A miraculous catch births a new star for youngest coach in Super Bowl history
There are so many ways to watch and celebrate a Super Bowl, but the only one was at this party as the chapter closed on yet another storybook NFL season with an African American coach hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy.
During a Super Bowl where emotions swung back and forth like a windshield wiper and history was sure to decide the fate of either team, it was a 36-year-old Black man named Mike Tomlin who carried the record sixth championship back to the Steel city.
So young was Tomlin that he actually played with one of the players in the game. He was younger than the star quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, but he didn't even blink when the Cardinals scored what many assumed was the game winning touchdown that would have given the franchise their first world title since 1947.
With his mentor Tony Dungy serving as one of the pre game analyst of Super Bowl XLIII, Tomlin became the second Black coach to win one of the most coveted prize in sport in just a three year span.
Three years ago, Dungy led the Indianapolis Colts to victory over Lovie Smith's Chicago Bears, a history making Super Bowl that featured two Black coaches.
Tomlin became the third Black to coach his team in the game, and what a game it was.
Good all the way till the last drop when Santonio Holmes stretched his frame in the corner of the end zone behind three Cardinal defenders to record what will now be know as another Steelers immaculate reception.
With so many instant reviews, so many penalties and so much suspense in a memorable fourth quarter few Steelers celebrated fully until the final gun had sounded in Tampa. Only then did the scoreboard read 27-23 in favor of the most successful franchise in sports.
How appropriate was it that a town that relishes in blue-collar work ethic during a time when the nation is reeling in what appears to be a skid proof recession that their team would give them something to smile about.
President Barack Obama had picked the Steelers to win because of his friendship with Steelers owner Dan Rooney.
Rooney had even honored President Obama with an autograph Steelers football, but now the President will have the opportunity of honoring the Steelers at the White House as Super Bowl champions.
Tomlin received a phone call from President Obama congratulating him on the victory after the game, but so caught up in the joy of winning it's not clear whether or not the coach heard a word he said.
Like President Obama, Tomlin is new on the job, just his second year in Pittsburgh but thanks to Holmes and a record 100-yard interception by NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison, he's off to a pretty good start.
Sometimes you just can't understand what people are thinking. ESPN's Steve Young thought that Ben Roethlisberger should have been named Super Bowl MVP.
Holmes out played whom many experts feel is the greatest receiver in football Larry Fitzgerald Jr., catching 9 passes for a game 131 yards and the game winning score.
Fitzgerald Jr. finished the game with 7 receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns and would have been named MVP had the Cardinals won.
Holmes as MVP was a no-brainer. He had 73 yards in receptions on the game winning drive.
Next is the parade in Pittsburgh and then that visit to the White House, where I'm sure Tomlin will be able to hear what President Obama is saying.