Sports

Less fanfare but still a 'Super' game

The Super Bowl is over and by today almost all of the sports world is back to normal, or didn't you notice that the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League pretty much suspend play in deference to fighting the annual football attraction.

Scooter Chapman

Sports

The Super Bowl is over and by today almost all of the sports world is back to normal, or didn't you notice that the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League pretty much suspend play in deference to fighting the annual football attraction.

Most supermarkets, convenience stores and fast food outlets were very, very quiet between 3 p.m.-6 p.m. last Sunday. Only the delivery pizza outfits did a land office business during the game itself.

I don't know about you, but there wasn't the anticipation or the excitement for this edition of the Super Bowl and, although I sat and watched the game, rooting for Arizona, by the way, it surely didn't match the excitement of 2006 when Pittsburgh and Seattle met in Detroit.

It turned out to be quite a game, with Pittsburgh taking an improbable 27-23 victory with all of the action packed into the last couple of minutes. More on the contest later.

With the state of the economy, Tampa Bay wasn't as active as bowl sponsors thought it would be. The big parties were down in attendance, the big fleet of limos sat idle, major television sponsors including FedEx and General Motors pulled out of the

$3 million-a-commercial list and nearly 200 fewer media credentials were issued.

Reports said there were empty tables at most restaurants and vacant hotel rooms right in downtown Tampa.

Ticket brokers who purchased big blocks of tickets were left holding the bag and one outfit had more than 3,000 seats still for sale the day before the game.

People who bought tickets with the idea of scalping outside the stadium were really hurting as they could not sell them for what they had paid.

In normal times, a couple going to a Super Bowl location would think nothing of spending $5,000 to $7,000 for airfare, lodging, food, tickets to parties and to the game, but those days, at least for now, are gone.

The area's Super Bowl parties were pretty well attended, but restaurants, lounges, taverns, casinos and the like don't sell as much alcohol as they used to because of the strict driving regulations and stiff DUI tickets.

What will the next Super Bowl be like? At this point, I would not like to be the folks in south Florida getting ready for Super Bowl XLIV in 2010.



The game

After a long, long pre-game and then a kickoff show, the first quarter was all Pittsburgh. The Steelers at one time had run 19 plays for 145 yards and Arizona had the ball for five plays and 13 yards. Then Kurt Warner led the Cards on an 83-yard drive in nine plays to close the gap to 10-7.

Then the Cards took an interception back down to the two-yard line and just as it looked as if the game would be tied or Arizona ahead, big James Harrison, all 242 pounds of him, returned a pass interception 100 yards with no time left to give Pittsburgh a 17-7 halftime lead.

It was the longest play ever in a Super Bowl, and Steeler fans were in seventh heaven.

All the Cards had to do was tackle him and the half would have been over, but Harrison was like a bowling ball, bouncing off hits all the way to the end zone where he collapsed from fatigue.

The second half ran the gamut of emotions, from a pair of goal line stands by Arizona that limited the Steelers to a field goal, to the pair of touchdown passes by Warner to Larry Fitzgerald, then the late passes by Pittsburgh to little-known wide receiver Santonio Holmes who caught the game winner in the last minute for the black and gold.

Who is Holmes? He played at Ohio State and is in his fourth year. He caught eight passes for 942 yards and eight touchdowns a year ago and with Arizona keying on Hines Ward, Holmes had himself quite game.



The trivia

It was NBC's 16th Super Bowl telecast but its first in 11 years. Announcers Al Michaels and John Madden, with statistician George Hill, were doing their third big one in the past 11 years. It was Madden's 11th, Michaels' seventh.

Super Bowl ads in 1999 were $1.6 million for 30 seconds and $675,000 in 1989. NBC, by the way, had most of its commercials sold by midsummer when the economy was better.

Tickets were $1,000 Sunday. In 1999, a ticket went for $325 and in 1989, it was $100.



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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