Holy crap, what a game. The Cardinals gained a tremendous amount of respect from me for making it so close (and gave me about four heart attacks along the way). Despite their best efforts to lose the game, the Steeler's offensive line managed to be saved by the toenails of Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes (c'mon, fellas, holding IN YOUR OWN ENDZONE?!?)
This game had it ALL.
You want the longest play in Super Bowl history? Done. James Harrison's 100 yard interception ending in a head first (literally) flip into the end zone was the longest ever, and at the end of the half, no less. He comes up one inch short, and there's no time left, no score on the play, and it's all for nothing. The best possible ending for the play happened. The only thing missing was Harrison rising like Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry McGuire and waving to the crowd.
You want an aging quarterback to show that he still can play like an MVP, despite the fact that many people around the league (and the world, myself included) considered him washed up? Done. Kurt Warner's Cards were down 10-0, but he ended up throwing an MVP-like performance, going 31-43, with 377 yards and 3 TDs. Surely, that yardage has gotta be the best performance ever? No, it was good enough for 2nd, beating Kurt Warner's 365 yards in Super Bowl 36, but it fell short of Kurt Warner's 414 yards in Super Bowl 34. You read that right. He has put in the top three totals in Super Bowl history. I will refrain from referring to him as Bag Boy. Instead, I will go back to making fun of the hydrocephalic Peyton Manning.
You want the biggest rally in Super Bowl history? Done. The Cardinals came back to take the lead in the 4th quarter despite having trailed 20-7. If they had won, it would have made for great cinema. Luckily for me and everyone in Pittsburgh, this is not cinema.
You want a team of relative unknowns getting their due in the national spotlight? Done. What non-Cardinal fans among us could name more than two or three Cardinals before this playoff run? Now, everyone will be on the lookout for Karlos Dansby, and have the chance to titter at Steve Breaston's name.
You want the next big thing? Done. Larry Fitzgerald set a playoff record with 546 yards this post season, and put himself (and his dad) in the national spotlight, and tugged on the heart strings of every woman viewer in the room with his Mommy story. Awwww.
You want a young QB proving he has the moxie to lead a team through the trenches into Super Bowl history? Done. Ben Roethlisberger showed he is one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks, delivering clutch passes in dire circumstances, escaping what looked to be certain sackage time and time again, and driving the Steelers 78 yards to the Cardinal end zone, delivering a pass that can only be adequately described as surgical in it's precision, to the impossibly perfectly positioned Santonio Holmes, who couldn't have executed a more perfect demonstration of dragging both feet while getting maximum extension out of his frame. All this on a broken play.
This Super Bowl rivaled the previous one in every way except one. The underdogs didn't win this one, like the Giants slicing apart the Patriots perfect season last year. But it beats it in drama, if you ask me. The big play of last year's Super Bowl, David Tyree's miracle catch, extended the eventual game winning drive. Holmes' miracle grab actually won the game.