Monday, February 2, 2009

Pittsburgh Steelers And The Joy Of Six

Pittsburgh is the first team in NFL history to win a sixth Lombardi Trophy, surpassing the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, each with five.

PITTSBURGH (AP and other sources) — Gold and black-clad fans with Steelers' iconic Terrible Towels waving in the air or tucked into their back pockets partied into the early morning hours Monday in an impromptu block party across Pittsburgh to celebrate the team's historic sixth Super Bowl win.Thousands of people gathered in the city's Oakland neighborhood near the University of Pittsburgh and also along the quirky strip of bars known as the South Side. City officials had anticipated the large crowds, and had about 400 police on the streets as a precaution. Moments after the Steelers sealed the 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Tampa, revelers poured out of area bars, and some broke out in song, bellowing Queen's We are the Champions.The city's Oakland section, near the University of Pittsburgh, was ground zero for post-game revelry, where thousands flooded the streets, waving the yellow and gold and lighting what they could on fire. Police, who has barricaded several streets so that fans could celebrate without jumping on cars, reported no major incidents, just a few good-natured couch fires.

Down in Tampa, the Super Bowl itself went off with minimal bad behavior, as less than 30 fans were arrested, including two who tried to snatch someone else's tickets and sneak their way into the big game, and one particularly drunk driver who somehow managed to drive her way into a police horse.
Police in riot gear patrolled the South Side on bikes and in cars, letting the loud and rowdy
celebration run its course. Jim Jacobs, 43, had his 8-year-old son, Marcus, on his shoulders and 9-year-old Luke by his side. We're going to have a hard time getting them up for school tomorrow, and they are home schooled," Bars were packed in the area popular with college students and the 20-something crowd, with music blaring. One man carried a life-size cutout of President Barack Obama, with a Terrible Towel draped around the neck, while a one-man band played in the middle of a blocked-off street and photos of players were projected onto the sides of buildings.

The Pennsylvania politicians who watched the Super Bowl at a White House party with President Barack Obama gave high marks to the team and the Fan-in-Chief. Mr. Obama had declared his allegiance to the Steelers before the Super Bowl."It was great, just a real honor to be able to watch the Super Bowl with the Steelers in it anywhere, but it was that much more of an honor to watch it at the White House," said Sen. Bob Casey, of Scranton. Mr. Casey brought four Terrible Towels and Eat 'n Park cookies to bring a bit of Pittsburgh to D.C. Mr. Casey said the event was "99 percent social." "The president was paying close attention," he said. "I think he saw every play."
Ah, the Super Bowl, gotta love a night that includes couch fires, driving into a horse, and dozens
of arrests, but is considered surprisingly orderly.

Here is how some of America’s leading sports pundits saw the Steelers’ triumph:

Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times: “In the end Sunday night, with Pittsburgh dancing and Arizona moaning and America struck dumb with the true spectacle of it all, Super Bowl XLIII will
overwhelmingly be remembered for one thing. It was the greatest. From a stirring national anthem to a tingling late finish, the Steelers’ 27-23 victory over the Cardinals was the greatest Super Bowl ever, one whose Roman numbers should have been XXL for its double-extra-large helping of theatrics and dramatics.”

Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports: “The fourth quarter had been a disaster for the Steelers, 16 unanswered points, a tiring defense and an offense that couldn’t get out of its own way. A lesser team would’ve crumbled. A weaker-minded group would’ve pointed fingers. Anything less than a champion would’ve let the Cardinals momentum wash right over them. (Ben) Roethlisberger had no such concerns. He knew his guys. He gathered the team before that final drive, embraced the opportunity and dared his teammates. This was their chance. It’s one drive for the Super Bowl, who doesn’t want this?”
Mark Kriegel, “Hines Ward might be the soul of the Steelers. Larry Fitzgerald, who now owns Jerry Rice’s single-season playoff records, might be the best receiver in football. But as the night moved toward its finale, Santonio Holmes kept telling himself this was his game. And so it was.”
Gene Wojciechowski, “Do you have any idea how hard it is to win a Super Bowl? The
Steelers have now won a record-breaking six of them, two in the past four years. Fifteen of the
NFL’s 32 franchises have never won one. Five have never even advanced to the game. So trying to put an Iron City six-pack into perspective is like trying to comprehend Michelangelo’s Sistine
Chapel or Rod Blagojevich’s hair. Some things are beyond explanation.”

Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel: “In these trying economic times, how can you not feel good that
it’s the Steelers who have become the model franchise in all of professional sports? Some other of the NFL’s other dynastic franchises have come and gone, but the Steelers just keep coming. The Dallas Cowboys? They make headlines because their quarterback dates Jessica Simpson, but they haven’t won a playoff game in a dozen years.”

Other Quotes from the news:

Steelers football is 60 minutes. It’s never going to be pretty.

At 36-years-old, Tomlin is the youngest coach to lead a team to a Super Bowl victory.
Making his annual Groundhog's Day appearance Monday in Punxsutawney, Pa., Phil gazed out at a cheering crowd and "saw his shadow," the event's announcer said, signaling more winter to come, CNN reported. "After casting a joyful eye towards thousands of his faithful followers, Phil proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were world champions one more time," the announcer said, adding, "And as he looked, 'a bright sky above me showed my shadow beside me. So six more weeks of winter it will be.
I just checked a map -- I had no idea Tampa was a suburb of Pittsburgh.

It was, in a word, marvelous. And none of the above even accounts for Jennifer Hudson's national anthem, the wave to the crowd by the members of that U.S. Airways flight crew who pulled off the Miracle on the Hudson . . . and, of course, the Boss, Bruce Springsteen,

This Ben Roethlisberger is one part bull rider, one part whirling dervish and three parts all man.

Harrison, the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year, picked off Kurt Warner's pass in the end zone and rumbled 100 yards the other way for a touchdown. That play was the longest in Super Bowl history .
The big apple is celebrating the Pittsburgh Steelers' big win on Sunday.In honor of the Steelers' Super Bowl win, the Empire State Building is shining its tower lights in yellow and white from dusk until midnight on Monday

A little more information on that Terrible Towel guy.
Myron Cope left behind something far more personal than a legacy of terrycloth, a battle flag for
a city and its team. In 1996, he handed over the trademark to the Terrible Towel to the Allegheny Valley School. It is a network of campuses and group homes across Pennsylvania for people with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. It receives almost all the profits from sales of the towels. “It’s an incredible help for us,” a spokesman said. “We’re a nonprofit organization, and our primary funding is through Medicaid. While Medicaid is very good to people with disabilities, it is limited in what it will cover.” Myron Cope wanted the money to go not for construction projects, but for individual assistance for residents. Recent purchases include high-end specialized wheelchairs and sensory programs that allow severely disabled residents,including quadriplegics, to perform tasks such as turning on lights or music with a movement of their eyes.
Hundreds of thousands of the towels, trademarked as “Myron Cope’s the Official Terrible Towel”, are sold every year, for about $7 each. Through the Steelers, who handle the marketing of the towels, the school receives a check every month, usually for tens of thousands of dollars. Before this season, Allegheny Valley School had received more than $2.5 million from the towels since 1996.Roughly $1 million of that came during and immediately after the 2005 season, when the Steelers won Super Bowl XL. This season is likely to top that.

Thats part of the Steelers story too. It is always noted that the Steelers reflect their community of fans' personality. One never reads that about any other football team.

The celebration continues with a parade in downtown Pittsburgh at noon on Tuesday. Come and celebrate a wonderful success story in these lean and cold days. Come and be joyful.

I told you so !

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