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February 8, 2011 - Buck Frank
I'll be heading home soon after five days in Dallas.
It seems as though I'm the only one still here. I went to work in the media center early Monday, and they were tearing down everything.
It's almost a ghost town here. And Super Bowl souvenirs are half-priced. Anyone want a Steelers AFC Championship T-shirt? Or a Title Town towel?
This was my third Super Bowl that I have been fortunate to cover, and I'll have to rank this one third (even behind Detroit). It just didn't seem to be as well organized, and the Dallas area was not ready for the winter storm that hit here last week -- no matter what the Commissioner said.
This Super Bowl was plagued by so many problems (Christina Aguilera, seating snafu, ice injuring stadium workers ...) that the Dallas area may not get another Super Bowl for awhile.
On a personal note, running up and down the steps from the press box to the locker room at Cowboys Stadium was no picnic. Jerry Jones should have spent a few extra for additional elevators. I'm getting too old for that.
The stadium was awesome, though. I walked out with the crowd before the game, and it was just an overwhelming scene. That scoreboard is HUGE as advertised. Ironically, though, from where I was sitting in the press box, I couldn't see the scoreboard. Imagine that.
But I had a nice view of the field.
Just in case you didn't get enough postgame analysis of the Steelers' loss to the Packers, here are a few reasons why the Steelers lost -- not including the three turnovers:
--The Steelers wasted two timeouts in the third quarter that ultimately hurt their play-calling on their final drive. It also forced Mike Tomlin to not challenge a third-down catch by James Jones in the fourth quarter. I think Jones caught the ball, although I have only seen one replay, but it may have been worth a challenge.
--Clay Matthews made a big defensive play by forcing a Rashard Mendenhall fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter, but he also deflected a pass while the Steelers had a nice drive going in the third quarter. It seemed to stall the Steelers, who ended up missing a field goal.
--I thought you couldn't overthrow Mike Wallace? Ben Roethlisberger did in the third quarter, and it would have given the Steelers a lead.
--Special teams gaffes by Ryan Mundy and Keyaron Fox helped both the Packers score a touchdown and prevent a Steelers TD.
--Roethlisberger didn't throw to Heath Miller enough throughout the game.
--My year-long theory that the Steelers were saving Isaac Redman for the Super Bowl was incorrect. Redman received two carries -- one went for 16 yards -- only because Mendenhall was banged up for a few plays after running into a photographer on the sideline.
--Most of all, though, the Steelers just don't have the depth in their secondary to compete with a team that has four talented receivers, like the Packers. That's why Jordy Nelson seemed to be open all night. Throw in a hot quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, and that's a big reason why there's no parade in Pittsburgh.