The stage is set. The game is days away. Tampa will host the biggest party of the year as two historic football franchises will play each other for a championship. It will be a great night of football, loud and exciting, and with the terrible towels waving bright golden yellow in the air the Steelers will win.
That is not to say that the Cardinals won’t put forth a great effort. A sea of fans clad in red will shout and cheer them on with all their might and the players will respond. Let’s not forget that the Cardinals have shown that their chemistry and teamwork has been enough to propel them to this point and their fans have supported them the whole way. The Cardinals have a great deal going for them, actually. They have veteran leadership in the form of Kurt Warner. They have an excess of heart embodied in the play of their defense. The Cardinals also have a brilliant coaching staff that has made all the right calls up to this point. But it won’t be enough because the Steelers want it more.
The Steelers want it more. That’s why they will win. You could see it during the AFC Championship game against the Ravens. They pushed harder, played faster, and hit with more ferocity than the Ravens. You could see all of these characteristics as Ryan Clark hit Willis McGahee with 3:29 left in the fourth quarter. That intensity will bleed over into the Super Bowl game. Intensity that has yet to show itself amongst the Cardinal players and one they cannot match.
Over the next two weeks the media will do a great job of contrasting the strengths and weaknesses of both teams. They will highlight key matchups and note important player injuries. We will hear all about the Whisenhunt and Grimm connection to the Steelers and how they want to prove the organization wrong in their hiring of Mike Tomlin. Analysts will go to any length to make sure that everyone believes this game will be an instant classic. It just might be, but the Steelers will win because they want it more, nobody has ever won six.
Nobody has ever won six, and that is a legacy this team does not want to have pass them by. Last year these very players watched as Tom Brady and the Patriots let immortality slip through their grasp, going undefeated during the regular season only to lose in the last game of the year. This group of Steelers players wants to be the team to bring a sixth Super Bowl trophy to this football town and ensure that their names are etched into the history books forever. It is a burden they will gladly bear because they can taste the success on the other side of the coming 60 minutes.
When those final seconds tick off the clock and Super Bowl XLIII is over, one team will be crowned champion. Both teams are worthy. They have fought through a season of games that tested every ounce of their individual and collective mettle. Neither team should ever forget any second of this journey. Neither should we. But, the Steelers will win because they want it more. That will be their legacy.