the pittsburgh steelers defeated the upstart arizona cardinals 27-23 to win their record sixth super bowl. with less than three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, steeler quarterback ben rothlesberger led a montana-like drive, culminating with a touchdown pass to wide receiver santonio holmes with 35 seconds left in the game to seal the deal. holmes caught nine passes for 124 yards, including six in the fourth quarter & was awarded the most valuable player.
prior to super bowl 43 the dallas cowboys & san francisco 49ers tied the steelers with five vince lombardi trophies. the storied franchise, led by the bright, confident & handsome young african-american head cocah mike tomlin moved them into the history books for more than one reason. the two other steeler coaches to win super bowl trophies - chuck noll with four & bill cowher with the win in 2006 - share a commonality with tomlin: they were hired by the rooney family at a young age; all coaches were well under 40, a risk that paid off.
most experts picked the experienced steelers to run away with the game, as this was the first super bowl trip for the cardinals, whom, at 9-7, won their division yet lost the last four games heading into the playoffs. arizona's high-powered offense was spearheaded by all-pro quarterback kurt warner. the popular 37 yr-old is the third oldest qb to play in the super bowl & only the second qb in history (craig morton) to lead two teams to the super bowl. warner's two big, strong wide receivers antoine bolden & larry fitzgerald are always a threat to gain big yards after a catch and/or score.
the all-world fitzgerald broke several of hall of famer jerry rice's records in the cardinals' three wins preceding super bowl 43. though relativley quiet in the first half, he caught seven passes for 215 yards & two touchdowns in the game, yet it was not enough to stop pittsburgh from prevailing in the end. the steelers' number one ranked defense, led by defensive player of the year, linebacker james harrison made the plays when it counted. in fact, just before the end of the first half, harrison intercepted warner's goal-line pass & ran a record 100 yards to give his team a 17-7 lead.
pittsburgh took a 20-7 lead into the fourth quarter & looked like they were poised for a rout until warner caught fire. the young cardinals, fueled by fitzgerald's stunning 64 yard touchdown reception, led 23-20 with a little over three minutes in the game. their players were jumping for joy on the sidelines. but this year the steelers have manufactured six fourth quarter or overtime victories. their confidence in rothlesberger was evident as he led them down the field, with one big play after the other, at times escaping what looked like surefire sacks from the tenacious arizona defense. holmes later confessed he told rothlesberger in the huddle to give him the opportunity to make a play for his team. like a mailman, he delivered.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.