Like many people, I cannot generate much enthusiasm for either team in the Super Bowl. Don't get me wrong, I like football. I played in high school and college and I have been a Redskins fan my since I can remember, but this game doesn't really excite me. And that's a problem, because I am one of the few people who actually likes to watch the game. Yes, the commercials are fine and quite funny sometimes, but I enjoy the blocking and tackling much more than the cute animals or the celebrity cameos and spoofs. I don't care who is singing the national anthem or who is performing at halftime, just put the ball on the tee and let's play.
The Seahawks have a great running back in Shaun Alexander who benefits from a terrific offensive line. They have a good quarterback and their coach, Mike Holmgren, won a SuperBowl in Green Bay. Anybody who claims to know anything about their defense just learned it this week. They are a fine team, but my pulse is still pretty steady.
Pittsburgh has the emotional story lines, which, for the most part, I find unexceptional. The Jerome Bettis story doesn't do much for me, especially since I don't think he will have that big of a role in the game. He's interesting because his fumble almost brought the Steelers' season to an end, but the hometown angle and the last game of his career angle don't really hook me. I don't need to see the Rooney family win their fifth ring although I guess it would be nice if they tied the Cowboys in Super Bowl victories.
In the end, I will root for Pittsburgh because of Bill Cowher. Not that I think he's a great coach, not that I think he deserves it, but because of his longevity. The length of his tenure in Pittsburgh has allowed him to become a substantial member of the community and in the age of free agency with players constantly moving around, it's nice to see a guy stay in one place for a while.
This year's best line about the Super Bowl comes from Baltimore Sun sportswriter Peter Smuck (and with that name, he'd better have a good sense of humor):
"How could Ford lay off 30,000 people and miss Matt Millen?"
Go Steelers. (please note the absence of an exclamation point. I'm just not that excited)