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

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Downtown Pittsburgh is booming. The Golden Triangle has grown in ways that previous generations may never have envisioned, and the perception of the neighborhood at the heart of Pittsburgh is changing rapidly –– for the better.
And The Winner Is....

And The Winner Is....

Meet the top vote getter in our 2016 Cutest Pet Contest.
Top Dentists 2016

Top Dentists 2016

The Pittsburgh region's 368 premier dentists across 8 specialties.
The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

Plus - we poll dentists included in our 2016 list of topDentists for their opinions and tips gleaned from years of experience in their profession.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Remembering “Chilly Billy” Cardille

Remembering “Chilly Billy” Cardille

The longtime Pittsburgh television personality had been suffering from liver cancer.
Ladies Night: W Bowl Championship Football Game Comes to Pittsburgh

Ladies Night: W Bowl Championship Football Game Comes to Pittsburgh

Co-owned by Franco Harris, the W Bowl brings together players from across the Women’s Football Alliance in a fierce competition.
Pittsburgh Health & Fitness Start-Up Expands Nationwide

Pittsburgh Health & Fitness Start-Up Expands Nationwide

For more than a year, Fitt has helped Pittsburghers discover new, local ways to exercise and eat healthy. Now, the ‘Burgh-based start-up is expanding its reach to a dozen new cities.
Young Pirate Fan Star of the Show in Pirates' Marathon Win

Young Pirate Fan Star of the Show in Pirates' Marathon Win

Starling Marte's homer in the 18th inning beat the Washington Nationals Sunday but we wonder if the game's real MVP was actually in the stands.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our new, 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

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Downtown Pittsburgh is booming. The Golden Triangle has grown in ways that previous generations may never have envisioned, and the perception of the neighborhood at the heart of Pittsburgh is changing rapidly –– for the better.
And The Winner Is....

And The Winner Is....

Meet the top vote getter in our 2016 Cutest Pet Contest.
Top Dentists 2016

Top Dentists 2016

The Pittsburgh region's 368 premier dentists across 8 specialties.
The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

Plus - we poll dentists included in our 2016 list of topDentists for their opinions and tips gleaned from years of experience in their profession.
Restaurant Review: Smallman Galley

Restaurant Review: Smallman Galley

The first crop of chefs in the Strip District restaurant incubator are four real.
A Clear Head, A Cannon for an Arm

A Clear Head, A Cannon for an Arm

After his first taste of big-league ball, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Tyler Glasnow is ready for his close-up.
Edit Module

 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Remembering “Chilly Billy” Cardille

Remembering “Chilly Billy” Cardille

The longtime Pittsburgh television personality had been suffering from liver cancer.

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
A Thyme and Place

A Thyme and Place

Old friends Tricia Cohen and Lisa Graves reconnect via Facebook and collaborate on a historical cookbook.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

Grab your kits, scarfs and get ready to watch the Euro 2016 Pittsburgh-style. We'll show you where to go to get your fan on.

Comments


After Dark Hall of Fame: Sharp Edge

After Dark Hall of Fame: Sharp Edge

The local pubs that fly the Sharp Edge banner remain a favorite for top-notch beer and tantalizing grub.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Up-and-Down Bucs Survive First Half With Hope Intact

Up-and-Down Bucs Survive First Half With Hope Intact

The Pirates did just enough in the days before the All-Star break to embrace the second half of the season with anticipation if not expectation.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Namaste! Sandals Made from Yoga Mats

Namaste! Sandals Made from Yoga Mats

Sanuk’s Yoga Sling Sandal are super comfy yet chic.

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.
The New Ghostbusters Is a Worthy Addition to the Franchise

The New Ghostbusters Is a Worthy Addition to the Franchise

Reviews of "Ghostbusters" and "The Infiltrator," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
The Perfect Shot: Wedding Photographers’ Favorite Moments

The Perfect Shot: Wedding Photographers’ Favorite Moments

We asked these Pittsburgh wedding photographers to share some of their most-memorable photos — and the stories behind them.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Ten Thousand Villages Celebrates Grand Reopening

Ten Thousand Villages Celebrates Grand Reopening

The new, larger location in Squirrel Hill features an expanded selection of handcrafted merchandise.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Online Education at Edinboro University Nationally Ranked

Online Education at Edinboro University Nationally Ranked

The university landed in the top 10 schools for disabled students seeking an online education.

Comments