Sunday, February 1, 2009.
TAMPA -- Do you believe in miracles?
The longest play in Super Bowl history -- a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison -- was overshadowed by a breathtaking, helter-skelter second half of what may have been the most exciting Super Bowl ever.
Just when it looked like the Arizona Cardinals had authored the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history -- scoring 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter -- the Steelers answered with a monstrous, improbable drive. Ben Roethlisberger's seven-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds left gave Pittsburgh a soaring 27-23 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday night at Raymond James Stadium.
When Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley knocked the ball loose from Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner and Brett Keisel recovered with seven seconds left, it was over.
From end to end, this one was even better than last year's crazy Giants victory over the undefeated New England Patriots.
And so, the Steelers distanced themselves from some of the greatest franchises in the league's history. Pittsburgh won its sixth Super Bowl, one more than Dallas and San Francisco, and were thoroughly impressive across the board.
The defense harnessed the high-scoring Cardinals, who had averaged 32 points in three previous playoff games, for much of the game. Roethlisberger was his efficient, muscular self and quelled any fears that there would be a repeat of his nervous sophomore-year performance in Super Bowl XL.
As it is, the Steelers have now won two Super Bowls in four seasons, leaving them the dynasty of the moment in the NFL.
The Steelers' most outstanding player was Holmes, who caught nine passes for 131 yards, hauled in the winning touchdown and took home MVP honors