The clock struck 0:00 in Super Bowl LX in Detroit, Michigan, and the Pittsburgh Steelers had just defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 to claim the 2006 National Football League championship.
"Is this the last stop for the bus?" sports anchor Mike Tirico asked Steelers running back and Motown native Jerome Bettis.
After a 13-year career as a gladiator in America's favorite sport, Bettis, nicknamed "The Bus," was calling it quits.
"The Bus stops here," Bettis told Tirico as he hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy, like the Steeler greats before him. The Steelers had won six championships in their history.
As Bettis etched his name in football history, I watched in amazement. Seeing a Detroit son prevail on the world stage filled me with a feeling of magic. In that moment, I could see anything is possible.
Flash forward 18 years and Super Bowl LVIII is being played in an aura of new magic, cultivated by a storyline that has divided football lovers.
Pop icon Taylor Swift's new love connection with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has created new magic that has everyone tuned in. The latest drama in the Swift-Kelce love affair is worry that she won't be able to make to the big game in Las Vegas on Sunday, as she will be wrapping up the latest leg of her worldwide Eras Tour, which includes a four-day stay in Tokyo.
Don't worry Swifties, the Grammy award-winner will have plenty of time to make it to Sin City to cheer on Kelce. Don't take my word for it, though. Here's the Embassy of Japan in the USA's statement about Swift's timeline on Saturday:
"Despite the 12-hour flight and 17-hour-time-difference, the Embassy can confidently Speak Now [clever] to say that if she departs in the evening after her concert, she should comfortably arrive in Las Vegas before the Super Bowl begins."
To think that this moment has commanded so much attention that Japan's U.S. embassy officials feel the need to chime in let's you know that everyone, from everyday people to those in the highest places of government, have bought into the magic (or mania) of this Super Bowl.
Call me old-fashioned, but I get excited by the storylines that revolve around the actual game of football. I'm no Taylor hater; I'm just a fan of football.
Just give me Travis' brother, Jason Kelce, bare-chested, hoisting a beer and cheering on his brother and we'll call it even.
But I and the rest of the country will get much more than that. The food (I will enjoy the game with my dogs, Oreo and Pepper, a cold brew and air-fried chicken wings tossed in BBQ and buffalo sauce). The commercials! Have you seen enough of them already? And the betting updates, including too many props bets involving Taylor Swift.
Yes, this Super Bowl will have magic in the air; it just won't be what I am used to or necessarily want.
But that's okay. Football is an escape, and millions of Americans have had fun with Swift and Kelce's relationship.
That's all that matters in the end.
Georgia thinks guns are groceries
Nothing really surprises me anymore about America's love affair with guns.
We are a gun-obsessed country, no doubt. Our lawmakers bend over backwards to contort the Second Amendment to satisfy the mouth-breathing, NRA crowd.
Now comes the state of Georgia with one of the most ridiculous legislative proposals yet.
Peach State lawmakers have proposed a bill that will temporarily make firearms, ammunition and other gun-related purchases exempt from taxes. Yes, you read that right — a Second Amendment sales tax holiday! The bill has passed the Senate and now heads to the House.
Call me a hippie-loving snowflake, but it would seem that groceries should be tax exempt, not guns and ammo.
How tone deaf are Georgia legislators? This country has been torn apart by gun violence. Public opinion polls show citizens overwhelmingly support gun safety reforms. What's not to understand here?
Governments enact policies, such as sales tax holidays, to encourage — or discourage — business or consumer behavior. So the takeaway here is to boost sales of guns and ammo? That's wrong-headed.
And the American people pay the ultimate price for it.