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|01-28-2011, 10:04 AM||#1|
A Son of Martha
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For Steelers, the devil's in the details
For Steelers, the devil's in the details
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times
Thursday January 27, 2011 11:55 PM
David Geen of Pittsburgh, takes pictures of a snow sculpture depicting Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu (43) sacking and forcing a fumble by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) in a playground in Boyce Park in Monroeville, Pa., Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
PITTSBURGH — Emmanuel Sanders has a problem.
An entourage of 50 relatives and friends are going to the Super Bowl and wanting to see him play. But he only has 15 tickets.
What’s a rookie wide receiver supposed to do?
“It’s hard because no one wants to tell their loved ones no,” Sanders said.
But leave it to veteran nose tackle Casey Hampton, who’s already been to two Super Bowls, to provide insight to those Steelers making it to the big show for the first time.
“I have no problem telling people no,” Hampton said. “I just tell them, ‘Some of you can go and some of you can’t.’ At some point, you got to cut it off.”
For this Super Bowl, each Steeler was allowed to purchase 15 tickets at $900 each.
But then the hard part: deciding who gets those tickets and who doesn’t.
“You wouldn’t believe how many texts I’m getting from people wanting tickets,” wide receiver Mike Wallace said. “I don’t even know who they all are.”
Buying and allotting their Super Bowl tickets is just one duty all Steelers have had to take care of this week.
To be sure, this has been a work week. Today, the Steelers will practice for the third straight day in preparation for their Super Bowl XLV encounter against the Packers. But this has also been a period to figure out a myriad of logistics for family and friends headed to Dallas next week. Players must arrange not only for game-day tickets but also travel plans and hotel rooms.
There’s also the media onslaught. It started Wednesday, but once the team arrives in Dallas, the Steelers must deal with what has become in recent years a circus.
“(Coach) Mike Tomlin has been doing an excellent job making us understand to care of all the family stuff right now, so that when we get to Dallas, we don’t have to worry about any of this,” Sanders said. “When we get to Dallas, we can focus on football.”
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Eighteen Steelers veterans are going to their third Super Bowl. They experienced SBs 40 and 43, so they know the routine. They appreciate the help they get from the Steelers’ front office as they make arrangement for their family and friends.
Still, the days leading up to the Super Bowl can be hectic.
“I’m familiar with it, but at the same time, I’m still not used to it,” said offensive lineman Trai Essex, one of the Steelers who owns two Super Bowl rings. “You’re used to the routine, but then again you’re not. What I’m trying to say is that it’s hard to understand the magnitude of the Super Bowl. This is something you don’t do every year, even though this is our third time in the past six years. You still don’t get used to it.
“These guys going for the first time will see how big the Super Bowl is when we land in Dallas on Monday.”
After today’s practice, the Steelers are off until they fly to Dallas. By then, Tomlin expects the Steelers to have taken care of all arrangements for family and friends.
“I’ve told the younger guys to just have fun with it,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “Enjoy it. Enjoy the circus that is the media and the (practice) schedule. Don’t get overwhelmed and don’t let it stress you out.
“It’s going to be crazy but when you step on the field for practice and meetings and stuff, focus in and put everything else behind you … your family, your car (rental), the hotel … put all those things behind you and focus on football.”
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