SIBLING RIVALRY: SUPER BOWL’S SUPER FANS

Spring Smith, left, a Steelers fan, and her brother Brian Smith, a Cardinals fan.



For the Smith siblings, Brian and Spring, the needling won’t stop with the final gun on Super Bowl Sunday.

In fact, one of them will get the needle after the game is over, and the other one will pay for it.

As in tattoo needle.

But the loser might prefer the jailhouse needle.

Brian, 35, is a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and has been one since the team moved to Phoenix in 1988.

Spring, 34, has been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan ever since her high school sweetheart wooed her away from the Chicago Bears.

On Sunday, it’s not just Cardinals vs. Steelers. It’s Smith vs. Smith.

All in good fun, of course.

Or is it?

“It’s going to be a sad day in Arizona,” Spring said.

“At least,” said Brian, finding some way to shine a favorable light on his little sister, “she’s not a band-wagoner.”

True, Spring has been a Steelers fan for 20 years.

And she packs the black-and-gold Steelers purse to prove it.

Truth be told, Spring’s house is a Steelers shrine, with jerseys and memorabilia everywhere. She won’t leave the house with the jersey, though. That could put the jinx on the Steel Curtain.

Not to be outdone, Brian could be a vision in Cardinal red, from head to the Cardinals slippers on his feet.

Except his stuff is still in Phoenix. So, he wears Cardinal red on his sleeve and has game-day analysis at the ready.

“It’s going to be offense all the way,” Brian said.

“We have Kurt Warner, Edgerrin James and Larry Fitzgerald. They’re just going to dominate the field.”

In the end, it’s going to be 32-10, Brian said.

“Yeah, Pittsburgh 32, Arizona 10,” said Spring, trying hard not to snort.

Seems Brian forgot something, she said: “Polamalu.”

For those who don’t read the sports pages, Warner is the Arizona quarterback, James is the Arizona running back and Fitzgerald is the red-hot Cardinals wide receiver. Polamalu is Troy Polamalu, the Steelers All-Pro safety.

It’s probably reasonable to expect Fitzgerald and Polamalu to spend a fair amount of quality time together Sunday.

It’s not as though the Smiths come by their passions on the cheap. Their dad is a football coach in Phoenix, and they were exposed to the game early on.

Actually, Spring said, she’s not one given to predictions or bets.

The outcome “is in God’s hands,” she said. “But I want the Steelers to win.”

Spring’s fiancee, Melvin Turner, is a Denver Broncos fan, but he’s a Steelers man this week.

Diamonds are one thing, after all, but nothing can break the bonds of Steel.

Actually, all three are Broncos fans, as long as their Cardinals and Steelers aren’t part of the equation that week.

On Sunday, they’ll catch the game at the Stadium Sports Bar and Grill, and when the final is tallied, someone’s getting a tattoo.

Brian wants a Cardinal; Spring wants the Steelers logo, and hers would be the more difficult, Spring said.

For the Cardinal, “it’s just two colors and you’re done,” she said. “I’ll definitely pay for his, if he’ll pay for mine.”


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