Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Week Without Football

I was planning on writing a ton of shit about the Super Bowl last week, but I really never got around to it. I was actually trying not to think about it too much since I didn't want to get really excited only to find out that the sports highlight of the weekend would be the Buick Open. The week before the Super Bowl is always depressing. Most football fans already have seen their team's season end, and the extra week is a sneak preview of the hollow shell that will be their lives after the big game is over. It wasn't any easier for me. I sort of expected the media to shower the Steelers with praise all week, but, after an initial outpouring of love for the Black and Gold on Monday, everyone seemed to stop talking about the Super Bowl. With the Steelers season still unresolved and no outlet to release my anxiety in the near future, it turned out to be a very unsatisfactory week for me.

But now the Super Bowl has officially turned into a spectacle. Even with so much attention on the Steelers, it is a little nauseating. Unless they're talking about football (which nobody really does), there really isn't a whole lot to say. Most of the so-called "stories" - like Jerome Bettis playing in his home town and the Steelers deciding to wear their road jerseys - are really nothing more than sentences. The NFL, however, loves when people talk about the Super Bowl and on the Tuesday before the Super Bowl it holds what is known as Media Day, the day when the players on both teams make themselves available to every half-ass media outlet in the world, and ESPN sits and waits for even the faintest scent of controversy so they can blow it completely out of proportion. Nobody on the Steelers, however, gave the media any fuel for their frenzy. Even Joey Porter was remarkably restrained. As far as the Steelers players goes, the highlight of the interviews was Antwaan Randle-El talking about where his name would be found in the phone book and how the credit card offers he got in the mail were addressed to Randle El. Troy Polamalu was the most impressive guy on the Steelers. It's hard to believe that someone who appeared so calm, articulate and polite today can transform himself into a heat-seeking missile on Sundays. If the United States were a better country he would be our president. Anyway, I'm glad that the Steelers made it through media day without doing anything stupid. Tomorrow the Steelers start practicing again, which hopefully means that their minds will be on the game instead of all the bullshit that is going on around them. Tune in later in the week for a more football-related analysis of Super Bowl XL.

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