The first thing you need to know is that in general, I couldn't care less about football. I know enough about it to watch a game and follow the play, after years spent watching football games from the middle of a marching band. I pay enough attention to know what's going on, but I don't invest the kind of time or energy in it that I put into baseball.
The second thing you need to know is that I lived in Pittsburgh for eight years before moving to Seattle.
After living for years and years as a baseball fan in Pittsburgh, I can tell you that it's a football town above and beyond anything else. One semester in college I even had a Bettis Bus Pass. And until the last few weeks, Seattle really didn't feel like a football town to me at all. Even despite the shitty Mariners, I was more likely to see a kid in an Ichiro shirt going down the street than a guy in a Hasselbeck jersey.
Something I noticed a few days ago, as an odd coincidence, is that Seattle's football and baseball teams both share the blue/silver color scheme, as Pittsburgh's football, baseball, and hockey teams all share the black/yellow color scheme. Isn't that sort of neat?
I watched today's game mostly just wanting to know what happened, rooting for neither side. To be fair, though, I went to the house of another Carnegie Mellon alum to watch it, and he was rooting for the Steelers. I probably spent the first half just yelling "GET HIM, GET HIM, GET HIM!" at pretty much EVERY play, no matter what side it was on, but by the second half when the Steelers really started playing, I found myself actually rooting for them a bit. Because it hit me that I knew a hell of a lot of football fans back in the Burgh, and honestly, none of my friends out here are football fans. Heck, when Jonah gave me a free copy of Pro Football Prospectus at the Baseball Prospectus talk a few months ago, I couldn't even find anyone out here who was interested in it.
By the end of the game today, I was even predicting that either Randle El or Ward would be the MVP for that crazy trick play which really cemented the game. I realize that Ben Roethlisberger wasn't playing his best game ever, and that sort of sucks. I realize there was definitely some questionable officiating, and that also sort of sucks. I wanted to see the Manny-Ramirez-like Polamalu make some exceptionally cool play, and he didn't, and that sort of sucks. But I'm happy for Jerome Bettis, and I'm happy for all of my friends back in Pittsburgh.
I am sorry, Seattle guys. I know as a Seattle sports team blogger, I'm supposed to be pissed off about it, but I honestly can't feel too bad about the results of this Super Bowl. At least look on the bright side -- the Seahawks still haven't beaten the Mariners to a world championship, eh?
And before you all kill me, let me leave you with an odd but amusing thought: Mick Jagger looks a hell of a lot better for a 62-year-old than Joe Namath does.