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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Ich Bin Ein Yinzer
An import, actually. I moved to Pittsburgh from State College, PA in 1999 and have worked here ever since, though we now live about 40 miles outside of the Burgh.

In this very blog I've remarked previously that I'm not a sports guy. For example, I can't name one current member of the Pirates or the Penguins. But you gotta be a friggin jag not to have absorbed the local vibe over the past several weeks. Superbowl XL is the first game I've watched start-to-finish since XXIV (which ended in a less-than-suspenseful 55 to 10).

The first thing I have to say about tonight's win is that JB is part of a concerted campaign of negativity and disinformation expressly intended to undermine the Steelers' karma. To this end he has failed miserably, and I say neener-neener.

The second thing is that I'm glad that Jerome Bettis got his trophy. By all accounts he's a genuinely nice guy, and he only came back this year because Pittsburgh seemed to get so close last season. He announced his retirement at tonight's post-game award ceremony, which I think is a fitting and classy move.

Third, I have to be honest and say that if I'd heard "one for the thumb" one more time, I'd have freaked out.

Fourth, that was quite a game, in my humble opinion. I hear that most Superbowls are all but decided by the end of the 3rd quarter, but not this one. If I could be guaranteed that all games would be that gripping, I promise I'd start watching more regularly.

I won't bore you with any half-assed commentary, other than to say that Antwaan Randell El's touchdown pass to Heinz Ward was really cool, and it just might bump the sacrosanct "Immaculate Reception" out of the top slot in the Pittsburgh Pantheon of Perfect Plays.

And now a word about the accent. If you haven't heard it spoken in natural conversation, you know nothing about it because it's as unmistakable as it is unintelligible. The first time you encounter it, in fact, you'll have a hard time even believing that it's real. I've lived among its speakers for over six years now and can understand all but the most hardcore speakers, but I haven't absorbed the accent, so I'll always be an import.

Import or native, every Yinzer will be giddy with afterglow at least through the next NFL draft, and tonight's win will be discussed in breathless present tense for decades to come. We will be swept along in the swoon of vicarious victory, until people start chanting "one for the first finger of the other hand."

And JB will still be predicting the other team to win against Pittsburgh.

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