By Don Banks, SI.com
TAMPA -- I walked in Wednesday morning without pomp and under different circumstances, but there I was back at my alma mater, the University of South Florida, and in the very venue -- the Sun Dome -- where I'd graduated in April 1984.
Much to my chagrin, but no surprise, there's still no statue or even a banner to mark my years there. On this day, there were only Pittsburgh Steelers, and I was just one of a few hundred reporters going about the business of logging in the team's Wednesday morning media availability.
It's old-home week for Mike Tomlin as well. The Steelers head coach took courses at South Florida when he was an assistant with the Bucs earlier this decade.
For a little perspective, 1984 was also the first year Tampa ever hosted the NFL's flagship event, when the Los Angeles Raiders crushed the Washington Redskins 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII. That also happened to be the first Super Bowl I covered -- and let's hope Sunday's Cardinals-Steelers game is nowhere near the blowout that unfolded on what became known as Black Sunday.
The Steelers are practicing all week here on campus. Ironically, USF didn't even have a football team when I was there. The Bulls didn't get a team until 1996, when I moved from the Tampa Bay area to Minneapolis. A football school it is now and a pretty successful one at that. But the old Sun Dome looks pretty much the same as I remember it from the days I used to cut class to watch Charlie Bradley and the Bulls compete in Sun Belt Conference basketball games.
Check SI.com's Super Blog regularly for more dispatches from Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa.