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Friday, January 05, 2007

Thank you, Coach Cowher.

Rick Reilly Of Sports Illustrated summed up the soon-to-be-former Pittsburgh Steelers' head coach fairly well last February 13, right after the Super Bowl XL victory...

Get Tagliabue on his cell! Call an emergency meeting! File a grievance! Something so disturbing and wrong happened on Sunday at the Super Bowl that heads must roll!

A simple, humble man became the Super Bowl XL hero.

Can't be! Aren't Super Bowl heroes supposed to wear $7,000 Italian suits, flash enough bling to make Stevie Wonder's eyes hurt and have egos so big they follow in their own Escalades? Don't they come with a wife, a girlfriend and a posse? The closest this bumpkin has ever been to a posse is Bonanza.

Take a good look at this guy -- Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher. He's got the nose of a nearsighted boxer, rock-pile teeth and a mustache stolen from the Village People. For Super Bowl week he wore flood-ready khakis, logoless tennis shoes and what looked like a $40 watch. "On TV we've seen what he's been wearing," said his 18-year-old daughter, Lauren, who, like the rest of the family, didn't get to Detroit until game day. "And we're like, That's 'cause none of us are there!"

It's not just his wardrobe that's straight out of Mayberry. It's his integrity, too. Cowher, 48, won't do ads, books or billboards. Doesn't want the attention. Won't move into a fancier house. Won't miss watching Lauren and her 14-year-old sister, Lindsay, play high school basketball, just as he regularly watched Meagan, who now stars for Princeton.

Madison Avenue must be reaching for their Tums. We have to make a star out of this clunk?

But like it or not, after 14 years of trying, Cowher has finally slain his Super Bowl beast, beating the Seattle Microchips 21-10 at Ford Field. He led a team with a second-year quarterback and an overweight running back to eight straight victories -- the last four on the road in the playoffs -- winning the Super Bowl as a sixth seed, the equivalent of cutting the Hope diamond with a spork.

Here was his moment at the 50-yard line, the dessert cart rolled out just for him. He grabbed his three daughters and his wife, Kaye, right there, with a minute still left on the clock. He'd waited 14 years; he wasn't waiting anymore. And in the greatest huddle of his life he screamed, "I just want you to know that you four mean more to me than anything in the world! And at the count of three we're all going to do a giant high five!"

And they did.

And that's when the big galoot cried like the mother of the bride.

Well, you might have too, if on the way to your desk every workday for a decade and a half you'd walked past four Lombardi trophies that somebody else had won. And how would you like to have lost four AFC Championship Games at home and one Super Bowl, setting the record for Most Times, Chin Kept Up?

And that's why, when Cowher finally snagged the Big One on Sunday, it was an utter befuddlement to him. No coach in history has had as many regular-season victories (143) without winning a Super Bowl. He'd always dressed for blizzards. What was he supposed to do at the beach?

After an hour of giving credit to everybody but himself, he finally found himself almost alone in the coaches' locker room. He got butt-naked for a shower, changed his mind, sat down on a folding chair, lit up a very fat cigar and stuck it in the middle of a smile that you could've seen from Pluto.

Fess up: Would you have been complete without a Super Bowl win?

"To be honest, all those championship-game losses hurt me so bad, I stopped thinking about titles," he puffed. "I just refused to think about a championship. I learned to think about the game and nothing else. Nothing about what it meant. I just always prepared myself for the worst. I never let myself think about what it'd be like to win a Super Bowl. I didn't want to be hurt again."

Sorry, Bubba, you're stuck with it, and good luck finding somebody in the league who's not happy for you.

"Everybody talked all week about how we were trying to win this for Jerome [Bettis]," said linebacker Joey Porter. "That's true. But we wanted this just as much for Coach.... To finally win it all, that erases all the doubt about this man."

Cowher wasn't going to get ****y. "Tomorrow night I'm back to being an assistant coach," he admitted. "My four women tell me what to do, and I do it." He was scheduled to sit in yet another drafty high school gym the very next night, watching his daughters play basketball, parade or no parade.

"It'll be great to have him home," said Lauren. "We can dress him again." (Thanks to Steelers Fever Forums for posting this article.)

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About Me

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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