´ Steel Curtain Rising: Super Bowl XLV from the Tabapitanga, Porto Galinhas; Brazil

Who gets the game ball for the win over the Colts?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Super Bowl XLV from the Tabapitanga, Porto Galinhas; Brazil

Regular readers undoubtedly noted Steel Curtain Rising’s conspicuous dearth of commentary both before and after Super Bowl XLV. And before the Steelers set out in their quest to capture Super Bowl XLVI I'd like to pause for a moment to explain why.

A hellish work schedule prevented me from posting much in week following the Steelers victory over the Jets in the AFC Championship. A vacation during Super Bowl week at the Tabapitanga en Porto Galinhas, Brazil, prevented me from entering into the pre-game fray.

The Tabapitanga is a truly wonderful resort where my wife and I got some sorely needed downtime during a restful week that some unexpected, and unfortunate events, the least of which was missing the Super Bowl…

Super Bowl Week in the Tropics

As fate would have it, the only week available for our vacation was Super Bowl week.

But, we spent the run up to Super Bowl XLIII in Tandil and that Super Bowl XLIII turned out pretty good for the Steelers, so the thought was, “Why not?”

It seemed that we’d be able to watch the game on TV there (far from a certainty in Brazil). With that in mind we packed up and headed off to Brazil, leaving the lap top at home.

Porto Galinhas is a true tropical paradise. My wife and I did some snorkeling and did some other touristy things, but mainly we just crashed on the beach.

I’d put out feelers on Behind the Steel Curtain and the folks at the Post-Gazette's Blog'N Gold had also published a request for recommendations on where to see the game.

In Rio or Sao Paulo seeing the Super Bowl would not have been a problem, but Porto Galinhas is a small town, and the night ends early there.

Still, the resort had cable, and a good friend of mine from work who is Brazilian called ahead to check to see if they were carrying the game and we were pretty sure they had the channel that was showing the game.

No Super Bowl in Porto Galinhas - The Least of Our Problems

On Friday I decided double check that I’d be able to see the game, and to my chagrin, the resort did not carry BandSports the only (and seemingly little known) channel showing the Super Bowl in Brazil.

That worry faded in importance as my wife felt a sharp pinch in her back while reaching for a towel coming out of the shower on Friday morning.

For the first two days the pain was manageable and reduced to discomfort with a few ibuprofen.

On Super Bowl Sunday things began to change. Not only did the pain worsen, but my wife began “dragging” one of her feet when she walked.

Up until this point, I’d been thoroughly impressed by the hospitality of the staff at the Tabapitanga, but on Super Bowl Sunday they went above and beyond.

First, a wonderful staffer named Alice checked around to see if any of the other nearby resorts were carrying the game. They weren’t.

Then she did something which bowled me over. She loaned us her personal laptop to see if we could watch a live feed. (Can you imagine a US hotel worker loaning a foreigner a personal laptop to watch World Cup Soccer?)

Several options were available some free, others requiring purchase of the NFL Live Pass. But there was no way I was going to abuse the generosity of Alice by installing some unknown software on her machine.

We had to settle for a live feed of WDVE’s radio commentary. It was frustrating not being able to see the game, and of course the first half was painful to listen to.

But by half time it became obvious that the real pain was in my wife’s back – I even suggested shutting down the computer and calling a Dr.

In a ironic twist of fate, we could see the ESPN’s game by game text feed before we could hear the radio commentary – so we learned of some of the Steelers frantic late-game successes before we heard of them.

On the last drive I insisted we minimize the text feed, and just listen. Ben’s second last minute Super Bowl comeback was never meant to be.

The Day After

Unfortunately my wife’s condition worsened the day after. And again the staff at the Tabapitanga exceeded all expectations, attempting to call in a house Dr, helping with the travelers insurance.

Alice, the same woman who’s loan us her laptop, sat with my wife as I struggled to figure out who to get her help and/or who we were going to get back to Buenos Aires. The Tabapitanga even opened up an other ground floor room that my wife could wait in without needing to climb the stairs.
Alice, a mesma mulher que nos empréstou o seu laptop,... ela ficou com minha esposa enquanto eu pedia ajuda para saber se iríamos voltar para Buenos Aires. A Pousada Tabapitanga ate abriu uma sala em outro andar térreo para que minha esposa pudesse esperar sem a necessidade de subir as escadas.

To the staff at the Tabapitanga let me say this:

Thank you Alice, thank you Bruno, to thank you to everyone at the Tabapitanga who was so kind, caring and generous during a very difficult day. To anyone interested in staying at the Tabapitanga, let me just say the resort is beautiful and the service there goes above and beyond the call of simple hospitality. Thank you.
Obrigado Alice. Obrigado Bruno. Queremos agradecer a todos no Tabapitanga, que foram tão gentis, atenciosos e generosos durante um dia muito difícil para nos. Para qualquer pessoa interessada em ficar no Tabapitanga, deixe-me dizer que o resort é bonito eo serviço vai acima e além da melhor hospitalidade . Muito Obrigado.

We made it back to Buenos Aires with some difficulty, but we did make it back on schedule. I’d forgotten to record the game, and I supposed that is just as well. I decided that given everything that happened, my watching Super Bowl XLV isn’t meant to be.

Hopefully Super Bowl XLVI will bear different fruit.

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