Steel vs. Cactus: The Author Picks One

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl, which is, I believe, the biggest day in American sports. Football is the most popular sport, and it’s the only sport with a one-game championship tilt instead of a multiple-game series. Throw in some million dollar ads and a mid-game rock concert, and it’s hard to not get caught up in the excitement.

It’s also hard to know who to root for.

Since my own favorite teams (Oilers as a kid, Vikings as a grownup) never make it, the Super Bowl for me is always about which team I hate more. In the past I have cheered, either successfully or not, for the team I would be less sickened to see victorious. The Patriots have delivered my two favorite Super Bowl memories in this decade, once by beating the overrated St. Louis Rams and once by losing to the Giants after a perfect regular season and a cheating debacle. It’s almost enough to forgive them for losing to the Packers back in the 90s.

This year the Big Game is between the Arizona Cardinals, a team that has not even gotten close to a championship since they played in Chicago and there were only like four professional football teams, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who seem to win once or twice a decade and should rightfully scare the red off of the sandy songbirds. It’s a tough call this year because I lack either affection or irrational hatred for either crew, have never been to either town, and don’t really know anybody who’s a fan of either team. Therefore, on the slenderest of premises, affection for the underdog, I am rooting for the Cardinals. That being said, I will be enraged by every officiating call against them, and convinced that the sportscasters and referees are out to get them. I will sleep poorly if they lose, and consider it a personal vindication if they prevail.

Go, um… do they even have a nickname? Redbirds is baseball, right? Why don’t they call themselves the Phoenix? That’s a way cooler name and way more appropriate? When’s the last time an actual cardinal even lived in Arizona? Ever?

Never mind. Can’t do it. Get me my dirty towel. Go Blitzburgh!!! Bring on the Steel Curtain! And those officials and sportscasters better not let their completely unfounded hatred for the black and gold ruin the game for me!

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