Super Bowl XLV tied for the highest watched NFL championship game in history with Bowl XXI and for good reason: This was a great matchup. With all the talk of re-seeding and skunky teams in the playoffs, this game proved the right teams rise to the top and play to win. Here are three of the key moments that made this game great.
Packers Veterans Injured
Both the offensive and defensive hearts of the Green Bay Packers team, Donald Driver and Charles Woodson, both suffered injuries that sent them to the sidelines. This could have been a disaster. It could have meant the game was now The Steelers to lose. But I echo what I said in my Super Bowl prediction, the Packers have had key injuries all year and the backups stepped up. It happened again Sunday, and rather than have it be a disaster, it might have given the Packers that much more to play for.
Steelers Commit Three Rare Turnovers
It wasn’t just the fact that The Steelers coughed the ball up, it was the fact that the Packers capitalized each time by turning them into points. This was key because those types of moments with a team like the Steelers are very rare. Had they not made turnovers, the game would have been a lot closer and might even have a different outcome.
Clay Matthews Makes Key Fumble
A lot of hype was made about Clay Matthews and Troy Polamalu coming into the game, but both names weren’t called as frequently as they had been during the regular season. One reason for that was that Matthews was charged with a different play strategy, that of closely shadowing the movements of Ben Roethlisberger. But as the fourth quarter started, Packers linebackers coach told Matthews, “It’s time.” Matthews took that instruction and created a fumble by knocking the ball loose from Rashard Mendenhall. That fumble was recovered by Desmond Bishop, which then ended the game and gave the Packers the win.
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To the victor goes the spoils, the rings, the trophies, the “Got Milk” ads, the “I’m going to Disney World” exclamations and, well, considering it’s the Super Bowl winner/MVP we’re talking about, I’m sure Rodgers can get just about anything he asks for, especially in Green Bay. While those perks are great and all, there’s also another item Rodgers received for his Super Bowl MVP efforts which might be worth more to him than the rest of that stuff: his championship belt.
At different times during the season, Rodgers put on his imaginary belt as a way of celebrating key plays and touchdowns. Clearly, Rodgers knew it was all leading up to the biggest stage in football, if not all of sports, and when the time came to collect the belt, Rodgers delivered in spades. In fact, his performance was so belt-worthy, Rodgers was presented with a real belt, courtesy of Dana White and Chuck Liddell. He then reminded the world the belt is his when he accepted the Lombardi Trophy from Roger Goodell:
While he didn’t get penalized for using a prop, much to the chagrin of Arizona fans everywhere, Santonio Holmes is actually being punished for his LeBron James celebration after scoring the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. Keeping with the normal NFL tradition, in order to punish Holmes, the brass went after his pocket book to the tune of $10,000 — an amount that is, in all likelihood, smaller than whatever bonuses he received for making the “Catch Heard Around the World During the Month of February.”
If I was a betting man, I’d say Cardinals fans would prefer the 15-yard penalty instead of the NFL taking money away from Holmes three or so weeks after the game ended.
Last night, Santonio Holmes’ game-winning catch was so impressive, important, and well, huge, it outdoes his manhood pictures that leaked a while back. That’s right, Holmes’ catch was bigger than anything going on in whatever modeling pictures he might have laying around. Santonio’s efforts secured the Super Bowl MVP award, much like those modeling-in-the-shower images (NSFWish) inevitably secured more female fans for him.