As Super Bowl XLI draws near, Kelly and I could not help but remember where we were just one year ago – at the Super Bowl in Detroit as the Steelers captured the coveted “One for the Thumb” after 26 years of trying.
While the game was a glorious moment – as was the parade that followed– the week in the Motor City was not. Kelly spent mornings standing in sub zero temperatures in front of the team hotel in Pontiac, Michigan. I handled the chilly evening live shots. That’s also where we stayed for the week leading up to the game. Trust me – Detroit in February is not where you want to hold the Super Bowl.
The reason I recount this week is because it reminds me of a feeling I had shortly after the game. A feeling that was almost unfamiliar to me – a feeling was jealousy. I’ll explain.
I followed the Steelers that season from the start of training camp. Seven months of watching practice, talking to players and covering games. Seven months of experiencing the highs and lows of a season unlike any other. When they won the championship, I was genuinely happy for many of the guys I had gotten to know. It was wonderful seeing them reach the ultimate goal and that I had been part of this amazing ride.
But I got a different feeling when they got their rings. While it was wonderful to see the Steelers get their jewelry, it was somewhat sad to realize that you would not get one. I even had a jealous feeling. Not that I went through the practices and the games, but I felt like part of that team that made this journey.
But I am reminded of a line from a movie called “The Paper”. It starred Michael Keaton and Robert Duvall as leaders of a New York City tabloid. This gritty and funny glimpse into the newspaper business featured a quote uttered by Duvall. When speaking about a day he spent following around Pablo Picasso for a story, Duvall said “We move in their world, but it is their world and not ours”.
What does that mean? It means that as reporters, we get to witness history first-hand. However, we are only observers who have been granted access to their worlds. We are not a part of it. Whether separated by money, fame or fortune, these people live in a world much different from ours. While we have relationships, we are there only because of our professional roles.
Something I have tried to keep in mind when I shake hands with anyone in the Steeler organization – and that big Super Bowl Ring comes into view.
( photo courtesy of steelers.com )