I’m sure long-time readers are well-aware that I am STOKED for tomorrow’s Super Bowl, and yes, it’s in large measure because I expect a Steelers victory. I did not feel this way when we lined up against the Cowboys in that mid-90s Super Bowl. There, I hoped for victory and expected the Cowboys to win. But against the Seahawks have no such reservations, so I’m either going to be really happy or incredibly depressed come tomorrow evening.
I should also like to make my position clear: It’s not just I love my Steelers because as team (and as individuals) they’re the embodiment of what sports should be about. I also detest the Seahawks. I get to cheer both sides of the ball on this one. You may well ask why I feel as I do.
Let’s start at the top, shall we? The Steelers have been owned by the Rooney family for decades. The Rooneys contributions helped make the NFL what it is today—which I mean in the best possible way—and they are committed to long-term relationships. Spin your head around this one: Since 1969, the Steelers have had two head coaches. Two! When you have that kind of support and stability at the ownership level it permeates the organization.
By contrast, the Seahawks are owned by multi-billionaire Paul Allen, who made his fortune at the monopoly which is Microsoft. Great for him, less so for the rest of us. He’s also owner of the Portland Trail Blazers, a team which he’s run into the ground both professionally and financially. His handling of the Blazers has created a lot of resentment among former Blazer fans (of which I am one) and the hope that he’ll sell the team.
Now I don’t know much about the Seattle players. I’m willing to assume they’re a good lot, which is the same benefit of the doubt I try to give everyone. Fair enough, I hope.
What I do know is that the Steelers players are great guys and quality people. They love playing the game, they bring a team-first attitude to the field, and they’re keyed up to play smashmouth football.
Finally, let me say something about the fans. First, Steeler fans are legion. I’m guessing the Detroit stadium will be about 75 percent pro-Steelers, but you know what? Super Bowl XL could have been held in Seattle, and we probably could have gotten at least 40 percent pro-Steeler. We’re all over the country. Second, Seattle fans are a tasteless lot. Back in Nov. 2003, Bret and I roadtripped to Seattle for a Seahawks v. Steelers affair. Allow me to quote from my own blog:
…We encountered way too many Seahawk fans who were, to put it politely, jerks. It’s not like the Steelers contingent (who were very well represented) are without morons of their own (there’s me, for starters), but the Seahack faithful seemed particularly vile. (I attended a 49er game a few years back and encountered no such hostility or incivility from Niner fans. Perhaps it’s the weather. Or the proximity of Microsoft.) Suffice it to say that a Seahawk game is in no way, shape, or form family friendly entertainment unless you’re in a private suite or box seat. I heard comments from my $50 nosebleed seats that would make a sailor blush. (Whenever these individuals are asked to be a little less coarse in their commentary, they inevitably respond with something like “I paid fifty $#@! dollars for this seat, so I can say whatever the #!$@ I want!”) This made my experience a little less Fan-tastic than the league would prefer, I’m sure.
A lot can change in three years, but I’ll believe it when I see it.