Wrestling history says Cardinals can beat Steelers in Super Bowl
Members of Steeler Nation may not want to continue reading. This post is for Ravens fans and fellow Steelers haters around the globe.
With the second-biggest event of the year (to WrestleMania, of course) just a few hours away, I was depressed about what will likely be an easy win for Pittsburgh over the Arizona Cardinals. That means a whole year of gloating from a bunch of obnoxious, towel-waving black-and-gold-clad miscreants. I'd sooner watch repeated showings of The Best of The Great Khali DVD than have to endure that.
Then I remembered something that gave me hope. The last time a representative from Pittsburgh met a representative from Arizona with a major championship at stake, the heavy underdog from Arizona overcame insurmountable odds to pull off a monumental victory. It took place in a wrestling ring.
Like the Steelers, the Pittsburgh wrestler had a rich championship tradition and was considered nearly unbeatable, while the Arizona wrestler never had a taste of championship gold in his career.
Just as the Super Bowl is contested at a neutral site, so was this match. Although, as will most surely be the case today in Tampa with the Steelers and Cardinals, fans of the Pittsburgh wrestler vastly outnumbered fans of the Arizona wrestler.
But despite a hostile crowd and no one giving the Arizona wrestler a chance, he defeated the Pittsburgh wrestler to become the WWF champion. One wrestling magazine proclaimed it “The Upset of the Century.”
And it took place right here in Baltimore. As anyone with knowledge of wrestling history has surely figured out, I’m talking about the victory by Superstar Billy Graham – billed from Paradise Valley, Arizona – over “The Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino on April 30, 1977. Sure, Graham cheated, but it’s only cheating if you get caught, as they say in wrestling. When it comes to the Steelers, you beat them by any means necessary.
How great would it be to see “The Upset of The Century” splashed across the next issue of Sports Illustrated? Perhaps the cover shot could be a recreation of the wrestling magazine that showed Graham about to deliver a chop to Sammartino’s throat, only this time it’s Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald with a stiff arm to the goozel of Steelers safety Troy Polamalu on his way to the end zone.
I just finished watching the Graham-Sammartino match on DVD to get fired up for the game. Can history repeat itself? Dare to dream.
C’mon, Kurt Warner. Be the man of the hour, the man with the power, too sweet to be sour.