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Day-after Super Bowl thoughts

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Justin from Jacksonville:
So, Vic, what did you think?

Vic: The James Harrison play, Larry Fitzgerald's apparent game-winning touchdown play and then the Steelers' amazing game-winning drive, in my opinion, made yesterday's Super Bowl the most thrilling postseason game I have ever seen. Let's start with this: The product the NFL turns out is like nothing else in sports. The NFL brand is special and yesterday's game only made it more special. As for the teams: The Cardinals have something they can use as a platform for a long run of success. They've got the right coach and a nucleus of top players. Everything is in place for success to follow and it will. Once the hurt wears off, the awareness of what was gained last night will become evident. The Steelers, on the other hand, are poised for what could become another long run at the top. They have work to do on their two lines, but they have a solid roster that is topped by, in my opinion, the best quarterback in the game. Santonio Holmes got the MVP, but Roethlisberger was the star of the game. He got it done at crunch time. My lasting memory of that game is the grit required for Roethlisberger to go from having what he thought was a game-clinching, third-down, 19-yard completion from his own end zone nullified by a holding penalty that resulted in a safety for Arizona, to seeing the Cardinals take the lead, to having to drive his team the length of the field with just over two minutes to play in the game. The extremes of that situation are now committed to football lore.

Jared from Beverly Hills, CA:
A Super Bowl in a rebuilding year? Wow! Imagine if the Steelers actually had an offensive line? In all fairness, I actually thought you were right – I didn't think this was the Steelers' year due to the sub-par offensive line – but I thought you wrong in underestimating Ben's ability to win ballgames by himself.

Vic: When we left Pittsburgh after the Jaguars' win in the playoffs a year ago, I thought the Steelers were in for tough times. Their offensive line was in tatters and they had age on their defensive line. Then, when you looked at their schedule, you wondered if they would win eight games, and others shared that opinion. They played, possibly, the most difficult schedule in NFL history. Yes, Ben Roethlisberger gets the credit. One third of the Steelers' wins this year were the result of fourth-quarter comebacks. We saw one of those, of course, in Jacksonville. Nothing beats a crunch-time quarterback and nobody gets it done at crunch time like Roethlisberger does.

Donnie from Houston, TX:
Is Roethlisberger better than Peyton Manning? Big Ben gets it done at crunch time. History has shown that Manning doesn't.

Vic: Roethlisberger is 8-2 in the postseason with two Super Bowl wins. At 26, he has already won one more postseason game than Manning. I like crunch-time guys.

Jay from Jacksonville:
We should have known it's all about the QB at crunch time. What a shame two wide receivers have stolen his MVPs. Ben's the man. He makes the plays when it matters most.

Vic: I think Santonio Holmes is a deserving MVP. Let's not forget that he had a monster postseason. His touchdown return of a punt against San Diego and his 65-yard touchdown catch against Baltimore in the AFC title game were the big plays in those games. The catch he made yesterday will be a picture you will see forever. It will forever define that game. The interesting thing is that he let the ball go right through his hands in the opposite corner of the end zone on the previous play. It, too, was a perfect pass by Roethlisberger. It would've been the same leaping, two-feet-down picture. Roethlisberger doesn't need an MVP to validate what he did. We talked last week about Kurt Warner's Hall of Fame bid. We should've been talking about Roethlisberger's.

Nate from Sheboygan Falls, WI:
What was your take on the officiating at the Super Bowl?

Vic: Every call I saw appeared to be accurate, including the holding call against Justin Hartwig in the end zone. That's called a "collapse block." The offensive lineman gets his hands on the rusher and then falls over backwards, pulling the rusher down on top of him with the intent of making it appear as though the blocker was bowled over. The call was right on the mark. I saw no bad calls. I would've liked to have seen fewer penalties, but everything I saw was supported by replay.

Joe from Jacksonville:
Why did they not look at that last play by Warner? It looked like it was worth a look in the booth by the ref to see if his hand went forward.

Vic: The booth-review official had plenty of time to look at it and I have to believe he did. You don't have to stop the game to get a booth review. Inside the two-minute warnings, the booth guy is looking at everything.

Eric from Jacksonville:
On Harrison's interception, do you give more credit to him for making a great play, or do you blame Warner more for not seeing him drop?

Vic: When you live by the slant, you die by the slant. Slants are easy completions, but if you throw them too often, you're going to get picked and they often result in long runbacks. The Cardinals were dinking and dunking for the first three quarters. They did too much of it.

Jeff from Melbourne, FL:
Even Al Michaels said it when Fitzgerald scored: No cheering in the press box. Good call, Vic.

Vic: It has always amazed me that our readers have been incredulous about the no-cheering-in-the-press-box thing. I was glad TV gave everyone a look at it. The press box is a working environment. You go there to work, not play. You watch and you say nothing, even when your son is playing in the game.

Daniel from Wichita, KS:
Running over the holder after the kick? Never heard of that one. Is that a rule?

Vic: It's been a rule for as long as I've covered football and I had seen it called twice before. The last time I saw it called was in the 2002 playoffs, against the Steelers in a game at Tennessee. The Steelers rusher barely touched the Titans holder, but he was flagged and it gave the Titans a second chance to kick the game-winner, which they did. The rule is you can't so much as bump the holder or kicker. What Adrian Wilson did last night was absurd. They don't get any easier than that call.

Gil from Jacksonville:
Ken Whisenhunt knew it. In his postgame interview, when asked what he was thinking after Fitzgerald's TD reception, he said, "There was too much time left on the clock." He was right. Arizona's inability to pound out time-consuming drives caught up to them in the end.

Vic: Whisenhunt was Roethlisberger's coach in Pittsburgh for three years. Whisenhunt knows what's inside the guy.

Russ from Atlanta, GA:
Why not James Harrison for MVP? He made the longest play in Super Bowl history and if he doesn't make that final yard into the end zone, the Cardinals pull out the victory.

Vic: Had the Steelers defense successfully defended their 20-7 lead in the fourth quarter, I have no doubt Harrison would've been the MVP. In my opinion, his touchdown return was the most exciting play of the game, but it was trumped by Holmes' game-winning catch because of the circumstances.

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