Thursday, February 5, 2009
Behind The Scoreboard
One of best SB parties ever
If you believed the pre-game hype, you could easily have been misled about the entertainment and importance value of Super Bowl XLIII. The publicity mills didn’t keep the impending date in front of football fans as is customary for the biggest gridiron game of the year. However, on Monday morning, and in a lot of cases, late Sunday night, SB 43 was being tabbed as one of the best of all times.
The odds of the Arizona Cardinals beating the five time champion Pittsburgh Steelers had dropped .5 percent just hours before kickoff. It had been a straight seven all last week. It had been mentioned over and over that neither of the teams participating this season had arrived on stellar season records. They arrived by beating the teams with those records in the playoffs.
The interest in this game really kicked into high gear about mid-week. It had dawned on yours truly that there had to be a ton of Steelers “closet” fans in these parts; however, a close scrutiny revealed that most of those going for Pittsburgh, were actually seeking for a viable replacement for the Cowboys, who were left home on the range. Like most of the world, they never thought the Cardinals had the proverbial ghost of a chance.
The teams were so dissimilar that they were actually similar! Doesn’t make sense? Sure it does. Each had quarterbacks with Super Bowl experience. Both were SB winners – Big Ben Rothelisberger with Pittsburgh and Kurt Warner with the St. Louis Rams. Both teams were led by coaches in their second season. Both had ties to the Steelers. The Steelers had a great history of success in the championship runs and the Cardinals had a great history of failures in the same venue. Get it now.
Reportedly, there were SB parties in every corner. Even the president hosted a SB get-together, inviting both Democrats and Republicans. There was no breakdown on who was for which team.
At the annual SB party at the Vinson abode, as partygoers filtered in, they declared that they were rooting for the Cardinals (their host being an Arizona supporter had nothing to do with that!). And there were a few Republicans in the house. Lloyd Taylor quickly found out that Steelers fans were in short supply, but he was joined by one or two others as the game progressed.
Personally, I had thought that it would come down to efforts by individuals. And it did. Big Ben evaded tacklers in the pocket, especially in the crucial fourth quarter when they were behind, James Harrison with his record-setting runback post interception and Santonio Holmes the MVP. Larry Fitzgerald did his part to make the Cardinals winners but the total effort fell short.
Don’t know if it was the Kool-Aid or the food, but all in attendance stated that was one of the best SB parties ever.
There is a rumor that had Arizona won, Senator McCain was going to ask the state Legislature to change the state bird from a wren to a Cardinal. Naw, I don’t really believe that.
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