Barack Obama had it wrong.
Instead of saying people in rural Pennsylvania "cling to their guns and religion," he really should have said "they cling to their guns and Steelers."
Same thing, I guess, since religion and pro football are played mainly on Sundays.
Who among us hasn't sung the "Here We Go" hymn? Today, we can put down our guns and just cling to our Terrible Towels!
Over the years, I've had the good fortune to attend eight Super Bowl games. It's a crazy week in the host city.
The atmosphere is surreal, as the stars come out and magically appear, not on stage, screen, or TV, but in person right before your eyes. It is often said that you never forget your first time, and so it is true of Super Bowls.
It was January, 1979, and my first trip ever to Miami. I was like a kid in a snow globe (sand globe?), eyes wide open. On my first stroll down the beach, right in front of the Fountain Bleau Hotel, I noticed a person that looked an awful lot like Howard Cosell, sitting on a beach chair next to his wife, toupee intact, smoking a cigarette and reading a paper. I told my friend that it was Howard Cosell, but then again, maybe my eyes were deceiving me.
However, on the return trip, he was still there. So, I sidled up and asked him how he was doing and told him I really enjoyed his work. As soon as he smiled and spoke, anyone would have known that it could be no one else. He was friendly, charming and otherwise Howard.
He wished us (and the Steelers) well, as we bid adieu.
The days flew by with lots of new, exciting experiences Joe's/Stone Crabs, Miami Beach, southern girls, discos and what not. More stargazing along the way SNL's Bill Murray at Joe's; Arthur Ashe playing tennis at the Doral Inn, where we were staying; Chuck Knox right down the hall.
All the while, though, nothing could top the building anticipation of the big game. This was the Pittsburgh Steelers; this was the Super Bowl!
Saturday we got our tickets from a preordained connection. Funny, the face value of $40 seemed like a lot at the time (compare that to this year's $800 ticket).
None of it mattered, it was once in a lifetime; the Steelers just had to win!
At last, game day. We pulled into someone's yard, which was a makeshift parking lot, and probably paid too much, but no one cared. We headed for the old Orange Bowl.
The Dallas fans were primly squared away in their blue and gray fineries; the Steeler fans looked like they were going to a party or had already been to one, a horrible horde armed with their Terrible Towels.
In our excitement, our group of four got separated. To this day, my friend swears he saw O.J. Simpson come out of the TV trailer parked inside and throw a handful of tickets over the fence to a bunch of local kids who were hanging out. I guess that was the good O.J.?
Anyway, once the game kicked off, it only seemed to last 15 minutes, whereas halftime seemed like two hours. It was a very exciting game that featured a furious Cowboy comeback, but destiny was with the Steelers.
Maybe it was the magic of Cosell's good wishes or maybe Jackie Smith's drop of a sure touchdown catch for Dallas but when the dust settled in the Orange Bowl stadium, it was Super Steelers 35, Dallas 31.
There was only one thing left to do. Honestly, we went to Disney World.
As for this year's game, defense wins championships. Steelers by 10!
Ron Rossi is an occasional contributor to the Voice of the Fan. He resides in Hollidaysburg.