by Annette Dashofy
Since Will isn’t able to be here today, I’ve volunteered to take his slot and post about the Super Bowl. Since I usually like to have my posts written and ready to go the day before, and since I knew I’d be spending the day before THIS post watching the game, I thought I’d write it DURING the game, as it happens. So what follows is my diary of a Super Bowl game.
Let me begin by saying I’m scared. But this isn’t an omen of anything. I’m always scared. I want to see a blow out, but my affectionate nickname for the Steelers is the Cardiac Kids. Sometimes I can’t even stand to watch the game until the fourth quarter. That tends to limit the strain on my heart. But this is the Super Bowl. I feel obligated to watch the whole thing, for the commercials if nothing else.
6:30PM Coin toss. Green Bay wins the toss. Steelers will receive. Game on!
But it was an inauspicious start. Both defenses have shown up to play. And the referees have jumped into the game, too. Less than six minutes into the game, and two penalties on the Steelers already. Sigh.
The Packers offense is playing well. Oh, no. This is about the point where I start proclaiming “we’re gonna lose!” I think I’ve made that statement during just about every game we play, so it’s not an omen either.
Ack. Packers score a touchdown! Okay, let’s not panic. Not so long ago we were down by 14 points at the half and we came back to win it. Cardiac Kids, remember?
Oh, crap. Ben is intercepted. Packers run it in for a touchdown. We’re seriously screwed. Can I put in a DVD and watch a movie for a couple of hours?
More penalties against the Steelers. Time to go make some popcorn. I need something for nervous munching.
Ben goes down and comes up limping. Next play: he runs for a first down. I’ve seen him do this so many times, I wonder if he fakes the injury to throw the other team off! No touchdown, but we do at least come away with a field goal. It’s 14-3.
Let me take a commercial break here to say: So far the commercials suck! Everyone seems to be trying to out-stupid each other.
Jeez. We finally make some forward progress and get hit with another penalty. More progress! Ack! Intercepted again! This is bad. Time for some chocolate. I’m again considering watching a DVD. Strongly considering it.
Packers get a third touchdown. Weeping. Okay, that’s it. I’m tuning out.
After watching a DVD, I return at just the right moment to see Mendenhall run into the end zone to bring the score to 21-17. Even better, when they cut to a commercial, it was for Pirates of the Caribbean! I love Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Next up, Harrison sacks Rodgers to force a punt! The Steelers look like a different team. But the Packers defense is still strong and Ben gets sacked.
Steelers’ 52 yard field goal attempt isn’t even in the right time zone.
Both defenses are strong. Steelers stop the Packers. Packers stop the Steelers. Frustration is evident on both benches.
A challenge goes our way. Packers are penalized on a punt, giving Steelers excellent field position. At the end of the third quarter, the tide seems to have turned.
And I’m still scared!
Ack! Packers force a fumble and recover it. Now besides being scared, I’m also feeling sick. Thinking I need to put in another DVD.
Packers on the one yard line. DEFENSE! Argh! Packers touchdown. This is depressing. We’re giving this game away.
Distraught, I once again tune out for a while. I come back just in time for a Steelers 2-point conversion and the score: 28-25, Packers. A three point game! Rodgers is sacked again. Packers pull another 5-yard penalty. But then a huge Packers completion. My heart sinks back to my feet. Momentum is shifting back the other way. Not good. They’re heading for the end zone. And the clock is running down. Only 3 minutes left. Steelers hold them to a field goal. With 2:07 left to play, the score is Packers 31, Steelers 25. On the kickoff return, we get hit with a personal foul penalty. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot. It will take nothing short of a miracle.
And it comes down to :56 left and fourth and five. And an incomplete pass. Green Bay wins the Super Bowl.
I have to say, making it to the Super Bowl only to lose the big game is more painful than losing in the playoffs. Or not even making the playoffs. Maybe because the Steelers franchise has won nearly all the Super Bowls they’ve played in. But tonight, the better team won. And that team was the Green Bay Packers.
Footnote: Had the Packers been playing ANY other team, I’d have been thrilled they won. My dad was a longtime Packers fan…and he loathed the Steelers. Don’t ask me why. He took his sports reasoning to the grave. So I’m appeasing my wounded Steelers pride with the knowledge that Dad is smiling down on Dallas right now. Congratulations, Green Bay.