10. Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band: Don’t be refilling,snacking or outside the party when they wheel out Bruce mid-game in what’s sureto be the most awkward six minutes of his venerated career since “We Are theWorld.”
9. Jennifer Hudson’s National Anthem: Bound to impress, bearing in mind that no one will ever top the triumphant Whitney Houston headband-version of1991.
8. Cardinals Quarterback Kurt Warner: Warner worked nights as a clerk at a grocery store in Iowa when his professionalfootball career began in 1995. He’s earned approximately fifty-million dollars since. But like a polyethylene bag, his Everymanpersona will never die. Selected to start earlier this season over Cardinals hot shot draft pick and renowned gentleman MattLeinart, Warner’s "last chance at glory" tale is great stuff, whether he rides off into the sunset or laughably fails due to the onset of old age.
7. Arizona Head Coach Ken Wisenhunt vs. His Former Employer: Wisenhunt, a former Steelers assistant, was passed up for a promotion to their vacant Head Coach position resulting in his exodus to Arizona. Conditions are such that Ken may have many a disgruntled former employee in his corner.
6. Local Truce: The regional favorites New York Giants and New England Patriots aren't playing. Takes the pressure off. No high speed flipping of the bird back and forth to each other on I-89. No workplace awkwardness. No high spirited, near-violent discussions at the bar. Giants fans can quietly ponder why their players literally and figuratively shoot themselves. Smug Patriots fans can silently dream that their team may have been a major factor in this years tournament had they been allowed to participate and/or were it not for the eternally hapless Buffalo Bills.
5. Pittsburgh Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben has suffered a injuries to both knees, multiple back problems, an emergency appendectomy, a near fatal motorcycle crash without a helmet, two normal concussions and something called a 'spinal' concussion. Roethlisberger's list of injuries is so lengthy and complex that he may very well become the first player in league history to spontaneously combust mid-play.
4. Super Bowl Commercials '09: Art for cola's sake.
3. Spring on Television: Green grass - not turf. People are working on this lush Florida plot this very minute. Tampa's field has a tifway 419 Bermuda blend that’s sure to be decadent. Thepreparation of players and production staff are the oft-heralded sources of Super Bowl hype – but give a nod to the grounds crew. And green grass.It’s probably been a while since you’ve seen it.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers defense: To paraphrase Pittsburgh linebacker/convicteddomestic assailant James Harrison: “No one likes to see anyone get injured. But hurting people is a different story.” Yikes.
1. Cardinals Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald has a rare combination of speed, strength, humility and genuine personality rarely found in professional sports anymore. He is a truly a welcomed relief.
Pick: Steelers 28, Cardinals 13. Post your picks below.