Sally on the Sidelines

Even for veteran television anchor Sally Wiggin, Superbowl XLIII took her breath away.



Live from Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa (l-r): WTAE’s field producer, Dan Henninger; photographer, Dan Pratt; Sally Wiggin; Guy Junker; Andrew Stockey and photographer T.J. Haut.

Since returning home after covering Super Bowl XLIII, the question I’m asked most is, ”Did you have fun?” My answer? “Yes—and no.” Fun is not how I’d describe a week of 15-hour days drenched in coffee and Diet Coke. Fun is not standing in the tunnel of Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium during the last six minutes of one of the most exciting Super Bowls in NFL history. Fun is not straining to see the game on a television monitor hanging from the ceiling while Arizona Cardinals reporters cheer as Larry Fitzgerald scores.

However, fun is slapping each other on the back as Ben and Santonio thrill millions with inimitable grace and cool. Fun is running with my WTAE colleagues Andrew Stockey, Guy Junker and photographer T.J. Haut onto the field when it’s time to go live (Andrew gripping my hand to keep us from being separated in the mad rush to the microphones). But the best was sharing, for a cherished few moments, the unbridled glee these elite athletes expressed in the aftermath of the win: Deshea Townsend calling out our names as he finished up an interview with a competitor; Ryan Clark revealing his young son had burst into tears when the Cardinals shot into the lead with two minutes on the clock; Chris Hoke nearly squeezing the life out of us.

Andrew Stockey asked Steelers president Art Rooney II if the Lombardi trophy was heavy and Mr. Rooney handed it to him. Why, oh, why, didn’t I ask to hold it? I’m still kicking myself!

The preceding week, while exhausting, was almost as exhilarating. It was a thrill to watch some of the best sports writers in the country at work during the news conferences with the players and coaches—to observe Mike Tomlin answer each question as deftly as if he had been here many times before. I also was tickled when Troy Polamalu gave me an almost imperceptible wave from his booth as I called out a question.

I confess I was nearly hyperventilating when I asked Ben Roethlisberger a question. He was on the stage and the place was packed. I almost never ask questions at news conferences—too embarrassed—but I needed an answer for my piece on the offensive line, and no one else had asked him about it. I was positively giddy once I’d done it.

When it came to get the newscast on the air each night, we became pretty adept at pulling it together just about anywhere. For most of the week, our set was the outdoor atrium at the Steelers’ hotel. We wrote and edited on tables where workers came to eat lunch or smoke. When it rained, the hotel’s banquet storage room became our cramped—and very chilly—workspace. Periodically, we would make a snack run and were enthusiastically greeted in the hotel lobby by fans patiently waiting for autographs.

The Steelers’ domination of the Tampa landscape was total. Whether folks had moved to Florida or were just visiting from the ’Burgh—fans completely covered the city like a black-and-gold blanket. Make that a Towel!

I’m not ashamed to say I cried as I watched thousands of towels waving madly as the Steelers ran onto the field. Steeler Nation is inspirational. Ask the players on America’s Team. And ask the First Family of Football—the Rooneys. Thank you, to all of them. And, last but not least, a huge thank you to the entire WTAE crew in Tampa and fans here at home. You made work a joy.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

From glass and aluminum to ketchup and candy, Pittsburgh has made its mark, thanks in large part to the instantly recognizable brands that remain etched not merely on its buildings — but on its DNA. We look at 10 of those brands and explore how they helped to establish and define the Steel City.
Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Under a new CEO, Pittsburgh International Airport heads into its 25th year while attempting to woo flyers and flights and leave its empty, post-hub days behind.
Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Three men at NASA serve pivotal roles in maintaining the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been taking high-resolution photos of deep space form more than 25 years. And they're all from Pittsburgh.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Pittburgh’s Daya Dropping New Album, Headline Tour

Pittburgh’s Daya Dropping New Album, Headline Tour

The teen singing sensation from Mt. Lebanon’s tour concludes in Pittsburgh.
See it Now: Trailer for Filmed-in-Pittsburgh “Fences”

See it Now: Trailer for Filmed-in-Pittsburgh “Fences”

Directed and starring Denzel Washington, the first big screen treatment of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play arrives in theaters on Christmas Day.
2016 Athena Award Winners Announced

2016 Athena Award Winners Announced

Named for the Greek goddess of strength and wisdom, the ATHENA Awards are unique among regional honors for professional women because of the focus on developing the next generation of leaders through mentorship.
Watch: Tributes and More For Golfing Great Arnold Palmer

Watch: Tributes and More For Golfing Great Arnold Palmer

The golf icon from Latrobe, Pa. died Sunday of complications from heart problems.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

From glass and aluminum to ketchup and candy, Pittsburgh has made its mark, thanks in large part to the instantly recognizable brands that remain etched not merely on its buildings — but on its DNA. We look at 10 of those brands and explore how they helped to establish and define the Steel City.
Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Under a new CEO, Pittsburgh International Airport heads into its 25th year while attempting to woo flyers and flights and leave its empty, post-hub days behind.
Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Three men at NASA serve pivotal roles in maintaining the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been taking high-resolution photos of deep space form more than 25 years. And they're all from Pittsburgh.
Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

The Strip District eatery overcomes tumult and once again is one of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants.
Talk of The Tahn: Weird Things We Do that Make Pittsburgh Wonderful

Talk of The Tahn: Weird Things We Do that Make Pittsburgh Wonderful

The things that are best about us? They’re not things. They’re ways.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Pittburgh’s Daya Dropping New Album, Headline Tour

Pittburgh’s Daya Dropping New Album, Headline Tour

The teen singing sensation from Mt. Lebanon’s tour concludes in Pittsburgh.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
e2 to Close in Highland Park

e2 to Close in Highland Park

Chef/owner Kate Romane will move on to a new project.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
6 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

6 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

Easy access from universities, wallet-friendly prices and really good food make these our favorite choices for the university set.

Comments


Drinks With Some Spirits at Harmony Inn

Drinks With Some Spirits at Harmony Inn

The historic (and purportedly haunted) Harmony Inn is a fine stop for drinks and food.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates’ Ship Sunk But Salvageable

Pirates’ Ship Sunk But Salvageable

Of all that conspired to derail the Pirates after three consecutive trips to the playoffs, the unanticipated implosions of Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano proved, in retrospect, to be more of a deal-breaker than anything else.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Green Chic: The Boxcar Planter Set

Green Chic: The Boxcar Planter Set

The geometric set is available through the hip Ace Hotel shop.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
If All Remakes Were as Good as Magnificent Seven, We'd Really Love Remakes

If All Remakes Were as Good as Magnificent Seven, We'd Really Love Remakes

Reviews of the "Magnificent Seven" remake and "Storks," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
A Laid-Back Love: Kelly McHolme and Bob Stasa

A Laid-Back Love: Kelly McHolme and Bob Stasa

This Pittsburgh couple wanted their guests to be just as content as they were at their wedding.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Make Your Design Work for You: Mecox Opens In Pittsburgh

Make Your Design Work for You: Mecox Opens In Pittsburgh

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Mecox will be opening its eighth location, but its first in Pittsburgh, in Shadyside.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Duquesne University Inaugurates New President with Deep Pittsburgh Roots

Duquesne University Inaugurates New President with Deep Pittsburgh Roots

Ken Gormley began his new tenure by delivering good news to University employees.

Comments