View Full Version : Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes takes the high road, keeps low profile

09-05-2009, 03:27 PM
South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes takes the high road, keeps low profile

By Chris Harry South Florida Sun-Sentinel

September 4, 2009

Consider the confluence of circumstances required for an episode of Live with Regis and Kelly to feature Eurythmics lead singer Annie Lennox alongside Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes.

Hint: throw out parallel universes and apocalypses.

It can only be one thing.

The same thing that got Holmes, who grew up chasing rabbits through the Belle Glade mud, a seat next to Jennifer Aniston on Jay Leno's couch last February.

"It's been pretty crazy," the reigning Super Bowl MVP has said over and over the last nine months. "Been pretty fun, too."

Holmes' life changed forever last Feb. 1 when he leaped into the cool Tampa night and caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger with 35 seconds on the Raymond James Stadium clock.

The play capped a pulsating, game-winning drive and gave the Steelers a one-for-the-ages 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII and immediately placed Holmes among the likes of Dwight Clark, Lynn Swann and David Tyree as recipients of the most famous catches in league history.

"It was really something to marvel at," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

Mere moments after Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald split the Steelers secondary for a 64-yard touchdown to give his team the lead with barely three minutes left, Holmes approached Roethlisberger on the sidelines with a message.

"Get me the ball," he said.

Holmes, who starred at Glades Central and Ohio State, caught four passes on the ensuing drive, finishing with nine receptions for 131 yards, capped by some graceful acrobatics worthy of Cirque du Soleil.

Being the biggest hero in the world's biggest game certainly has its perks, even for a player who has had his share of tough times in the Steel City, both on the field (where the former first-round pick had struggled to become a focal point of the offense) and off it (with the law).

Example: Holmes arrived April 27 in Pittsburgh Municipal Court to be arraigned on a seven-month-old marijuana charge that got him suspended by the team for a game last season. On his way to the judge's chambers, he was stopped by a deputy district attorney.

"Nice catch," said the D.A., who later released Holmes on his own recognizance.

Holmes, 25, could have seized his overnight world-wide celebrity status, but chose the higher road to a lower profile. Maybe the post-game advice he got from fellow wideout and Steelers star Hines Ward helped.

Ward, named MVP of the Steelers' Super Bowl win three years earlier, approached Holmes while the post-game confetti was still flying,

"Stay humble," he said.:tt::tt::tt:

Instead of painting the town that night, Holmes celebrated in his hotel room with his three children and watched TV. Super Bowl highlights, right?

"Nope Madagascar II," Holmes said, reciting the advice he got from his teammate. "Don't lose sight of where I came from and definitely what I'm trying to accomplish for the rest of my life."

With greatness comes great responsibility.

Santonio Holmes seems to get it.

"Santonio is a guy who has a desire to be great, but more importantly, he's willing to do what it takes on a day-to-day basis to make that happen," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "Is he a finished product from that standpoint? No, but he is embracing the challenges of doing that."

Some Super Bowl MVPs before him Larry Brown, Desmond Howard and Dexter Jackson, for example vanished quietly into the history books. Holmes knows their stories, but wants to write a different one for himself. And his teammates.

"The stakes are higher now," Holmes said. "We climbed the mountain once."

It's a different mountain now.

And Regis, Kelly and Lord knows who else are waiting at the top.

Copyright 2009, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

09-05-2009, 04:12 PM
If those troubles are behind him.. I am really excited about what this kid will become in the NFL. That is GREAT advice by Hines.

09-05-2009, 05:24 PM
Good story on a local player (S Florida). If you ever been to Belle Glade you would understand the obstacles he has overcome. His new attitude says he will be even bigfger this year. Expect him to be the #1 receiver for the next few years as long as he remains healthy.