Why was Charlie Batch crying?
To the discerning eye, there is no difference between tears of pain and tears of joy. The tears shed on Sunday, December 2nd, 2012, as afternoon became night in the city of Baltimore, were undoubtedly tears of Joy. The Pittsburgh Steelers, led by 3rd string quarterback, Charlie Batch, had just beaten the rival Baltimore Ravens.
This was by no means an ordinary victory. The Ravens had not lost at home since December of 2010. The Steelers had not beaten the Ravens without Big Ben since opening day of 2003, when the team was led by Tommy “Guns” Maddox. On a more personal note, Charlie Batch, who threw for 276 yards and a touchdown (and made an important block on the Dwyer touchdown run) threw for the most yards he has since 2001. Using Quarterback Rating for the purposes of differentiating, Batch outplayed the majority of the league, including Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, Andy Dalton, and most importantly, Joe Flacco. Who would have believed it?
All these “first time in a long time” statistics were frosting on the cake. The primary confection that lead to the tears was all about a 15 year veteran doing something that hardly anyone thought he could do. Throughout his career Charlie Batch had been a hard worker, a great teammate, and has even put up average statistics, often playing for very bad teams. As a Steeler backup, he had been quite reliable, up until the game against the Cleveland Browns. Football fans had doubts about Batch before that game, simply because he was a 3rd string QB. After that game, their doubts were confirmed. The Steelers would not win another game until Roethlisberger came back. But, like all great men in sports, Charlie Batch shook off this one bad game, and represented himself well on the field. Credit belongs to the defense, to the running game, and certainly to Shaun Suisham for coming through in the clutch, but this game belongs to Charlie Batch.
Let the tears flow, Charlie, you earned them.