It’s what makes a week of hard work, long hours and hotel food worth while. Sunday’s Super Bowl game was unbelievable. From the stirring rendition of the national anthem by Jennifer Hudson … to the sea of swirling Terrible Towels … to the fantastic finish, it was the perfect way to cap a championship season.
However, already the hyper-hype machine known as ESPN is already calling it the greatest Super Bowl ever … as is the Post-Gazette. Santonio Holmes’ sideline snare got the cable network’s call as the greatest Super Bowl play ever, supplanting the Eli Manning scramble and David Tyree helmet grab last season against the Patriots in Phoenix.
Before we start spitting out superlatives, let’s step and let history decide. For now, in my opinion, it was simply the mst memorable ending to a Steeler game we have since the “Immaculate Reception”. I’m sure Franco Harris would be the first to agree with that statement.
It was also a night to be proud to be from Pittsburgh. As I spent the week in Tampa, I met Steeler fans from far and wide. Some grew up in Pittsburgh and moved away. Others had never seen set foot on Pennsylvania soil. All had a love and passion for Pittsburgh’s football team. America’s team. This is a franchise that has touched so many in our football-loving nation … and it makes me proud to be from the city consider the epicenter of “Steeler Nation”.
Some may forget, I covered Steelers football for 10 years as a sports anchor at WTAE, so I got to know many of the players, coaches and staff on an intimate level. That’s why seeing them hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy is a special thrill. I know what it means to them.
On the flip side, I feel for people I have gotten to known on the other sideline. Ken Whisenhunt is one of the nicest, most genuine people on the planet. Steve Breaston was a high school phenom. Larry Fitzgerald is the most talented athlete to ever come out of the University of Pittsburgh. I have gotten to know them all in the past and believe they deserve a better fate than the ultimate disappointment: losing the Super Bowl. As one player told me, you would rather not be there than lose on the game’s biggest stage.
I am heading home now … and hope to be awake enough to be back on the air at 5pm.
As for the greatest Super Bowl ever? Let’s allow history and time to determine that. For now, let’s just call Super Bowl XLIII exactly what it was.
Editor’s note: Once I get back, I’ll upload some photos from the field at the conclusion of the game.