Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It Wasn't Your Time, Warner

I've weighed sharing this since Sunday night. I didn't realize, fully, I had this ability and while I would have pledged to use it only for good, I can understand how people in Phoenix, Arizona, might wonder how sincere I'm being.

Yes, we all know the Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl 43 (it does look a lot nicer as Roman numerals, XLIII, and it's as close to learning something of historical value that some of us may ever get) but I have a confession to make. No matter what you've read on line or in print, heard on the radio or saw on TV, I (and Bruce Springsteen) am the reason why the Steelers won.

This happened despite my NOT knowing the names of anyone on the team. I followed pro football until moments after Super Bowl III, when my NY Jets defeated the Baltimore (yes, before there was an Indianapolis) Colts (and before there was a Baltimore Ravens) 16-7 (XVI-VII; this is fun). My interest in pro football waned rapidly and in direct proportion to the Jets' ability to field a credible team. Funny how four decades go by in the wink of a young girl's eye, innit?

Permit me to explain. I am deeply devoted to all things Bruceian, to include watching what I knew would be a disappointing 'concert' at halftime with The Boss and the Band. He got shelled in some reviews I read from folks whose typing fingers could easily be bent the other way just to teach them a lesson, but who seem to have missed a fundamental truth about rock and roll and TV. They don't mix and they never have.

TV renders everything harmless. Submitted for your review: Rush Limbaugh, Keith Obermann, Bill O'Reilly, Paula Deen (had enough?). Something (in this case, some one) as larger than life (and louder) as Springsteen was bound to NOT come across on TV as he does live but that wasn't the point of his performance. The guys with the green eyeshades who run his record company did some quick numbers crunching and rolled the dice that he'd have a record either just out or coming out soon (he always does) and Yahtsee!

I digress. Here's how I helped the Steelers. NFL time is like nothing else on earth. When I popped over to the channel carrying the game (I was watching a House marathon, getting tuned up for Monday night), at ten minutes before seven, there was only five minutes played and as I watched, the Steelers kicked a field goal and went ahead 3-0 (or should I say III-O?). Back I went to House, had the cane out and everything.

When I checked in again, Kurt Warner was throwing into Pittsburgh's end zone but a Steeler intercepted and, like a ramshackle, runaway boxcar, rumbled and bumbled his way all the way down the sidelines and scored a touchdown. And it was XVII to VII at the half. Note to NBC: I didn't appreciate having to watch the five guys in suits explain the first half of the game to the people who, unlike me, had watched it all already. I ain't here for business baby, I'm only here for fun. Where is he? Oh, yeah, you had to vamp for time while the stage was put up, sorry. Bruce, the E Street Band joined by enough other letters of the alphabet to form their own language, covered every inch of the playing field and my TV screen. When his performance ended, so did my interest-and Greg House never even knew I kissed and told.

As the closing credits on the House episode at the top of ten o'clock rolled (the one with the lover donating a piece of her liver, if you must know) , I figured I'd check the final score of the game (the only thing that's longer than the pregame show, which now starts on Tuesday the week before the game, or seems to) is post-game. To my amazement, the game was still on and the Steelers, now trailing, had just gotten a first down from the shadows of their own end zone (though technically, it should be their own goal posts as goal posts can cast shadows, not end zones. Damon Runyan doesn't know everything).

And then in the next eye blink, someone in white is catching a pass surrounded by Cardinals and John Madden is doing that spluttering thing he does so well (and for so long. He sounds like one of his turduckens cooking in a deep oil fryer, doncha think?) and just like that--The Steelers Win! The Steelers Win! The Steelers Win!

And so, Rooney family (not you, Mickey and Andy), you're welcome. If you wanted to get me backstage passes for every stop on the next World Tour of Bruce Springsteen, I'd call us even. I'm just hoping he and the band won't be playing at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Not enough exits.
-bill kenny

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