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Former Steelers CB Bryant McFadden shares story about a late night card game before Super Bowl XLIII

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But while the story is amusing to hear now, it might not have been so funny if Steelers had not won the game the next day against the Arizona Cardinals.

Super Bowl XLIII Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

For all the stories that have been circulating in the press about the Pittsburgh Steelers as of late, it was refreshing to finally hear a new one on Saturday that did not involve Antonio Brown. Sharing a tale from the night before Super Bowl XLIII, former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden revealed some surprising pre game activities that would have been extremely controversial if Pittsburgh had not won the game the next day.

As part of a podcast series that began in November, McFadden has been reliving some memories from the Steelers 2008 season that ended in a sixth Super Bowl victory. Featuring former teammates and coaches, the player turned media analyst for CBS Sports has produced a series that is a must listen for fans of the Black and Gold.

In his latest episode that centers around the team’s preparations for Super Bowl XLIII once they had arrived in Tampa ahead of the game, McFadden makes a surprise admission that no one will have heard before. A story that CBS Sports felt deserved its own animation to accompany it.

If the media had known that certain members of the Steelers had been playing cards until the early hours of the morning on the day of the contest, it would have dominated the sports pages. Had they lost the game, it would have become a cautionary tale of how not to prepare for the Super Bowl for years to come and an anecdote retold every season in the run up to the big game.

In an extended version of the tale discussed by James Farrior and McFadden on the podcast, all of the players involved in the card game appear to have known how bad things would have looked for them if word got out about what they had been up to the night before.

Thankfully, everything ended well and we can all laugh about it now. But had that final drive come up short, McFadden would have be well advised to take that story with him to the grave.