Super Bowl Thoughts & Reflections

Of course it ain’t no secret who I was pulling for in the big game.  My girl/childhood friend Vonda came through and Fed-X’d my gear Saturday delivery from Tampa.  So though I suffered horribly with the flu I was still in full effect with the rest of my terrible towel family.  It was quite a game and quite the experience.  Most Super Bowls are just hype compared to the game.  But this one was like a Tom Clancy suspense novel down to the very end.  With that I will add just a few thoughts.

** Jennifer Hudson (bless her heart) tore that National Anthem to pieces!  I mean she took it to church without the stereotypical churchee flavor if you catch my drift.  My voice quivered as I mumbled to myself, “Damn she sang that song!”  Step aside Whitney! 

** Ben Roethlisberger is a flat out stud.  He played clutch football and whenever his team needed a big play, he delivered.  He may not be pretty or have the style like some of the other big name guys, but there need not be another conversation about the top echelon quarterbacks in the league without his name being mentioned among them.

** Kurt Warner… nothing but respect brother.  You took what the D gave you and wore us out.  You never forced it to Fitzgerald but when the time came you didn’t miss.

** Larry Fitzgerald – all man, all business, all world.  I don’t know that I ever saw a receiver beat a coverage and sprint past the safeties like Usain Bolt.  But I did last night!

** Santonio Holmes – had all the moxie of Fitzgerald and was just clutch all night.  That last catch was all pro and will be featured in Super Bowl films for ages to come.

** Mike Tomlin is a man’s man.  He has a presence and he gets it.  For a second year coach to take a team like the Steelers to the Super Bowl was just a tremendous feat.  He totally gained the respect of the players and the community.  He understands people, his opportunity and he is all business and all human at the same time.  There is no doubt he will continue to gain respect and loyalty as he makes those better around him.

** As intense as that game was, I am glad it ended the way it did.  For all of the talk of the Pittsburgh defense being #1 in the NFL, Arizona found a way to get over.  And right at the end when it counted they scored with the quickness.  It was the Steelers offense that had to deliver and they did.  Did you notice as well that every Steeler touchdown came under review either by a Cardinal challenge or booth review?  The first one they overturned should have been a score as well.

**Finally, The Pittsburgh Steelers,   What an organization!  The Rooney family really has it together.  Since 1969 they’ve had a total of 3 coaches which shows a sense of stability not known in professional sports.  They help enact the Rooney Rule which says that an NFL team has to at least interview a minority coaching candidate when they have an opening.  Then they actually hire a minority candidate at the next opportunity.  They are a shining example that diversity and inclusiveness are a combination destined to succeed.  I am sure that Tomlin was hired because they felt he was the best candidate regardless of his color.  But my point is that it’s not just talk with them.  To Tomlin’s credit he had his presentation together and was able to get with a team steeped with tradition – one of the strongest and most well respected franchises in sports history.  Mr. Rooney didn’t talk himself out of what he saw.  Now they have an unprecedented 6 Super Bowl titles.

Super Sunday in Tampa

Two weeks is definitely enough time to wait around for the Super Bowl.  For the teams, they get a chance to enjoy the moment and perhaps heal or recover a bit from a season full of hits.  But for the media, they tend to run out of things to say and it get’s pretty redundant.

“Hey, did you know that Kurt Warner used to bag groceries?” 

“Did you know Cardinals coach Ken Whiesenhunt used to coach the Steelers and wanted the job after Cowher retired?”

“Jerome Bettis is from Detroit,”  and “Tyler Hansborough plays hard,” is tired of hearing it.  But it is what it is.  Such are the story lines that we have to listen to over and over again leading up to the big game.  Normally I just stay away from it so I won’t get a case of Super Bowl Media Coverage Overkill.

I will readily admit that I am a die hard Steelers fan.  I grew up adoring the black and gold as much as I did the purple and gold of the Lakers.  I had the priviledge of meeting Bradshaw, Swan, Stallworth, Franco, Blier, Greene, Lambert, Blount, etc. as a kid on a hot training camp day in Latrobe, PA.   I am in no way less impressed with this crew of Big Ben, Hines, Palo, and Farrior.  I would love to see US get another ring for the other hand.

        

Still, I can’t hate on my man Larry Fitzgerald.  He has mad game and went to the University of Pittsburgh.  I am glad I already invested in his authentic #11 jersey a couple years ago.  I’m sure I’ll rock it sometime this week as a show of respect that I have for him and the way he plays the game.

Generally, people in St. Louis still have plenty of affection for Warner.  He brought us a Super Bowl victory and if it were not for Mike Martz outsmarting himself and freezing Marshall Faulk out of the next Super Bowl they played in we would have had another one.  Kurt is definitely hot and feeling it right now and I don’t take that from him.  Still I think he left St. Louis like a sucka.  They were losing game after game, he threw pick after pick, and he led the league in fumbles ala Tony Banks.  Yet instead of taking some responsbility for his bad play, he never did.  Instead he whined about how the team seemed to not want him to read his bible at practice. 

I was like, “Hell when you’re winning read all the scriptures you want.  But if not, try the play book when your at Rams Park for practice.” 

Same thing when he went to the Giants.  He played like crap and never owned it.  But when he’s winning, it’s Jesus this and Jesus that.  Never Jesus when they lost, just excuses.

That’s my rant.  Still you wouldn’t find many people that don’t think Kurt is a good guy.  I am sure he is.  And I am genuinly happy for him getting another crack at it.

Much love to my friends Vonda and her husband Sponce.  I grew up with Vonda and we were together on that training camp trip as kids.  Her and hubby own 4 Steeler season tickets at  Heinz Field and they will be at the game on Sunday.  (Hey V, I’m looking for my gear in the mail…. what’s up? ) 

Anyway, hardly no one I hear gives the Cardinals a chance.  Most of the pundits are predicting a blowout.  I can’t figure that one out.  This may be the Cardinals first look at a title.  And the Steelers have a great defense and 20 something guys from the last Super Bowl winning team on this one.  Still the Birds are hot.  Fitzgerald is playing out of his mind, and if Bolden is not fussing with his O cordinator on the sidelines, he can be a game breaker himself.  I hope the Steelers aren’t believing the hype and expect to be in for a battle.

And so it is.  My dad was a Big Red fan when the football team was here in St. Louis.  He loved Terry Metcalf, Roy Green, Jim Hart, Dan Dierdorf, and Ottis Anderson.  For years and years Bill Bidwill didn’t seem to care whether the team won or lost – only if they made money – much to the dismay of many loyal fans.  I think a lot of them will root for the Cardinals on Sunday – Especially with that Warner connection.   As I said, I am happy for them – but don’t get it twisted.  I will have my terrible towel with me waving it in front of some TV set.  My loyalties are with Mike Tomlin and the Steel City! 

Even the president is with me on this one… I’m just sayin!

Enjoy the game everyone~

Go Steelers!