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Super Bowl XL Blog

Live dispatches from Ford Field in Detroit

Posted: Sunday February 5, 2006 6:05PM; Updated: Monday February 6, 2006 2:27AM
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Tom Brady
Apparently you can't have a Super Bowl these days without Tom Brady, who conducted the coin toss.
Harry How/Getty Images
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You are looking live at the press box in Ford Field for running commentary of all the Super Bowl XL festivities.
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SI.com's Pete McEntegart is at Ford Field and will be keeping you up to date on all the activities from Detroit throughout the evening.

Welcome to the 10 Spot's live Super Bowl blog brought to you from Detroit's Ford Field. Typically, here's the part where I'd say "live from the press box," but I'm actually camped out in the media workroom watching the game on TV. My assigned spot in the auxiliary press box was somewhere near downtown Ypsilanti. That wouldn't be a big problem except that it was just a regular seat, not the typical media work area with table space and the like. Balancing my laptop on my knees didn't seem to be a profitable way to spend the next four hours -- for any of us.

At any rate, I will be staying with you through the final gun. I will try to give a hint of play-by-play (score, time, etc.) for those of you without access to a TV, especially you ex-pats. Other than that, I'll simply try to provide a little color from Ford Field as well as the detritus from a week in Detroit.

5:43 p.m.áEST --áNow it's time for my eagerly anticipated Super Bowl pick, for those of you who have any cash left over from the holiday season that you'd like to squander. Actually, my Rose Bowl pick was nearly perfect, as I took Texas to win 38-34. That either means I'm on a roll or virtually guaranteed to pick incorrectly. Regardless, I like Pittsburgh, 23-17. It just seems that BenáRoethlisberger has the markings of a truly special quarterback. The Steelers have been on a huge roll since dropping to 7-5. Look for them to take an early lead and then hang on late. For some reason, it's just hard for me to conceive of "Seahawks" and "Super Bowl champions" in the same sentence. Unless that sentence is, "The Seahawks lost to the Super Bowl champion Steelers."

5:52 p.m. --áWith the success of the movie Ray, do you think Stevie Wonder is upset that there's no Stevie movie in the pipeline? "Hey, that guy wasn't any blinder than me." There's got to be an Oscar waiting there for some comedian-turned-actor. Perhaps we should have brought this up to David Alan Grier on Wednesday night, if we could have pried between the young women who were unaccountably clinging to him.

6:15 p.m. -- Hopefully you all had a smoother path to your Super Bowl party than I did to the game today. I thought I was being super-efficient by taking the 2 p.m. shuttle to the game from my hotel in Livonia, 20 miles west of Detroit. Alas, Jerry the bus driver decided that we weren't far enough west, and actually headed that direction on the Interstate before some Michigan-based writers corrected him. That was just the first of many mishaps, which resulted in us being dropped off about Ż mile from the field. Shockingly, there turned out to be a bit of congestion and increased security around the stadium. Total time for the 25-minute trip: an hour and a half.

Naturally, Wrong Way Jerry brought out the gallows humor for the assembled scribes. There was running comparison to the movie Speed, except that this bus driver was somehow being prevented from making any proper turn or exit by some angry terrorist. There was no shortage of backseat drivers shouting out directions, most of which were ignored. "This guy's got 50 Keanu Reeves' in the back," one wag noted. "None of us can act either."

6:26 p.m. -- I guess one really can't hold a Super Bowl these days without Tom Brady, as he's tossing the coin. Peyton Manning shut out again. Maybe the NFL was worried he'd go through too many gesticulations before finally flipping the coin.

6:28 p.m.á-- Seahawks start with the ball first, from their own 18. Elisabeth Hasselbeck's brother-in-law under center.

6:35 p.m. -- Sack on third down by Clark Haggans stops a relatively promising Seattle drive around midfield. Matt Hasselbeck completed his first three passes for two first downs before making room for a Burger King commercial in which, if my eyes didn't deceive me, women dressed as lettuce, onions and tomatoes were dancing around as if in a Busby Berkeley musical. Then again, I haven't been getting much sleep this week.

6:41 p.m. -- Ugly Pittsburgh drive ends in a three-and-out thanks in part to two false-start penalties. Can't blame those on the Qwest Field noise like most Seahawks opponents. This crowd is about 80 percent pro-Steelers, at least among those non-corporate types who are actually cheering.

6:55 p.m. -- Hasselbeck just hit Ike Taylor in stride. Unfortunately, Taylor plays for the Steelers. But Taylor somehow dropped it and Seattle will punt again. That makes room for a difficult-to-decipher Toyota hybrid commercial. Is the dad really bilingual? Or is the message that people that drive hybrids are simply smarter than most Americans and thus more likely to know multiple languages? While I've been pondering that, the Steelers unloaded a punt of their own. That allows the airing of the first national commercial ever starring an SI.com columnist, as Jay Mohr hypes Diet Pepsi's new song, Brown and Bubbly. Yes, the can itself is singing. You must suspend disbelief. OK, Seahawks have the ball again around midfield.

6:58 p.m. -- Touchdown! Oops, flag. It's coming back. Pass interference on Seahawks receiver Darrell Jackson, who caught the ball in the end zone. It would have been his sixth catch, a new Super Bowl record for the first quarter. He's tied now with Andre Reed, who caught five against the Giants in Super Bowl XXV. Don't tell D-Jack, but Reed got hit so hard on those early grabs that he was barely a factor in the second half in New York's 20-19 victory.

7:00 p.m. -- A 47-yard field goal by Josh Brown and it'sá3-0 Seattle with 22 seconds left in the first quarter. Kind of a snoozer so far. Hopefully it will be a slow-start, fast-finish game like Patriots-Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

7:07 p.m. -- First quarter ends, 3-0 Seattle. Pittsburgh will punt (again) to start the second. Roethlisberger is 1-for-5 for 1 yard and the Steelers have no first downs. So far my pregame predictions (quick Steelers start, Roethlisberger's "special" status) would be perfect in the Bizarro World.

7:10 p.m. -- Excellent punt return by Peter Warrick called back, inevitably, by a flag. How often does that happen, seriously? Thirty percent of the time? Fifty? Is it really that hard to block on a punt return without drawing a flag? It just seems like a fundamental glitch in the sport. If this was Madden football, it would have been fixed a few years ago.

7:13 p.m. -- Maybe Joey Porter's right that Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens is soft. Stevens just caught a long pass down the middle on third down, appeared to take two steps and then fumbled when he was belted by Steelers safety Chris Hope. It was ruled incomplete, though it could easily have been ruled a fumble. Still, it's nice to see virtually the only on-field "drama" this week, the Porter-Stevens tempest in a teapot, pay off a little bit.

7:20 p.m. -- Steelers get a first down! So far, the Pittsburgh offense had been about as efficient as the guy working with the monkeys in the careerbuilder.com ads. Next play, Hines Ward takes the ball on the end-around for another first down. (Please, don't call it a double reverse.) It seems the Steelers have decided to show up after all.

7:22 p.m. -- Ooops, posted too soon. Roethlisberger throws one up for grabs deep to Antwaan Randle El; it's picked off by Michael Boulware. Tough start for the hirsute one. If he's keeping that beard out of superstition, maybe he should shave it off at halftime. If he rallies Pittsburgh in the second half, you'd have to think he'd get a great Gillette sponsorship out of it.

7:26 p.m. -- Ouch!! Randle El fields a punt for Pittsburgh and takes a nasty hit in the back after he flips head over heels. Maybe that's why those blockers are always holding or punt returns -- so that the returner doesn't get decapitated. Mea culpa.

7:32 p.m. -- Steelers driving. Nice ad lib by Roethlisberger, shoveling to Ward on third down, to pick upáthe first. A laser to Cedrick Wilson and now the ball's down to the Seattle 22. Oooh! Big groan here in the media workroom, as Ward can't quite hold on in the corner of the end zone. It's odd to see how many media members are already camped out here. My scouts say that they're primarily trying to stake out space to work once the game ends. Those East Coast newspaper deadlines, in particular, can be killers.

7:36 p.m. -- Roethlisberger heaves it downfield on third and long ... and it's CAUGHT by Ward at the three. Prediction: we're about to see the Bus on first down, and maybe second and third down, too. Did you know that he's from Detroit?

7:38 p.m. -- Bus down to the 1-yard-line on first down. Shocker. Bettis again on second, stacked up. We're at the two-minute warning, ball at the 1. I'm going to see if I can run out to watch the action live. Be back quickly.

7:45 p.m. -- TOUCHDOWN!! Or is it? Roethlisberger follows the Bus into the end zone, but it's under review. The ruling stands, touchdown, Steelers. The extra point is good, it's 7-3 Steelers with 1:55 left.

7:49 p.m. -- I was indeed able to make it out to watch the touchdown play. (In fact, every play I've ever seen live at a Super Bowl has been a touchdown.) It does seem that every fan at Ford Field has a Terrible Towel, and they were all waving them when the ref's arms went up to signify a touchdown. I haven't seen that much excitement in Detroit since Kid Rock "performed" at Saturday's SI party by spinning the turntables for about four minutes before retreating into a super-secret VIP room.

7:51 p.m. -- Oooh! D-Jack can't catch a break. He catches the ball in the end zone for the second time tonight, but this one doesn't count, either. The refs say he had just one foot in bounds. It was pretty close. Under a minute, Seahawks on the Steelers 40.

7:55 p.m. -- Maybe Mike Holmgren is campaigning for the Chiefs job, since he just displayed some classic Herm Edwards-esque clock management. The Seahawks let it run down to 13 seconds on third-and-six from the 36 despite having a timeout, whereupon (inexplicably) the Steelers call a TO. On third down, Hasselback goes deep to Jackson, who catches it (of course) but is out of bounds (of course). Brown misses a 54-yard field goal and Seattle squanders a big chance.

7:56 p.m. -- Halftime, 7-3 Steelers. Ho-hum first half. Hopefully they're saving it for the second.

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