Mandalay Bay Magic

Monday, February 6th, 2006, 1:32 pm

It all started in Vegas.

That’s where the Steeler Super Bowl run started, standing and watching the games in the Mandalay Bay sports book during the blogger get-together in December. I can’t believe it was that long ago that the win streak started. We HAD to beat Chicago that day, and with a three-game losing streak it didn’t look very likely. My brother and I detoured in one of the bars to watch part of the game, and saw a Bears fan jump out of his chair and stalk off after Lovie Smith inexplicably accepted a penalty instead of letting the Steelers punt. Verron Haynes converted the second chance at 3rd down, the Steelers proceded to move down the field and score a touchdown–just as that ticked-off fan returned.

And then back to the sports book, to watch the Steelers put away the Bears and the Chargers to incredibly lose to the Dolphins. I watched Iggy cheer as his Bengals beat the Browns on a last-second field goal, but they were already too far ahead of my Steelers to worry about. I had to hope the Cowboys could knock off the Chiefs and give us more reason to hope.

One problem–all the poker bloggers gathered round put money on the Chiefs. What to do? Loyalty to the WPBT is in my bones, but my devotion to the Steelers makes up my very marrow. God, what a horrible analogy. Anyway, I watched the game hoping there was some way everything could turn out all right.

And that’s just what happened. Lawrence Tynes honked a FG to tie the game, and the Cowboys, giving 3 points, won by three. And the game ended as a push. I felt bad that my fellow bloggers didn’t plump out their purses with their winning tickets, but they didn’t lose their money either. It was the absolute best outcome for me, and, of course, it’s always about me, me, me.

Had you told me that day, as I drank and chatted with the best and brightest, that in two months time the Steelers would be bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to the ‘Burgh I would’ve assumed you were smoking the rug. I was just hoping the Steelers would get in the playoffs, maybe steal a game, prolong the season a bit. But to actually go on and win the Super Bowl…it still seems surreal.

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