One week has passed since the Steelers snatched victory from the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
The highlights are etched in Super Bowl lore forever. The 2008 Steelers season provided many an exciting and thrilling moment, which culminated in a riveting fourth quarter where the Steelers won their record-setting sixth Vince Lombardi trophy.
The Steelers rode a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter, only to see it all disappear with 16 consecutive points by Arizona. The moment on the biggest stage was finally here for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It's the chance that many signalcallers never get and is blown by most that do.
With the Steelers down 23-20 with 2:37 to play, they needed to go 78 yards to reach immortality. A holding call on the drive's first play had Big Ben dropping back almost to his own goal line on first and 20. With the Black and Gold contingent behind them, the Steelers drove the required distance with Big Ben slicing and dicing the Cardinals. In what has become his trademark, Ben continued his ability to extend plays and punish defenses. Roethlisberger was 5-of-7 for 84 yards on the deciding drive and had a 70 percent completion rate for the game.
MVP Santonio Holmes stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. His playmaking ability was on display, as he snagged four balls for 73 yards on the biggest drive in the Steelers' Super Bowl history. Holmes' toe-tapping snare in the right corner of the end zone with 35 seconds to play brought the house down in the "New Sombrero."
The defense had its fair share of time in the spotlight, including the longest play in Super Bowl history. Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison's 100-yard interception return was as scintillating a play as you will ever see. With the Steelers clinging to a three-point lead and the Cardinals on the doorstep with 18 seconds to go in the first half, the play of the game happened.
Cards QB Kurt Warner forced the pass to Anquan Boldin, who was cutting in on a slant route. Harrison faked a blitz, stepped into the throwing lane and picked it with his feet on the goal line. He then weaved his way down the right sideline, jumping and side stepping all along. He was brought down at the goal line by two tacklers. After a replay from upstairs, the call of touchdown on the field was confirmed - all of this occurring as the first-half clock expired.
Simply put, incredible.
Coach Mike Tomlin now is the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl. His stern approach and ability to treat each week the same paid off. He clearly won his players respect. Also, he helped prove that for the umpteenth time, the Rooneys are in a class by themselves in the NFL. The little known defensive coordinator from Minnesota has done something his predecessors didn't, by winning his first Super Bowl in only two seasons. His team tackled the toughest schedule in the league and never lost two games in a row. He has a 69.4 winning percentage and a ring to go with it. Finally, he once again beat the guys many thought would hold his current title. Keep up the good work, Mike.
I'm sure 2009 will bring more awesome Black and Gold memories, but 2008 will forever be known as the "Six Pack."
Andros is a frequent contributor to Voice of the Fan, often commenting on the Steelers.