When I say, “Tale of Three Cities” I am not rewinding my life back to my Schenley High School “daze” by sharing with you the contents of the final book report of my sophomore year “Tale of Two Cities.” Most of you should recall the novel based on the French revolution, Tale of Two Cities. Basically unlike America in general and sports in particular because the “have-nots” basically won over the “haves.” Ya know those who got it and those who don’t. Heads were rolling and the heads were not the ones earning minimum wage or less. The “po-folks” took it to the streets and got really, really busy, you dig. That being said there is a sort of mini-revolution going on in the National Football League. Lots of “small” market teams are spending dough. During the resurgence of the Pittsburgh Steelers Football Club beginning with the team’s appearance in Super Bowl XL against the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. There were many emotional components that came into play in order for the team to be competitive and ultimately lay claim to the Lombardi Trophy. First and foremost, Pittsburgh was playing the game less than 3 hours from Heinz Field whereas most of the Seattle faithful had to travel close to 3,000 miles just to sports their teams colors and lead them on. The folks from Seahawks land came and saw and lost. Secondly, in a very highly publicized promise, ‘big” Ben Roethlisberger who the year before had played a less than stellar game in the AFC championship game against the New England Patriots simply known as the “cheaters” Bowl when evidence later revealed that the Patriots headmaster Willam “bill the cheatster” Bellichick had videotaped the Steelers offensive and defensive signals thereby giving the team from Foxborough a sorta, kinda competitive advantage. After that fiasco of a game Roethlisberger promised dejected Steelers running back and future Hall-of-Famer Jerome Bettis that he would bring him back to the championship game the following year and he kept his promise. The first city was the cold bitterly cold city of Detroit. At the risk of sounding repetitive; The “po-folks” of Deee….troit took it to the streets of the motor city trying to get some “gravy” and got really, really busy. Hey the government even got in on the act they even gave the majority of the disenfranchised, (not be confused with former NFL franchise owners) homeless folks temporary “cribs” for a week. I actually missed the victory parade in Pittsburgh for the Steelers because I was on a flight layover in Denver on my way to Honolulu to cover the Pro-Bowl. Oh by the way, I took a very tidy gift with me from Hawaii courtesy of the motor city. When I arrived in America’s 50th state I was informed after I continued to experience a consistent and resistant cough that held on for dear life, (my life) that brother “pneumonia” had hitchhiked to Hawaii with me as a result of almost a week of running around the frigid city of covering the pre-game activities of Super Bowl XL. Now back to Super Bowl XL. Retired Steeler Hines Ward caught 5 passes for 123 yards and scored a touchdown. “Hine-sy” also set up Pittsburgh’s initial touchdown when he caught a 37-yard third-down pass, which gave Pittsburgh a 7-3 lead with less than two minutes to play in the first half. After that Ward made caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from Antwaan Randle-El that clipped the Seahawks wings for good. Hey boys’ and girls’ Ben Roethlisberger’s QB rating was the lowest in the history of the Super Bowl (less than 28.00) for a winning QB. Did Mike Holmgren borrow some footage for Bill Bellichick? And compound that with the fact Willie “warp speed” Parker pulled off a 75 yard scamper from scrimmage for a TD that made things a little more relaxed for the boys from the steel city. Rapunzel had let down her golden hair to the win starved Steelers and the new Pittsburgh Steelers revolution was about to begin.
Super Bowl XLIII was as exciting as Super Bowl’s are expected to be. Unlike the writing of Gil Scott-Heron; the continuing revolution of the Steelers was televised from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa as the saga continued. Super Bowl XLIII featured the AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers against the NFC champion Arizona Cardinals. The Steelers (15-4) defeated the Cardinals (12-7) by a score of 27-23, earning their sixth Super Bowl win, a new NFL record. It broke three-way tie among the Steelers, San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys each team had five Super Bowl wins. The game was played on February 1, 2009, at Raymond James Stadium. Except for the 100 yards plus pick run back for a TD by ex-Steelers linebacker James Harrison. For most of the game the offense of the Black and Gold seemed to be sleepwalking with the exception of the final drive for the winning touchdown with a miraculous “ballet” type catch by ex-Steelers wideout Santonio Holmes. Also our media bus featured two non English speaking drivers who got lost going to the stadium and coming back. I swear folks; I am not making this stuff up.