Well, those last 10 minutes were some kind of insane, weren’t they? In a game that went from snoozefest to slugfest down the wire, the Steelers were the last team standing, winning 27-23 after a last-minute touchdown grab by Santonio Holmes that will undoubtedly rank among the best plays in Super Bowl history.
Holmes’ grab, seen above, came with just 35 seconds on the clock, wiping out a remarkable comeback by the Cardinals that had been capped by an insane 73-yard touchdown pass from Kurt Warner to Larry Fitzgerald Jr. Now, we assumed that would be the final score, since we and the Warners always thought that comebacks were kind of Jesus’s “thing,” you know. And really, the comeback card was still in play… until game officials took it off the table with just five ticks on the clock.
Trying to march the Cardinals down the field, Warner had the ball near midfield when he cocked his arm back to throw, and Lamarr Woodley hit him. The ball came free as Warner’s arm came forward, and Pittsburgh’s Brett Keisel covered up the ball. We’ve got some rough video on YouTube here, in case you need another look at it. God, I hope someone uploads a better version soon.
Al Michaels calls it correctly when he says “clearly” the officials will review it upstairs. The Holmes TD in the end zone was a much easier call, and the refs spent about 2 or 3 minutes looking at it anyway; why not do the same here? We’re not saying it was definitely a forward pass; we’re saying it was just about impossible to tell at game speed, so why not take one more minute to make sure you’re, y’know, deciding the whole Super Bowl correctly?
And look, the point of contention isn’t that a win got “stolen” from Arizona or anything or that the Steelers didn’t deserve to win. Even if the call (somehow) goes the Cards’ way, they’re still about 35 yards away from the end zone with enough time for one more play. Those are long, long odds. But it really freaking sucks when a team gets its chance to compete taken away by the referees in such a hasty fashion. Just review it. Take a minute and remove all doubt. Nobody would get pissed about that.
But all that noise notwithstanding, this was definitely one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory. You can argue until you’re blue in the face whether it was better than last year’s; both sides would have merit. But 16 straight points in the span of 5 minutes to take the lead, then a last-minute highlight reel catch for the win? That’s good stuff, plain and simple, and at the very least, everyone can admit that it’s a refreshing change of pace to see the Super Bowl itself blow the commercials out of the water for once.