Great Super Bowls have been the exception rather than the rule. Back to back great Super Bowls? Well that's like hitting the Mega Millions on Tuesday and the Powerball on Wednesday.
But just like the Giants and Patriots did a year ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals provided an adrenalin pumping, heart pounding finish. It was so special that even the people who watch the game for the commercials were on the edge of their seats.
A player's career can defined by how he performed in the NFL's biggest game. See Scott Norwood, who went from from Super hero to Super goat with his "wide right" field goal attempt at the end of Super Bowl XXV.
Super Bowl XLIII was decided by greatness, not gaffes.
The biggest play may have come right before the half. Pittsburgh's James Harrison, the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year, picked off a Kurt Warner pass, and 100 yards later he's in the end zone...and the record books with the longest Super Bowl interception. That was a 14 point swing right there.
Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald made their big plays for the Cardinals in the second half with a pair of touchdown passes. The biggest came with less than 3 minutes to play when they hooked up on an incredible 64 yard touchdown pass that seemingly completed the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.
But 2:37 left on the clock was too much to leave the Steelers.
Ben Roethlisberger is a human "Weeble". He wobbles, but he won't fall down. He staggered and stumbled, but stayed on his feet and made the plays he had to, when his team needed them the most.
On the other end of those plays was Antonio Holmes. He picked a good time to have his first 100 yard receiving game of the season. In the final minute he pulled in a Roethlisberger pass and broke free before being brought down inside the Cardinals ten yard line.
2 plays later Holmes pulled in the game winning touchdown with a grab in the corner of the end zone that rivals "The Catch" by Dwight Clark. Holmes earns the game's MVP honors and cements his legend in Steelers lore along side Lynn Swann and Hines Ward..
More importantly, the Steelers are now the most successful team in Super Bowl history with 6 Vince Lombardi trophies in their possession.
Big plays made on football's biggest night. It's why we love the NFL.