I am a football addict and have not missed a Super Bowl game. Never.
I have, I confess, witnessed every single second of all 42 Super Bowls – whether as a tot in my parents’ family room, at friends’ parties, in the stands of the stadiums where some of the games were played, working in the press box at several, in a rowdy establishment slouching over a table with beer, or alone with popcorn in the privacy of my den.
And, naturally, I’ll watch the 43rd Super Bowl somewhere this Sunday, when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals clash helmets.
I’m not especially jazzed up about this one, however, and I know I’m not alone.
Last year in Arizona, when the heavily favoured New England Patriots were supposed to shred the New York Giants in the 42nd Super Bowl, scalpers exploited overwhelming fan interest and sold tickets for beyond $10,000 apiece. This week, I’m told, you can buy the finest Super Bowl seat in the house in Tampa Bay for less than $3,000.
The recession is partly responsible, unquestionably, but there’s general apathy, too, as many football fanatics fear a major mismatch.
Oh, I know that’s what folks said last year, before the Pats and the Giants met. New England, though, created a buzz because of the undefeated/historical season it aimed to record. And then the Giants went and upset them. And, sure, the Cards could defy logic as seven-point underdogs and could pull off another miracle Sunday.
They could, but they won’t.
• Team histories: Pittsburgh has a rich, winning tradition and can garner a record sixth Super Bowl victory Sunday. “I knew when I got drafted I’d be in the playoff hunt every year,” Pittsburgh defensive end Brett Keisel said. “We ooze success.” Arizona, meanwhile, has never been in a Super Bowl and has qualified for the playoffs only three times since 1976.
• Defences: No Super Bowl team had permitted more than 360 points in a season until these Cards, who coughed up 426. Pittsburgh gave up 223 points and led the NFL in fewest yards allowed.
• Regular-season scores: The most points Pittsburgh surrendered in a game this season were 21 -- in a 26-21 triumph. Arizona was beaten twice by 21 points, once by 28 and once by 40. No previous Super Bowl team lost a game by 21 or more points in the regular schedule.
You get the picture. This could be one of those not-so-classic Super Bowl routs.
Like: Pittsburgh 28, Arizona 9.
Yep, that bad. Regardless, I’ll watch every second. Don’t plan to snap my streak just yet.
Marty York is Metro's national sports columnist as well as an
instructor at the College of Sports Media in Toronto. He can be heard
regularly on Vancouver radio station CKNW with Sportstalk host Dan
Russell. Contact Marty at firstname.lastname@example.org