With one of the most exciting Super Bowl games in history as her inspiration, the NYT's NFL beat reporter Judy Battista chose to open the paper's lead story on yesterday's epic Steelers-Cardinals battle with a lede about the pre-game festivities:
TAMPA, Fla. — Few football franchises have so many great alumni who appear on the field to whip up the fans each time the team appears in the Super Bowl. But there was Lynn Swann, the great Pittsburgh Steelers receiver, a Terrible Towel in his hand, right before kickoff Sunday, just the way that Franco Harris, the great Steelers running back, had appeared three years ago in Detroit. Swann and Harris delivered Super Bowl titles as part of the Steelers’ dynasty a generation ago, and Swann was a subtle reminder that while the Arizona Cardinals were the team dusted with magic in these playoffs, the Steelers had history on their side.
That history got a few new heroes on Sunday night to stand beside Swann and Harris, Joe Greene and Jerome Bettis. After a frenetic finish, the Steelers won their sixth Super Bowl title — more than any team in the National Football League — not because of their defense, but because an oft-maligned offense allowed them to defeat the Arizona Cardinals, 27-23.