The 2009 Super Bowl has a lot to live up to, as well as decidedly low expectations at the same time. Few Super Bowls can match the storylines and matchup of the 2008 Super Bowl, when the Patriots were going for 19-0 and the country actually had to root for a New York team to stop them. The Giants’ win actually gives some hope to the 2009 Super Bowl, since it proves that anything can happen in the big game. Even the Arizona Cardinals winning the 2009 Super Bowl, or so they hope.
The Super Bowl hype has taken a while to get into gear, since it is the Arizona Cardinals facing the Pittsburgh Steelers. There wouldn’t have been a problem hyping up an Eagles-Steelers Super Bowl, or a Giants-Steelers Super Bowl. Instead, Tampa Bay has the Cardinals on the same field as the Steelers.
The last time the Steelers were here, they also faced an opponent with little football history, and an explosive offense. When the Seattle Seahawks faced them in the 2006 Super Bowl, they were shut down by the Steelers in an ugly 21-10 win. The Steelers would like the same result in the 2009 Super Bowl, only more convincing.
Tampa Bay is host to the Super Bowl for the fourth time. In two of the past three, however, the game was a blowout, with the Raiders’ romp over the Redskins in Super Bowl 18, and the Ravens’ destruction of the Giants in Super Bowl 35. In between that is the famed Bills-Giants Super Bowl of 1991.
Fans hope to see a game close to the latter, but the Steelers are decided seven point favorites over the Cardinals. The Steelers are going for their sixth championship, the most in the Super Bowl era, while the Cardinals go for the franchise’s first title in 61 years – and three cities ago.
Expectations are so low for the 2009 Super Bowl that some fans are focusing their betting action on the Super Bowl halftime show, and what Bruce Springsteen will open with.
Kurt Warner was on the other end of a major Super Bowl upset in 2003 with the Rams, and hopes to pull one out this time for the Cardinals. Ben Roethlisberger has repeatedly taken responsibility for his awful work in Super Bowl 40, and wants a shot of redemption.
The Cardinals’ Edgerrin James continue to remind people he was once a powerful running back, and the Steelers’ Willie Parker tries to top his record-Super Bowl run from three years ago.
But figures like Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Bolden, Santonio Holmes and Troy Polamalu are expected to be the difference makers for the Cardinals and Steelers. If one or more of them makes the plays they are known for, the 2009 Super Bowl may not be such a bore after all.
Los Angeles Times- “How the Cardinals and Steelers match up” www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-super-bowl-matchups1-2009feb01,0,5262623.story