At the end of the second quarter, just when it looked like Arizona could take the lead in what would have been their scoring play, with only eighteen seconds to go James Harrison intercepted the ball, scoring a touchdown with only one second left in the half. Harrison’s 100-yard interception return was the longest play in Super Bowl history, and reinforced his well-deserved title of 2008 Defensive Player of the Year.
In the fourth quarter, just when the odds seemed dismal for the Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald gave the team hope of winning, revitalizing the fans and pinning them to the edges of their seats.
The score was 20 to 16, with the Steelers in the lead. Larry Fitzgerald received the pass down the middle from Kurt Warner, and booked it to the end zone, evading three Steelers hot on his tail. Touchdown! The conversion put the score at 23 to 20 with Arizona in the lead.
It looked as if the Cardinals were going to win with Larry Fitzgerald—the hero of the night. Except for the fact that there was two and a half minutes left on the clock, just enough for the Steelers to “steel” the game back. Santonio Holmes scored a miracle touchdown, gracefully keeping the ball in bounds by his toes, with only thirty-five seconds left in the game, making Arizona second best in the country. “My feet never left the ground. All I did was extend my arms and use my toes as extra extension to catch up to the ball,” said Holmes.
Larry Fitzgerald was seen from the sidelines mouthing, “Oh no. Oh no,” and shaking his locs in disbelief.
If it were not for Holmes’s toes, for his carefulness in making sure the play was still in bounds, Fitzgerald would have been the MVP, the hero who won the game and brought it home to the Grand Canyon state. But instead the glory went to Holmes.
“The game played out exactly how it was supposed to. Our defense stepped up when they needed to. They gave up some big plays, but at the same time, when they really needed to clamp down on that offense, they did just that,” said Holmes of his spectacular victory. “It was definitely our destiny to win the Super Bowl.”
The Steelers won 27 to 23, giving them a record-breaking sixth Lombardi Trophy – and a miraculous finish to one of the most spectacular Super Bowls in recent history.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said it best, “What an incredible performance by both clubs. The Cardinals deserve a tremendous amount of credit for playing all the way and (having) a tremendous season. But it’s the Steelers’ night. It was a performance for the ages.”
The Good News Newspaper