Sports

It's in the cards for Arizona

It's Super Bowl time, folks.

Almost everything shuts down on that one Sunday in the year when two National Football League teams battle it out for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, signifying the professional football champion.

I must confess that I have not been very interested in the playoffs that decided which teams will battle it out in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

It's going to be Arizona against Pittsburgh in a match no one predicted when the NFL playoffs began earlier this month.



The Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals are from the NFC West, the worst division in the league. They are directed by an old quarterback who was shown the door in St. Louis after guiding them to a pair of Super Bowls.

The Cardinals always have been doormats. In 1957-1959, when I was in the U.S. Army stationed in Chicago, Fifth Army Headquarters was only a stone's throw from Comiskey Park where the Chicago Cardinals played. Tickets always were available for service personnel but we never could get a ticket to the Chicago Bears games at

Soldier Field. They always were sold out.

It's the first Super Bowl for the team. They never went to the title game as Chicago or St. Louis.



The Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be in their seventh Super Bowl. They have a 5-1 record. Their last visit was in 2006 when they went to Detroit and beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in a game many thought really belonged to the Seahawks.



Hill report

My good friend George Hill will be keep stats for his eighth Super Bowl. The veteran pencil pusher is eager for a good game and for Arizona to win.

Hill, the head stat guy for NBC's Al Michaels and John Madden, was at the 1987 event when the Giants beat Denver and in 1988 he watched Washington top Denver. In 1991, it was the Giants over Buffalo. In 1995, San Francisco whipped up on San Diego.

In 2000, Hill did the Rams and Tennessee game that the Rams and Kurt Warner won. In 2003, it was Tampa over Oakland, then he did the stats when the Steelers beat the Seahawks in 2006.

Why Arizona to win?

Seems NBC opens the 2009 season at the home of the Super Bowl winner and, come August, Hill would rather go to Arizona than Pittsburgh.

By the way, Hill leaves Friday from Port Angeles, arrives in Tampa Friday night, attends numerous production meetings Saturday, does the game at 6 p.m. Tampa Bay time on Sunday and returns home ... quite a life, folks.



Super Sunday

In years past I have been involved with almost every type of Super Bowl party in our area. For years, Russ Carlson hosted a number of sports fans in his basement. The men downed copious amounts of snacks, crackers, chips and many adult beverages while watching the two-hour pregame program and then the game.

Meanwhile, upstairs in the kitchen, the various spouses and significant others prepared food fit to feed an Army for half-time and after the game was over. Carlson had so many televisions that it was tough to miss a play. He even had a small set in the men's room. Those were the days before giant screens.

Later, I was host to several parties in the Hurricane Ridge Room on the waterfront where patrons gathered to take part in Super Bowl trivia contests for prizes and rooted hard for favorite teams in a cocktail lounge atmosphere. It was known as Haguewood's Restaurant in those bygone days.

I even was master of ceremonies for a Super Bowl chile cook-off at Smitty's Restaurant in Port Angeles. Now the Smitty brothers help host the 7 Cedars Casino party with Sonny Sixkiller as emcee.

Not sure what will be in order this Sunday for the game.

Last year, I watched the Giants win while sitting in my favorite chair at home with Mrs. C, who even asked a few questions during the game. She, alas, is not a big television football fan as she never can find the football.

I am leaning toward Arizona. Warner would like to end a fantastic season with a win. The Steelers have a pass rush but can't leave secondary in one-on-one situations or they will be burned.

It could be a high-scoring game.

One thing is sure in these parts. Grocery shopping and other activities come to a screeching halt at 3:20 p.m. when the teams kick off. That's the way the National Football League wants it.



Columns by KONP 1450 AM sports announcer Scooter Chapman appear weekly in the Sequim Gazette. He can be reached via e-mail at scooter@olypen.com.





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