Every year you bust your hump for your boss and your company. Sure, the pay is pretty good, and your wife and kids have the health and dental coverage you need to sleep easy at night. But your goal each year, the carrot that keeps you pulling the plow, is to be the top performer so you can win the company's annual giveaway: a pair of Super Bowl tickets.

You've come close every year. You're good at what you do. But you're a stand-up guy. You don't cut corners or stab people in the back for a quick buck. You take care of your customers. In the meantime you've watched your less scrupulous colleagues go party and watch the big dance in Tampa, New Orleans, San Diego, Houston, and Jacksonville.

But this year is different. All your networking is coming together. All the customers you helped by giving them a fair deal are rewarding you with their loyalty and increased business. Every short term gain you sacrificed is turning into a steady current of honestly earned profit. Your colleages are asking you for more advice and are looking up to you more.

This time you're the top performer. You're going to the Super Bowl. You're going to Detroit.


Pittsburgh Steelers 21 -- Seattle Seahawks 10
New York Post's Line: Steelers favored by 4 points. Over/under = 47

On February 5, 2006, Super Bowl XL was contested at newly constructed Ford Field in downtown Detroit, Michigan. The alphabet network, ABC, broadcast the game, with coverage beginning at 5:00 pm EST; Stevie Wonder performed for 12 minutes, followed by a singing of the Star Spangled Banner by Aretha Franklin, Aaron Neville, Dr. John (keyboard), and a 150-member Detroit choir. The sexagenarian Rolling Stones headlined the halftime show, also playing for 12 minutes. A few people were mightily peeved that the NFL chose a European band instead of drawing from the deep pool of native Detroit musical talent.

Let's talk turkey: the face price of a ticket was either $600 or $700, up $100 from last year; a 30 second commercial was estimated to cost $2.5 million, up $100,000 from last year; winning players earned a $73,000 share from the NFL, nevermind incentives in their contracts -- losers got $38,000.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are the first #6 seed to make it to the Super Bowl. (Note that there were no #5 or #6 seeds until 19xx, when the number of playoff teams increased from 8 to 12.) They are the first team to win 3 playoff games on the road since the 1985 New England Patriots.

The Seattle Seahawks finally make it to the Super Bowl for the first time in their 29 year history. Go Hawks! *sniff*

(For the uninitiated: American Football, National Football League, Super Sunday: a brief primer)

Scoring Summary

1ST QUARTER

Seahawks FG
Josh Brown 47 yards, 0:22 left in qrt

2ND QUARTER

Steelers TD
Ben Roethlisberger 1 yard run, 1:55 left. Jeff Reed PAT is good. (Replays showed Roethlisberger did not cross the goal line, but the call was not overturned upon review.)

3RD QUARTER

Steelers TD
Willie Parker, 75 yard run, 14:38 left. Jeff Reed PAT is good.
Seahawks TD
Jerramy Stevens, who otherwise disappointed, caught a 16 yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck, with 6:45 left. Josh Brown PAT is good.

4TH QUARTER

Steelers TD
Hines Ward caught a 43 yard pass with 8:56 left from Antwaan Randle El. Jeff Reed PAT is good.

Just as in the end of the first half, the Seahawks displayed incredibly poor clock-management, letting time run out anti-climactially. Hines Ward was named the most valuable player.


Postseason Results


Carolina Panthers
-----------------
             14  \
                  \  Seattle 'Hawks
                   ------------------
             34   /    NFC Champs    \
Seattle Seahawks /                    \
-----------------                      \
                                        \   PITTSBURGH STEELERS 
 Pitt. Steelers                           --------------------------
-----------------                       /   Super Bowl Champions
             34  \                     /
                  \  Pitt. Steelers   /
at                 ------------------- 
             17   /    AFC Champs 
 Denver Broncos  /
-----------------

Road to the Conference Championships

Wild card round, 7-8 Jan 2006

(Numbers in parenthesis are the regular season win-loss records.)

Division Playoffs, 14-15 Jan 2006

References

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