Super Bowl Reflections

NC Nighthawk@NC Nighthawk (my Xbox gamertag)Analyst IFebruary 2, 2009



Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL champions and with their sixth ring, the best franchise in the Super Bowl era. In a previous article, I explored What Is the Best Franchise in NFL History?

Speaking of previous articles, I predicted the exact Steelers 27, Cardinals 23 final score of Super Bowl XLIII!

By the way, the Madden 09 simulation of this Super Bowl not only got the winner right (again), but it nearly got the score right, predicting a 28-24 Steelers win. That is the closest the simulation has ever been to the actual score.

Congratulations to the Arizona Cardinals for their best and most successful season in about 60 years. They are no longer “the same old Cardinals.”

Three Steelers probably earned co-MVP in my eyes: (1) Santonio Holmes (the actual MVP chosen), (2) James Harrison, and (3) Ben Roethlisberger.

With the final winning drive and winning touchdown pass to Holmes, Roethlisberger has (1) entered a permanent place in Super Bowl lore, (2) a foot into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, (3) become an official NFL elite quarterback.

Big Ben is still not on par with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, but at the tender age of 26, Roethlisberger’s resume can no longer be minimized as a quarterback who manages a great cast around him, as was the case with his bad performance in the Super Bowl XL win over the Seattle Seahawks.

He has matured significantly between his two Super Bowl wins. Roethlisberger’s talent and strength is buying additional time by scrambling right and by scrambling left, and therefore, extending the play until a wide receiver is open. Ben makes the plays needed at the right time to help and lead his team to victory.

In my opinion, Pittsburgh won the game – or Arizona lost the game – with the last play of the first half, which produced a 14-point turnaround. Instead of scoring a touchdown for a 14-10 lead, the Cardinals ended up behind at the half by the score of 17-7.

With the Steelers leading 10-7, the Cardinals drove to the 1-yard line. With no timeouts left, they could not afford to try a running play. So Warner threw to the left side, looking for Boldin. He instead found linebacker James Harrison, the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year.

Harrison intercepted the pass and started to rumble up the sideline, picking up block after block. He ran through Warner, escaped the grasp of Cardinals offensive tackle Mike Gandy, and rolled into the end zone as the clock hit zero with a 100-yard return, the longest play in Super Bowl history.

The Cardinals gave a courageous second-half run to briefly take the lead, 23-20 via the long ball from Kurt Warner to Larry Fitzgerald, arguably the best wide receiver in the league.

Super Bowl XLIII, like the one that preceded it, came down to the final minute and to a winning touchdown pass.

Ben Roethlisberger delivered it, and Santonio Holmes caught it from 6 yards out while keeping both feet inside the white lines. Holmes' reception, with 35 seconds remaining, saved the Steelers from allowing the biggest comeback in this game's history. They led 20-7 before their  defense, ranked No. 1 in the NFL, began to give up some big plays in the face of a no-huddle assault by Warner, the 37-year-old quarterback who had willed the Cardinals to their first NFL title game since 1948.

I can’t give enough credit to Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin, who was the best coach of the NFL for the 2008 season. By the final score of 27-23, the Pittsburgh Steelers won a record sixth Super Bowl in seven trips to the big game.

The Dallas Cowboys (5-3) and the San Francisco (5-0), respectively, have each won five Super Bowl titles each. In terms of number of NFL titles throughout the entire league history, the Green Bay Packers have 12 and the New York Giants have 7.  Each of these clubs have won multiple Super Bowls, of course.

Super Bowl XLIII averaged 95.4 million TV viewers, the second biggest audience Super Bowl in history, and the third biggest commercial broadcast in TV history, NBC said this afternoon. Overall, 147 million people, or nearly one in two Americans, caught at least some of the action.

In general, most of the long-awaited ads featured during the Super Bowl this year were considered a disappointment.  I liked the following ads: Doritos, Bud Light, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, and maybe one or two others.

Back to the game itself, my personal favorite part of Super Bowl Sunday.

If we can step back and reflect upon the entire game, where does it stand among the greatest Super Bowls? One argument for it being the best Super Bowl was the number of memorable plays that will be replayed for years to come.  However, the referees threw the yellow flag almost 20 times.

Was Harrison’s the best Super Bowl play ever? Was it even the best of this Super Bowl? Which play will you remember the most?



Quote of the Day:
The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.


1 Corinthians 2:9 “However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"—”

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