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 Post subject: Super Bowl XLIII Game Report: February 1, 2009
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:41 pm
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Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
You asked for a game report and you shall receive:

Courtesy of some very generous relatives, I was able to attend Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa this past weekend. Needless to say, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and easily the greatest sporting event I have ever attended. Some thoughts:

1. We started our tailgating around noon on Sunday. My aunt, uncle, cousin and I tailgated with my neighbor and his father as well as some of his college buddies and their friends who came down to Tampa Bay from the 'Burgh. We were stoked that we "only" had to pay $25 to park in a residential driveway about a mile from the stadium. We tailgated next to a family that drove down from Atlanta and Orlando without tickets. They just wanted to be a part of the experience and were going to a bar to watch the game. Down the street from us was an RV containing the family of Arizona Cardinal J.J. Arrington. They were very festive and full of energy before the game, however they left very quietly after the game.

2. We concluded the tailgate around 3pm and started the walk to the stadium. The two main roads to the stadium were closed for security reasons, but that gave us more room to walk in the street. On the way up to Ray Jay, we passed numerous tailgates and lots of people with smiles on their faces. We also encountered many "street preachers" hoping to save the souls of Stiller and Cardinal fans, however I doubt they converted anyone.

3. The security to get into the game was stricter than it is at most airports. Not all of the gates to get into the stadium were open and once we reached an open gate, we had to go through cattlestalls. Additionally, they only let a set number of people at a time go through said cattlestalls. After the cattlestalls, you had to go into a male or female line to get patted down and go through the metal detectors.

4. Former Bucs and Raiders coach Jon Gruden was just ahead of me in line at security. Since he is no longer a head coach, I guess he had to enter the stadium with the "huddled masses".

5. To the suprise of nobody, beers were $10 inside the stadium.

6. Our seats were in a lower corner near the Pirate ship. More on my seat location later.

7. It was easily 75% Steelers fans inside the stadium. The power of the Terrible Towel was alive and well in Tampa. Around town in the days leading up to the game. I'd say that Steelers fans outnumbered Cardinals fans 10-1. There were Steelers pep rallys all over the region and fans clad in black and gold everywhere.

8. I did not see a single empty seat anywhere in the stadium. I have been to plenty of sold out sporting events in my life, but have always seen the occasional empty seat. Not today.

9. Speaking of seats, after the coin toss I commented to my cousin that the Steelers would be driving in our direction in the fourth quarter and we could see the game winning touchdown in our end zone. I like being right.

10. I still say that Ben Rothlisberger scored a touchdown in the first quarter. He looked "in" from my angle. The Steelers inability to score inside the five yard line haunted them all night, until the end.

11. Harrison's touchdown was amazing. Period. I couldn't see him collapse on the field from my angle, but it didn't surprise me.

12. I was impressed by the halftime show. I am a big Boss fan and have seen him live twice. Our seats were to the back of the band, but I was still impressed with what I saw. He has incredible energy for a 60 year-old, however, I do agree with the previously mentioned notion that his new song wasn't one of his best.

13. Speaking of the halftime show, all of the fans on the field during halftime were volunteers. Several coworkers of mine were amongst the volunteers on the field. In order to attend the free concert, they had to attend about 20 hours of rehearsals and had to sign confidentiality agreements not to reveal the songs that Bruce and the band were to play. Additionally, the volunteers/fans were bussed up from a staging area at the University of Tampa for the show and were bussed back immediately after the show, thus missing most of the game. I also noticed that some of the Springsteen fans were sporting Steelers gear and Terrible Towels. I must ask myself what kind of fan would miss the Super Bowl to participate in the halftime show.

14. I kept waiting for the Steelers to put the game away in the second half. I was slightly nervous about the 13 point lead and wanted more points to ice the victory. The only time I left my seat from 5:15pm until the end of the game was in the third quarter when I was feeling pretty good about the lead. Little did I know what would soon happen...

15. After Larry Fitzgerald scored the go-ahead touchdown for Arizona, I had a bad feeling that the game was over, although I have seen Ben rally the team back in similar situations. After Fitzgerald scored, I didn't sit down for the rest of the game and was shaking from nerves for a good bit of the time.

16. Santonio came up huge on the last drive. I take back all of the bad things I said about him earlier this season.

17. During one of the timeouts or reviews during the last drive, the song "Boogie Shoes" by KC and the Sunshine Band was playing over the PA system. I will associate that song with this Super Bowl as long as I live.

18. We were sitting in the corner where Santonio Holmes scored. Our seats were about 25 rows off of the field. We went absolutely nuts when he scored. I "knew" this one wouldn't be overturned. A teenager sitting next to me took a perfect picture of the touchdown catch. He'll have a great story to tell his kids and grandkids for years to come.

19. Ben Rothlisberger solidified his reputation as a big game quarterback with Sunday's game-winning drive. He might not put up the stats of Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, but he knows how to win and I trust him to do so in clutch situations.

20. I couldn't see Keisel recover the fumble at the end, but saw the Steelers jumping up and down. Then the celebrating started.

21. I was still shaking 10 minutes after the game. What an adrenaline rush!

22. We hung out for the trophy presentations. It was simply wonderful.

23. As we were leaving the stadium and heading back to the car, the chorus of "Here We Go Steelers" echoed throughout the stadium and the surrounding neighborhoods. In these neighborhoods and parking lots "official" Super Bowl champion merchandise was being hawked. Around the same time, official Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl Champion shirts were likely being shipped to the needy people in Africa or South America.

24. I got home around midnight, in bed around one and up at 4am to drive my cousin to the airport. Nonetheless, I still went to work on time to get congrats with my coworkers and such. Of course, I wore my Steelers tie to work. I left in the early afternoon and took a long nap.

25. At Super Bowl related festivities, I ran into several classmates from my years at Duquesne. At the NFL experience, I saw someone who lived down the hall from me in the dorms. At a Steelers pep rally (complete with a Polka band), I ran into two law school classmates. As large as it seems, Steeler Nation is a small world.

26. I was pleasantly impressed with the NFL experience. I expected it to be a lot of fluff, but was impressed with the displays and interactive activities. I saw Jerome Bettis and Alyssa Milano at the experience, but I doubt that they will remember seeing me.

27. Since the middle of October, I have attended both the World Series and the Super Bowl and have not traveled more than 15 miles from home to attend either.

That's all I can think of for now. Sorry for the late post, but I have been busy the last few days while trying to catch up on my sleep. This past Sunday was arguably the greatest Sunday of my life and the Super Bowl was one for the ages. Perhaps someday I will have a similar feeling of euphoria about the Buccos after winning some games in late October. Until then, here are some of my pictures from the big game:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2017187&l=ec1fd&id=1311847162

Congrats Steelers on an amazing season. You made Pittsburgh and Steeler Nation very proud!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Super Bowl XLIII Game Report: February 1, 2009
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:54 am 
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Awesome stuff PoP. I am extremely jealous. You had a great experience.

And great report!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Super Bowl XLIII Game Report: February 1, 2009
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:32 am 
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What luck...Good for you, great report

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 Post subject: Re: Super Bowl XLIII Game Report: February 1, 2009
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:32 am 
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Sweet!


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 Post subject: Re: Super Bowl XLIII Game Report: February 1, 2009
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:40 am 
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Great report. My family wondered where the crowd on the field for the concert came from.


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 Post subject: Re: Super Bowl XLIII Game Report: February 1, 2009
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:12 am 
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Location: Economy, PA
Thanks, PoP.


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 Post subject: Re: Super Bowl XLIII Game Report: February 1, 2009
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:32 pm
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Location: Darlington, Pennsylvania
Hell of a report.
Thats about the best you could ask for.
Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Super Bowl XLIII Game Report: February 1, 2009
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:02 pm 
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http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80e9de21

please take a look at the other videos listed below this one that you can watch...great stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Super Bowl XLIII Game Report: February 1, 2009
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:20 pm
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Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
PoP,

Would the experience have been as enjoyable if we had lost?

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