When Count Dan-ula (the EspyTime Radio host, 6 o'clock SporkCenter anchor and wanna-be vampire who sometimes flip-flops his weak dye job between "chestnut" and "darker chestnut") was wasting a perfectly good Monday by putting Michelle Kwan on trial, I asked mysef the obvious question:
"What does this have to do with the Steelers winning Super Bowl XL?"
When my friend Smitty berated me for hangin' onto SBXL memories a week after the fact, I explained my hard-line stance by reasoning that America pours its energy into two weeks of creating momentum and buzz for a Super Sunday and then, three days after the event, the game plan is to move on to a quickie peek at the Pro Bowl before and we hurry up to wait around for pre- and post-Draft Day posturing re: the Terrible Towels going "back-to-back."
Does this make sense? I asked Smitty.
Smitty asked me to repeat the question.
I told Smitty that I was instituting a new policy which I was penciling into my day-planner:
"If we need TWO weeks of Steelers build-up, then we need THREE weeks of Steelers recapitulation and decompression.”
That's my policy.
When Smitty asked if the policy was iron-clad, I offered two of my fave Y2K05/06 cliches and said, "It is what it is. Let's not throw it under the bus."
OKAY ... so I don't actually have a friend named "Smitty."
And, now that I look around this dump, I don't really have a day-planner, either.
Or a pencil.
And I don’t even know The Bus.
More to the point, Smitty is that best buddy who lives inside us all ... that voice inside the head of each of us (although the voice inside Coach Cowher's head is actually that of Ken Whisenhunt coming through the ear-piece inside the NFL-approved Motorola headset).
Simply put, Michelle Kwan's groin is none of my beeswax for two reasons: 1) The minute we start talking about girls' groins, pretty soon we're moving up the food chain to the inner thigh and ... well ... 2) What does Michelle Kwan's inner thigh have to do with Kristi Yamaguchi, the greatest Olympic gold medalist skater there ever was?
Riddle me that, Smitty.
EspyTime and Dracula Dan Patrick can’t see that Yamaguchi can skate circles around Kwan, but that’s mostly because Dan-ula is L’Oreal and he’s worth it.
So, imagine how EspyTime, the TV version, surprised the bajabbers outta me Monday when I accidentally stumbled into "NFL Films Pre
sents ... " - - and, son of a biscuit, I’ll be damned if what was on my screen wasn’t the highlight presentation of Super Bowl 40.
As long as EspyTime Theater maintains its alliance with NFL Films, there'll always remain that one tiny sliver of respectability.
And what a presentation I saw, one week post-facto. While the victory nine days ago was gratifying, “official” gratification is not fully achieved until NFL Films takes a triumph like that and cross-breeds the slo-mo, the multitude of camera angles and, of course, sprinkles in the rich, orchestral textures of the French horn, the cello and those big, bold, booming bass drums (my untrained ear might’ve heard an oboe or a contra bassoon, but don’t quote me on that).
Either way, once the engineering is complete, it sure reminds ya of when you were a kid and you’d watch something from NFL Films then you’d go out in the yard and have your brother throw you a pass in slo-mo as you made the catch in slo-mo, lowered your shoulder in slo-mo, banged into the hedge in slo-mo, rolled out of the shrubbery’s tackle in slo-mo and landed on the neighbor’s lawn in slo-mo.
Wait for it …
Slo-mo spike coming up …
For the record: Ed Sabol and his son, Steve … frickin' geniuses.
The SBXL recap was everything that I might've hoped for (and more, probably) -- with one possible exception. Since the NFL Films microphones provide sound bytes which are revealing, sometimes the viewer wishes that he could have helped out by scripting dialogue.
Case in point: When Coach Cowher had some of the boys gathered for the final mini-pep talk before they took the field, he barked, "You play smart, you stay focused and, above all, you play physical."
If me n’ Smitty are co-directing that scene, we likely would've had Cowher reading from the cue cards as he prepped the boys for battle with: "Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be ... and it will be so. Hold the line. Stay with me. If you find yourself alone riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium ... and you are already dead!
"Brothers ... what we do in life ... echoes in eternity."
Smitty's right, though ... something that prolific is less like Cowher and more like Cowher's mentor, Schottenheimer ... someone more given to quoting Maximus Decimus Meridius.
Then again, Marty would rather be Marty, as NFL mikes once told us.
“There’s a gleam, men. There’s a gleam …”
Smitty and I agree that, although the storylines are quite similar, the good part about Super Sunday vs. "Gladiator" is that, after overpowering and fatally wounding the wussy, effeminate, emotionally-crippled Seahawks, our Maximus didn't have to die.
Funny how NFL Films edited out the part where Jerramy Stevens looks at Joey Porter and says, “Are we so different you and I? You take life when you have to, as I do” – to which Porter fires back with, “I have only one life left to take. Then it is done.”
Stevens, leaning forward, whispers, “Then take it now!”
Yeah, Smitty and I wish they’d kept that in.
Nevertheless, NFL Films captured the sights and sounds brilliantly of everything else, namely the goal-line situation following the 3rd-and-28 conversion.
Polamalu, sized up the situation, and said to Cowher, “I’ll take it over the top, Coach.”
Apparently, Troy was volunteering to be the short-yardage back.
Then, as the Big Ben "TD or No TD?" was under review, Roethlisberger admitted on the sideline that he didn’t think he got in … and then when Randle El was debating with Larry Foote whether the ball broke the plane, Foote said, “I think the little tip of the ball touched it.”
Good eyes, Lare.
The ruling on the field stands!
Cowher definitely served up some interesting revelations.
While heading to the locker room at halftime: “We’re up … I’m not exactly sure how …”
Then, only moments before the Randle El reverse-option pass: “Hey, Wiz, we gotta keep playing. Don’t put the handcuffs on.”
Finally, as the final moments were ticking away, Cowher shook hands with Duce Staley and said, “Sorry I couldn’t get you a carry. I got you a ring, though.”
Hey, wait a minute, Smitty and I thought ... why didn’t Duce get a carry?
We're not going to get to the bottom of this as long as Count Dan-ula remains pre-occupied with shopping for Miss Clairol products (he, honest to God, said on the Monday show, “Gag me with a spoon” – and he wasn’t doing it for laughs), he’s probably never going to get to the bottom of why Duce didn’t get a carry or why we all forgot about Kristi Yamaguchi.
Like, I am so sure ...
And, as I’ve said before, if/when America wants the truth, NFL Films has all the answers.
That is, if/when America is ready to handle the truth ...