Once more the Pittsburgh Steelers stand at the pinnacle of their sport.
For most of us, the week was spent in anticipation of that moment. Our sole focus was on the preparation for that national party held simultaneously in living rooms across the country.
We besieged supermarkets, sporting good stores and various distributors of liquid refreshments for all the items necessary to complement Sunday's main event.
So big was our collective shopping trip that the resulting financial deluge will surely dwarf the yearly G.D.P. of many third-world countries and will make it seem as if the Rooney family released some type of economic stimulus package to spur our struggling economy.
By the time kickoff rolled around Sunday, a sea of black and gold spread amongst us like a winter plague.
Its only cure? Spring training and the continuation of a Pirate losing season that started a mind-numbing 17 years ago.
This is the way it is in Steeler country.
It is the tradition brought on by the successes of the Emperor Chaz and continues today with winnings of coach Mike Tomlin. But this year, this Steeler Super Bowl, something was different.
While the pageantry and events of this year's celebration certainly rivaled, if not exceeded, the splurging of Steeler Super Bowl's past, this year something was definitely amiss.
As we look around at the brethren of our Steeler Nation, some of our brothers and sisters were missing from their righteous places.
They weren't sitting next to us, dressed in game jerseys and twirling their terrible towels. They were wearing a uniform of a different color performing their duty for that of a greater nation, our nation, the United States of America.
So Sunday, as we cheer on our team and bask in the latest championship at hand, let us all remember those of us that may be standing on foreign shores, defending our freedoms and standing in harms way.
Let us raise a mug to the members of Bravo Company 56th Stryker Brigade, especially Tobias Mercer of Hollidaysburg, whom I am both fortunate and proud to call my friend and to all the heroes serving this great country.
It is because of them and those who served before that we can enjoy days like Super Bowl Sunday and the many liberties we all too often take for granted.
John M. Bauman
Kudos on headline
After scanning the cover of the nations papers (via Drudge), I say that the Mirror cover of ''Sixcess'' was by far the cleverest. Way too many ''Sixburgh's."
NFL leaves void
The big game is over, and the nation - especially Steelers fans - celebrates.
But how will the sports world handle a new syndrome? Between the gulf of NFL and MLB will sports fans be able to handle the dreaded PSBTS - Post Super Bowl Traumatic Syndrome?
I think they will because MLB offers hope to millions of sports fans who want something to sustain them until the next NFL season, which begins in September.
PSU gaining ground
Will the Penn State men's basketball team make this year's NCAA Tournament? That question of the week, on last Sunday's Voice of the Fan, could not have occurred at a more ideal time.
Had the question been asked prior to the start of the Big Ten season, my answer would have been an equivocal NO! However, after beating Michigan State on the Spartans' home court Sunday, these kids are finally having fun and learning how to win and what it takes to win, especially on the road.
This win was not expected.
But with nine games left - four at home, including Wisconsin today, and five away - this I believe this young team can and will make it to the Big Dance of 64.
They are in third place or fourth in the league and need to win at least five more games. I believe their toughest games are with Illinois, Minnesota and Purdue.
Now they also need to win at least one Big Ten Tournament game to get in. I feel the Big Ten will have seven representatives at the NCAA Tournament. Go Lions!
Give little guy a chance
I would like to see a change in basketball where the 5-foot-8 guys would have an equal chance to the 7-footers.
The games would be won on shooting accuracy, which it should be.
The only way this could be done is for the officials to call a foul on any player who touches the rim in any way. If they are called for hanging on the rim twice, eject them.