SuperBowl XLIII – LeBeau’s Favorite Super Bowl
As anyone who knows me can attest to, I am a lifelong Steelers fan. I am not a bandwagon jumper nor am I a casual fan who just dons the Black and Gold for specific times and locations. No, I am as die hard as they come for my Steelers and a Pittsburgh ball cap can be seen on my head year long as my Troy Polamalu bobble head figure can collaborate to.
So, being a Steelers fan and being of the age that the 70's Steelers were just a tad before my time, that leaves me with Super Bowl XLIII as my personal favorite of all time.
Unlike Super Bowl XL, where the Steelers beat the Seahawks in a somewhat unfulfilling game, Super Bowl XLIII had more than it's share of thrills and WTF! moments and though the tension is gave me surely shaved off 5 years of my life, it was well worth it.
Facing the Arizona Cardinals led by the highly respected Kurt Warner, I was more than confident that my boys could get the job done but was fully prepared for a dog fight. The first half didn't disappoint as up 10-7 near the end of the half, the Steelers were desperately trying to keep the Cardinals out of the end zone. Then, as I was coolly talking myself into believing that being down 14-10 wasn't a bad thing, James Harrison came out of nowhere and snagged a Warner pass, returning it 100 yards to give the Steelers a 17-7 halftime lead!
It was amazing that the neighbors didn't call 911 after that play with the amount of noise I was making!
Then came a tough defensive third quarter where we were able to pad out lead by a field goal before heading into what I thought would be an easy fourth before hoisting the trophy. What really happened, though, was perhaps the greatest quarter of Super Bowl football EVER followed by one of the most spectacular finishes in any sport.
The Arizona Cardinals, to their credit, wasn't going down without a fight and scored 16 unanswered points in the quarter to take a 23-10 lead with enough time left on the clock for one more Steelers drive. At this point, it must be noted that I was in stunned shock. My silence was so profound that my wife was slowly gathering the kids for a dash out the door, fearful of flying debris if my boys couldn't pull it off.
Luckily for her, and my house, Ben Roethlisberger had the drive of his career and led the Steelers down the field for the game winning score, connecting with Santonio Holmes on the greatest game-winning throw/grab in the history of the NFL. He threaded the needle between three receivers to get the ball where Holmes could grab it in-bounds, a pass that only a handful of QB's in the game could have made.
And thus, history was made as the Steelers won their 6th Super Bowl. One that will forever be remembered by me as the greatest ever.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS