Sunday, February 05, 2006

Final Walk-Through

T-minus less-than-2-hrs. 'til they kick it off (or, at least, think about kinda sorta gettin' near kickoff time). Like the rest of the Steel City, I'm performing the visual exercises, working to control my breathing, making sure that I exhale the previous puff before proceeding with the next drag, etc ...
Shortly, I'll apply the eye-black and a Breathe Right Nasal Strip and then get myself geeked for the new commercials for Gillette's new razor -- "Fusion."
Wait ... is Gillette dumping its M3Power razor?
I ask because I'm one of 17 people in America who uses Schick razors.
And because, one day, I really do want the Jerramy Stevens look: Stubble on top, stubble on the sides and a big, black tuft protruding from my chin.
Oh, and the other thing about Gillette: That's the stadium where the Patriots play.
Sorry ... I'm not into the myth about hot dogs, apple pie, the Pats and Gillette products.

Anyway, I spent all morning breaking down game films -- and this is something that I learned:
When Bradshaw threw that TD bomb to Swannie in Super Bowl X, the ball left his hand as he was standing on his own 29-yard line (a split-second before he got clocked by Larry Cole) and the ball landed in Swannie's arms at the 6-yard line.
That's 65 yards on the fly.
That's manly. Muy macho.
How come I'd never noticed that before? One of my hobbies is to see how many passes in college or the pros fly more than 60 yards ... and, now that we mention it, I probably should catalog those.
Y'know, just in case in comes up on "Jeopardy!" or something.
For the record, I've seen only two passes travel 70-yards-on-the-fly on TV: 1) Kordell Stewart's 71-yard Hail Mary pass when he was a Buffs QB playin' at Michigan and launched the game-winning pass from his own 28 to the spot on the 1-yard line where the ball ricocheted off Kris Anderson (son of the Dolphin great Dick Anderson) and into the arms of Michael Westbrook and 2) This one blew me away, but on the final play of regulation in the LSU-Tenn. game this year, LSU's JaMarcus Russell threw a 70-yarder which fell incomplete.
Kid's got a hose.

Hopefully, the Steelers won't need any 65-yard or 70-yard TD passes from Big Ben today. He survived two dangerous throws at Invesco when Bronco DBs couldn't come up with the INTs ... and Hines Ward turned both into receptions.
It really is a game of inches.
And it's about putting a hat on somebody.
And maintaining gap responsibility.
And linebackers scraping right when the D-line slides left.
With these thoughts in mind (and written down on my wristband-cheatsheet), I can easily the Steelers winning 24-17 or 24-21 or 31-28 or 21-17 or 28-24 or 30-21 or 31-24.
But, definitely not 18-4 or something crazy like that.
More like 28-21.

Awwww, sh**. I just saw something on one of those bottom-of-the-screen crawls -- "The NFC is 7-0 in Super Bowls broadcast on ABC."
Those double-crossing, jinx-inducing bastages.
I told everybody that you need to make this thing a pay-per-view event.
Fine. Just for that, here's my rebuttal: "Pittsburgh is 4-0 in Super Bowls not quarterbacked by Neil O'Donnell."

Ouch! Why be playuh-hatin' when I should be congratulatin'?
Neil got 'em to SB30 when he zipped that 4th-down dart to Hastings and that perfect touch-pass down the right sideline to Mills for 1st-and-goal at the one-and-a-half-yard-line.
Invoking the names of Andre Hastings and Ernie Mills kinda reminds me of a year ago when I talked to two different Steeler fans at my workplace and when I'd bring up the names of certain Steelers' names such as Dermontti Dawson or Louis Lipps or Bryan Hinkle, the faces of those co-workers would go blank, there'd be a pause and the next sentence was something like, "Rod Woodson once signed my boyfriend's jersey" or "Plaxico Burress didn't do very well on my Fantasy team this year."
Good thing I didn't bring up Weegie Thompson's name.

I guess that's probably why I don't own a Steelers jersey -- because I'd have a #29 IWUOMA or a #57 KRIEWALDT ... and I'd be ostracized and set adrift in the sea of #7 ROETHLISBERGER, #36 BETTIS, #43 POLAMALU, #86 WARD and retros of Bradshaw, Franco or Lambert.
Sure, I understand the fan-favourite angle -- it's just that I salute the guy or gal who has the guts to express some individuality and wear the #67 VON OELHOFFEN or the #99 KEISEL.
Or the #53 HINKLE.
It's not all about the Gillette Fusion, people.
Or the M3Power.
Schick makes a damn fine product, too.

Dang! Now it's time to get worried because I did my own research and learned that Ford Field's playing surface is "FieldTurf" ... which is what Seattle plays on at home.
Also, the Steelers are 1-6 all-time against Seattle in games vs. the Seahawks NOT played in Pittsburgh.
Looking on the bright side, AFC teams are 1-0 played on Super Bowls played later the same day as the Puppy Bowl and quarterbacks who wear a glove on their throwing hand are 1-0 while playing in a Super Bowl indoors, so these are the keys to victory as much as anything else.

That ... and scripting my first 10 cigarette breaks ...

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