My day at Super Bowl XLIII

February 04, 2009 |

Here is a recap of my day at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa:

I don’t know if they showed it on television, but the Bethune-Cookman Marching Wildcats performed before the game. They weren’t good, they were great! How good could a marching band be? Go check them out on YouTube. Good stuff.

Watching the Steelers run onto the field before the game made me sick to my stomach just thinking how close the Ravens got, and how much fun it would have been. Ugh!

This was my eighth Super Bowl, and Jennifer Hudson, by far, did the best version of the National Anthem that I have ever heard. I thought it was even better than Whitney Houston’s back in the day at Super Bowl XXV. It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. At one point, I looked to a woman sitting next to me and she was crying. That’s pretty powerful.

I am very thankful for my seat, and I appreciate being at the game each year. I thank the NFL for credentialing WNST for Super Bowl week and the big game. With that being said, I was in the last row of the upper deck in Raymond James Stadium. I can honestly tell you that I didn’t think I was going to make it to the top. Another five steps and I would have gone into cardiac arrest. After the National Anthem, there was a flyover. I was so high up, I ducked. Swear to God, I think the pilot waved to me.

I get hungry and I decide that I want to get a $12 chicken cheese steak. I pay my 12 bucks, and I get my sandwich. I look at my sandwich, and there is no cheese. I ask if I can get some cheese on it, and they tell me that there is already cheese on it. I examine it again, and I say, “No, there isn’t.” They tell me that it’s already mixed in. I ask if it disintegrated. They tell me that it’s in there. So I ask if I can get extra cheese, and that I will pay for it, and they say no! Are you kidding me! I want cheese, and I want to pay for it, and still it’s a no. Then I have to walk back up all those steps. Ugh!

It’s always amazing to watch the crew put together a halftime show in six minutes flat. They have to put together a full stage, instruments, lights, equipment and put thousands of kids on the field surrounding the stage. Then Bruce – excuse me, “The Boss” – comes out and gets to sing four songs. Bruce could have sung one of his hits but noooooo. He decides to sing two songs that you wouldn’t know unless you are a diehard Springsteen fan. Let’s not make the world happy and sing “Born in the USA,” let me be the arrogant man who refers to himself as “The Boss” and do two songs no one cares about. If you are a Bruce fan, please don’t email me. I don’t like his fans either.

During the game breaks at the stadium, they showed plays of the year on the video boards, among other things. Ed Reed’s 108-yard return made the big screen a number of times, and as you would expect, it drew a number of boos from the Pittsburgh faithful. Then Joe Flacco’s photo is flashed up there, and it says “Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year,” and yet again come more boos. Did I mention how much I hate Steeler fans?

Finally, Shannon Sharpe wasn’t elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Who didn’t vote for Shannon, and why?