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Super Bowl XLIII – The Best Ever?


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.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jay

    February 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I’d like to comment on my environment (ya know, nurture versus nature). I live in Allentown which is only 45 miles due Northwest of Philadelphia. I have been a diehard Steelers fan my whole life (was a kid in the 70’s so the Dynasty got me hooked and I adeptly evaded rooting for the local Eagles). I’m also one of those rare breed combination Steelers/Philadelphia Phillies fans so this year has been great for me. The Steelers are my first and most passionate team over every other. I just want to say, I love the Steelers and have blogged some nasty things at times impulsively (and have appropriately apologized for them as well) but it was done out of impulse and passion as I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve much like Mr. Ward. I drove my girlfriend at the time to the 2005 parade (she’s now my wife) but can’t make it out this year because of my back and money concerns (gas, motel, food, etc.). When I was there, it was like a Steelers Mecca and I loved it. I currently live in the Philadelphia media and envy all of you Steelers nation people for living in the thick of things. This (Philadelphia) media and (pathetic) fan base out here is so embittered and obtuse with ridiculous senses of entitlement; almost like the proverbial red-headed step children that they are! I hate them. They cannot give anyone their props if it surpasses accomplishments of their own team(s). Since that’s not so hard to do, they (esp. the Eagles fans) hate everybody! Michael Barkan and company refuses to recognize Ben as an elite quarterback! I don’t know what he has to do to convince people. He’s convinced me! He’s game. When the money’s on the table, he takes it….Peyton hasn’t done it, and especially not McNabb. One of their salty columnists (Murphy or something) is convinced that fourth quarter comebacks is an overrated stat. I guess an Eagles fan would see it that way because they’ve never actually seen one! An Eagles fan throws their middle finger up at everyone else because everyone else is better. They live in a fantasy world where every year they’re going to win it all (this through media prognostications and fan base assumptions) only to fall short just like most other teams. They make themselves special because they’re legends only in their own minds. Scott Van Pelt said two weeks ago that he was glad the Cardinals won because he said the eagles fans would’ve been insufferable if both the Phillies and the eagles were in their respective league’s championship games. I say I wish the eagles would hurry up and win a super bowl already (except at Pittsburgh’s expense) so that their fans and media become less insufferable!

  2. mark

    February 2, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Now that its been about 24 hours to look at it without any emotional influence, I have to say that this is certainly a top 10 Super Bowl. Best ever, I think that might be a stretch. Best finish is another story.For 3 quarters the Steelers held the Cards basically in check. The Steelers had more than 1 occasion to put this one out of reach too. I think the 4th quarter is the reason for the “Best Ever” talk. No question that both teams played hard on both sides of the ball but it was 20-7 going into the 4th quarter! I understand their was still a bit of drama because of the Cards potent offense, but the drama didnt really kick in until the last quarter.In my opinion, and only my opinion, that it was the dramatic 4th that made this game what it was. A very good game overall, but the greatest finish of all time.

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