Monday, December 3, 2012

Batch silences critics

By Jeff

There is no denying that Charlie Batch had a bad Week 12. Three interceptions (at least one was not his fault) and a loss to a bad Cleveland Browns team reminded me of the 2002 game where the Steelers gave up 70 total yards, yet lost 24-6 because of three turnovers returned for touchdowns.

The saddest part was it looked as if it could have been Batch's last start, maybe even playing time in the NFL.

Fortunately, Batch found redemption this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. He outplayed self-proclaimed "elite" quarterback Joe Flacco and led the Steelers to a very important win. If or when the Steelers make the postseason, people will look back and say this is the game that made it possible. A loss yesterday, and the Steelers would have had a tough road to the playoffs.

What made yesterday's victory even better for Steelers fans was how emotional Batch was after the game. He was locked in a massive embrace with Ben Roethlisberger and crying onto Big Ben's shoulder/chest.

Moments like that are why we love sports. With Roethlisberger likely to return next week, Batch thought this was his last game. He went out with his career's best win. I'd cry too!

Batch has always been a good teammate. When the team was grooming Byron Leftwich to start in place of a suspended Ben and Dennis Dixon to back up Leftwich, it was assumed Batch was to be released. Batch never cried to the media or sulked. He went about his business and made sure he was ready.

Well, Leftwich got hurt in the preseason, which he has done in two of the past three postseasons. Then Dixon got hurt and Batch was the only one left. He helped the team win two of three games when the team was supposed to start 1-3.

Batch has been great for the Pittsburgh community and will always be beloved in Pittsburgh. It was great to see him have that moment in the sun. Not many athletes, in Pittsburgh or elsewhere, deserved it more.

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