It should have been the Philadelphia Eagles. But then again, "woulda, shoulda, coulda's" are an avenue we shouldn't be heading in.
We know that should've been us, but it wasn't.
It was the Pittsburgh Steelers. Still, if anything, we should have been playing them.
But we weren't. That was the Arizona Cardinals.
Thus, watching the game as it transpired, there were a few key things going on in my mind.
1. If this game, of all the games, does not prove what a TOP-NOTCH WIDE RECEIVER can do for a team, than I do not know what will. I know I am beating down a broken door, but CMON...Santonio Holmes is a beast. Larry Fitzgerald is a beast.
DeSean Jackson, right now at least, is a nice slot guy who can stretch the field. He can't make diving catches on the toes or a catch with THREE defenders right next to him.
Kevin Curtis is a good NUMBER TWO. Hank Baskett and Jason Avant are good "trash men", a.k.a. third down/get the yards necessary guys. Reggie Brown is a bum. Greg Lewis is not a bum, but he is not great either.
2. How weird would it have been if the Cardinals won?
Think about it. If the Cardinals won, they would have one more Super Bowl than the Eagles. I don't think that would sit very well with me. At least I am used to hearing the Steelers win.
Also, now that the Steelers have six Super Bowls, we don't have to hear anymore how the Cowboys are the NFL's standard.
3. While I was not rooting for any team, I hoped Arizona would not win the game. One reason is the point I just made in No. 2. The other reason is my recently late father is from Pittsburgh. He was born and raised there. While he was a huge Eagles fan, he was a huge Steelers fan as well.
That is why, other than the fact it would have been a Pennsylvania Super Bowl, having the Eagles against the Steelers would have been extra special. He would have loved that. Still, I know he was smiling somewhere, wherever he may be, when Ben Rothlisberger took that final knee.
I know in sports we get caught up in rivalries and hating other teams no matter what. But, in circumstances like these, you can't help but feel happy for others who inspire or are close to you.
I don't like the Steelers, but I am happy for my dad.
Another person I am happy for is John Challis. I don't know how many people remember who this kid is, but he was interviewed during the Flyers/Penguins Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
John is a Pittsburgh area native who died in late August after his long battle with terminal cancer. His courage of fighting the disease positively became a national story.
While I hated to see the Penguins beat us, I felt happy for this kid, who was obviously dealing with more troubling things than what happens in the hockey playoffs. And at one point last night either while watching the game or when it ended (I don't exactly remember), John crossed my mind once again. Like I was for my father, I was happy for this particular Pittsburgh fan.
There are others too–some relatives of mine, the late Myron Cope (who my dad adored...he is like Pittsburgh's Richie Ashburn), friends who may be Pittsburgh fans, etc. But, my father and John crossed my mind the most last night.
Do not be mistaken, I am one of the biggest Philly sports fans around. I unbelievably hate it when we lose and other teams win.
Yet, sometimes you have to take a step back away from sports, the rivalries and the competition to realize that there is more to life.
Tip your cap to the Steelers and smile for those who are either close to you or inspire you that came out World Champions last night.
They got the job done. We didn't.