/12/07/14/08_DAL_jharrison_woodley_100710.JPG

Game winning INT: DE-SHEA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvAbSSaoptk&feature=related)

And of course we played the Baltimore Raves twice during this time, a team that would have loved nothing more than to defeat Pittsburgh with their rookie Quarterback on the way to the Super Bowl. In my mind losing the division and the first round bye week, and/or losing the AFC Championship Game against this team would have been the abyss.

http://media3.steelers.com/MediaContent/2009/01/19/12/08_BAL3DH_polamalu_102203.jpg

An Abyss you know the Ravens players and their fans had to swallow after watching James Harrison earn defensive player of the year, and begin his rumble towards the endzone for a Super Bowl record return.

http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/nfl.james.harrison.run/images/4.jamesHarrison.5.jpg

Hey Ravens – remember when you were dismissing James Harrison’s huge night against you two years ago? I think Shaq may have put it best:

Tell me how does Mr. Harrison's ass tastes?

** sorry the Ravens bring out the worst in me.

And then finally as a Harrison touchdown and a Super Bowl victory seemed unstoppable, Larry Fitzgerald held the fate of ending both in his ability.

http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/nfl.james.harrison.run/images/5.jamesHarrison.15.jpg

Fitzgerald never quit on his team – Who could have blamed him for stopping on the Harrison Touchdown once he was bumped by his own teammate on the sideline?

Who would have blamed him for fading down the stretch as the Steelers had a comfortable 20-7 lead going into the fourth quarter? When we played the Seahawks we certainly saw them fold up as the game winded down.

http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2006/writers/michael_silver/09/14/weekend/p1_hasselbeck_ap2.jpg

But no –

http://media3.steelers.com/MediaContent/2009/02/04/11/08_SBdh_Polamalu2_103345.jpg

Fitzgerald pressed on – in less than 11 minutes to play in regulation Fitzgerald put up numbers most WR’s wish they have in entire games – 109 receiving yards and 2 Touchdowns.

http://www.cnnsi.com/2007_images/nfl/FVI/cardinals.fitzgerald.jpg

Could it be that the entire struggle of our season, the improbable odds to give us a chance to take home a Lombardi could be stripped from us in the waning minutes of the last game of the year? Could we end up being like the 2007-2008 New England Patriots and have to deal with the crushing thoughts that all of the toil of 2008 went for nothing?

http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/nfl.james.harrison.run/images/7.jamesHarrison.14.jpg

And as James Harrison, out of breath, having lept over and fought off tacklers on the edge of the sideline for the entire length of the field – could he be stopped at the one yard line with no time remaining, with no chance at a field goal….could that too be all for nothing?

http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/nfl.james.harrison.run/images/8.jamesHarrison.13.jpg

No – in the end it was the kind of epic run you can remember for a lifetime.

http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/nfl.james.harrison.run/images/15.new.1.jpg

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0gPjg428tVg9A/610x.jpg

So much for the "impossible".

L.B.

Mel Blount's G
02-11-2009, 05:13 PM
Beautiful. Nice work LB and I'm glad to see you and your quality posts over here at the Planet!

papillon
02-11-2009, 05:18 PM
That's all you got Lonbull?

Nice to see you slummin at the Planet.













































PS - Nice recap and editorial as you went. :tt2 :tt2

PSS - any idea how MNF executive turned out?

Pappy

Lonbull
02-11-2009, 05:31 PM
PSS - any idea how MNF executive turned out?
Pappy

Pappy - I lost a sizeable part of the information when the other board went down - however I should be able to get all of the scores together and (eventually) I'll have a final outcome for everyone.

L.B.

DBinAL
02-11-2009, 06:48 PM
Very nicely done LB ----- But the picture that is labeled Deshea's game winning interception against the Cowgirls is actually James Harrison running with the ball. The player is #92, not #26. Look at the helmet, the sleeve and the jersey.

Djfan
02-11-2009, 08:21 PM
Nice to see you LB!

AngryAsian
02-11-2009, 08:32 PM
It was these kind of posts, LB (along with your recipe related threads) that made me miss the Trib. Glad to have you on board. :tt2

kennyes
02-12-2009, 10:18 AM
Bout time you made it over here LB, now we can eat!!! :tt2 :Boobs :tt2

Which reminds me, I need your Texas Chili recipe... :Beer

NC Steeler Fan
02-12-2009, 11:53 AM
Oh man, that was absolutely wonderful...

Gonna print that out and put it with all my other Steeler
paraphenalia...

Lonbull
02-12-2009, 12:14 PM
Very nicely done LB ----- But the picture that is labeled Deshea's game winning interception against the Cowgirls is actually James Harrison running with the ball. The player is #92, not #26. Look at the helmet, the sleeve and the jersey.

DBinAL -

The wording is a little misleading there - the Game Winning INT - DE-SHEA is a link to a Youtube video of how the Cowboys game ended.

However you're correct I also added a James Harrison picture as well.

L.B.

Lonbull
02-12-2009, 12:49 PM
I appreciate the kind thoughts towards this thread.

I was flying home early Monday Morning (like 6:00 am early) after the Super Bowl and between the lack of sleep and the Super Bowl Buzz I was still feeling I started thinking about the entire season - and how almost every game was a nail biter.

Even more than that - I thought of all of the memorable plays our defense made this season - especially Troy's catch against San Diego, which I didn't think could be topped until Big Game James rumbled for 100.

On top of all of that I'm just really inspired by James Harrison's career. Here's a guy who never quit on himself, and has worked his tail off not to just make an NFL payday, but to actually excel at his position. Think about it - Defensive Player of the Year! And he's an undrafted guy who had to play in the NFL Europe at one point - that's amazing.

I respect not only James Harrison and his faith and work ethic, but the Steelers for developing him (this is something I don't think many fans give the Steelers any credit for, because perhaps many fans think that once you put on the Black and Gold - great football is just supposed to pour out of you).

And of course I have enormous respect for D. LeBeau.

In thinking about all of this I put together this thread.

Thanks again for the welcome.

L.B.

Lonbull
02-12-2009, 12:57 PM
Which reminds me, I need your Texas Chili recipe... :Beer

Kennyes -

I don't know if you're serious or not....but -

This is the best Chili recipe I've ever used. It's a little bit of work but the payoff is worth it, and the leftovers actually get better with time. I know the Coffee aspect sounds odd - but somehow it works.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
3/4 pound beef sirloin, cubed
1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle dark beer :Beer
1 cup strong brewed coffee
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
4 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans
4 fresh hot chile peppers, seeded and chopped

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions, garlic, ground beef and cubed sirloin in oil for 10 minutes, or until the meat is well browned and the onions are tender.

2. Mix in the diced tomatoes with juice, dark beer, coffee, tomato paste and beef broth. Season with brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, coriander and salt. Stir in 2 cans of the beans and hot chile peppers. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

3. Stir in the 2 remaining cans of beans, and simmer for another 30 minutes.

L.B.

AngryAsian
02-12-2009, 02:58 PM
... I respect not only James Harrison and his faith and work ethic, but the Steelers for developing him (this is something I don't think many fans give the Steelers any credit for, because perhaps many fans think that once you put on the Black and Gold - great football is just supposed to pour out of you).

And of course I have enormous respect for D. LeBeau....

L.B.

I think with the way Tomlin coaches, always preaching work, preparation, discipline... I can't see James going anywhere else. I think his character is too ingrained into the same mindset as his coach and the blue collar mentality that has been the hallmark of Steeler Football. This guy will be our defensive leader until the end of his career. I think he'll work out whatever he needs to do with his contract to remain a Steeler. Just my opinion.

kennyes
02-13-2009, 05:51 AM
Which reminds me, I need your Texas Chili recipe... :Beer

Kennyes -

I don't know if you're serious or not....but -

This is the best Chili recipe I've ever used. It's a little bit of work but the payoff is worth it, and the leftovers actually get better with time. I know the Coffee aspect sounds odd - but somehow it works.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
3/4 pound beef sirloin, cubed
1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle dark beer :Beer
1 cup strong brewed coffee
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
4 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans
4 fresh hot chile peppers, seeded and chopped

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions, garlic, ground beef and cubed sirloin in oil for 10 minutes, or until the meat is well browned and the onions are tender.

2. Mix in the diced tomatoes with juice, dark beer, coffee, tomato paste and beef broth. Season with brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, coriander and salt. Stir in 2 cans of the beans and hot chile peppers. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

3. Stir in the 2 remaining cans of beans, and simmer for another 30 minutes.

L.B.


Completely serious!!!

I've been trying to find this recipe for awhile and was gonna wait for you to post it on the Trib, I believe for the Dallas game, but then ...Well the old biatch sank.

My wife and I tried your recipe about a year or so ago and thought it was the best we've had, and there have been many. :Bow

We did make a copy then, but I guess it got misplaced when doing some home repair type stuff this last year.
Anyway, thanks for the recipe and great to see you here on the Planet!

:Cheers

HardlinerKC
02-15-2009, 08:25 PM
When I saw it was your post, I had to look LB and must say you are the KING of message board story shows! Very nice and hope to view more of the same in the months ahead.