Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers
Seahawks cornerback and Tacoma native Marcus Trufant
It all came to a frustrating, disappointing end Sunday night in Detroit. The Seattle Seahawks lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-10 in Super Bowl XL. In what could have been a super Sunday for the Seahawks, their mistakes and controversial calls cost them the NFL championship.
The Steelers won their first championship in 26 years — and their fifth Super Bowl title overall — in front of 68,206 spectators in Ford Field. The city of Detroit rolled out the red carpet as thousands of fans and hundreds of celebrities were in town, including pre-game performers Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Joss Stone, John Legend and India.Arie.
Parties and concerts were in full swing all week as Ludacris; Detroit natives Kid Rock and D-12; Magic Johnson; Mike Tyson; past Super Bowl MVPs Marcus Allen, Troy Aikman and Terrell Davis; Lennox Lewis; SecretaryofState Condoleeza Rice; Bill Murray and others were in town to see the biggest game in the world.
The Seahawks and their fans are still upset from a few crucial referee decisions that went against the Seahawks. An offensive pass interference call against wide receiver Darrell Jackson in the first quarter took away a touchdown after officials ruled he pushed off safety Chris Hope.
Pittsburgh's quarterback Ben Roethlisberger scored on a disputed 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to put the Steelers up 7-3. Seattle head coach Mike Holmgren challenged the call, but it was upheld after review by referee Bill Leavy. Roethlisberger later admitted on the David Letterman TV show that he didn't "get in." Roethlisberger, 23, became the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl, but finished the game with the worst passer rating by any winning quarterback — 22.6.
Holding calls against linebacker Kevin Bentley and safety Etric Pruitt also negated big plays for Seattle, but the Seahawks made their share of mistakes and missed opportunities as well. Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw an interception to Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor, who returned it 24 yards in the fourth quarter. Seattle kicker Josh Brown missed two field goals — one from 50 yards and the other from 55 yards — and tight end Jerramy Stevens dropped three passes, but still was the only Seahawk to scorea touchdown.
The second half of the game wasn't much better than the first for the Seahawks, as Steelers running back Willie Parker broke out with a 75-yard touchdown from scrimmage, the longest in Super Bowl history, for a 14-3 lead. The only highlight for Seattle was a 76-yard interception by cornerback Kelly Herndon that set up Stevens' 16-yard touchdown.
Pittsburgh's Hines Ward was named the game's MVP after he caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from receiver Antwaan Randle El — a trick play that was the first Super Bowl touchdown pass by a receiver. Ward had five receptions for 123 yards.
"To be MVP is a great honor, but I left some plays on the field." Ward said, referring to his dropped passes, including one that would have been a touchdown.
Detroit native Jerome Bettis carried 14 times for 43 yards on the final game of his career and announced his retirement after the game.
At the Seahawks rally in Seattle on Monday, Coach Mike Holmgren offered "hope" for the upcoming season and assured fans they will be in Miami next year for another Super Bowl.
"We knew it was going to be tough playing the Steelers," Holmgren said, "but I didn't know we were going to have to take on the guys in the striped shirts too."
Holmgren also added, "I'm very, very proud of our football team, what we accomplished this year."
The Seahawks and their fans can still celebrate in the fact that they are the best team in franchise history, with a 15-4 season, an 11-game winning streak and their first playoff win since 1984.