Sunday will be a day of ultimate craziness! Super Bowl Sunday is the day that bars are filled and TV sales hit the roof! Sunday will also be the day that the Steelers face the Cardinals in a game that gives bragging rights to the best team in the NFL! I am a Steelers fan; I have been ever since I was four years old.
It all started when my father,well Santa, gave me a Franco Harris No. 32 jersey. I became an even bigger fan of Franco when I met him at a food expo in 1997. He and his brother Luigi own a company called "Super Bakery." They sell pre-packaged foods, mostly baked goods. I was in awe at seeing my hero Franco Harris. I have come to idolize another Steeler....No. 92 James Harrison.
Cut three times in 13 months, James Harrison is the poster boy for tenacity and a never give up attitude. A walk on at Kent State, he was considered to be too small to play linebacker in the NFL at 6 foot 242 pounds. After being cut by the Ravens in February 2007 Harrison thought of looking to another career than the NFL.
A Clark Haggans injury in June 2004 gave Harrison another shot with the Steelers. The Steelers once again found a diamond in the ruff. He is the perfect fit for Dick LeBeau's 3-4 and zone blitzing scheme. He has been a Pro Bowler in '07, '08, and '09. He is the true meaning of the phrase "never give up"! The one area that makes me marvel at Harrison is that he still trots on the field as a special teamer (tied for third on the Steelers special teams with 12 tackles).
As the first undrafted player to win a defensive player of the year award that some Cowboys fans feel belonged to their man DeMarcus Ware, he is the face of perseverance. The Heinz Field faithful love No. 92, the man who has a franchise record 16 sacks and 92 tackles. He has only played for three years and as Dick LeBeau says "He is only going to get better."
This is the type of player that falls into the laps of the Steelers. A franchise valued at $800 million and ranked No. 3 of the 122 sports teams in fan loyalty, Harrison is what the people of Pittsburgh are...a group of fighters who never give up and keep motoring along.
I hope the Steelers win their sixth Super Bowl on Sunday, but they have to go through a very deadly Arizona Cardinal team. The Cardinals have a slight advantage over the Steelers in that Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm are only two years removed from their spots as O-coordinator and O-line coach of the Steelers under the since retired Bill Cowher.
Whisenhunt knows how Big Ben clicks and how their offense works, but things have changed since they left. Bruce Arians, than the WR coach, has developed schemes that surround a passing and running attack. The once running Steeler offense is now a blend of passing formations that put the run almost second. The other thing that Whisenhunt does not have is the ability to know what Dick LeBeau is going to throw at Kurt Warner and his band of offensive juggernauts.
A football lifer, LeBeau knows how to put together schemes to hold even the best offensive players on ice. Only time will tell when the 6:30pm kickoff starts. It is sure to be one of the best Super Bowls. I know some may disagree, but when you see the black and gold on defense just look for No. 92...he will be the guy all over the field playing with that mantra..."never give up" and all of us in the audience will be chanting right along!