SUPER BOWL XLIII WEEK
Parties... Events... Appearances...Interviews... Photo shoots...Ticket Requests...Endorsements... They're here!
No it's not Poltergeist, its Super Bowl Week!
It's the one single week of the year when the sports world convenes to witness the single greatest game played on earth.
It's a week where the spotlight shines stronger than the sun, and the atmosphere is more frenzied than a school of piranha feeding on an injured animal. Everything is multiplied and magnified, including the temptations, the distractions and the enticements.
Welcome to Tampa for Super Bowl week, where anything and everything could happen.
Oh, did I forget practice, film study, game planning, weight training and the most important football game of the year?
This week is when the entire world stops and takes notice.
How many people you ask? The game is broadcast to over 1 billion people in 232 countries in 33 different languages.
A billion people? How many is a billion? Try more than three times the entire population of the United States!
And when that light shines so bright, it becomes a magnet to anyone and everyone that seeks it, but don't get too close, because as wonderful as you feel being bathed in the limelight it can, and will burn you.
Is the draw too much? Will someone have a meltdown? Will we see a player pull a ???Barrett Robbins liquor binge', or a ???Eugene Robinson caught with a hooker the night before the game', or far worse, someone going on a ???Stanley Wilson cocaine bender'?
Thus far, it's been a relative quiet week, with the exception of a Santonio Holmes confession of teenage drug selling--- Not what one would call shocking or, the supposed rib injury to Ben Roethlisberger.
So, I went looking for the most controversial story I could find.
What did I uncover?
Not much. It's the same old standard vanilla answers that each and every player is coached on: Don't say anything controversial. Don't do anything controversial and do not say anything about your opponent that would disrespect them? No drinking, No guns, No sex and certainly NO drugs.
Lord knows, you don't want to be the guy that gives a quote to a reporter that ends up on the front page of the sports section. You know, the type of fodder that can be twisted into your opponents rallying cry. Oh no! You DON'T want to be that guy!
So what did I find? I found a gazillion of foreign reporters, a bazillion photographers, thousands of NFL executives, tons of family members, and one especially outspoken, witty sports talk host from India. His name is Rajneesh Gupta and he's from Mumbai.
So, I asked Rajneesh about what Indians think of our game.
Kay: "Rajneesh, what do Indians think about the Super Bowl?"
Rajneesh: "Steve, you can call me Raj. Like garage, but without the ???ga'."
Kay: "Okay, Raj. What to Indians think of the Super Bowl?"
Raj: "The game is well liked, but not as much as cricket or soccer, but it's becoming more popular."
Kay: "Why, because the NFL is doing more marketing in Asia?"
Raj: "I don't think so. I think it's because so many of our telephone operators speak to Americans and they talk to us about football."
Kay: "So when you put us on hold, you're talking football?"
Kay: "Is there one player that is really popular in India?"
Raj: "Not really, but I think the girls go for Tom Brady."
Kay: "Funny, the girls in America go for him too!"
Raj: "I like the Steelers; they're good. I like Big Ben, Hines Ward, Troy and ???The President', James Harrison."
Kay: "You mean the 9th president of the United States, William Henry Harrison? No, he doesn't play for the Steelers."
Raj: "I heard on sports talk radio, that he was the best player."
Kay: "What? You have sports talk radio in India?"
Raj: "I'm on it everyday, that's why I know so much about American football."
Kay: "You are a little confused. James Harrison was the Defensive Player of the Year; he wasn't elected president--- That would be Barack Obama."
Raj: "I know about all the players. At home, I perform on the radio as ???Carnac the Magnificent'."
Kay: "Really? You do the Johnny Carson imitation with the turban and...?"
Raj: "Who? I never heard of him!"
Kay: "Never mind. Tell me about your act."
Raj: "Oh, it's no act. I am for real."
Raj: "Ask me about a player."
Kay: "Okay, the answer is a comma, a semi-colon and Willie Colon."
Raj: "Name two punctuation marks and a really big lineman."
Kay: "Not bad. How about: a Norwegian, a Finn and Limas Sweed?"
Raj: "Name two Scandinavians and a rookie wide receiver."
Kay: "Could he, should he, and Lamar Woodley?"
Raj: "What are two forms of indecision and a linebacker that can lay the wood on you."
Kay: "A valet attendant, a porter and Willie Parker?"
Raj: What are two guys that can park a car and a guy that can put it in the end zone!"
Kay: "You're not bad, but what about the Arizona Cardinals? What do you know about them?"
Raj: "I know about them too."
Kay: "Okay, what about little, small, and Kurt Warner?"
Raj: "The answer is: Two things that are short and a guy who like to go long!"
Kay: "A debit card, travelers checks and Larry Fitzgerald?"
Raj: "What are two forms of payment and a wide receiver that is MONEY!"
Kay: "That's not too bad, you're knowledgeable and funny."
Raj: "In India, we call Larry Fitzgerald, Fitzwarner because the combination of Warner to Fitzgerald is, how do you say, awesome! You want to hear some play by play?"
Kay: "Sure, go right ahead."
Raj: "Warner comes to the line, he says something to his men, the defense moves, the hike, Warner backs up to pass, he looks right, he looks left, he throws downfield...touchdown Fitzwarner!"
Kay: "What are you the Al Michaels of India?"
Raj: "No, John Mad Man."
Kay: "You mean, John Madden."
Raj: "Oh, he's a mad man too! Boof. Pow. Bam. And funny too!"
Kay: "Okay, let's shift gears for a minute. Who do you like to win the Super Bowl?"
Raj: "The Cardinals play in the desert?"
Kay: "Yes they do, they play in Arizona."
Raj: "The Cardinals have the Desert Storm defense."
Kay: "That's the American military in Iraq, Desert Storm, you mean Desert Swarm."
Raj: "Yes, the desert can be very violent and deadly when the wind picks up causing a stand storm, but on the other hand if you pick up a handful of sand, open your fingers, it will easily slip between them falling helplessly to the ground."
Kay: "Very profound, but what about the Steelers?"
Raj: "They have a strong Communist defense!"
Raj: "Yes, they have an Iron Curtain defense."
Kay: "You mean, Steel Curtain."
Raj: "Oh, the curtain is made of steel? How do they hang such a heavy curtain?"
Kay: "It's a figure of speech."
Raj: "I don't..."
Kay: "Never mind"
Raj: "I want the Steelers to win. I especially love the Triple Cheese Burger guy, he's got a great arm besides, and he's really tasty!
Kay: "You mean Ben Roethlisberger."
Raj: "Yeah, and the Luau guy. My wife is in love with his long flowing hair."
Kay: "You mean Troy Polamalu."
Raj: "We love ???The Bus' and the guy with the ???Big Left Foot' too."
Kay: "Larry Foote?"
Raj: "Oh yeah, him too."
Kay: "I hate to tell you, ???The Bus' retired three years ago."
Raj: "That's okay; he is still scheduled to deliver the Super Bowl to Sixburgh!"
Kay: "You mean Pittsburgh?"
Raj: "No, three years ago, they won one ???for the thumb', now there are no more fingers left, so Pittsburgh becomes Sixburgh!"
Kay: "Good luck, and enjoy your triple cheese Roethlis-burger!"
Copyright 2009 Steve Kay