30 January 2009

For everyone who's been asking

No, I won't get to watch the Superbowl live.
Yes, this bums me out massively.

The Steelers are the one known entity capable of causing homesickness in me -- I spent Super Bowl XL in a NJ dorm room (eating some CluckU chicken products -- oh New Jersey. [sigh.]) with a bunch of kids from all over the country who, though it wasn't their fault, did not possess the depth of emotion necessary for a fulfilling experience.

Now for Super Bowl XLIII, I'm in a country where 99.9% of people surveyed think American football is "barbaric" and the most famous Pittsburgh sports figure is not Hines Ward, Big Ben or Troy Polamalu but Miroslav Šatan and arguably even still, Marian Hossa. On Sunday night when the game starts, it'll be after midnight and I'll be at the convent, where everyone except me wakes up at 5, so I won't be watching the game live. I've already warned my colleagues that on Monday morning, I'll either be exceptionally happy or extremely sad.

I can see it now: my theoretically-futurely-existing child(ren) asking me, "[Insert name referring to my maternal status], where were you when the Steelers won their record-setting sixth Super Bowl?" and I will respond, "I was asleep, sober, and in a convent; not on Carson Street, not on Fifth Avenue, not at Market Square [landmarks my still-theoretical offspring will know even if they are not being raised full-time in the 412] not full of Iron City (though definitely not IC Light, puh-leeze)."

Alas, after the most glorious phone call I received at 6am on 5 November 2008, here's a hint, mum! Like that night, I will probably sleep fitfully.

Despite the somewhat negative tone of this post, I'm not certainly not unhappy here, nor is living in the convent a drag at all -- so I end this post with a little flava that kind of synthesizes my being here and my being a proud Pittsburgher:
But if the Rusyns, already denied a country, change their traditions, what do they have left? Righetti and Silvestri boast that their past has bequeathed a postmodern notion of identity, one in which there is no essential "national character."

"The Rusyn movement is international, and decentralized," Silvestri says. "It's anarchic, and that's what I like about it.

"You can be nationalistic without being a nation," she adds. "Is Steelers Nation a country?"

That, says Robert Hayden, "is a very healthy, refreshing attitude."

UPDATE: Oh, and check out this amazing article from New Hampshire by someone who grew up in Cleveland(!) of all places, and who manages to extol the Steelers and none other than Pete Seeger in the same column, a huge achievement in my book:
"And I'll bet, especially given the passion for sports of the previous occupant of the White House, that somewhere on the premises is at least one gargantuan screen TV, ready and waiting for the new president and his charming family to watch the Steelers - of course - win next Sunday's big game.

So far it is a good new year."

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