Tampa, Florida (PressExposure) February 01, 2009 -- The Super Bowl 2009 ( Super Bowl XLIII) was played on February 1,2009 at Raymond James Stadium , Tampa , Florida between the American Professional Football's two major league champions .This year, the Super Bowl was between the AFC were Pittsburgh Steelers and NFC champions were Arizona Cardinal ,both winners of respective conference for the 2008 season. The Super Bowl is one of the most awaited sports events in USA and other parts of the world. The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinal by 27-23 for their sixth Super Bowl win. This is a record for most Super Bowl wins. The Arizona Cardinal was trying for the first Super Bowl win after the team started playing in 1947, the longest championship drought in the League. There are two other teams who have won the Super Bowl five times - Dallas Cowboys & San Franciso 49ers.
Tampa was selected as game site beating Atlanta, Miami and Houston in 2005. This is fourth Super Bowl to be held in Tampa and second at Raymond James Stadium, which is also home of NFC team Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team played to a packed stadium of 70,774 and the game was televised by NBC network was watched by 98.7 million viewers. This makes it 3rd most watched program and second most watched sports program in television history.
The Pittsburg Steelers had won the Super Bowl XL in 2005 but they had a relatively dismal season in 2006 with tally of 8-8. This ended the 15 year tenure of the head coach Bill Cowher, who had a remarkable record of 149-90-1. The new head coach Tomlin improved 2007 season tally to 10-6 and 12-4 in 2008 season. The Steelers entered the playoff sixth time in the last eight season confirm their reputation of being the reliable team .They went on to earn seventh Super Bowl appearance only one less than Dallas Cowboys. The Pittsburg Steelers' strength lies in excellent defense, they have fewest points (13.9) and yards (237.2) allowed per game in the NFL. The offense is led by Ben Roethlisberger .With players like Aaron Smith , La Marr Woodley, James Harrison ( NFL Defensive Player of the year) and James Farrior , Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes they form a formidable side.
The Arizona Cardinals were unexpected winners during 2008 season and the playoff with record of 9-7. Under new head coach Ken Whisenhunt they finished first season 8-8 in 2007. The team resurgence was aided by Kurt Warner QB who was Super Bowl XXXIV MVP while playing for St Louis Rams. This was the second time that a team with nine wins played Super Bowl in the history of the game. The team was also helped by excellent performance by Larry Fitzgerald. Kurt Warner played excellently with throwing of total 661 yards, eight touchdowns with only two interceptions.
Hence Pittsburg Steelers were definitely the favorites over the Arizona Cardinals, given performance, better defense and overall team. In the first half, Pittsburgh Steelers led by 17-7, outgaining Arizona by 158 yds to 102 yds. The highlight was last minute when Kurt Warner threw a pass intended to Anquan Boldin at the goal line that was intercepted by James Harrison LB. Harrison returned 100 yds for a TD increasing lead from 10-7 to 17-7. However Arizona showed a remarkable comeback in last 12 minutes of game, down 20-7, Larry Fitzgerald and Kurt Warner played brilliantly but fell short of an equally impressive performance by Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes. Fitzgerald responded with six catches and two touchdowns, including a 64 yards. The second half score was 10-16 making the end score of 27-23. Kurt Warner threw for 218 yds ( of 377 yds ) in last 11 : 30 mintues. Santonio Holmes WR was named Super Bowl MVP as he caught nine passes for 131 yards.
The 2009 Super Bowl was held in the era of economic downturn in the USA and its impact on the global economy. This resulted in ticket prices decreased, slow business in restaurant and many traditional Super Bowl parties being cancelled. The auto majors did not buy TV commercials. The cost of TV commercial was reported to be between $2.4 million to $ 3 millions (totaling $206 millions) many traditional advertisers bought multiple spots. The short trailers of Transformers- Revenge of the Fallen, Star Trek, an upcoming film, SoBe and Monster Vs Allien (both in 3D) were also aired. About 150 millions glasses for 3D were given away in the grocery stores.
The US Airforce Thunderbird flew over the stadium in the pre-game ceremony. The national anthem was sung by Jennifer Hudson. The halftime featured Bruce Springsteen with E Street band and The Miami Horn and a gospel choir. On the whole it was a memorable evening.