On a Sunday a year ago, February 3rd to be precise, the New York Giants danced on the knaves of the New England Patriots 17 to 14 to win the Super Bowl. We all thought, assumed, presumed that the Patriots were going to march out of the University of Phoenix Stadium with the crown, didn’t we? Many of us did.
This year, at Raymond James Stadium, would the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Arizona Cardinals be the ones dancing on knaves?
Televised by NBC, the first quarter began with the Steelers at a first and goal within minutes of game-play. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s surged the ball into the end zone himself a few plays later. Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt challenged the TD call and won. Roethlisberger was down by contact just before the goal line. Steelers kicker Jeff Reed put the ball nineteen yards through the goal posts. No TD but yes FG. Pittsburgh 3 and Arizona 0.
The second quarter sparked off with a TD by Steelers running back Gary Russell. Cardinals tight end Ben Patrick made a TD catch nearly halfway through the second quarter. Pittsburgh 10 and Arizona 7. Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby intercepted Ben Roethlisberger in the bottom of the quarter. HOLY HORSEY SAUCE AND A COWBOY HAT!!!! With under twenty seconds left on the clock, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner meant to throw the ball to wide receiver Anquan Boldin in the end zone but Steelers linebacker James Harrison snatched the prolate spheroid and ran back all the way to the other side of the field (forward rolling to the front, right corner of the end zone and sandwiched by two Cardinals). A 100 yard interception return for a TD–the longest play in super Bowl history. Pittsburgh 17 and Cardinals 7.
The third quarter done ticked five minutes and James Harrison nearly turned the corner again by scooping up what was first ruled a live ball but then was overturned and deemed a dead ball. Kurt Warner threw an incomplete pass and not an interception. Eight minutes later, the Steelers increased their lead with a field goal…for about a nanosecond. It was retracted on account of a penalty on Cardinals strong safety Adrian Wilson. Three plays later, the Steelers tried the field goal again. Pittsburgh 20 and Arizona 7.
The fourth quarter beat its drum halfway and Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald made a TD catch in the back right corner of the end zone. The ball made contact with his helmet before he got his hands around it. Pittsburgh 20 and Arizona 14. When the clock got to under four minutes, I was thinking it’d be pretty neat if the Cardinals won. Would they be able to do it, though? Cheese Louise the Pyrenees. The Steelers incurred an offensive holding call in the end zone, which gave the Cardinals a safety. Pittsburgh 20 and Arizona 16. TANGY TOMATO SAUCE AND TORTELLINI!!!! With fewer than three minutes in the quarter, Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald got their syncopation on for sixty-four yards and a TD. Arizona 23 and Pittsburgh 20. A minute left and Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes got to the five yard line. Roethlisberger threw to Holmes again (no catch), and then again. Catch. Thirty-five seconds left on the clock. Was it a confirmed TD? Indeed. Pittsburgh 27 and Arizona 23. Well, the Cardinals came and saw but did not supercede. THE STEELERS HAVE WON SUPER BOWL XLIII, “the first franchise in Super Bowl history to win six Super Bowls,” Al Michaels noted.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. Al Michaels and John Madden provided the commentary.
2. Faith Hill (and a gospel choir) sang “America the Beautiful.”
3. The national anthem was performed by Jennifer Hudson.
4. GI Joe movie trailer! Holy hovan rolls.
5. Lynn Swann, Roger Craig, John Elway, and General David H. Petraeus were a part of the coin toss (well he actually tossed the coin). Terry McAulay was the referee. Arizona won the toss and chose to let the Steelers take to offense first.
6. The Steelers wore yellow pants and white jerseys. The Cardinals wore white pants and red jerseys.
7. John Madden commented on Ben Roethlisberger’s bottom-first-quarter scrambling as evidence that he’s like “Superman…he’s just so big and strong.”
8. Creepy. SoBe commercial with NFL ballers doing Swan Lake.
9. Cuba Gooding Jr. was in attendance, sitting in the shadows of the stands. He wore glasses, a dark hat, and a trench coat-esque jacket. Al Michaels made a reference to Jerry Maguire.
10. After coming back from the commercial break which proceeded Larry Fitzgerald’s fourth quarter TD catch, one of the cameras cut to an extreme close-up of Fitzgerald taking a sip of red liquid from a bottle sans label. Was he drinking Powerade or Gatorade? Hmmm. Correction. The label was transparent. A subsequent shot revealed that he was drinking Gatordade. G2 fruit punch.
11. According to Al Michaels, the imagery on the Jumbotron is five seconds behind what happens in real-time. Thus, when Larry Fitzgerald was watching himself run towards the end zone in the bottom of the fourth quarter, he had passed the ten yard line but he was seeing himself at the fifteen yard line. Wow, watching the past.
12. Slow-motion instant replay footage after Santonio Holmes made the game-changing TD in the fourth quarter included his using the ball like a bottle of some kind, shaking imaginary things onto his hand. He then threw the ball into the air (probably backwards). After the TD was confirmed, there was footage of Larry Fitzgerald, in extreme close-up, mouth “oh no.”
13. It was heart-scraping to see the juxtaposed images of Larry Fitzgerald and Santonio Holmes.
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