Every year when the Super Bowl rolls around, fans of two NFL teams are filled with excitement and anticipation for the upcoming game. Fans of the other 30 teams typically fall into two different categories.
First, you have fans of teams who have never been to, or more importantly never won a Super Bowl, so they sit around and ponder all the “what ifs?” and look to next year as their year. The other group of fans are the ones whose team has won a Super Bowl.
I fall into the second group.
During this time of year I always think back about the Pittsburgh Steelers eight Super Bowl appearances and six wins and remind myself of all the great plays that have happened in those games, and trust me there have been many. But there will always be one that stands out to me above all the others.
My favorite play of all time took place in Super Bowl XLIII, when the Steelers took on the Arizona Cardinals in Tampa, Florida. The Steelers entered the playoffs with a 12-4 record and a No.2 seed in the playoffs. The Cardinals on the other hand backed into the playoffs with an 8-8 record. On paper the game seemed to be a mismatch but in ranking the most exciting Super Bowls in league history this one is in most everyone’s top five. And with good reason.
There were two plays in this game that would make most any Steelers fan’s top 10 list, but the number one on my list was a real doozey. The Steelers had a 10-7 lead and the clock was winding down on the first half. But the Cardinals, led my quarterback Kurt Warner were driving. The Steelers defense had no answer for them and it appears as the seconds wound down the Cardinals were going to take the lead going into halftime. But with 17 seconds to go Warner tries to pull the trigger on a short touchdown pass to wide receiver Anquan Boldin over the middle, but the Steelers dialed up a zone blitz and linebacker James Harrison made a great play to bait Warner into the throw and then make the interception.
What happened next has to be seen to be believed.
It was the kind of play that you can never forget. At least seven Cardinals had a chance to tackle Harrison, but for one reason or another, none were able to as Harrison rumbled down the sideline 100 yards for the touchdown. This score gained additional significance when you realize that the Cardinals roared back in the 4th quarter and scored 16 unanswered points, coming up just short at the end on a touchdown throw from quarterback Ben Rothlisberger to wide receiver Santonio Holmes to seal the game. If not for Harrison’s play, the Cardinals likely score at the end of the half, and it’s very realistic to think they win the game.
What’s your favorite Steelers play from one of their 8 Super Bowl appearances? Come find me on twitter and let me know what you think. @nfldraftboard