Monday, February 02, 2009

Steeler Bowl '09

I'm not sure I would have guessed that the Super Bowl could be as exhilarating and emotionally exhausting as the AFC Championship game, but there you go: that and more. It really took until this morning for Holmes's game-winning catch to sink in, or to realize how spectacular it was. I can't clearly recall my mental state during Roethlisberger's last drive, at least till that defensive back slipped and Holmes got himself down to the 5.

Harrison's interception got me out of my seat, but in between the flag on the field (called against Arizona) and the total unbelievability of the hundred-yard runback I don't think I processed that excitement in real time, either. The Immaculate Reception of our generation, for sure.

And then on the other side of the coin, the near-total deflation of Fitzgerald's catch-and-run touchdown, coming after that safety -- where, for such a fleeting moment before the flag was obvious, it seemed that Holmes had the ball and a first down and everything was probably going to be all right.

I had over to my apartment the core group of Steeler game friends I've been watching with, plus several others. What a time. (And what a food surplus; pictured, right.) Celebratory photo below; that's Doug, Andrea, and Stu left to right, aside from myself.

It's completely crazy that this season would have ended in one of the most memorable Super Bowl victories of all time. And Mike Tomlin's speech when receiving the trophy -- the steadiness, intensity, the fiercely channeled emotion -- really hammered home how right he is for the Steelers. That and winning the Super Bowl in his second season.
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For somewhat less likely postgame commentary, read Bob Smizik on the offensive line, the weak link of the team that managed to stay just strong enough. Perhaps poignantly, that's also the part of the team most drastically to change before next season. Or perhaps not so poignantly. Draft's in April, right, and hopefully Tony Hills has been learning something in practice? Anyway, there's a neat portrait of the same theme in microcosm at Behind the Steel Curtain, my favorite of the Steelers blogs I can stop reading obsessively now.
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Watching Letterman right now, who's got Roethlisberger on a little later. His opening line: "How about this weather? . . . 38 and gloomy. Just like Kurt Warner." Zing!


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