Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday - The XLV Edition

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.

Either way:

18 comments:

  1. This is too funny for me. I live in Wisconsin surrounded by crazy cheese heads and I'm a Steeler fan from back in the 70's. Should be an interesting day all the way around. Don't let this get out, but I'm pulling for the Terrible Towels to be waving high and proud today.

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  2. Mad,
    Wave it proud, sister! Gonna be a good one...

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  3. I also feel like a kid on Christmas morning.

    Although I will be the only one watching the game probably. I have had to cancel my Superbowl party as I have two sick kids, my brother is working. So I will be spending my day cleaning up puke, watching the game, dispensing medicine, and eating bacon pizza. I will still enjoy the game though.

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  4. Trash,
    If the Steelers are playing, I don't want any party. Must concentrate, on the game and on the bacon pizza.

    Sorry about the kids... hope they can put the hurl on hold for a little while...

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  5. I live in the Burgh! I am so very excited about the game tonight. My girls (7 & 9) are respectfully wearing their game day attire and begging me to play "Here We Go" just one more time. They are too cute in their Black and Gold.

    It's extra fun for me this Superbowl. I was born in Wisconsin but lived all but the first three years of my life in Pittsburgh. This year's win is going to be all the more sweet when I can call up my Packer loving extended family and tell how awesome the Steelers are!

    BTW, love the baby picture...

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  6. 4.5 hours to kickoff. Now is when I enter my zen zone. It's been an amazing year. With the way this season started the fact that we are even in this game is an amazing feat in itself. Today is the day records go out the window. As the Pats so aptly demonstrated, it doesn't matter what your regular season record is, all that matters is how you play today.
    GO STEELERS!!

    (Oh, and don't worry, the instant the game starts I'll be a screaming, pacing, nervous wreck.)

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  7. Two great old time tough teams go at it today. No cheerleaders. No PomPoms. No sunshine. Just down and gritty dirt on yr face football. (Albeit a santized indoor arena).
    Green Bay and Pittsburgh share an ethic, an attitude and a big working heart. I'm proud to have lived in both cities. I look forward to today's Battle of the Best.
    And yes. That Neil O'Donnell nonsense remains a painful memory. Living in Green Bay, I nearly broke my hand punching the wall, crying, "He threw it! The bastard THREW the game."
    Never again. "Here we go!"

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  8. I'm wearing my Hines Ward ensemble complete with sparkly #86. This brought a win in the play off game so a repeat seems fortunate.
    If I were a man, I would have grown some big hair on my face or somewhere visible.

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  9. Anon,
    Glad to have you here; I just wish I knew what to call you. It's all friendly here... you can give us a name, real or otherwise!

    The "baby" picture is now a playoff tradition. Posted it for the last 2 game... that's all it takes.

    DG,
    Once the Pens game is over, it will be all football all day... Anxiety to commence.

    Mary Ann,
    Right! Classic, no-bullshit, old-time football. Can't wait.

    I don't blame O'Donnell as much at Thigpen. He was supposed to break off his route and be where the ball ended up.

    Gotta go with the Hines, if that's what you wore the last two games. "Here we go!"

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  10. Did you play on the Glen Ellyn Eagles? My best friend, Andy Elliot, a running back for them.

    Can't believe the #6-seed in the NFC is a solid favorite over the #2-seed in the AFC with the NFL's #1 defense who are in their 3rd Super Bowl in 6 years. It's okay though. I'd rather be disrespected than overrated.

    Can't do a Super Bowl. Too nervous. Super Bowl parties are for when your team isn't in the game.

    Well, Pens are crapping the bed. Not sure what kind of omen that is...

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  11. Bagger,
    That would have been something... I was only in 3rd and 4th grade. I don't remember our team name.

    I'm happy to be the underdog... the Steelers eat that shit up. They love playing when they're underestimated.

    Yeah... only SB parties when my boys aren't playing.

    I hope a Pens loss isn't a bad omen, because they won their last two games that preceded a Steelers playoff game this year. I'm hoping it's just a minor hiccup in the Mojo Cosmos.

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  12. You'll be pleased to know that I tweeted to keep the Terrible Towel twirling on the Twerrible Towel website on Friday. Took three whole minutes for my Twitter alias to be shown, so a lot of fans must have been hashtagging hard.

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  13. I've been hitting that too, but never looked to see my own tweets.

    To everyone that's not Mundane: If you place a tweet with the hashtag #SteelerNation, a mechanical hand will wave a terrible towel one time.

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  14. Yes indeed. "Super Bowl Parties are for when your team isn't in the game." Amen
    A solid football fan, Obama told Bill O'Reilly he just wanted to watch the game. "...I don't want them coming up and chitting and chatting."
    Wise words from a Bears fan.

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  15. Remember O'Donnell flubbed TWICE. Were both Thigpen's fault?

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  16. I am happy to report that all in attendance at our Shreveport Super Bowl festivities were pulling for the Steelers!

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  17. Mary Ann,
    I don't remember the details on the first one. But it can be a bad pass without the fix being in. Ben threw one himself yesterday. No fix.

    Mrs Bachelor Girl,
    The Steeler Nation thanks you for your support!

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  18. Right you are. Disappointment darkens any scene, even in memory. Good sports can still say Grrrrr...

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