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Old 11-11-2009, 09:00 AM   #1
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Default Santonio Holmes Still Asks 'Why?'

Months After Super Bowl Catch, Pittsburgh Steelers Receiver Went From Drug Corner To Super Bowl MVP
POSTED: 5:25 pm EST November 10, 2009
UPDATED: 6:29 pm EST November 10, 2009

PITTSBURGH -- Santonio Holmes' last-minute touchdown catch in Super Bowl XLIII sealed the deal for the Pittsburgh Steelers and brought home the franchise's sixth championship -- but it almost didn't happen.

Santonio Holmes sits behind the end zone, cradling the ball in his hands, after catching the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII.

"I can relive that play over and over in the back of my head," Holmes said in a one-on-one interview with WTAE Channel 4 Action Sports anchor John Meyer.

But Holmes wasn't talking about the dramatic catch that put the Steelers up 23-17. He was referring to what happened one play earlier, when a potential touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went through his hands.

"I lost the Super Bowl -- that was the thought going through my head when I sat there, and I bounced back off the ground and I hung my head down, and I was like, 'Man, I just lost the Super Bowl,'" Holmes said.

On the next play, Holmes got a second chance -- and just as he did earlier in his life, he made the most of it.

Holmes was raised in Belle Glade, Fla., a town that had the second-highest crime rate in the country six years ago.

"That's where I grew up. That's where I was raised up from a year old until I was about 8 years old," Holmes said.

Holmes became a product of his environment and sold drugs as a kid.

"Was there a moment where you chose the right path?" Holmes asked.

"It was definitely the move that we moved into the projects to get away from the area," Holmes said. "The projects were a little bit better area at the time to live in, and it kind of allowed me to see different things, to see kids outside playing, having fun and not on the corner doing wrong."

Years later, Holmes would find the right corner -- of the end zone, that is -- and make a tiptoe catch to beat the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla.

And so, the kid from Belle Glade became a Super Bowl MVP off life's second chances.

Holmes called it "a play that we had ran over and over throughout the whole postseason in practice and had not completed that pass not one time. Not one time. ( wow. That's called a leap of faith! I'm even more impressed by Ben now. Or maybe he's luckier than we thought. )

And to run that play in the Super Bowl, and Ben take that last look to the far corner -- you know, like, how? I want to ask some time, why did that happen?"



Here's to more amazing plays to come from our amazing Steelers.
"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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