NOTE: This column originally ran in Capital University's student paper "The Chimes" several days after the Super Bowl and is being re-published here.
How fitting that the Rolling Stones performed at halftime of Super Bowl XL. Much like Mick Jagger, I didn’t get any satisfaction out of the game, either.
The match-up between Pittsburgh and Seattle interested me about as much as reading Shakespeare, and the only Bard I’m a fan of is former Indians catcher Josh Bard.
In fact, I almost felt like a 50-year old woman, who only tolerated the football game to watch the Super Bowl commercials. Yes, it was that bad for me.
So why did I feel so disappointed and disenchanted about the biggest sporting event in America? Allow me to count the reasons:
1. I am a Cleveland native and a die-hard Cleveland sports fan. Seeing the Steelers play in, and win, the Super Bowl, just months after the hated White Sox won the World Series, kills me a little bit on the inside every day.
2. The NFL schedules an off-week between the league championships and the Super Bowl to build up the hype. This results in 137 different SportsCenter segments on Jerome Bettis growing up 4.726 miles away from Detroit, as well as the overkill on "Last stop for the Bus" puns.
3. During the game (which I had no idea that ABC was televising until an hour before kickoff) we were treated to lovely statistics such as "Referee Bill Leavy has overturned 23 percent of replay challenges, the lowest rate in the league." Thanks, guys. Did ABC run out of Steelers highlights to run during the game?
Speaking of ABC, it seemed like Al Michaels really mailed in his performance. He sounded as thrilled announcing this game as I did watching it, though I do give him credit for shameless self-promotion, comparing the pro-Pittsburgh crowd to the 1980 U.S. hockey team’s home advantage. Sorry, Al, it would have taken a larger miracle than that to make this game interesting. As for John Madden, well, he just acted like John Madden.
As my friend Chris pointed out, watching Super Bowl XL had the same feel as a Monday Night Football game, and not just because ABC televised it. Over the past few years, MNF has been plagued by bad match-ups (we’ve been treated to such gems as Browns-Dolphins last year and Packers-Ravens this year). In essence, this was the final MNF broadcast (ESPN will carry MNF next year), and once again fans were treated with a stinker.
Hey, don’t get me wrong. I love football and I love the NFL; this season, and Super Bowl in particular, just didn’t do it for me. I’m glad the city of Seattle finally got to experience a championship atmosphere, even if it came before the Browns. For Pittsburgh, well, let’s just say I’m less than thrilled with their victory, and I will forever refer to that city by their moniker which starts with an "S" and rhymes with "Chittsburgh."
But that’s sports. And, as the Rolling Stones say, you can’t always get what you want. Hopefully next year I’ll get what I need – a Cleveland championship.