Super Bowl Sunday!
Need I say more?
It’s a day where TV commercials are much anticipated and water pressure from simultaneous flushes of toilets across the USA could potentially form their own tsunami.
For me, this Sunday represents the 29th consecutive Super Bowl Sunday that my beloved Minnesota Vikings will not appear in the big game.
So how do I get geared up for this contest year after year?
The following is the transcript of a Q&A session done with a guy who calls himself “The Super Bowl Inquisitor.” Since week 10 of the NFL regular season, I have done weekly picks against the point spread. SBI has been a faithful reader of my valiant attempts at prognosticating pro football games.
As a result, the SBI had some intriguing questions about the Super Bowl. I was only too happy to help.
Q. Isn’t it great that Steelers running back Jerome Bettis finally gets to play in the Super Bowl, in his home town of Detroit no less?
A. Depends. The only other time he played in an NFL game in Detroit was Thanksgiving 1998, a not-so-memorable event for visiting Pittsburgh. However, the Steelers will be considered the “home” team in Super Bowl XL. Therefore, Bettis won’t be burdened with having to call the opening coin flip.
A. Oh yeah. Don’t you remember when the Steelers were playing the Detroit Lions on that aforementioned Turkey Day? Bettis was to call in the air the coin-flip in overtime. He said “tails”, referee Phil Luckett thought he said “heads”, it landed on tails, Detroit was given the ball despite a vigorous Steelers protest, and the Lions took that opening possession down the field for a game-winning field goal.
Q. OK, sorry I asked. Oh, what do you think of this being the Seahawks’ first Super Bowl appearance?
A. I think it’s absolutely fantastic for the people of Seattle. I mean, really. How would you like to have your home town known merely as the rainiest, dreariest city in the U.S.? Worse yet, how about the fact it’s the birthplace of a style of music called “Grunge”?
Q. You mean you were never a fan of Nirvana?
A. Are you kidding? Absolutely I was! Were it not for Nirvana, “Weird Al” Yankovic would have never made a comeback in the 90s with his smash hit “Smells like Nirvana”!
Q. Speaking of music, are you looking forward to The Rolling Stones halftime show?
A. Nah. Just the mere possibility of Keith Richards having his own “wardrobe malfunction” is enough for me to tune out.
Q. So what will you do during the halftime extravaganza?
A. I received for Christmas the extended version DVDs of the trilogy “The Lord of the Rings”. I can’t think of a better occasion to finally crack those open.
Q. Wouldn’t that take, like, eleven hours to watch all three discs?
A. What’s your point?
Q. What’s on the menu?
A. Hors d’oeuvres, Shmor dervs – keep it simple. I’m going with Diet Coke, Cheetos and Cookies n’ Cream ice cream.
Q. What was your favorite Super Bowl?
A. Wow, that’s like asking which of my children I love the most. Well, there’s Super Bowl XXXII, where Denver upset Green Bay 31-24. John Elway got his long-awaited championship and the cheese heads were denied another title. I also fondly remember the excitement that came with Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers beating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII. It was a Montana TD pass to John Taylor with less than a minute to go, giving the Niners a 20-16 win. But my favorite had to be the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII, 35-31. I was only nine years old and I watched that game at our local roller skating rink. The rink had a promotion that day that if the NFC team (in this case, Dallas) won, everyone in attendance would get a free Pepsi. My naturally rebellious nature did not like being told whom to root for. Therefore, I was pushed to root for the Steelers, thus allowing me to gloat the rest of the evening!
Q. Let’s see if I have this straight. You were nine years old when Super Bowl XIII was played. We’re coming up on Super Bowl XL this weekend. So, forty minus thirteen is 27. If you take 27 plus 9…..You’re 36 years old now??!!
A. Yeah, Yeah. Next question, all right?
Q. Least favorite Super Bowl?
A. It’s a tie. Green Bay beating New England 35-21 in Super Bowl XXXI was hard to take. The cheese heads got another title and I had to listen to my insufferable Wisconsin friends and relatives gloat for an entire year.
Super Bowl XXXIII, Denver beat Atlanta 34-19. Granted, I was ecstatic for John Elway and his MVP performance in his final game. However, it was my Vikings who should have been there instead of Atlanta. Just a couple of weeks earlier the Vikes were upset by Atlanta in the NFC Championship game, 30-27 in overtime. Thanks, Denny Green.
Q. Uh, are you crying?
A. (Sniffle) Ahem….ah…nope. No, not at all. Uh, my, uhhh…allergies…yeah, my allergies are bothering me a bit, that’s all.
Q. Finally, we’re here! The grand finale, the defining moment, the coups de grace….
A. Do you have another question or not?
Q. Who’s your pick to win Super Bowl XL, Seahawks or Steelers?
A. I thought you’d never ask.
The battle cry for the Steelers franchise since winning their fourth Super Bowl title in 1979 has been “One for the thumb.”
The Seahawks battle cry has been “Just ONE.”
The Steelers are a nice sentimental pick because Bettis is most likely retiring after this game. What a way to go out for the 5th place player on the all-time rushing list.
On the other hand, the Seahawks are getting their share of good vibes given this is the franchises’ first Super Bowl appearance in their 30-year history.
The Steelers are still owned by the tradition-rich family, the Rooneys.
The Seahawks are owned by the filthy-rich Paul Allen.
Pittsburgh head coach Bill Cowher is the longest tenured coach in the NFL, having headed up the Steelers since 1992.
Seattle head coach Mike Holmgren has also been in the league since 1992, seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers and now in his seventh year with the Seahawks.
Will Cowher lead the Steelers to their fifth title in franchise history, tying a record set by the 49ers and Cowboys?
Or will Holmgren become the first coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with two different teams?
In the end, I say STEELERS WIN, 24-21.
Last week: 1-1-0