Pittsburgh Steelers Reach Super Bowl Pinnacle

Super Bowl XL has come and gone and you can still hear the many screams of the destitute in Vegas all the way to Memphis. As I watched the Seahawks give the game away (though they were unlucky on some calls), I could not help but think about what is a more important position in today's game; running back or receiver? Receivers are the glam-boys but do running backs drive an offense more? Come to think of it, and on a side note, why does Terry Bradshaw remain under rated when it comes to the Steelers dynasty of the 70s? Tangents aside, the Pittsburgh victory adds some spice to those who like stats and placing them in their historical context.

With nine completions (Roethlesberger - who looked like one of the apostles - went 9 for 21 for 123 yards. Hasselbeck 24-49 for over 200 yards) and a paltry offensive output, the Steelers beat the Seahawks 21-10 in unspectacular fashion. I'm still unsure how Pittsburgh pulled it off. Yes, timely interceptions and bad penalties on Seattle's part helped but one can't help but notice Seattle sinking their own ship. We've seen this play out many times before where a team that seems out of the game just know how to hang around long enough to win. The Montreal Canadiens were masters of this; especially against the Boston Bruins in the 1970s.

Seattle dictated the game in the first half and came away with 3 lousy points (though the interference call seemed a tad harsh that would have given them a deserved touchdown). Worse, with double the time possession and yardage, they were down 7-3 at the half! Right then and there most people probably thought like I did and felt they were in trouble.

Which goes to prove no matter how well prepared you are if you don't execute and improvise you're dead. The Seahawks seemed like the better prepared team early but Pittsburgh knew how to play and stay close while they warmed up. They seemed to go with the flow very well all year. That's why they were not picked to win anything. No one could quite get a grip on them.

With the victory, Pittsburgh joins Dallas and San Francisco as the 'Elite Three' with 5 Super Bowl titles. Between the Triumvirate, they have have won 15 titles or 38% of the Super Bowls. To purists 5 titles is nothing next to the feats of Cleveland, Chicago and Green Bay and all those AAFC and NFL titles.

Anyway, not only did Pittsburgh win their 5th title in 6 appearances in the finals, they have the distinction of being the only 6th seed to ever win. The city of Pittsburgh itself has now won their 13th pro title. Right about now some of you are saying "let's see, Steelers 5, Pirates 5, Penguins 2...hey that's 12 bonehead!" I added the Pipers of the ABA in the total.

As for the legendary Rolling Stones who performed at half time, not that they were terrible but for a group that was predicated on the notion of anti-establishmentarianism they sure embrace corporate life very well. They traded in their drugs for Evian water; rags for Armani's. Who said life was not a mere collection of contradictions over time? It's fine they still play but a cynic may ask are they still relevant? Does it matter? They do seem to connect to each passing generation. Blues musicians still sing the blues even though the days that brought them the blues are long gone.

Then again, human grief and despair will always be with us. When Muddy Waters was rediscovered in the 60s and 70s, he toured with rock acts but by then his folkloric legacy was a distant memory. But in the process a whole new demographic was reconnected to it. For that they deserve credit. I would have liked to have seen them play 'Sister Morphine.'

-Quick hockey note: Josee Theodore's sudden and mysterious inability to goaltend for the Canadiens has many scratching their heads in this town (maybe throughout the league). Reason, excuses and theories abound. To me, it reminds me of the story of former Pirate pitcher Steve Blass. In the early 70s, Blass went from effective pitcher to losing all sense of location. His career ended on a mystery. While he's still far away from a Blass type obscurity, Theodore seems to be on the path. Now, he may just be in a funk or perhaps a change of scenery may revive his career but it's still something that entered my radar. He's on the watchlist.

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