Missed your pre-game post as well but figure this is as good a place as any to comment.
Born in Baltimore, moved to Pittsburgh very young and lived there into high school before returning to Baltimore, so I've a dual perspective. Back in the 60's the Steelers sucked so bad it wasn't even funny, and since I had family in Baltimore, and because Johnny Unitas was originally from Pa. I always rooted for the Colts. Then a new kid moved in up the street who was also from Baltimore. His dad had been a defensive coach with the Colts before getting a job coaching the Steelers. The Steelers had been so bad that it really wasn't a big deal who Chris's dad was. That is until he started to use some of the top round draft picks that years of sucking had helped the Steelers accumulate.
One year he drafts this giant Black defensive lineman from Texas and you would have thought that George Wallace had been lynched by the Harlem Globe Trotters. To say that Coach Noll's decision was poorly received would be an understatement. One just did not waste a first round pick on a defensive lineman like that back then...especially one that was Black (the Civil Rights protests of the decade were still in full swing and folks were really uptight about the whole black & white thing). I can still remember the papers (there used to be two) screaming "Who's Joe Greene?"
Things weren't made any better by him choosing to spend another 1st round pick on some hillbilly sounding cat out of Louisiana to be quarter back. The 2nd round pick was the crowd favorite, an All American from Notre Dame by the name of Terry Hanratty. Hanratty was a local kid who had won the National Championship while at Notre Dame and was in a constant PR and on the field battle with Bradshaw (who started terribly slow in his career). In the end Emporer Chaz - as Myron Cope later named him- was vindicated (the big black guy from Texas was Mean Joe Green and the bayou wonder was Terry Bradshaw).
In spite of the Raven's successes in drafting Pro Bowl level talent, to this day no one can match the level of success that Coach Noll attained. Bradshaw, Greene, Swan, Stallworth, Wagner, Blount, Harris, Lambert, Greenwood, Holmes, Thomas...it's incredible.
As intense as the level of rivalry has become between these two teams and their fans I have to say that there is something disturbing that has evolved along with it. The level of mean spirited diatribe that one group heaps upon the other is totally out of proportion to the fact that it's still just a game. Yes heresy I know, but it is what it is.
The really dumb part is that the fans are in reality very much alike, as are their teams. Both represent cities who have seen their better manufacturing and industrial boom days behind them and yet they still maintain that basic blue collar kind of hard work ethic even today (at least among those who still do work). The teams are both known for a crushing defense that is a part of their teams' tradition. Even their offenses are beginning to look alike. If Pittsburgh or Baltimore fans want somebody to hate on why not Dallas. No matter how bad they suck they always seem to get more than their fair share of mention and attention on the networks, and their glory days were fraught with some of the most egocentric loud mouthed Me First types that the game has ever suffered.
I didn't really care who won the game 'cuz I figured that whoever it was they were surely going to deserve it. The worst thing about them playing against each other is that when it's all over they're usually both so beat up that they can barely field a full squad the following week. As it happens the game was as good as expected. I just wish that the collective fans could get past the menial digs and just learn to appreciate and respect each other the same way that I'm sure the guys on the field have come to respect each other.