Big Lead Sports Bar

2/01/2009

CRACK OPEN THE SIX-PACK

PITTSBURGH STEELERS
SUPER BOWL XLIII CHAMPIONS


STEELERS (15-4) 27
CARDINALS (12-8) 23

ROETHLISBERGER 21-30, 256 YARDS, 1 TD/1 INT
PARKER 19-53
HOLMES 9-131-1 TD

The Best Super Bowl Ever? Probably. But anybody who watched this team will tell you that what transpired Sunday night was just another victory for the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Steelers; it merely happened to be on the world's biggest stage. The Steelers' sixth Super Bowl win followed the script that's become their trademark: a close game in which one Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger stepped up and mercilessly stole from the opponent in the closing moments.

Before the game, during NBC's 118 consecutive hours of pre-game coverage, resident NFL creep turned analyst Rodney Harrison said that Roethlisberger was not a great quarterback, but a great football player. Those are exactly the type of statements that look all the more absurd after a performance like we saw down the stretch from #7 in Super Bowl XLIII. Ben Roethlisberger is a great football player and a great quarterback.

Sure, Santonio Holmes was the MVP, and he deserves all the accolades he received. But as a Steeler fan, you can't look me in the eye and tell me there's any other quarterback in the league you'd rather have on your side once Larry Fitzgerald trotted 64 yards for the Cardinals' go-ahead touchdown with 2:37 remaining. You can have your Mannings, you can have your Romos, you can have your Breeses and your fantasy heroes; when you need to win the game, there is no go-to quarterback who delivers more consistently than Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers' offense, which had scored just three second-half points, picked a good time to come to life. After it looked like the Kurt Warner-to-Fitzgerald connection would be the story that you'd see in Super Bowl highlights/nightmares 30 years from now, Roethlisberger, Holmes, and Company authored one last chapter to the ultimate reality show that is the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are drama personified. And now, the whole world was let in on the secret that we've known since September. Congratulations to the Steeler organization on winning their unprecedented sixth Lombardi Trophy.

To the bullet points, in drive-by-drive style....

1. Pregame: As previously noted, Rodney Harrison's statement nearly got the rest of the NBC crew killed by the throng of Steeler fans surrounding the makeshift set. You should never taunt a rabid pit bull (or in this case, pit bulls). Of course, no one ever accused Rodney Harrison of having good judgment. I'd probably call this the simultaneous highlight/lowlight of the pregame shows.

Pregame last-minute party shopping takes us to Giant Eagle, where I spot four different Steeler jerseys within 10 seconds of their automatic front-door swinging open: Willie Parker, Santonio Holmes, Lawrence Timmons, and Ike Taylor. As I've said on many occasions, Steeler fans are unmatched in the variety of jerseys they sport. Unfortunately, no 14 Sweed jerseys to be seen today.

By the way, Eat 'n' Park restaurants closed at 3 PM on Sunday. If you were looking to bring a Strawberry pie to your party and didn't pre-book it, it appears that you're out of luck.

2. The pregame entertainment kicks in, highlighted by Jennifer Hudson's National Anthem:


3. Two plays into the game, and Hines Ward has a 38-yard catch under his belt. As it would play out, this would be one of only two catches that Ward would have in SB43 But it was a nice psychological boost for the players and fans to get Ward involved in such a big way so early.

4. Ben hits Heath Miller for 21, the first of five catches Miller would have in a huge Super Bowl performance. Roethlisberger is looking sharp and putting SBXL in his rear-view mirror.

5. First and goal always seemed to equal trouble for this specific team. Sure enough, we find ourselves still camped out at the goal line on third down. Big Ben crosses over the goal line with help from Justin Hartwig, and Steeler Nation rejoices. But hold on...Ken Whisenhunt tosses a red hanky on the field, and the challenge is up...AND GOOD! The touchdown comes off the board as Roethlisberger falls to 1-for-2 lifetime on Super Bowl goal-line TDs. Seattle fans sigh.

Mike Tomlin then puts his playoff dice away and goes for the extra point-sized field goal. 3-0 Steelers, and they're looking sharp.

6. The Cards' offense sputters in a five-play drive, the only time they would touch the ball in the first quarter. Edgerrin James touches the ball twice for three yards, and Larquan Fitzboldin is not heard from. I like this start.

7. The Steelers get the ball back at the 6:13 mark of the first, leading off with a 25-yarder from Ben to Santonio. Roethlisberger then goes for the jugular with a longball to Nate Washington, but one of the flying Cromarties foils that plan. Ben then channels his inner sandlot QB with a classic improv toss to Heath Miller. A few plays later and the Steelers are on the Cardinals' seven-yard-line, knocking on the door as the quarter ends. 3-0 Steelers after one.

8. Heath Miller goes for four yards, only to be tackled by Gerald Hayes, who will forever stick in my mind for omitting his Pitt roots from his Super Bowl introduction. What's up with that?

9. Gary Russell vaults in on 3rd-and-1 for the first TD of SB43. 10-0 Steelers after Guy Fieri kicks the extra point.

10. The Cardinals get the ball to Edgerrin James on four of the first six plays of their second drive. I can live with that. I'd rather have to get beat by an aged and grumpy Edge than a Larry Fitz in his prime. Unfortunately, Anquan Boldin joins the party with a 45-yard catch taking the Cards to the one-yard-line. And he managed to do it without screaming at any coordinators. Grandpa Kurt, after tripping over one of his linemen, tosses a TD to Ben Patrick moments later, and we've got a ballgame. 10-7 Steelers.

11. The Steelers finally get stopped on offense, but not before a 22-yard pass to Santonio. Mitch Berger is brought on for a 43-yard punt that gets returned 34 yards by Woodland Hills' Steve Breaston, resulting in a net of 9 yards of field position. He's not the worst punter in the league by accident, folks.

12. The Cardinals somehow squander a prime opportunity starting in Steeler territory with a drive that goes backwards 17 yards, the highlight being a chop block by The Edge, with an assist to Nathan Hodel and his false start. Larry Fitzgerald is once again invisible as Dick Leabeau dusts his future Hall of Fame bust.

13. 2:46 to go in the half, and the good guys get the ball back in their hands. But worry not, the Divine Freak Play would intervene, and a batted Roethlisberger pass ends up in the hands of Arizona's Karlos Dansby. The Cards have 2 minutes and are just 34 yards away from taking the lead.

14. 59 seconds to go in the first half, and Larry Fitzgerald Jr. finally gets his first catch. His objective dad can finally have something to write about in the newspaper that no one claims to have ever read. The bigger story is that The Buzzsaw stands 12 yards away from paydirt.

15. Boldin catches two balls but leaves the team a yard short...which would become a big deal because....

16. JAMES HARRISON PICKS OFF KURT WARNER AND RETURNS IT 100 YARDS FOR A TOUCHDOWN!



17. Of course, being that this was a Steeler touchdown, there has to be some controversy/replay involved. We can't just score, there has to be a government investigation every time a Steeler crosses the goal line. But the great Larry Fitz did not stop Silverback short of the goal line, and the flag was against the Cardinals, so the Steelers take a 17-7 lead into the half.

18. It's halftime, and you know what that means....Bruuuuuuuuce! He moves around pretty well for a guy turning 60 this year. At least better than Favre did.


19. I spend five minutes cutting out 3-D glasses during the second quarter, then I completely miss the ad when I'm interrupted by a phone call. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to save them for the Steelers' appearance in SB44.

20. The Cardinals receive the kickoff, and move the ball about 26 yards in four minutes. The game plan in heavy on Edgerrin, and as I've said numerous times, I'm content with that.

21. The Steelers get the ball back and proceed to monopolize possession for the next eight minutes. Of course, it helped that the Cardinals got not one, not two, but three 15-yard penalties on the drive. Two of them were legit, but the roughing the QB on Dansby...ehh...

22. The impotent Steelers goal line offense comes through once again in a bad way, and Fieri is summoned from a Tampa bar for his second field goal. But wait! Mitch Berger got Rickrolled by an angry Cardinal while innocently holding the kick, which puts the Steeler O back on the field. At that point I wondered what Berger is doing to defenders to make them so angry. First he gets spit in his mouth in the Baltimore game, and now he gets plowed over like few holders ever have. Is he a closet trash-talker?

23. Just like they drew it up, the Steelers go one yard on three plays. Way to take advantage of an opportunity, guys. Fieri nails it from 21, and Berger walks away unharmed. 20-7 Steelers, and the end is in sight. We move to the fourth.

24. The Cardinals putter around with a few passes to Boldin mixed in with some penalties. The Steelers get the ball back, so all we have to do is feed it to Bettis and we'll be holding the Lombardi Trophy in no time.

25. Whoops, Bettis retired three years ago, and we have no line, despite what you've heard to the contrary. Power running down a team's throat is no longer an option. Three and aht. Blah.

26. The Cards take over at their own 13, 11:30 to go in the game. At that point, they finally realize that Larry Fitzgerald is actually on Arizona and only played for Pittsburgh in college. One completion to Fitz. Two completions to Fitz. Three completions to Fitz. I don't like the way this is going. Especially when Fitz leaps out of the state of Florida for a TD. 20-14 Steelers.

27. Since Arizona blew by us in about four minutes, the heat was really on to hold the ball. Which means the Steelers would go for 4, -10, and 10, resulting in a net gain of four yards in three downs. Time to force another Mitchberger down your throat.

28. Warner hits Boldin for 11, and Ike Taylor picks the fourth quarter of a six-point game to have a token brain freeze and tack on 15 with a personal foul. The Cardinals fully have momentum, and the collective sphincters of Pittsburghers are in their throats. Somehow, some way, the Steelers hold, and Whis opts to punt with time winding down.

29. The Steelers take over at their own one yard line with 3:26 left. Following an incompletion to Hines, Willie Parker nearly gets hit for a safety, as the offensive line once again shows their dominance. On third down, Ben and Santonio tag-team to save the day with a first down...BUT WAIT: that's holding on Justin Hartwig in the end zone, and that's a safety. 20-16 Steelers. I'm scared.

30. That was a game-changer. Without the holding, the Steelers could very well have run out the clock. Instead, the Cardinals get the ball back with added momentum (sponsored by Gatorade's new G line).

31. At some point in the fourth quarter, they finally played the Troy Polamalu Coke Commercial, so let's interrupt the drama and shoehorn it in here:


32. The Cards have the ball at their 36 with 2:58 to go. Following an incompletion to Boldin, Warner finds Fitzgerald for a 64-yard TD. Every Pittsburgh fan's worst thoughts are realized, as the Cardinals now hold the lead with 2 1/2 minutes left. 23-20 Cardinals. I'm speechless.

33. I was speechless, but still confident. Knowing that #7 was coming on to the field should calm any Steeler fan's nerves at a time like this. 2:37 to go, 78 yards ahead of us. Let's go.

34. Ben hits Mewelde for -1, and Chris Kemoeatu penalizes us for 10 yards. Not a good start.

35. Ben hits San Antonio for 14, followed by an incompletion to Nate Washington, who ended up with only one catch in the game, coming moments later. Two minute warning.

36. 1:08 to go, and we're on the 50. Fieri is fiercely warming up for the game-tying kick on the sidelines, his duties as TGI Friday's spokesman aside. Those Wasabi Buffalo Bites are going to have to wait.

37. Ben hits Santonio for 40. That's right, 40. The Steelers are officially in business, just six yards away from re-taking the lead.

38. Santonio nearly pulls off a tough catch in the corner of the end zone. Maybe next time.

39. Yeah, he caught the next one. I mean, HE CAUGHT THE NEXT ONE! THE STEELERS JUST TOOK THE LEAD! I DON'T KNOW WHY I'M YELLING! 27-23 STEELERS!

40. Being that it was a Steeler touchdown, as I mentioned earlier, it has to be shrouded in controversy. This one was no different, and for Santonio, this was the second time this season that a crucial, last-minute TD of his was contested. And just like against Baltimore, it's gooood.

41. Kurt takes over at the 23 with 29 seconds left, but the Cardinals used all nine of their lives already. A LaMarr Woodley sack and subsequent Brett Keisel fumble recovery seal the deal. Ben goes into Victory Mode. The Pittsburgh Steelers just won their NFL-record sixth Super Bowl.

42. The crowd is jubilant, and none other than Joe Namath (one of my favorite athletes ever) walks a gauntlet of players and fans to present the trophy to Roger Goodell, who then hands it off to an Obama-loving Dan Rooney, flanked by a backwards-hat-wearing Big Ben, Art Rooney II, and Mike Tomlin.



43. Santonio is MVP, and he deserves it. But Big Ben has now won two Super Bowls and both MVPs have gone to one of his receivers. Kinda funny how that worked out. But if the game would've held up with the 20-7 score, I think this was probably Harrison's to lose.



44. I switch the TV to local coverage, and Pittsburgh is going nuts. They turned over a car and lit a couch on fire in Oakland, which is apparently having an identity crisis and thinking it's Morgantown. Ken Rice pleads for a stop to the misbehavior. His words mean nothing to the crowd.



45. ESPN fully jumps on the SB43 bandwagon, ranking three of the game's plays among the Top 10 Plays in Super Bowl history, with Ben-to-Santonio #1 and Harrison's TD #3. I'd say that qualifies as the Best Super Bowl ever, at least in their eyes.

46. Ben and Santonio will both be going to Disneyworld. Last time around, it was Hines and Bettis. I guess this symbolizes a changing of the Steeler guard.

47. OK, some final thoughts:

--Five years in the league, two rings, and three AFC Championship appearances should put Big Ben on the fast track to the Hall of Fame. Period. 10 QBs have won two titles, and of those 10, only Tom Brady and Jim Plunkett are not yet in Canton. And at least one of those two are locks anyway.

--And that's a title within two years of hiring Mike Tomlin, who even fired me up with his post-Super Bowl crowd address. What a perfect fit for the job.

--Two titles in four years. Does that qualify as a mini-dynasty?

--Santonio Holmes grew up on Sunday. This is a guy who's made some major mistakes off the field as recently as a few months ago, but on Sunday, he officially arrived. Holmes had some huge touchdowns in the 2008 season, and hopefully carries his momentous postseason into 2009.

--If the Steelers would've ended up losing the game, it would've come down to the same weaknesses that have plagued the team all season.

First, they couldn't run the ball when they needed to; they can't stuff it in when they're close and they can't sit on it to kill the clock. They ran for 58 yards on 26 carries, a 2.2 average. How they managed to win a Super Bowl with that kind of output is unbelieveable. To boot, their offensive line committed numerous penalties and was responsible for the killer safety in the fourth quarter.

Second, special teams (aside from Skippy) were not a strength in the least. Once again, they allowed a long punt return, which luckily did not translate into points. Their kick returning is simply awful and intimidates no one.

This is the new NFL. The Steelers just won a Super Bowl with an average at best offensive line and some other glaring weaknesses. Fortunately, their defense was enough of an asset to overcome their liabilities. And having Ben Roethlisberger doesn't hurt, either.

--Gotta take your hat off to the Cardinals. I said they were possibly the worst team to ever qualify for the playoffs, and they sure shut me up. Few gave them a chance in this game, and they nearly pulled it off. If they can keep their key players around, they should absolutely contend in the NFC next season.

--Anyone else miss Myron on Sunday?

--My official prediction was 27-20 Steelers, and the only stat I predicted was that they'd hold Edgerrin James to 30 yards rushing. So I was off by three points and three yards, proving the "blind squirrel" analogy of predicting football quite well.

--There's going to be lots of stuff pouring in over the next few days/weeks, so keep checking back and feel free to forward your pics/links/emails/etc. I know we had several readers going to the game so I'm hoping to get their photos soon.

--I guess my closing statements would be to rest up for the eventual parade/rally and savor the moment. We're spoiled as Pittsburgh sports fans. We really are. To experience a Stanley Cup Final, a Super Bowl, and a #1-ranked college basketball team aiming for a Final Four in the last year is not a birthright. We are lucky to live in a town with so many skilled athletes and executives, which do nothing but bring our region together. And the glue that bonds everything would be fans like all of you, who display a level of passion that other cities envy. Thanks for being here along the ride, and please add your game thoughts below.

Send your news, tips, and links to Mondesishouse@gmail.com.

34 comments:

Jesse said...

refs cheated the cardinals

RAWsvc34 said...

^^ HAHA ^^

Anyway, Don....I only have one comment: If this doesn't shut up the 7 Haters, nothing will. Unreal.

Andy said...

One of THE best football games that I have ever seen. Ike Taylor is a tool, I can't believe Arizona didnt go to Fitz more often. Go Stillers!

Brian said...

Great recap Don. What an unbelievable finish, but I blame myself for the uncessary excitement. I left the party I was attending after the 3rd quarter to get my 4 year old son home. 20-7 quickly turned inot 20-23. My bad everyone.

Unsung heros- Jeff Reed, and Heath, of course. Tone wasn't too shabby either...

Get Fresh Designs said...

Spotted a guy wearing a Sepulveda jersey yesterday. He was telling me about the kids who played that song.

great recap.

bohica said...

dominique rodgers-cromartie cheated the cardinals.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Greatest Super Bowl Ever!

Anyone else think Al Michaels sounded like he was a full-time Cards announcer?

art said...

Did Limas Sweed get on the field?

He did not have many yards, but I thought Mewelde Moore played big in his pass blocking. The long pass to Holmes on the final drive came after a pump fake to Moore. If Moore isn't as good of a receiver as he is, the defender might not bite on the pump fake and Holmes doesn't get as many yards. It's a little thing, but it takes all those little things to win. Glad to have Mewelde with us the next two years, great free agent signing.

El Duffo O Muerte said...

Not sure if you saw or not, but there was a Limas Sweed jersey sighting on SNL this week. It's sweeping the nation!

Steve said...

1. Michaels was definately Pro-Cards in that game. Even the call on the Holmes TD was lacking the excitement a play of that magnitude should generate and the first thing he wanted to comment on was whether he had both feet in, doing it in a way that made you sense he was hoping they weren't. I used to thing Madden was long for the scrap heap but maybe it's really Michaels who's overstayed his welcome

2. Having a hard time deciding on who's the bigger douche; Collingsworth, or Harrison. Although Faulk was making a good effort for honorable mention. I guess I'll go with Collingsworth, as he's been a consistant douche for decades now.

Yup, Ike Taylor is a tool. I've commented on his terrible cover skills and general bad play all season long and without surprise, it was a big factor again. He may not be as bad as Dewayne Washington, but he's definately the achilles heel of the Steelers secondary, no question about it.

I'm sick of the media talk that Ben is not as good as P. Manning, Brady, or even Rivers (for christ sakes). Sorry blowhards but if the Steelers had any of those QB's yesterday, they lose. Yes, Ben does things that makes you scratch your head and want to strangle him sometimes, but he's simply the best QB for this team and that's what ultimately matters. Even if he plays just another 5 years of solid football without going to the Super Bowl again, he goes to the HOF. Not a bad accomplishment for a no good QB.

Has anyone mentioned that Fitzgerald wasn't pushed out of bounds and ran quite a distance without an honest effort to get back inbounds (can't do that) before helping with the tackle on Harrison? How fustrating would that have been if they would have ruled Harrison down before the goal line?

Also, whats up with the pink tie and sweater Fitzgerald was wearing after the game? I've always thought he came off as a bit feminine in his demeanor and that queer eye ensemble doesn't help his case much.

johnny said...

Chill with the Ike hate. The dude made Larry a non-factor for three quarters in that game. Sure Larry ended up getting his yards and TD's, but that was to be expected. He is a premier receiver touching the beginning of his prime.

Congrats to the Steelers and all of our fans, and I am especially proud for Coaches Tomlin and LeBeau.

Sixty Feet said...

There are no QBs in this league not named Ben Roethlisberger or maybe Tom Brady who could have made that last drive happen. On so many of those plays, Ben should have been sacked and made a big play instead. Santonio Holmes absolutely deserves MVP, but neither of them could have done it without the other.

Until Harrison's INT return, I though a stealth candidate for MVP would be Heath Miller. He had a bunch of catches to move the chains, and was springing HUGE blocks all day to get big gains for his receivers, particularly Holmes. Watch the tape and you'll see that a lot of Holmes' plays are dead after the catch without monster blocks by Heath Miller.

---
Nate
Sixty Feet, Six Inches
www.sixtyftsixin.com

okel dokel said...

That was an amazing roller coster ride...what a game!

This team did not give me the impression they were going to be much, but they stuck together and played tough when it counted.

Lots of hateraide being spewed at Steeler nation today...I guess the glare of the six rings causes considerable whining.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

The whining is ridiculous, I thought after them wrongly overturning Ben's TD on the opening drive, Warner's blatant 3rd Quarter Fumble, and flimsy holding that GAVE THEM 2 POINTS AND THE FOOTBALL, that we wouldnt have to hear about how the Steelers were handed this Super Bowl.

Steve said...

Don't ya know this country hates a winner. It just plain pisses people off to see the Steelers win and the worst part of this sore loser B.S. is that it's not even the Cards fans who are spewing it.

Heath did have great game, even though he did drop an easy pass that he'll normally catch 99% of the time.

Oh and I'll stick with my assessment of Taylor. He's not the primary reason Fitzgerald was held in check most of the game anyway, it was simply the coverage the Steelers were employing. They went away from it in the 4th quarter like they tend to do in most games and that exposes Taylor in 1 on 1 and good teams will take advantage of it.

Ultimately though, in the end, who gives a damn, they won regardless and made more big plays than bad and the rest of the Steelers hating world can suck it.

Andrew Johnston said...

Just a couple quick notes: To Steve's point, you can actually go out of bounds and come back in and make tackles - you just cannot be the first person to touch the ball. So, defensively, it's allowed. It's no different than, say, Polamalu missing a tackle on the sideline and rolling out of bounds but then later coming back into the middle of the field to make the tackle.

I think that the first questionable fumble was an incomplete pass, though I don't think Warner meant it to happen that way. The force of the hit caused the right side of his body to shift forward and cause the incomplete pass. The play that I think is controversial but no one seems to think about is the first Larry Fitz TD catch. He jumped up and got the ball, but when he landed in the endzone the nose of the football hit the turf. That's an incomplete pass. That was third down. I was surprised that Tomlin didn't leverage one of his timeouts to give that one a look.

Other than that, I think that Kurt Warner, with the same amount of time that Ben had could drive a team like that to victory. You cannot say enough about how good Kurt Warner is. He's a big time player who plays even better in big time games. No QB has had more passing yards than he has in Super Bowls. Not Montana, Not Elway. He averages almost 400 yards in SBs. Unreal.

I'm still taking it all in, but this was a huge win for the franchise we love. I hope we have a lot more in our Big Ben/Tomlin future.

Badubadubaduba, quadrouple yoi!!!

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Warner is a great QB, a class act, and a legit Future Hall of Famer.

Tomlin wasn't going to risk challenging there when he saw the way the other challenges had gone. Those calls could have gone either way, and neither of them went our way.......... And people in Seattle were probably wetting themselves in sheer joy!

Ben's knee WAS NOT DOWN either......

Nick said...

I thought the officiating was fine, got all the big calls right, but a card threw some punches somewhere in there that were overlooked. That is all.

Nick said...

I thought the officiating was fine, got all the big calls right, but a card threw some punches somewhere in there that were overlooked. That is all.

Broke But Still Drinking said...

Is it just me or does everyone think the Super Bowl commercials suck? I did buy a case of Miller High Life after seeing the first commercial, so good work Miller. It's nice to drink champagne while watching the Super Bowl.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Actually, I haven't heard much about the officiating like I did last time.

Maybe a few frustrated fans and some fringe sportswriters/blogs, but it's not really on the mainstream media's radar.

The Cards were just sloppy for awhile there, and we got sloppy ourselves and it nearly cost us the game.


BTW, how often does a holding in the endzone safety actually happen? I haven't seen one in years. It was just a wierd game like that.

Adding to the wierdness was that I watched the entire game about 10 feet away from Louis Lipps, thus enhancing the meaning of my screenname.

pens fan in philly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pens fan in philly said...

i have to agree with mr. johnston about the 1st fitz TD- I am not sure if the ball moved or not but it definitely hit the ground and was worth another look since they looked at every other play in the game. I thought Ben's knee was indeed down and my first reaction was "oh no SBXL all over again" and I was kinda relieved we didnt get the TD. The Harrison TD and Holmes TD should have taken about 10 seconds to figure out- Caliendo and Michaels spent minutes trying to decipher the obvious. The first Warner fumble was a great play by Kurt to fling the ball with his wrist as it was clearly not a traditional throwing motion.
Now on to the most important thing, did anybody catch that the real Guy Fieri was in attendence and was sitting in front of Cuba Gooding Jr. A screenshot of that would be money... I think you could only see that unmistakeable hair.

Someone Somewhere said...

If the score ended up being 23-20, I was ok with that. Larry Fitzgerald is just better than anyone else on the field. In fact, he's the best player in football right now...there is no question about it. He can catch anything thrown his way, not only that...I didn't think he had those kind of jets. That was a Jerry Rice like play.

I'm glad that Arizona didn't figure out to go to the no huddle until midway through the 4th quarter. I think Kurt Warner had like 150 yards passing before the first touchdown drive. The Steelers were not going to let Fitzgerald beat them (which he almost did anyway, more testament to his greatness), and were giving them the 10 yard and under passes all night. I was ok with that...they would tighten up when they had to. Once Arizona went to the no huddle, Pittsburgh was absolutely lost defensively...they couldn't get ANY pressure on Warner and he picked them apart...repeatedly.

Props to Ike Taylor for showing Anquan Boldin how much of a man he is and picking up a 15 yard penalty while nursing a 6 point lead late in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. Yo Ike, at that point in the game, maybe, just maybe it's time to put the personal differences aside and just be content with giving up the 10 yard pass.

The inability of the Steelers to gain one yard is just incredible. Nice touch by Bruce Arians there on the first and goal running out of the pro set for the first time since 1979...which was promptly stuffed for a 4 yard loss. This GLARING weakness would have been the single reason the Steelers lost this game. You have to score touchdowns when you get to the 1 yard line...you just have to. You also have to figure out a way to punch it in when the opponent decides to run over your holder giving you 3 more chances from inside the 5. Ugh.

Santonio's stats were deflated as he caught 2 passes for at least 35 yards that were called back via holding penalties. If this is a sign of things to come from him, the Steelers have a lot to look forward to. Since Ward went down against Baltimore, Holmes and Roethlisberger have been very very good. Coincidence?

Speaking of Ward, what a gutty performance. Any other game, he isn't playing...he's awesome...love that guy.

As for Roethlisberger, maybe, just maybe people will start to give this guy some freaking respect. I mean, he's only won more games in his first five years than ANYONE in league history. He's 8-2 in the playoffs...that's one more win than the "great" Peyton Manning has is his entire career. He has 2 rings, 3 AFCC game appearances. Oh, but his fantasy football number aren't that good, so he must not be as good a QB as Drew Brees (1 playoff win), Phil Rivers (2 playoff wins), Jay Cutler (0 playoff wins), etc etc. When Arizona scored with 2:30 to go, I felt really really good about having that much time left on the clock. He did it against Baltimore, Jacksonville, San Diego, Dallas, Baltimore, and then again in the Super Bowl. The guy is at his best when it matters the most. You can keep your passing yards, your passer ratings, passing TD's, I like wins...and that's all this guy does. Short of a pre-injury Tom Brady, there isn't anyone even CLOSE to Ben Roethlisberger (yeah, even Peyton Manning...who is sub .500 in the playoffs). That was some Joe Montana shit he pulled off last night...it was absolutely legendary. Thanks #7.

The Duke from Dukes Court said...

Yes Ike can be a bonehead, (see the 15 yard personal foul), but he was a big part of why our defense was ranked #1 in the league this year. Did we all forget that he had to guard a ton of fantastic receivers this year and he held almost all of them in check?

I hate to harp on the officiating because I felt like they did an above average job, but is anyone else surprised that Holmes wasn't flagged for excessive celebration after the game winning TD? Several Steelers came over when he was on the ground, and then he did that celebration with the ball in the endzone. That could easily have been a 15 yard penelty tacked onto the kickoff.

Anyone else remember where Peter King ranked Ben in his QB rankings?

Timothy said...

The Steelers did NOT deserve to win. It was, without a doubt, the worst officials and referee in Super Bowl history.

I think the writer on NFL/FOX said it best, when he named the referee as MVP of the game. Here's a link to that story.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/9168548/Here's-the-real-MVP-of-Super-Bowl-XLIII?MSNHPHMA

Sorry Pittsburg fans, but your team will always have an "*" next to this win. It was tainted, no doubt.

Actually, I would be embarassed if I was a Steelers fan. The Cardinals are the worst team to ever play in the Super Bowl, and the Steelers barely won, even with the referee's help.

What does that say about the Pittsburg Steelers? It says they are not very good, but very lucky.

nuthinhere said...

Thanks Timmy, there is nothing better than a fine whine to go with victory!! Cheers!

Someone Somewhere said...

Timothy said...
"Sorry Pittsburg fans, but your team will always have an "*" next to this win. It was tainted, no doubt."

Ok troll...since this comment hasn't been eliminated, I'll bite. Unless we were watching a different game, and I'm mistaken, Arizona -did- have the lead 23-20 with 2:30 remaining. The only flag thrown on the final drive was a holding call on Pittsburgh. The officials didn't allow Santonio Holmes to gain over 70 by himself on that drive. All Arizona had to do was stop Pittsburgh and they win...it's pretty simple and it had absolutely nothing to do with the officiating.

okel dokel said...

Timothy thank you for linking to Jason Whitlock's article which also says,

"Did the better team win the game? Absolutely.

The Cardinals had no answer for Harrison. He made the biggest play of the game, a one-man 14-point swing that stopped the Cardinals from leading at halftime. The Steelers took Fitzgerald out of the game for three quarters with bump coverage and safety-over-the-top help.

And Big Ben engineered the most impressive postseason two-minute drive since The Drive that established John Elway as a legend."

What are you other than an asshat skilled in the art of douchebaggery? I would hope you are not a Browns or Bengals fan; if so, that would just be pathetic.

Why don't you and all of your conspiracy obsessed friends go
here
, where a nice chart has been created for you. Next time you won't have to spend as much time trolling the internet for material to support your hateraid.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Chowdah Head Simmons is blaming the refs too.

It's lonely at the top huh?

Meadowbrookalum1 said...

Tampa was absolutely awesome! When the Steelers get to their next Superbowl and you have a chance to even be in the same city....GO! I had the chance at a $2000 ticket and passed...I won't make the same mistake next time.

I'm missin the Burg now and I hope everyone has a good time at the parade today. I'll be listening from afar on WDVE.

Robert Ullman said...

Next time you talk to Dameshek you gotta ask him why he associates with a douche like Simmons.

Seriously, have you ever listened to his podcast? He guesses gambling lines. It's the lamest, most boring thing ever put to tape.

Spatula said...

I second @Meadowbrookalum1's comments. Tampa was great. I didn't pass on the $2000 ticket, and it turned out to be the best money I've ever spent. The Cardinals' fans were all class acts. Everyone of them was great to talk to. The Steelers' fans behaved like we were all long-lost friends. It's the only time in my life when I felt perfectly comfortable coming out of a men's room in a stadium and have a guy clap me on the back and say, "Here we go!" Being part of Steelers Nation is like being part of a giant family. Let the haters hate on -- we've got each other.

Mongo said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Your article has validated my one argument with everyone who dares to even talk with me about SB XLIII.

Jeff Reed looks like Guy Fieri. Of course, no one I argue with knows who that is. I have to say TGIFridays just to get them on the same page.

Bless you.