I can't help getting worked up and yelling at the television as millions of men do every Sunday. I watch a couple home games during the season when I catch them, but not if there is something more worth watching on. In the weeks before the game at a small restaurant I get paid to frequently visit, while listening to everyone else I started planning what is slowly becoming tradition. The first requirement was to have a supple amount of hard liquor. It's a must because not following this brutal sport with any serious fascination, only loving to indulge in the commercials and strategy only this big game will bring. And, the muffled recording of these 250 pound, fully padded beast ramming heads can introduce paranoid delusions of snapping bones horrid in nature if I'm not at least a little tipsy.
As some people may already know Hunter Thompson was a football fan. Going as far as taking a ride with a man who he despised on a hour and a half trip to the airport. Nixon and Thompson agreed to this under the condition they talked only about football. So, in the spirit of Raoul Duke and Gonzo journalism, the following review was composed as the thoughts came during the game.
After Pittsburgh settled for a field goal on the opening drive, Doritos made a smashing play with the mysterious crystal ball. It seems to me the first quarter the Cardinals are not here to play, leaving that extra week of partying home just didn't happen. They punt not being able to move the ball after recovering their own fumble. As everybody expected the game is all about defense. With Pittsburgh's second possession over, the Cardinals start making some passes that moved the ball but they couldn't make anything of it. Pittsburgh on their very next drive runs the ball down the field with creativity to put them up 10-0.
The first half will be nothing compared to the second half, the momentum will change, and if the Cardinals want to win they will need to keep their emotions in check while throwing off Steeler's quarterback Roethlisberger. As did the Budweiser ads when they brought back the Clydesdale horses this year to show football fans their softer side.
Warner, QB for Arizona, did a good job in getting his rhythm in the second quarter, moving the ball by completing several consecutive passes. Where he hooked up with Anquan Boldin for a side line pass bringing his team into scoring position, and to later score for the first time making it a 10-7 game. It's already evident that the first to run out of gas will lose, it will clearly be the team that doesn't have the endurance to stop the other team's every advance. Odds say Pittsburgh wins, but destiny may have something else to add. After watching the advertisements for G.I. Joe and the new Pixar flick, I might just wrestle some hard earned cash from my dead cow hide, they did look entertaining. The first half ended on the same note as the half began, with a Pittsburgh touchdown being reviewed. This time the fuckers got lucky after stealing the ball back from Arizona, and miraculously falling across the goal line with a record 100 yard interception return. 17-7.
The half time show with the boss, kinda lame, what's with the drones surrounding the stage waving tiny glow sticks. Also, because of Janet Jackson's stunt why must we still deal with these old washed up has-beens that need a little notoriety to boost their career for the middle aged crazies. All because Micheal likes to play with little boys?
The third quarter was nothing spectacular, the game day jitters wore off and the players settled into their roles. Pittsburgh worked hard for three, after being given a second chance for a touchdown because of three personal fouls on one player.
Watching after the start of the forth quarter the one-second High life commercial played, if you weren't watching you missed it. You didn't miss much. Trust me up to this point the game sucked as well, and again the ads always suck. My frozen pizza and mix of vodka and 7up with a squeeze of lemon, which is really good, is the only thing good to come of this game.
In the end, everything was set up for a spectacular finish, being there was no excitement during the game. Every body's emotions are on an all time high while Warner remained cool under pressure delivering a fatal blow before the two-minute warning. Driving for a touchdown, then a holding call on Pittsburgh in the end-zone gives Arizona a safety and the ball back. Where Warner connects with Fitzgerald for another touchdown giving them the lead for the first time in the game. With two and half minutes left, the Pittsburgh Steelers drive it back for a clear touchdown in eight plays. Cardinal's ball, 15 seconds, 50 yards to go --Fumble-- I say it was an incomplete pass but who am I to pass criticism, but giving the ball back wouldn't have helped Arizona any. At this point the game was already in the bag.
The Steeler's "D" was sloppy and could be disciplined with the likes of which of a military boot camp would give, but they had the attitude of winners and that's all that matters. Somehow the Steelers proved they were the better team. A number of confrontations lead to a couple of unsportsmanlike conduct calls, but when the chip were down the game was over, it was summed up before it even started. I would have loved to see the underdogs win two years in a row, but as I sit here watching this team from Pittsburgh, I can't help but be proud because like Roethlisberger said, "Anything is possible". That's what happened here today, anything and everything; I couldn't have wrote a better bitter-sweet ending myself. Final score of 27-23.
On Saturday night before the game I was asked for my predictions by a co-worker, and I would tell the old man the Cardinals would win and will do it in under 25 points. If it wasn't for a touchdown in the last 35 second, I would have been dead fucking on. The day before I would have picked the Steelers in a complete blow out, not knowing that the Cardinals are operating with a couple coaches coming straight from Pittsburgh. Giving Arizona a better chance than I first thought.
I almost blew off the entire journalist aspect of this game altogether. I would have been perfectly happy not infecting the severs with my lame-brained drivel, just mindlessly getting drunk and taking in some debauchery. A little piece of me wouldn't let that happen, and I think the only thing destined was for me to mangle this little piece of history.