Do you know what’s in bologna? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

It’s a mixture of unknowns, that are best left as unknowns. But every once in a while, you want a break from chicken, ham and turkey. You want to try something new. Bologna to the rescue (Of course, it helps when Marsh has a great sale like it did last week).

Sometimes, a mix of products isn’t that bad, giving a change to every day life. Well, that’s what this column — which will leave the grocery store and enter the world of sports very shortly — is.

Welcome to my bologna column.

Finally, after two weeks of hype, we finally got to see the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks do battle on the field.

And despite the final score (Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10) Super Bowl XL was closer and more exciting than one might think.

Everyone should be happy for Jerome Bettis — who probably played his final game and did it in his hometown of Detroit. But don’t forget about Bill Cowher. The coach who has been on the Pittsburgh sidelines for 14 seasons finally can put Super Bowl Champion on his resume.

It looked like the Steelers did what they needed to do to win the game while Seattle just came up short. While some will say the Seahawks were screwed by the officials — and they were with the first touchdown reversal — that didn’t lose them the game. Pittsburgh made the big plays when it needed to and Seattle’s lack of clock management at the end of both halves was costly and didn’t resemble that of a Super Bowl Champion.

And yes, there were the commercials. But in recent years, the humor in them has declined and this year was no different.

Some of my favorites were Sprint’s ad which featured a guy in a locker room saying his phone was “crime deterrent” and proving it by hurling it straight into another guys face after tempting him to try and steal his wallet; Budweiser’s ad where the traditional football game between the horses is interrupted by a “streaker” which was a pig dancing at midfield; the ESPN Mobile phone skit that seemingly had every sport imaginable throw into the 30-second spot; And Hummer’s “little monster” where the large robot and Godzilla fall in love.

The CareerBuilder.com commercial with the monkeys was and forever will be extremely annoying and was the worst.

Speaking of the worst, the Purdue Boilermakers aren’t the worst in the Big Ten anymore. Sitting at Mackey Arena on Wednesday, the Boilermakers had the look of a team that just needed another playmaker in a nine-point loss to Iowa. But the Boilermakers rebounded from that loss by knocking off the reeling Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday to get out of the conference cellar.

I’m a big Marcus White fan. A transfer from Connecticut — a program known for recruiting great players — White was looking for more playing time and he’s found it at Purdue.

If he was starting at UConn right now, his name wouldn’t be strange to hear on ESPN. But his talent is being hidden by a struggling team in West Lafayette. Luckily he’s only a junior and we all can enjoy him for another year.

The Big Ten conference, in general, has been crazy this season. The top seven teams — all of which look like safe bets for the NCAA Tournament — are within two games in the loss column of the Big Ten lead.

While Iowa holds the top spot at 7-2 at the moment, Illinois and Michigan are each 6-3, Ohio State, Michigan State and Indiana are all 5-3 and Wisconsin is 5-4. Any of those seven teams can win the Big Ten Championship and that will make the next five weeks real exciting in Big Ten country.

Speaking of exciting, that’s what watching a game at the Wigwam in Anderson is.

There’s the pregame ritual where the lights go out and a spotlight shines on two students dressed like Indians. There’s the dance the duo does, getting the crowd excited. There’s the area itself that doesn’t feature a bad seat. And then there’s usually a great game since Anderson typically puts out a winner.

Even though the arena was surprisingly empty for a Friday night game — especially a big one between the No. 3 Indians and the Berries — it was an experience.

Kind of like trying bologna for the first time.

Chris Mackinder may be contacted at 722-5000, Ext. 5113, or via e-mail at chris.mackinder@pharostribune.com

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