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Detroit Gears Up For Super Bowl

Tina Hawrys, right, Leroy Santana, center, and other members of ground services clear snow from around a display of automobiles before the Super Bowl XL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006 in Detroit. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP
Football returned to its roots for the Super Bowl this year, a distinctly American sport coming home to the Rust Belt to crown a champion and weave the kind of tales Americans love to hear.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks squared off in the 40th Super Bowl on Sunday. The game capped a week filled with stories of homecomings and family, a gritty underdog of a city on a comeback attempt, and a locale known for cars being visited by The Bus.

"The newcomer, the Seahawks from the Northwest, versus the tradition of the Steelers from industrial America, where our game and our league was born," NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in detailing the compelling stories that led up to the America's biggest unofficial holiday.

There was The Bus, Jerome Bettis of the Steelers, winning his way to his first Super Bowl and playing what will likely be the final game of his 13-year career only a few miles from where he grew up. To celebrate the week, he did what any good host would do — holding a charity bowling event one night and taking his teammates to his parents' house for dinner on another.

There were Steelers fans, many without the coveted $600 tickets that have long been priced out of their range. They made the five-hour drive through Youngstown, then past Cleveland and Toledo, simply to wave their Terrible Towels and to be around their team and jut-jawed coach Bill Cowher for this, an attempt at the franchise's long-awaited fifth championship — the "One for the Thumb" that eluded the great Steelers dynasty of the 70s.

CBS Sportsline.com senior writer Pete Prisco said for victory, the Steelers need to play to win, rather than play not to lose.

"In the Steelers' run to the Super Bowl, they have won three consecutive road games, beating the AFC's top three teams," Prisco writes. "In doing so, they played an aggressive style on offense early and then tried to control the clock after taking a lead."