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mesaSteeler
02-05-2012, 09:40 AM
Starkey: Harrison's pick six tops Steelers' best Super Bowl plays

By Joe Starkey
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, February 5, 2012

Eight is enough.

I mean, we could haggle over the Steelers' best 50 Super Bowl plays and still have room for 50 more. We could spend all day just debating Lynn Swann's top 50.

But let's stick with eight, matching the franchise number of Super Bowl appearances. Let's divert our attention -- if only for a moment -- from the dark possibility of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady celebrating on our television sets sometime this evening.

There was no specific criterion for choosing these plays. I took a thoughtfully nonrhythmic approach, mixing factors such as athleticism, execution, importance and symbolism. Sometimes, I simply considered a given play and counted the goose bumps it still could raise ...

8. Super Bowl XL: Fast Willie goes 75

The longest touchdown run in Super Bowl history came on a classic smash-mouth Steelers play called "Counter 34-Pike." The blocking was exquisite, notably left guard Alan Faneca pulling right and burying LeRoy Hill. I remember sitting down with then-offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and dissecting the video. I brought up the previous record Super Bowl run, 74 yards by Marcus Allen. "But that was a busted play," Whisenhunt said. "This was a designed play that worked exactly the way it was designed." (A well designed running play. Well now that the Airhead is gone maybe we will see more of that again. To tell the truth I was on the verge of giving up my 48 year long allegiance to the Steelers because of the Airhead. - mesa)

7. Super Bowl XXX: Bill Cowher calls for "Surprise onside"

The Steelers trailed, 20-10, with 11:20 left when Cowher made one of the gutsiest calls in Super Bowl history. It paid off. Norm Johnson's low line drive bounced to Deon Figures in full stride. Talk about goose bumps. Listen hard enough, and you probably still can hear the reaction in your household. You can probably still feel it. So, don't let anyone talk about Saints coach Sean Payton's onside-kick call in Super Bowl XLIV without bringing up the original.

6. Super Bowl X: Jack Lambert body slams Cliff Harris

Technically, it wasn't a "play." But it changed the game. And any self-respecting Steelers die-hard will tell you it's an all-time favorite moment. Harris mockingly patted Steelers kicker Roy Gerela on the helmet after a field-goal miss. Lambert went insane. Trailing, 10-7, the Steelers went on to win, 21-17. Lambert was threatened with ejection for his act. If James Harrison ever did something similar, Roger Goodell would put him in front of a firing squad.

5. Super Bowl XIV: John Stallworth hauls in the goods

The game's go-ahead play was beautiful in its understated athletic brilliance -- and for the fittingly understated call from Pat Summerall: "Deep for Stallworth. Touchdown for the Steelers." A 73-yard touchdown, to be exact, on third-and-8 early in the fourth quarter. Stallworth caught the tight, 45-yard spiral over the wrong shoulder with a hand in his face. (I was in the stadium for this one and I'll never forget it. It broke the back of the LA Lambs. - mesa)

4. Super Bowl X: Lynn Swann reels in mighty catch

The miracle of this 53-yard, bobbling reception is that even after seeing it for the 4,796th time, it's still not old. The Sports Illustrated cover depicted Swann in mid-fall -- has any human ever stumbled so gracefully? -- and poor Mark Washington lying flat on his back. The Cowboys were ahead, 10-7, late in the second quarter with the Steelers third-and-6 on their 10. So, this wasn't just an act of artistry. It was a momentum-changer.

3. Super Bowl X: Terry Bradshaw makes knockout throw

Could easily be No. 1 based on importance (gave the Steelers a 21-10 lead in the fourth quarter) and Bradshaw's magnificence and toughness. He was knocked unconscious by Larry Cole upon releasing the ball, yet managed to deliver a perfect spiral that traveled 66 yards in the air and hit Swann in stride for a 64-yard TD. This play, along with many others, serves as evidence that Bradshaw was the best clutch long-ball passer in NFL history.

2. Super Bowl XLIII: Ben Roethlisberger completes epic drive

NFL Network recently ran its top-10 Super Bowl plays, and this wasn't one of them. Are they kidding? The only debate here is which was more unreal -- Roethlisberger's throw or Holmes' toe-tapping catch. I later asked Bruce Arians to review the play in detail. It was called "62 Scat Flasher Z Level," and Holmes was the third read. Roethlisberger fired a bullet over three Cardinals defenders. "Probably the best throw I've ever seen," Arians said.

1. Super Bowl XLIII: James Harrison travels 100 yards with Kurt Warner's pass

We all know the particulars by now. Harrison was supposed to blitz but didn't; longest play in Super Bowl history, etc. Yet, like Swann's catch, it never gets old. Who could forget Harrison tight-roping the right sideline and taking a monstrous hit at the end? He couldn't even stand up. "I had a kink in my neck," he said. "And I was tired as a dog."

No, we didn't talk about Antwaan Randle El's pass, Dwight White's safety, Jack Lambert's interception or Reggie Harrison's blocked punt. We easily could have. Those and plenty more.

But eight was enough.

Joe Starkey can be reached at jraystarkey@gmail.com or .

Read more: Starkey: Harrison's pick six tops Steelers' best Super Bowl plays - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_780106.html#ixzz1lWBA87Ld

Bayz101
02-05-2012, 09:58 AM
Not a bad list. Brings back memories just reading it, thanks Mesa.

4xSBChamps
02-05-2012, 05:09 PM
No, we didn't talk about Antwaan Randle El's pass, Dwight White's safety, Jack Lambert's interception or Reggie Harrison's blocked punt. We easily could have. Those and plenty more.


I'd hafta include the mind-numbing hit Glen Edwards laid-on John Gilliam, stemming a late 1st-half Vike drive while Pittsburgh held a timid 2-0 lead, to any & al lists of Steeler / Super Bowl high-lights:
had Minnesoate scored and led during the break against the young Steeler team, it could've changed the course of that game, and history, but Mel Blount's resulting interception took wind outta the Vikes' sails

7a521NODWG4

mostly forgotten, that play was as-instrumental as any-other play in that era, and may've been the catalyst for the team's success in becoming the last, great NFL dynasty:
of-course, had that play occured today, Ms. Goodell would fine & suspend Edwards, while selling framed color photos of that hit for $129.99 + S&H from nfl.com

GMU Steeler
02-05-2012, 05:28 PM
It was such an amazing play. Ended up being the difference in the game too. Ben's drive was something else too. I wasn't around for the 70's so I never saw any of that but damn had to be a fun time to be a Steelers fan. Not that these past several years haven't been.

EbonySteel86
02-05-2012, 05:39 PM
I lost my voice on James Harrison 100 yard td int. It was unreal!!!!!!

4xSBChamps
02-05-2012, 05:45 PM
I lost my voice on James Harrison 100 yard td int. It was unreal!!!!!!

... and yet, not ONE member of the NBC on-air staff that day (I believe it was Michaels, Pinkie, and Pencil-Neck), nor the officials, mentioned the fact that Fitzgerald ran out-of-bounds of his-own accord, ran 30-40 YARDS through his-own bench, knocking players down, then tried to tackle Harrison at the goal-line, which should've been an instant penalty

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Glensgages/football/JamesHarrisonSB43interceptionreturn-a.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Glensgages/football/JamesHarrisonSB43interceptionreturn-b.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Glensgages/football/JamesHarrisonSB43interceptionreturn-c.jpg

note that Fitz' feet are CLEARLY out-of-bouns when he initiates contact with Harrison

tanda10506
02-06-2012, 04:03 AM
That INT was HUGE! I was on my feet yelling the whole time, what a play! The impact was huge, went from a likely 6 for them to 6 for us.

StylCurtainXL
02-06-2012, 02:39 PM
Nice hit. Back when real football was being played.

Can't wait for the new NTHTL season.

National Two Hand Touch League...

stb_steeler
02-06-2012, 02:57 PM
... and yet, not ONE member of the NBC on-air staff that day (I believe it was Michaels, Pinkie, and Pencil-Neck), nor the officials, mentioned the fact that Fitzgerald ran out-of-bounds of his-own accord, ran 30-40 YARDS through his-own bench, knocking players down, then tried to tackle Harrison at the goal-line, which should've been an instant penalty

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Glensgages/football/JamesHarrisonSB43interceptionreturn-a.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Glensgages/football/JamesHarrisonSB43interceptionreturn-b.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Glensgages/football/JamesHarrisonSB43interceptionreturn-c.jpg
Some thing about maybe being pushed out of bounds?

note that Fitz' feet are CLEARLY out-of-bouns when he initiates contact with Harrison

This was brought up before, and i think it was Collinsworhtlessness defines it was totally legal for Fitz to come back onto the field as long as he wasnt the first to touch Harrison when he got back on field......Makes no sence to me...:noidea:

stb_steeler
02-06-2012, 03:00 PM
Maybe he was pushed out of bounds

4xSBChamps
02-06-2012, 03:23 PM
Maybe he was pushed out of bounds

see for yourself

EoxSFBHbA80

Fitz runs out-of-bounds on his own (:25) at mid-field, when Harrison is at the Arizona 40, hits his-own players on the sidelines at the 35 (:28), continues running out-of-bounds, making no-effort to return to the field of play before he catches Harrison:
I was watching the game in a Florida bar, and shouted right-away about what Fitz had done, but nobody-else noticed

on Monday after the game, I brought this to the attention of 2 local Tampa sportswriters via e-mail, who had also missed this, who in-turn contacted the NFL head-quarters, and the following day, my dad died, so I flew back to the 'burgh:
when I returned to Florida 2 weeks later & checked my e-mail, I received replies from both sportswriters, who said the League hadconfirmed that Fitz should've been penalized on the play

I have alway wondered what would've happened had the on-field call been no TD ~ would the League have called down to the field and made them correct the call???

plenewken
02-06-2012, 03:28 PM
This was brought up before, and i think it was Collinsworhtlessness defines it was totally legal for Fitz to come back onto the field as long as he wasnt the first to touch Harrison when he got back on field......Makes no sence to me...:noidea:

Another example of a completely stupid rule. I think the Tuck rule wins the cake though.

stb_steeler
02-06-2012, 04:23 PM
see for yourself

EoxSFBHbA80

Fitz runs out-of-bounds on his own (:25) at mid-field, when Harrison is at the Arizona 40, hits his-own players on the sidelines at the 35 (:28), continues running out-of-bounds, making no-effort to return to the field of play before he catches Harrison:
I was watching the game in a Florida bar, and shouted right-away about what Fitz had done, but nobody-else noticed

on Monday after the game, I brought this to the attention of 2 local Tampa sportswriters via e-mail, who had also missed this, who in-turn contacted the NFL head-quarters, and the following day, my dad died, so I flew back to the 'burgh:
when I returned to Florida 2 weeks later & checked my e-mail, I received replies from both sportswriters, who said the League hadconfirmed that Fitz should've been penalized on the play

I have alway wondered what would've happened had the on-field call been no TD ~ would the League have called down to the field and made them correct the call???

They prolly didnt penalize him because Harrison scored any how. Either way it was dumb on Fitz's part.

4xSBChamps
02-06-2012, 05:22 PM
They prolly didnt penalize him because Harrison scored any how. Either way it was dumb on Fitz's part.

I agree, but if you recall, the officials hemmed & hawwed about what was the proper ruling on the field

when I was younger and knew the NFL rules very-well, that would've been a penalty for inelligible man making a tackle, coming off the sidelines, and in that particular instance, a touchdown could've been awarded to Pittsburgh as-such:
now-a-days, who knows...

with what has happened since that game, with Ms. Goodell fining & suspending Harrison, Harrison calling her names, etc., you wonder what would be done if that play happened today, and the call was made by the on-field officials that Harrison was down before crossing the goal-line:
would the League rectify the problem pronto, or let Harrison & the Steeler twist in the wind?