Sunday, February 1, 2009

February 1, 2009: The Steelers - "Get It From the Bottom"

This wonderful single from Chicago soul group The Steelers is another song that was introduced to me by the Kent's Cellar of Soul compilation CD (which has previously been represented on Song of the Day by Homer Banks, back in November). The disc really is essential for anyone with an interest in great and relatively obscure '60s soul.

And, of course, it is today's Song of the Day because it is by a group who shares it's name with today's Super Bowl champions.

I have always loved the Pittsburgh Steelers. While my relationship with my hometown Minnesota Vikings has been admittedly fair-weather over my lifetime, I have always been fascinated by the Steelers. I think this fascination must have started when I was about four years old.

In 1980, Coca Cola ran this classic commercial of Pittsburgh's Mean Joe Greene being offered a bottle of Coke by a young fan, and returning the favor by throwing the kid his jersey. The following year, building on the massive success of that ad, Coke introduced a new promotion that featured vinyl bottle caps of various NFL stars. Each one was grey with a black headshot of the player. It was underneath the actual bottle cap, so every time you opened a bottle of Coke, you would peel this collectible from the cap. The deal was that once you collected all the different caps, you could send them in and receive your very own Mean Joe replica jersey. My whole family and extended family was obsessed with this over 1981, and my Mean Joe jersey became my first sports jersey.

Anyway, over the years the Steelers have been a model of consistency. They have employed only three different head coaches over the last 40 years, and each one has now won a Super Bowl. They have been owned by the Rooney family since their inception in 1933 (and owner Dan Rooney is one of the most philanthropic professional sports owners of all time). They now have more Super Bowl titles than any other team, and they have constantly personified their city more than any other team in any other sport -- a blue-collar team for a blue-collar town.

Yes, tonight may have showcased the finest Super Bowl I have ever watched. Needless to say, I am thrilled with the result.

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