Monday, September 27, 2010
Random Steeler Monday - - Chuck Wagon Edition
I wondered when this day would come. Never since I started this blog has there even been an opportunity for this to occur. But here we are...a Monday after another Steelers trouncing of an opponent, and the Random Steeler is none other than Charlie Batch.
So Big Ben is corralled for at least a few more weeks. Backup Byron Leftwich was injured in the last pre-season game of the year with a pretty brutal leg injury that caused damage to his MCL. His return was questionable at best until x-rays came back negative on a complete tear and the prognosis was changed to a MCL sprain and his return to action was 2-3 weeks.
Week 3 comes along and Charlie is the only healthy quarterback on the roster (aside from Antwan Randle-El, current #3 receiver). Batch is like that pickup truck that sits in the garage for months at a time. It isn't broke down or in disrepair, it's just old and rusty. It has lots of body damage and is not a pretty site. But in the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter, it always starts right up. It still drives like a champ and though it may not get the gas mileage you want, it gets you where you need to go whenever you need it to.
Chuck tossed three TD passes in his first start since 2007, leading the Steelers to a 38-13 victory over the Buccaneers. For only taking a few snaps with the first team offense in the preseason, he played like a poised veteran, which everyone in Steeler Nation already knew he could. At 35, Charlie showed he still has it, heaving the ball down field 40+ yards on two of the four offensive touchdowns yesterday (both caught by speedster Mike Wallace). The third aerial TD came on a 9 yard toss to Hines Ward. In all, Batch lead 4 scoring drives down the field and changed the minds of all the non-believers in the process. I'm pretty sure this guy still has it.
I tried to find some Charlie Batch cards to feature in this weeks's RSM but there aren't too many options in a Steeler uni. In fact, only the three player 2007 Topps Total above resides in my collection. Beckett's checklist of Batch cards shows he has 1,029 total cards to date with 24 rookie cards, 49 memorabilia cards, and 42 autos. Narrowing my search reveals that of the 1,029 cards, only 14 of them have him featured as a Pittsburgh Steeler. That is shocking considering he has been with the team since 2003. I once considered collecting Chuck's cards until I realized I couldn't stomach having that many Detroit Lions cards in my house, even if they did feature Batch. But you have to give it to the Pittsburgh-born quarterback; 13 years in the league, 73 games, over 10,000 yards and 60 TDs, almost all in the backup capacity. That's pretty impressive when you think about it and most guys would have probably faded away long ago.