WEEKEND SPORTS RAP
Well, it will be the surprising Arizona Cardinals versus the physical Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2009 NFL Super Bowl two weeks from now in Tampa, Florida, as both teams advanced to play one another by winning their respective conference titles this past Sunday.
The Cardinals (12-7), who were blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles 48-20 on Thanksgiving Day, got revenge for that whipping by beating the Eagles when it counted the most Sunday by a final score of 32-25.
Once again, Eagle quarterback Donovan McNabb was denied a Super Bowl Championship, as on this particular afternoon, there were just too many heroics from Cardinal quarterback Kurt Warner and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who combined for three touchdown passes.
The Cardinals advanced to the first Super Bowl in franchise history. They are the first team with nine wins or fewer in the regular season to reach the Super Bowl in a non-strike season since the 1979 Los Angeles Rams.
Immediately after Arizona’s triumph, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-14 at home in the AFC Championship, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led his team offensively, while the Steeler defense rocked the Ravens throughout the contest with back-breaking tackles and rock-em, sock-em action.
Santonio Holmes scored on an electrifying 65-yard score in the first half, and hard-hitting safety Troy Polamalu returned an interception 40 yards for a clinching touchdown with 4:24 remaining for the Steelers (14-4).
While this reporter figured the Steelers would emerge victorious, I never figured Arizona had a chance against the rugged Philadelphia defense, even though the Cardinals had home field advantage.
I’m going to be pulling for the Steelers to win it all, since I think the Saints were better than this Arizona team this year. The idea of a seven-loss team in the Super Bowl just makes me sick... and jealous!