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Old 02-07-2006, 12:59 AM   #1
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Default Destiny-The Final Road-Super Bowl XL (A final chapter of a Pittsburgh Steelers story)

The day finally came, Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Michigan. February 5th, 2006. An anticipated match-up was set to begin, but first what some call a rather poor National Anthem by Aretha Franklin, and a pre-game show by Stevie Wonder kicked off the game. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was the honorary coin toss man, the first current player to have the honor. The toss was won by Seattle, they elected to receive, and attempt to strike first.

1st Quarter
Jeff Reed officially kicked off Super Bowl XL in Detroit with a 67 yard kickoff to Seattle return specialist Josh Scobey, who returned it to the Seattle 18, for 15 yards. Out came Hasselbeck and the Seahawks offense, and on an 8 play drive, 4 plays in which were intended for WR Darrell Jackson, 3 of them caught, Seattle punted, after Clark Haggans sacked Hasselbeck. Seattle Punter Tom Rouen did the job, but punted it 57 yards, too deep into the endzone for the touchback. It was Pittsburgh turn now, and Ben Roethlisberger and his gang came out, to try and score first. This drive consisted of just 4 plays, which involved the games first three and out, After Roethlisberger scrambled for 10 yards on 3rd and 19. Steelers Punter Chris Gardocki punted the ball 41 yards, to Seattle's 36 yard line. Another Seattle drive, this one consisted of 3 plays to Darrell Jackson, 2 complete, but one called back on a holding call. Seattle could do nothing, and Rouen punted again, this one 51 yards, once again too deep, into the endzone for the touchback. Pittsburgh back out on offense did nothing once again, going 3 and out again as a 3rd and 4 play to Hines Ward was incomplete. Gardocki punted 37 yards to Seattles 37, but it was returned 12 yards, to Seattles 49 by Peter Warrick. On the 4th play of Seattles next drive, Darrell Jackson caught a 16 yard touchdown, giving the Seahawks a 7-0 lead, if there wasn't a yellow flag thrown late. A questionable Offensive Pass Interference call on Jackson nullified the touchdown, keeping it at 0-0. However 4 plays after that, Josh Brown connected on a 47 yard field goal, giving the NFC Champion Seahawks a 3-0 lead, to conclude quarter 1.

2nd Quarter
To start the 4th quarter, was another 3 and out by the Steelers, and yet another punt by Gardocki, this one was 60 yards, to Seattle's 20. Warrick returned it 34 yards, to Pittsburgh's 46, but it was called back on a holding play on Seattle. This put the ball on the Seahawks 25. On the 6th play of the Seahawk drive, Matt Hasselbeck hit Jerramy Stevens on a pass, but the pass was dropped by Stevens, and that lead to yet another punt by Rouen. A 47 yard punt yet again sailed into the endzone, giving the veteran punter all touchback punts. Pittsburgh's first first down came on their next drive, when Hines Ward took a WR reverse play 18 yards, to Pittsburgh's 48 yard line. Ben Roethlisberger then aired it out down to the Seattle 17, where it was intercepted by Michael Boulware. What seemed like a huge momemtum swing was really nothing. Seattle went 3 and out, and did nothing, but send in Rouen to punt the ball again. This one was a 45 yard punt, to Pittsburgh's 29 yard line, and returned 12 yards by Antwaan Randle El, to their own 41 yard line. On the 8th play of the Steeler drive, Roethlisberger was sacked, setting up 3rd and 28, on the Seattle 40. Roethlisberger avoided pressure, and made sure not to cross the Line of scrimmage, before throwing down field, to Hines Ward. Ward made the catch at the 3 yard line. After 2 Jerome Bettis rushes got Pittsburgh down to the 1 yard line, Roethlisberger booted right, and appeared to score, to give Pittsburgh the lead. Seattle Coach Mike Holmgren challenged the call, and it was upheld, due to what seemed inconclusive evidence to support any chance of an overturn. With 1:46 left in the half, Seattle made a drive down to Pittsburgh's 37 yard line, and on 4th down, Josh Brown attempted and barely missed a 54 yard field goal. Instead of 7-6, this left the game 7-3. Big Ben took one kneel down, to end the half with his Steelers leading 7-3.

In what many seemed a terrible half-time performance by The Rolling Stones, the 2nd half began.

3rd Quarter
Pittsburgh received the ball, and on the first play of their first second half drive, Roethlisberger threw a pass to Hines Ward, which was dropped. On second down, Willie Parker broke through a hole, and travelled all of 75 yards to the endzone, giving him the Super Bowl Record for longest rush in a Super Bowl game. This feat surpassed former Raider Marcus Allen's 74 yard rush in Super Bowl XVIII (18). Just 22 seconds in, Pittsburgh was up 14-3. Seattle failed to produce anything on their next drive again, after Josh Brown missed yet another field goal, this one from 50 yards, keeping it 14-3 Pittsburgh. Driving down the field, to the Seattle 7, and looking to extend, and possibly end the game on the drive, Ben Roethlisberger threw a terrible pass, that was picked off by Seahwk Kelly Herndon, and returned to Pittsburgh's 20. This was the longest Interception return in Super Bowl history, surpassing Willie Brown's 75 yard Interception return in Super Bowl XI (11), also with the Raiders. 3 plays in, and the final play fo the drive, Matt Hasselbeck threw a touchdown toss to TE Jerramy Stevens, from 16 yards out. This made the score 14-10 Pittsburgh. After the teams switched possessions, both with 3 and outs, Seattle took over with 2 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, and went into the 4th quarter, with the ball. Score after 3 quarters, Pittsburgh 14, Seattle 10.

4th Quarter
On the 5th play of the Seahawk drive, Hasselbeck threw a pass to Stevens, to the 1 yard line of Pittsburgh, but this play was called back on a holding penalty as well. Frustration was aboard the Seahawks on this very penalty call, in what seemed another questionable call. 3 plays after this, Hasselbeck overthrew WR Darrell Jackson heavily, and it was intercepted by Ike Taylor. Taylor returned it 24 yards, to Pittsburgh's 29, and another questionable call was made, this one on Hasselbeck for a low block. A 15 yard penalty, gave Pittsburgh the ball on their 44. On the 4th and final play of the drive, Willie Parker received a handoff, he then handed off to former QB Antwaan Randle El, who threw the ball on a WR Reverse pass to Hines Ward. Ward caught the ball, and the Super Bowl MVP gave Pittsbrugh a 21-10 lead, on the 43 yard play. Matt Hasselbeck was ruled fumbling the ball on the next Seattle drive, but replays showed a Steeler player touchdown Hasselbeck before he hit the ground, and both Hasselbeck's elbows were down, making it the wrong call. Holmgren challenged the play, and it was overturned. However, the drive resulted in a Seattle punt, when many though they should gamble on 4th and 13 with just 6 minutes to go. Pittsburgh wasted the next 5 minutes running the football, as the drive ended when Gardocki had to punt, after Bettis was short of the first down. With Seattle moving the ball downfield, Hasselbeck threw a pass to Stevens, who caught the 3 yard play, but did not get out of bounds. Seattle then wasted 19 seconds getting another play in, and it was a pass to Stevens on 4th down, which was once again dropped by the TE at the 1 yard line. The Pittsburgh Steelers then sent on Ben Roethlisberger to take one kneel down, and as time ticked off, the Steelers had become the new champions of the National Football League.

In what was deemed "One for the Thumb" for a 5th Steeler championship, which tied them for most in history, by a team, along with Dallas, and San Francisco. Jerome Bettis also earned his first championship ring, in his hometown. He then proceeded to informally announce his retirement to the game of football, at the age of 33. The Cadillac Super Bowl MVP award was presented to Pittsburgh WR Hines Ward, who got a brand new Cadillac vehicle.

So on a storyed season, for one Jerome Bettis, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, they had risen to the top, as champions of the National Football League.

THANK YOU ALL!! FOR READING THIS SIX PART SERIES, ENTITLED "Destiny" A Pittsburgh Steelers Story. I hope you all enjoyed it, and Once again, Congratulations.

FINAL SCORE - Pittsburgh 21 Seattle 10 ( Pittsburgh wins the Super Bowl )
Record - 15-5
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