I woke up this morning smiling like a kid on Christmas Day.
“It’s finally here… it’s Super Bowl Day!”
As of this writing, the game is still 8 hours away. I’ve got the NFL Network on right now, and watched it for about 4 hours last night. Thank goodness the Penguins are playing at 12:30 this afternoon… that’ll give me about 2 and a half hours of something to occupy my mind.
I don’t know how to feel… I’m excited and terrified at the same time. Sometimes I visualize what it’s like to see your team win. I only have to think back 2 years to remember how a Super Bowl win feels. I remember the giddy, half laughing/half crying feeling that it the reason you follow football at all.
But I also think about the unthinkable: what if they lose?
I’ve never gotten over the Steelers’ Super Bowl XXX loss to the Cowboys. That was the most agonizing loss I’ve ever witnessed. After Neil O’Donnell threw that last soul-crushing interception, I had no memory of anything that happened afterwards. There was still another 5 or 6 minutes left in the game. Gone. Don’t remember the post-game. Don’t remember anyone leaving our party. I just sat there, staring at the TV, seeing nothing. It was another month before I could even watch the video tape, to see what happened. It just mad me mad all over again. It was probably the same way all the Cardinals fans felt after the Steelers stole Super Bowl XLIII with their last drive.
I had to go to work the next day and I knew I was going to be in for a ration of shit. This was the hat I chose to wear:
Yes, unbelievably, I still have it.
I’ve never been one to shy away from my fanhood. I put it all out there for all to see. It’s on my blog, it’s in my cube, it’s on my head and my back when I’m out in public. People like hotel doormen that don’t even know me, but see me walk by every day, know I’m a Steeler fan.
It’s a high risk, high reward proposition. But I won’t have it any other way. Without the risk, the win is not nearly as sweet.
Anyway, I try to block that out. And I try to block out anticipating a win. It’s hard to just “be,” and let the game unfold… especially with, you know, 8 hours of pre-game bullshit.
If anyone can identify with my being a fan of one team living in enemy territory, it’s my blog friend V at *Uncorked. She’s a Packers fan living in Chicago. She gave me a mention in her most recent post and I’m always glad for the free pub. As she’s flying over the Midwest, en route to Las Vegas to watch the game, she recalled a comment I once made on her site, which would greatly enhance air travel for all. I’ll let you check it out for yourself.
While we’re rooting for the opposite teams, there’s no animosity from either of us. We each genuinely like our opposing teams today… just not as much as our main guys.
I’ve always claimed Green Bay as my second favorite team. Actually, Green Bay was my first “favorite team,” when I was a 3rd-grader living outside Chicago. I’d just read the book “Instant Replay,” a season-long diary written by Packers offensive guard Jerry Kramer. It was the first “grown up” book I’d ever read, complete with actual swear words!. Also, my little league football team wore uniforms that looked like the Packers. But three years later, I was fully into the Steelers camp, where I’ve remained ever since.
My folks lived in Green Bay for more than 15 years. It’s a beautiful small town filled with wonderful people. When we went up to Lambeau to see the Steelers/Packers play in 2005, they treated us like visiting relatives. The fans, the vendor, the parking lot attendants… they were all, “Welcome to Green Bay! Hope you enjoy the game!”
I asked the lady who was pouring my beer why everyone was so nice to visiting fans. She said, “Well, it’s not like you’re Bears fans…” I posted on that experience here.
My Uncle Joe, who lives in San Jose, sent an email with a picture of his Steelers-decorated car.
I bet his is the only Ferrari in America with an Obama sticker on it.
Actually, I’m kind of surprised. I thought Uncle Joe had become more of a 49ers fan than Steelers fan, what with being a season ticket-holder and all. The silver Steelers logo on the left looks pretty permanent.
One never truly stops being a ‘Burgher.
The Mojo Boogie
No surprises here. I’m wearing the same stuff that I wore for the last two playoff games, which happens to be the same stuff I wore for SBXLIII.
“The Force is strong with this gear.”
So now, I just have to kill some time. I’ll noodle on the Internet. I’ll watch the Pens. I’ll pace around like a wolf in a cage. There’s all this anticipation now and by 10:30 tonight, all will be known. And I’ll either be bouncing off the ceiling, or going to bed early.