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Fanfare for a Common Man
Rick Reilly
February 13, 2006
Get Tagliabue on his cell! Call an emergency meeting! File a grievance! Something so disturbing and wrong happened on Sunday at the Super Bowl that heads must roll!
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February 13, 2006

Fanfare For A Common Man

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Get Tagliabue on his cell! Call an emergency meeting! File a grievance! Something so disturbing and wrong happened on Sunday at the Super Bowl that heads must roll!

A simple, humble man became the Super Bowl XL hero.

Can't be! Aren't Super Bowl heroes supposed to wear $7,000 Italian suits, flash enough bling to make Stevie Wonder's eyes hurt and have egos so big they follow in their own Escalades? Don't they come with a wife, a girlfriend and a posse? The closest this bumpkin has ever been to a posse is Bonanza.

Take a good look at this guy-- Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher. He's got the nose of a nearsighted boxer, rock-pile teeth and a mustache stolen from the Village People. For Super Bowl week he wore flood-ready khakis, logoless tennis shoes and what looked like a $40 watch. "On TV we've seen what he's been wearing," said his 18-year-old daughter, Lauren, who, like the rest of the family, didn't get to Detroit until game day. "And we're like, That's 'cause none of us are there!"

It's not just his wardrobe that's straight out of Mayberry. It's his integrity, too. Cowher, 48, won't do ads, books or billboards. Doesn't want the attention. Won't move into a fancier house. Won't miss watching Lauren and her 14-year-old sister, Lindsay, play high school basketball, just as he regularly watched Meagan, who now stars for Princeton.

Madison Avenue must be reaching for their Tums. We have to make a star out of this clunk?

But like it or not, after 14 years of trying, Cowher has finally slain his Super Bowl beast, beating the Seattle Microchips 21-10 at Ford Field. He led a team with a second-year quarterback and an overweight running back to eight straight victories--the last four on the road in the playoffs--winning the Super Bowl as a sixth seed, the equivalent of cutting the Hope diamond with a spork.

Here was his moment at the 50-yard line, the dessert cart rolled out just for him. He grabbed his three daughters and his wife, Kaye, right there, with a minute still left on the clock. He'd waited 14 years; he wasn't waiting anymore. And in the greatest huddle of his life he screamed, "I just want you to know that you four mean more to me than anything in the world! And at the count of three we're all going to do a giant high five!"

And they did.

And that's when the big galoot cried like the mother of the bride.

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