Less than 24 from the final gun blowing in Super Bowl XLIII, there are already many NFL writers, fans and others that watched the game asking the obvious question – Was this the best Super Bowl ever? Today as I get my life back in order and get ready for my return home, the airport in Orlando where I am flying out of is packed with Steelers fans, and even some down Cardinals fans.
Win or lose, they all seem to be saying the same thing today – what a great game it was.
And they are right. It was a great game, one for the ages and one that should get its just rewards. There were big plays, some chippy hits by both teams, lots of passing (which excites fans), the crazy comeback by the underdog, and the even more crazier comeback and biggest catch in Super Bowl history by the team that wanted it just a little bit more.
Yes, this very well may go down as the greatest Super Bowl ever.
“We’re going down in history with one of the greatest games ever played in the Super Bowl,” MVP Santonio Holmes said. “We finished it up the way we needed to, and brought another championship back to Pittsburgh.”
The comeback by the always game Cardinals is one aspect that made Super Bowl XLIII the great game it was. It would have been easy for Arizona to fold up at 20-7 in the third quarter, but they fought hard and after a pair of thrilling TD’s to Larry Fiztgerald around a safety, the Cards had the lead with 2:37 left.
Kurt Warner did all he could to try and get Arizona their first Super Bowl title. He threw for 377 yards and three TD’s vs the leagues number one ranked defense. Even in defeat he knew the way this game would go down in history. “I am definitely proud of it,” Warner said of the game. “Would I have liked to wn more than one? Of course, but I am proud that I have been able to come to these games and be a part of some of the greatest Super Bowls ever.”
When you think of great Super Bowls, they are usually games that come down to the last minute, which is why last year’s Giants-Pats game does rank high. But in Super Bowl XLIII it was the offenses for each team that got it done in crunch time, and it was the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger that had just enough to drive down and get that final TD with just :35 ticks left.
“It’s amazing,” Steelers safety Troy Polamalu said. “It probably ranks up there with last year’s (Super Bowl), and that’s what the fans want, and that’s what the fans got. What a blessing.” With Steeler Nation alive and well in Tampa for the past few days, it was basically like watching the home team pull off a huge comeback on the biggest stage of them all. For the Cardinals, in defeat comes the old question of “what if.”
“It’s like getting a chair pulled out from under you,” Larry Fitzgerald said. “It just hurts to be able to get so close and fall short of your ultimate goal. You’ve got to tip your hats to those guys over there at the Steelers. They are a courageous group of guys.”
It was the courage of both teams that made the game so great, and in the end put this Super Bowl easily in the top 2-3 of All-time. If not number one.