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Haunted by the memory of Frank Reich
South Park Blue Suit
I vividly remember sitting at home as a teenager in Waterloo Ontario trying to find the Bills-Oilers wildcard playoff game on TV. After wondering why the hell the game wasn't on, I decided to catch a bit of the replacement 1970s "football" movie since I didn't have much else to do.

About an hour later, I noticed a quick news update with halftime highlights showing Buffalo getting their ass kicked. Another hour passed and I caught the end of another news clip about a comeback mounting. Not believing that all hope was lost, I tuned in to the last few minutes of the game on my cheap wood paneled AM/FM clock radio and heard distant bits through 150 miles of fuzzy static about Buffalo mounting the greatest comeback in NFL history. Unsure if I was actually just imagining sound through the white noise, I finally caught a story on TV confirming what I heard and making me increasingly pissed off that the game was blacked out.

Before the age of 18, I think I attended a whole 6 professional sporting events. The occasional group baseball trip once every other year or so to see the Blue Jays was pretty much it as I lived about 1.5 hours from the nearest major metropolitan city (Toronto) and my family wasn't big on any big league sports. After I finished school and started working in Pittsburgh, I started attending more events and even splurged for a Friday-Saturday-Sunday season ticket to sit in the prettiest baseball stadium with the ugliest team during the Pirate's Freshman season at PNC park.

Although the quantity of major sporting events attended increased dramatically, my few experiences as a kid really got me to cherish every moment of each event regardless of the score and keep my ass in the stadium until the bitter end.

Yesterday, my friend Matt and I were freezing our asses off at Heinz field watching the Browns absolutely shred Pittsburgh's secondary. Figuring that Pittsburgh didn't deserve to make the 2nd round given their inability to cover anyone, I withstood the urge to leave early with the masses who were running for the exits eager to sit in their cars for only 60 minutes instead of the usual 90. As the 4th quarter began I kept a small glimmer of hope alive and kept on telling Matt "if they don't get a first down here, it's over". Oddly, every time I said it, the offense came through with a clutch pass. As the clock started progressing into the bowels of the 4th quarter, that glimmer grew, and grew, and grew as the team started looking more like a team of destiny - arguably still with a really crappy secondary.

As the clock wound down to 0:52 and Chris Fumatu'Mafala crossed the goal line to put Pittsburgh ahead for the first time, I realized that I was witnessing something pretty special.

After the clock hit 0, euphoria gripped the masses. Some were a bit more euphoric than others (especially a couple driving in an SUV on the Roberto Clemente bridge), but it was definitely one of the more special sports moments I've ever experienced.

Last year, I wrote about snow falling from the heavens during a football game as a sign that a team's chosen deity was smiling upon them. I don't think I was too far off after what transpired yesterday at the confluence of the Allegheny and the Mon.