It was an awesome awesome match ! The Pittsburgh Steelers took an early lead when they scored a field goal in the first five minutes of play, and a touchdown in the first minute of the second quarter to make the score 10-0. The Cardinals got a touchdown soon after, and just before half-time, the ball was right at the goal line, with the Cardinals about to score. 17 seconds on the scoreboard, and the quarterback throws the ball, but one of the guys from the Pittsburgh defense, James Harrison, caught the ball, and he starts running towards the Steelers goal line, and he actually ran the entire 100 yards without being stopped, converting an expected Cardinal touchdown to a Steelers touchdown instead !
This was when we thought the match was over - the score was like 17-7. But it wasn't. The cardinals went on to make another touchdown in the 4th quarter, and then another in the last 2 minutes of play and pulled ahead to 23-20 ! And again, I thought the game was over - there were only 2 minutes left ! And again, it wasn't. With 35 seconds to go, the Steelers scored ! By then, all of us here were jumping and praying and screaming at the top of our lungs ! There were 35 seconds, and the Arizona Cardinals had to advance 60 yards, and they almost did - but not quite. (This time I didn't assume anything!) Till the last second, the fight was on for the championship, but a lucky break gave us the win !
The game tonight was really played right till the end - it was all about not freaking out about the clock, or about the huge lead the opposing team had. It was about the 100 yard sprint by Harrison, and the 64 yard sprint by Fitzgerald, the almost-out-of-the-line-but-not-quite catch by Holmes, and the really good defense that the Cardinals showed when the Steelers reached the goal line 3 minutes into the game, stopping them there for a field goal instead of a touchdown.
After the game, we went to UPitt, and watched the crowds go wild ! Lots of screaming and fireworks and bonfires, and totally wild stuff. There were like a million people there, waving their terrible towels, singing, blocking the roads, screaming, celebrating the win ! A lot of people broke road signs, and at least one guy climbed the traffic signal post, and upturned the traffic light. The police turned up eventually, and stood in front of the celebrating crowd, asking them to go off the road. But the people kept screaming, and eventually, the police had to back off ! That was one sight I had never imagined seeing in the US.
It was like an impromptu ganpati procession on the roads, all the noise and dancing, but unlike the ganpati crowd, this was a very well-behaved crowd towards other people.
Tonight was totally an awesome night ! I hope I get to see the steelers play again at the superbowl every year :)