Point-counterpoint: Seahawks will cover

Julian Dickinson - Associate Editor

I`m not going to try to tell you the Pittsburgh Steelers aren`t a solid team.

We all saw them rip the hearts out of fans in three different cities as they steamrolled down the road less traveled all the way to the Super Bowl. They did the impossible in Indy and looked even better at Mile High Stadium last week.

My hat is off to you Pittsburgh. Credit where credit is due, I say.

But as long as we`re giving props, I have to ask, where`s the love for the Seattle Seahawks?

Somehow this team that went 13-3 in the regular season and more recently hung 34 points on the league`s No. 3 defense to win the NFC title - this team that employs a Super Bowl winning head coach and the league MVP - is a 4 1/2-point underdog and all but forgotten in the run-up to the Super Bowl.

How in the name of Joe Namath does that happen?

Mention Pittsburgh and everyone goes gaga over that Steel Curtain defense, old school run game, and their hot young quarterback. Fair enough, but it`s enough to make you want to yak in a stainless steel toilet.

Meanwhile, all we`ve heard about Seattle over the last two weeks is a load of junk about road losses, a weak conference and Super Bowl virginity.

Come on. Two of those road losses came in the first four weeks of the season. Since that time, the Seahawks have gone undefeated with the exception of that dubious Week 17 loss in Green Bay when they let Brett Favre redeem himself against a second-string defense.

And even if Seattle had the advantage of playing chumps like San Francisco, Arizona and St. Louis more than once, they still played just as many playoff teams as Pittsburgh through the course of their schedule. And nobody was calling Carolina soft before they got beat up in the Emerald City two weeks ago.

Don`t be fooled into thinking the Seahawks skipped into the Super Bowl on a path paved with cupcakes and candy floss. That kind of talk reminds me of the Texas Longhorns, who came into the Rose Bowl out of a Big 12 conference that had admittedly seen better years. Even though the whole world was backing USC minus a touchdown in that game, the Horns proved it doesn`t matter where you come from; it`s where you`re at.

And no matter how they got here, Seattle is at the Super Bowl, and no one seems to have noticed.

If you really want to understand what`s going in Detroit right now, you have to step back from the media scrum and see the Super Bowl for what it really is.

It`s not a football game; it`s an event.

Reporters from around the world have descended on this Midwestern city and turned it into a fully catered refugee camp for scribblers and talking heads. These people have to keep their editors and producers satisfied that they`re doing more than just raiding the minibar and schmoozing with celebrities. They need stories.

And where do you find the most interesting story lines?

Let`s see. There`s Jerome Bettis and his quest for the perfect ending to his Hall of Fame career. You`ve got Ben Roethlisberger looking to become the youngest quarterback ever to win the Super Bowl. There`s the Cinderella story of the Wild Card team on an unlikely run for the Lombardi Trophy. I even read a story in the Detroit Free Press in which Troy Polamalu discussed his secrets for maintaining shiny, he

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