Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled Super Bowl Sub-Plot #1: Whisenhunt vs. Roethlisberger

There are several key storylines that will beaten into the ground by everyone who covers the Super Bowl for over the next two weeks. We will beat them down even further.

How did Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt get his job? Funny you should ask! It turns out that he used to be the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers and ... wait for it ... that's the very team Arizona is playing in the Super Bowl! What a small world!


This conveniently creates two revenge fantasies for Whizzy. (I'm assuming that's something people call him.) First, despite being a key assistant on the Steelers last Super Bowl winning team, he was passed over for their vacant head coaching job in favor of outsider Mike Tomlin. How ironic that the two coaches will now face each other in the Big Game. I say again ... irony!

Second, there is (say it with me) "No Love Lost" between Whisenhunt and his former QB Ben Roethlisberger. The two teamed up for three years, but have not spoken since Whisenhunt left Pittsburgh, presumably because he made comments that were critical of Roethlisberger's post-motorcycle accident performance—which were sort of true and also sort of a criticism of himself, since he was still a coach that year. And they never really got along all that great to begin with. But they did not even shake hands when the two teams met in 2007, a game the Cardinals won for sweet, sweet revenge for Whizzy. Can you taste all the irony and coincidence and bad blood!?

Plus, as the man who designed and built Ben Roethlisberger, Whisenhunt clearly has the advantage. He is intimately aware of all of Ben's weaknesses and fault lines, including his insatiable lust for Fritos. ("How can I use that against him?") Or maybe Pittsburgh has the advantage because defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau studied his adversary in practice for three years and never forgets anything?

He can deny it all he wants, but no one will believe that this is Just Another Game for Ken Whisenhunt or his former employer. If we did believe it, what else would we have to talk about?


Inside man [NBCSports]
Emotional Super Bowl to reunite the coaches of Steelers, Cardinals [China Post]
Whisenhunt, Grimm get a Steelers reunion [Star-Tribune]
Ken Whisenhunt can't downplay Super Bowl against former team Steelers [NYDN]
Arizona coach Whisenhunt grateful for his Pittsburgh years [KC Star]
Two Questions: Learning from Super Bowl XXXVII [Yahoo]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter