Monday, February 2, 2009

Bigotry and Hatmunching

In the early days of television it was common for game show hosts to say, "...I'll eat my hat." The expression isn't used much now. On a related point, references are no longer made to rhubard, especially not on the news when reporting the weather, and no one at all in those days said, on television, they were, "happy as a pig in shit." On this Monday I am going to eat my hat, check the rain on the rhubarb, and I am happy as a pig in shit.

The Pittsburgh Steeler's sixth superbowl victory feels great. I feel unreservedly proud of the home football team. And its a situation in which I got proven wrong about one hundred sixty thousand things relevant to major league football and this town. Certain prejudices just got corrected by yesterday's Superbowl victory.

From lotsa years back, and putting into this that I'm a transplant to the 'burgh' and come from a family of sports dysfunctionals, I was under the impression that the team wasn't worth its salt. I thought Big Ben was a poor choice, I thought he was going to retire from injuries before managing to became a star in history, I was prejudiced against people who have had a lot of concussions, and our great quarterback did what great people do to clear up doubt. Santonio Holmes seemed to me like some sort of flash in the pan when I first heard the name on the news (I almost never watch an entire football game) and now it is impossible for that first impression to be true. The two plays, a first pass through Holmes' arms, and the completed touchdown pass that won the game, was as thrilling as it gets. All in all, it appears that the team is the "real deal" and I had thought otherwise. I'm eating my hat about the Superbowl, and there are more hats to munch on.

All the while that I was expressing my doubts about Ben, some of my die hard Steeler fan friends insisted that he is the 'real deal.' Their ability to see the talent in the sports figure deserves notice. It's a lot of hearts and minds deep in a fine city and champion team. The future looks better, my collection of hats is depleting, and the eradication of prejudice feels good, like winning the Superbowl.

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