After an early afternoon trip out to Oakland to scout out a future home, we returned home just a minute or two after kickoff. We settled in and watched the team I first fell for back in the late 70s. I was five or six at the time, but there was something about the aura of the Pittsburgh Steelers that roped me in. For decades now, I've had to explain why one of my favorite teams is from Pittsburgh, and not my hometown of NJ/NY. Whereas the Knicks are my favorite in hoops and the Yanks in baseball, it has always been the Steelers in football.
I've had favorite players throughout the years, from Bennie Cunningham to Louis Lipps, but none have equaled Ben Roethlisberger. When I watch Ben play, I feel like a kid watching his hero. It's his integrity and lack of interest in the limelight that's always drawn me to Ben. And boy can he play.
What a game. Baseball is obviously my sport of choice, but today's Super Bowl may have been the greatest and most fulfilling football game I've ever seen. When Holmes made that remarkable catch as the clock dwindled down, I simply could not believe what I was watching. How on Earth did he stay in bounds? I figured the replay would show him out. When I saw the first slow-motion playback I jumped and screamed. Yep, I was that kid again.
And then there was my lifelong musical hero, Bruce Springsteen. "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" as an opener was certainly a surprise. My guess is that he tossed this in to the diehards following the Wal-Mart fiasco. Sure, a bit of it was hokey (the referee, references to "The Boss"), but it was still Bruce Springsteen. And man, if "Born To Run" doesn't give you some sort of jolt, then I can't imagine that you truly understand rock n' roll.
We closed out the night with a late ride through San Francisco on the way back to N's home. As we crossed an intersection, N turned and said, "looks like we're heading into a sobriety stop". As the cops let a few pass, they put the light on me and and motioned for me to pull in. I rolled down my window, shared a few laughs with a cop who'd just watched the game, and was sent on my way.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, Bruce Springsteen and a day with my lovely girlfriend. I really couldn't ask for more.