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Super Bowl XLIII - Arizona v Pittsburgh

Sunday, 1 February
Tampa, Florida

Result: Arizona 23-27 Pittsburgh


To get involved text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Martin Gough

0329: The celebrations continue in Tampa but we're winding up here and hoping that the snow in west London won't prevent a dash home before the morning rush hour. Thanks for joining me for another classic Super Bowl. Sleep well.

"Pittsburgh is built on toughness. That's why Mike Tomlin is a perfect fit." Rod Woodson

"What a finish, what great plays and how impressive was Mike Tomlin? You can see why they love him in Pittsburgh."
Mike Carlson

Santonio Holmes takes the MVP trophy and says: "This is for Pittsburgh baby!"

"I cannot say enough about what these guys are willing to do for one another. Streeler football is 60 minutes. It's never going to be pretty, throw style points out of the window."
Mike Tomlin, at 34 the youngest coach ever to win a Super Bowl

"This group of young players are just marvellous. We had the toughest schedule in the league. I would like to thank president Obama and all of Steeler nation for supporting us through the year."
Steelers owner Dan Rooney

"Some said we could not top last year's Supr Bowl but the Steelers and Cardinals did that tonight. Steelers congratulations on your sixth world championship."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell

0321: Joe Namath, Super Bowl guarantor and winner 40 years ago, brings the Lombardi trophy to the stage and is mobbed by Steelers as he approaches.

"I can't believe it's all over, and nor can the crowd. Silence greets the result, and people are flocking out the room. To be fair, I think it's more to do with the fact that everyone is terrified that they won't make it home rather than sour grapes."
Tim Love gets ready for a few hours' kip in the O2 toilets

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"Best Super Bowl I've ever seen! I've no finger nails left! I'm off to bed... Can't seem me getting to sleep anytime soon though! Brilliant."
Mr Wyatt, snowy London

0316: Holmes finishes the game with nine catches for 131 yards, including that amazing falling-down catch in the endzone to win it. MVP winner? Roethlisberger probably as he engineered an amazing last drive. His figures are 21 of 30 passes completed for 256 yards, one touchdown and one interception

Mike Carlson
"What you really love is when you see a great game that's decided by a great play."
BBC analyst Mike Carlson

0313: There is tickertape everywhere. Coach Tomlin almost avoids the traditional gatorade bath and the Steelers celebrate.

0310: RESULT - Arizona 23-27 Pittsburgh
Warner goes for a heave from the 50 but he can't get his arm forward before being stripped of the ball by Woodley. Pittsburgh recover, Roethlisberger takes a knee and that's it folks. The Steelers win an unprecedented sixth Super Bowl.

0307: Arrington takes a dump off to the Steelers 44 but he's in the middle of the field so that's the final timeout used up with 15 seconds left - maybe two plays. Hail Mary time.

0306: Warner to Fitzgerald on their own 43 with 22 seconds left. They have to take a time out as he can't get out of bounds.

0304: The Cards need a touchdown but Arrington can only get back to the 24-yard line.

0301: TOUCHDOWN - Arizona 23-27 Pittsburgh
Roethlisberger is too high with an attempt to Holmes on the left but he tries the same receiver, lined up on the right next play and Holmes looks to just have both feet in bounds in the corner of the endzone, with 35 seconds left. It goes to review but is upheld and the Steelers start celebrating. I saved you some cash there, Tim.

"I had the Cardinals at 6/1 to win the Super Bowl a few weeks ago. My good colleague Martin told me Arizona had no chance of winning. I'm not sure I can ever speak to you again Goughy"
Tim Love

0258: Holmes takes a short pass to the right and evades tacklers to take it to the six-yard line but they have to take the last timeout with 49 seconds remaining. Go for the TD or settle for the three? Time to do both if you spike it.

0257: Massive pressure on third and six but Big Ben evades wannabe tacklers and finds Holmes for the first down. He then scrambles to the 46 before taking the penultimate timeout. Realistically, Reed needs it spotted on the 35 to stand a chance of a game-tying field goal.

Rod Woodson
"I know I picked them but I don't know if I really believed it. The Cardinals defence have taken over the game."
Rod Woodson, who clearly has mixed emotions as a former Steeler

0253: A holding penalty pegs them back but Roethlisberger goes sandlot again for a completion to Holmes. There's the two-minute warning with the Steelers at their own 26. If you have fingernails left, you must have iced gatorade in your veins.

BBC Sport's Tim Love
"We might as well be in Phoenix such is the support for the Cardinals here, the only difference is the fact that it doesn't snow in the American desert very often. The reaction to that safety was incredible... AND NOW A TD!! OH MY GOD!! IT'S MADNESS, IT'S LIKE CHRISTMAS DAY!!!"
Tim Love at the Super Bash

0251: This is amazing stuff. The Cards were down 13 points at one point. No team has overcome a deficit of more than 10 to win a Super Bowl. But is there too much time left? Pittsburgh take over on the 21 with 2'30 left.

0248: TOUCHDOWN - Arizona 23-20
Larry Fitzgerald takes a short pass over the middle and the defence is wide open, allowing the receiver to run 55 yards for the score, with the bulking James Harrison chasing him in futile fashion.

0244: SAFETY Arizona 16-20 Pittsburgh
Roethlisberger finds Holmes for 20 yards but there is a holding penalty in the endzone. Centre Justin Hartwig pulls a defender down. It's the first Super Bowl safety in 18 years and the Cardinals get the ball back with 2'53 left.

0242: Russell is tackled running out of his own endzone. Did he get out and avoid the safety? Barely.

0239: Pittsburgh step up to cut Warner's options then send the house on third and 20, forcing another incompletion. Cardinals opt to punt and ground it themselves on the one-yard line, putting Pittsburgh under massive pressure.

0237: A quick completion to Boldin and an unnecessary roughness call on Ike Taylor takes Arizona over half-way. Breatson takes a catch over the middle for a 23-yard gain and Warner is lining up a second Super Bowl MVP award.

BBC Sport's Tim Love
"At the O2, we have our first ejections of the night! Two extraordinarily drunk chaps disagreed about something, but before it could get interesting security stepped in. All of this somewhat overshadowed the Fitzgerald TD, but the crowd are right behind the Cardinals."
Tim Love

0231: Sack! It's that man Dockett again, bursting through the centre/guard gap and taking Roethlisberger down at the 18-yard line. Pitt punt and the Cards get it back on the 25 with 5'28 left in the final quarter. This game is anyone's.

0228: Steelers get going from the 24 and Steeler fans will be shouting "Bleed!". Run the ball, let the clock run and try and close the game. Unlike three years ago, though, there is no Jerome "Bus" Bettis to run it. Willie Parker has just 53 yards on the ground so far.

0227: TOUCHDOWN - Arizona 14-20 Pittsburgh
Fitzgerald has been moved to the outside in this drive and he takes his fourth catch on a fade on the right. He is being molested by corner Ike Taylor but out-muscles him easily. Not a single run on that drive as Warner has begun to display his credentials.

0222: Having only caught one pass all game, Fitzgerald catches his third pass of this drive, second and goal at the five.

0221: The Cardinals go no-huddle, the Steeler backfield drops deep and there are successive first downs for Warner to Breaston right then Jerheme Urban. Arrington joins the backfield for the first time, flares out for a 22-yard gain and Arizona are moving.

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"I think some of our soccer players could learn from the respect these guys show for the officials and their decisions. It's refreshing not to see a throng of sulking millionaires charging towards the referee every time the whistle blows."
Mikey, Bradford

Rod Woodson
"The clock is against Arizona. They have to go down and score if they want to win this football game. You have to throw it downfield - there's been no deep balls from Arizona today."
Rod Woodson

0217: Darnell Dockett bursts up the middle and gets hold of Roethlisberger and sacks him for a loss of 14 to force the punt. Returner Breatson is brought down at the 11 so this will be a tough drive.

0214: Roderick Hood gets called for holding on receiver Ward and that gets the Cardinals an unwanted Super Bowl record. Could they be the first team in 43 years to reach 100 penalty yards?

0209: Warner finds Boldin at the 47 but it is pulled back because of a holding call - left tackle Mike Gandy on James Harrison. The Cards really aren't helping themselves here - 91 yards in penalties so far is three short of the record. They have to punt it away and their chances of victory begin to look slim.

BBC Sport's Tim Love
"Two of my colleagues just left to get the ferry, only to find out it didn't actually exist and they're now next to me again and looking concerned. I'm strongly considering a night in the toilets with an HDTV. There's a palpable sense amongst the O2 crowd that the Cardinals have absolutely no hope of winning this game anymore. They might well be right."
Tim Love is still at the NFL Super Bash - anything for a free drink

0205: END OF THIRD QUARTER - Arizona 7-20 Pittsburgh
Cardinals on the march but the Steelers are in a position to dictate from here.

0204: Cardinals take over at their own 20 with 2'11 left in the third quarter. Brenda Warner watches, a steely confidence in her eyes, as her husband goes to work with a first down to Boldin on the right sideline.

Mike Carlson
"It's still just two touchdowns."
Mike Carlson

0158: We're approaching 100,000 page impressions since midnight, with 60% coming from the UK, so thanks for sticking with us. And Mum, thanks for hitting that F5 key.

0157: FIELD GOAL - Arizona 7-20 Pittsburgh
Still no luck for the Steelers - two goal-line stands from the Cards on a single drive - but Reed slots it from 21 yards to take the lead to 13.

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"Oh dear Crads, penalties are killing you, talk about shooting yourself in the foot..."
lukiebaker on 606

0153: The Steelers are held up in the red zone but as Reed slots the field goal, Cardinal Adrian Wilson runs over holder Mitch Berger. The penalty takes them to the four-yard line with a new set of downs. That is the third massive penalty of this drive.

0151: Willie Parker boosts his average with a run off tackle for 15 or so, helped by a cracking block from tight end Miller. First and goal from the eight.

0149: The Steelers are only averaging 2.4 yards per carry but they've been focussed on the pass tonight and it's been working, especially short throws like the receiver screen to Holmes that gets another first down here.

0147: Roethlisberger heads on another mazy run before throwing out of bounds but Cards linebacker Karlos Dansby comes in late and gets a 15-yard roughing penalty for his trouble. Possibly a little unfair there.

0144: Defender Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is called for a facemasking penalty on Sanantonio Holmes, taking the Steelers to their own 36.

BBC Sport's Tim Love
"It's just been announced that there will be a 2am ferry. Trevor Nelson really isn't a popular man right now! Martin, what are the chances of keeping this live text going until about 9am tomorrow? I might well need something to do if I can't sleep on the floor of the O2 Arena successfully"
BBC Sport's Tim Love considers his options in snow bound East London

0139: Coach Wizz challenges and the referee agrees with me after a look at the video replay. Cardinals punt from half-way and the Steelers take over at the 18.

0135: Warner hits the turf courtesy of James Farrior. The ball comes loose and the Steelers are given a first down on a fumble but it looked like an incompletion from here.

0132: Anquan Boldin catches a short pass then stumbles off with what looks like a shoulder problem. James runs the draw up the middle for a first down and dives for another.

0129: A full 34 minutes after the last whistle blew, we're back under way as JJ Arrington gets the Cards to the 24-yard line.

"I can't stand Bruce Springsteen. Game's set up nicely though. Every cloud and all that.
Billyboy, not tired yet (honest), London

Rod Woodson
"I loved that but when you're playing you really don't care who's there. Normally you don't stretch at half-time but you have to here because it's a long time."
Rod Woodson

0117: I was joking when I mentioned Glory Days. It's one of the most depressing songs I know but here it is, with a football reference thrown in early. "Time slips away and leaves you with nothin' mister but boring stories of Glory Days". Party spirit in Tampa.

0110: Here's The Boss and it takes him a whole song (might be new stuff - no idea) before breaking into Born to Run. I've been practising the chords to Glory Days all week, just in case I get a late call-up for the E Street Band. The field is full of fans and fireworks. No idea how they get it all set up and taken down so quickly.

0106: NFL UK chief Alistair Kirkwood is in the BBC studio and says there is a chance there could be as many as four games per year taking place in the UK in a few years' time. He sounds receptive to the idea beating the bounds over the last week of an NFL London team within the next 10 years, saying there is a long way to go before that.

"My good friend Trevor Nelson has just told us that there is three inches of snow outside, and that those of us who have driven here tonight should leave now. Cue whistles and booing, followed by quite a large exodus of people... I'm starting to feel slightly lonely, just as well that there are now a load of cheerleaders around for me to act sheepish around"
Tim Love at the O2

Get involved on 606
"Glad the black coffee did its stuff. It would have been a pity to sleep through that 100-yard touchdown. Just think, it could be a vintage clip 20 years from now, and it'll certainly beat watching the commercials."
EndzoneMum on 606

Text in your views on 81111
"Snow has caused my TV signal to go completely! You're my only hope Martin! Save me!"
Sam, Wirral

That's what I'm here for, Sam. Not sure if I'll be able to get home after this, though. The snow's pretty thick at TV Centre.

"We responded to being down once already. We get the ball back at the start of the second half so we're going to do something positive."
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt

0055: END OF FIRST HALF - Arizona 7-17 Pittsburgh
The call stands as replays show Harrison's knee landed on tackler Fitzgerald rather than the ground. Steeler fans celebrate and Reed adds the extra point. Had the penalty been overturned, there was no time left on the clock

0053: Not again! There is a call for an official review as Harrison may not have got over the line.

0052: TOUCHDOWN - Arizona 7-16 Pittsburgh
Pandemonium! Massive blitz from Pittsburgh and Warner can only find Steeler linebacker James Harrison at the goal line. Harrison rides his blocks to run it back the length of the field. The longest play in Super Bowl history, it is offically a 100-yard return. There's a flag on the play but it's first a facemask penalty on the Cardinals.

0050: As things get frantic, Warner finds Boldin on successive passes for first and goal at the two-yard line with 18 seconds on the clock.

0048: With the defence starting to look elsewhere, Warner finally finds Fitzgerald inside on the left for a first down, with 41 seconds in the half.

0046: Warner tosses a couple up unsuccessfully, looking for Fitzgerald on the second and he's almost intercepted. He dumps off to back Tom Hightower, who converts the third down thanks to the coverage being afforded Fitzgerald ahead of him.

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"I thought I hated American Football but this is quite good actually, go Cardinals!"
AreaClouded on 606Your thoughts on the action

0042: Interception! Roethlisberger drops back to pass but the pass is tipped by Brian Robinson and Karlos Dansby is there at the 34 to collect the pick. Don't forget, the Cardinals will receive the kick-off for the second half so if they score here they could move clear.

0036: James drops a pass in the left flats and the Cards punt for the second time. Steelers take over at the 16, with Roethlisberger having completed 11 of 13 for 130 yards so far. Just under three minutes left in the half.

0034: Cardinals get into penalty trouble then into sack trouble as LaMarr Woodley burst through the middle to take Warner down. Cards call time out facing a third and 22.

0032: Steve Breaston takes Mitch Berger's low punt and runs it back 35 yards up the left sideline, into the Steelers' half, then James turns back the clock for a stretch play straight out of his old Colts playbook.

"I just got tipped off that there are HD screens in the toilets. I checked it out, it's true!! I'm going to go and watch the game in there for a bit, maybe until half-time"
Tim Love at the Super Bash party

0028: A third-down conversion is called back for holding and the Steelers are in a hole on their own 22 with six minutes left in the half.

0025: That Pittsburgh offence is back on the field again after a return to the 22. Parker bounces out nicely to the left for a first down.

Text in your views on 81111
"Just got some cornflakes for my 'breakfast'! Come on the Steelers. I pledged my allegiance pre-game, it's not because they're winning."
Coral, snowed in

0022: TOUCHDOWN - Arizona 7-10 Pittsburgh
Warner stumbles slightly but finds his balance to throw a play-action fade to tight end Ben Patrick in the left of the endzone. Rackers adds the extra.

0020: Outstanding protection from the Cards offensive line sees Warner find Anquan Boldin on a post-corner pattern to the right for a 45-yard gain. Fitzgerald throws a useful block there.

"Adalius Thomas' thoughts on game so far: 'Don't talk to me'. I feel my chances of getting my table back are minimal at best."
Tim Love, who isn't as big as Adalius

0019: First sighting of Steelers's big-haired safety Troy Polamalu, flying past Edge James, who caught one underneath on the left for another first. Still no Larry Fitzgerald, who caught for three TDs to clinch the Cards' place in this game.

0016: Warner can't find space in his receiving corps but finds running back Edgerrin James to the right for the Cards' second first down of the game. Steelers have eight so far. Breaston snags their third on the right sideline.

0013: JJ Arrington has a bit of trouble handling the kick-off and can only get it back to the 17-yard line.

Some discussion in the studio on what Springsteen will sing at half-time. Looks like Born to Run and Born in the USA. The ever-contrary Mike Carlson fancies The River. Plenty for The Boss to choose from his back-catalogue that would reflect the current financial climate.

Rod Woodson
"It's been easy-going for the Steelers offence and you have to answer with a touchdown if you're the Cardinals. If you don't the game's out of hand."
Rod Woodson, sweating on his pre-game prediction

0008: TOUCHDOWN - Arizona 0-10 Pittsburgh
Gary Russell bullocks through the line over right guard on third and goal from the one. Reed gets the extra point.

0006: Because of the unique way the BBC is funded, the TV team have lots of space to fill in the broadcast, which other stations will fill with commercials. They are again showing a selection of the best Super Bowl memories and the first is the win for Marcus Allen and the LA Raiders in game XVIII.

BBC Sport's Tim Love
"I just smiled at a Tampa Bay cheerleader as she walked past me. I don't know what I expected to happen, but I didn't get acknowledged. The most poignant moment of the evening so far. Table status: Still taken up by Trevor and his cronies."
Tim Love, who also sends his regards to Ashley in Nottingham

0001: END OF FIRST QUARTER - Arizona 0-3 Pittsburgh
Jeez, that was quick. I could be in bed by two at this rate, Bruce Springsteen's half-time performance permitting. Pittsburgh camped out on the Arizona six.

0000: A run out of the Wildcat offence is unsuccessful but the dink-and-dunk passing is working a treat, with another FD on a shovel pass to Miller. So far, Pittsburgh have outgained Arizona 131 yards to 13.

2358: An amazing play from Big Ben, who runs left then right to avoid the blitz before finding Heath Miller for the first down.

2357: Roethlisberger goes deep for Nate Washington but Cards corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie just gets there to break it up. Pitt on the Arizona 39.

2354: Big Ben finds Santonio Holmes on a receiver screen to the left for a 25-yard gain. Lots more throwing than usual for Pittsburgh on first down. They normally bang it out on the ground until third down.

Text in your views on 81111
"Would rather watch paint dry than American football."
Ashley in Nottingham

There isn't much going on paint-wise in Nottingham this evening, clearly.

2350: Warner fumbles as he drops back to pass on first and 20. Although it is recovered he can't make any ground and they punt on fourth and 17. Steelers start their second drive on the 41 with 6'13 left in the first quarter.

BBC Sport's Tim Love
"An Arizona fan just told me he thinks 'Whisenhunt sucks'. I expect coach abuse at the end of the game, but it's not even midnight yet! Arizona fans here aren't happy with his decision to challenge... but they love him now!!!! 'Whisenhunt is the man', I'm now being told."
Tim Love at the O2

2348: Arizona boast three receivers who have passed the magic 1,000 mark for receiving yards this season and it's the least known of the three, Steve Breaston, who catches the first pass from Warner for a first down. A holding penalty on a running play pegs them right back again.

2346: There's a proper blizzard going on in W12 as JJ Arrington returns the kick-off to the 27 for the Cards in Tampa.

Text in your views on 81111
"We left the O2 an hour ago on a bus and have been sliding round corners in the snow! Should be fun leaving there at 4am. Hope to catch the game when I get home, if I get home."
Sniff dog & Hot Rod

Rod Woodson
"That was a great challenge. Anything other than your hands and feet in the NFL means you're down. The left leg goes down with the ball six inches out."
Rod Woodson in the BBC studio

2342:FIELD GOAL - Arizona 0-3 Pittsburgh
Coach Wizz is right. Replay shows Ben's knee went down with the ball at the one -foot line. On fourth and goal, the Steelers ask Jeff Reed to kick an 18-yarder.

2340: Hold that thought. Arizona coach Whisenhunt, the man who called the Roethlisberger run for a TD in Super Bowl XL, throws the red challenge flag, claiming the QB did not cross the line. Seattle coach Mike Holmgren did the same thing three years ago, and the debate still rages on whether he was right. Well, it rages in Seattle.

2339: TOUCHDOWN - Arizona 0-6 Pittsburgh
Roethlisberger rolls out looking to pass on the right, there's no one open so he rumbles in himself, overpowering a linebacker on the way.

2336: Steelers back "Fast" Willie Parker gets nine yards on a sweep left, then tags another yard up the middle for another first down. Then Ben finds tight end Heath Miller for 21 over the middle to set up a first and goal at the one-yard line. Blimey! The Cards defence hasn't shown up yet.

2334: Ben Roethlisberger, who has won an NFL record 51 games in his first five years in the league. Second play, Big Ben bootlegs right and finds Hines Ward on the right sideline for a gain of 38. Little sign of that knee injury.

2332: And we're off. Neil Rackers kicks off and makes the tackle as Gary Russell gets back to the 32-yard-line for the Steelers.

"I've just been informed that Trevor Nelson and [Patriots linebacker] Adalius Thomas have taken the table I was stationed at. I'm too scared to put up a fight (particularly after insulting Trevor), but will have a word with them in a bit. The crowd here is fired up and anticipating a big game"
Tim Love at the Super Bash

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"Nachos in the oven, drink by my side, ludicrous bets placed. Come on the Cardinals!"
Jem and her Dad watching in Doncaster

2328: It's time for what Mick Luckhurst once memorably called the "toin coss". Guests on the field include former 49ers star Roger Craig. Steelers call tails and it falls heads. Taking advantage of a new rule this year, Arizona defer their decision to the second half so the Steelers will receive the ball.

Mike Carlson
"The Steelers came through a very difficult schedule this year and in the play-offs really established themselves as a force. It's a dominant defence."
BBC studio analyst Mike Carlson

2320: Singing the national anthem is Jennifer Hudson, in her first public appearance since three of her family were shot dead last October. It's a rousing performance from Jennifer, which is rare for pop stars at events like this. Some serious game faces from the boys of the Steelers and Cardinals.

2317: It's time for multi grammy-winners to murder American classics. First up, Faith Hill singing America the Beautiful, in front of a large gospel choir.

The crew of flight 1549, who successfully evecuated their passengers from a crash on the Hudson River last month, get a crowd call on the field.

2316: On the field, it's time for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, in memory of the former Chicago Bears rushing star, who was also a tireless worker for charity.

Walter's widow Connie Payton presents the award to Kurt Warner for his work with housing charity Habitat for Humanity. Kurt will be handing that award to his wife Brenda and getting on with the day job shortly.

2313: For the last 41 years, an ever-present at the Super Bowl has been Paul Zimmerman, Sports Illustrated magazine's "Dr Z", one of the few NFL journalists who is allowed to focus solely on what is happening on the field, rather than the stories around it.

Dr Z had two strokes two months ago, since when he has been unable to speak, and another minor stroke recently, which has hit his progress in rehabilitation. He is sorely missed but will be watching at home in New Jersey, apparently, and we wish him well.

BBC Sport's Tim Love
"Trevor Nelson just finished the build-up to the game and walked off stage to what can only be described as a deafening silence. Following that, I have just been accosted by three very drunk Cardinals fans who told me they will strip and run on stage if Arizona win tonight. Let's go Steelers!"
The Trousered Tim Love at the O2

2309: The Steelers run out onto the field first, with plenty of yellow terrible towels waving in the stands. They're followed by the Cardinals, in the big game for the first time.

Text in your views on 81111
"Your coverage is keeping me informed whilst I'm stuck on a train in Catford because of the snow. Been here about three hours but might be home before the game is over though I'm not holding out to much hope."
An anonymous, snow-bound texter

Get home safely!

Get involved on 606
"First the Aussie Open final, then the Premier League 'Semi-final' as I thought of it, now the Superbowl, how can it get better? Well an Ashes test and a British Grand Prix wouldn't go amiss.
GraymeadYNWA on 606

Rod Woodson
"It doesn't matter how good your team were in the regular season. You have to win one game, right here. I think it's a tough match-up for the Pittsbugh Steelers against these Arizona Cardinals."
Rod Woodson told us that a few days ago but he's more important now because he was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday

2300: We're under way on BBC One and you can watch the video on the BBC Sport website if you're in the UK. Barack Obama was a Steelers fan growing up, watching the side of the 1970s. Now he's in the White house and the Steelers are back in the big game.

Text in your views on 81111
"This game is the classic offence vs defence, if the Cardinals can protect Warner and in turn hit [Larry] Fitzgerald then they've got a chance. If the Steelers get to Warner early then you can see nothing but a sixth Lombardi trophy for Pittsburgh. Alex Oldham texts 81111

2251: There will be a lot of talk tonight about the revenge of Coach Wizz. A Steelers assistant when they last won the Super Bowl three years ago, Ken Whisenhunt was then passed over for the Pittsburgh head coaching job in favour of Mike Tomlin when Bill Cowher retired.

Whisenhunt moved to the Cardinals, who have not won an NFL title since 1947 and had not even appeared in the play-offs since 1998, and led them to a Super Bowl in his second season. Let's see if he can seal the deal this evening.

"Please let it snow so I don't have to get up early after this! Steelers 27-17 Cards"
slaptonhatter_matt on 606

Yup, it's snowing in London. All the more reason to keep an eye on sunny Florida on the TV, while keeping snug in your sleeping bag on the sofa.

Get involved on 606
"Can't wait for the game! Luckily here in the States kickoff is 6:28pm EST. You guys are defiantly good fans to stay up as late as you do all year!"
ThomasForte on 606

"Think Liverpool v Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup final to to give you some idea as how unfancied the Cardinals are"
BBC Super Bowl presenter Jake Humphrey makes an early appearance on Match of the Day 2 to flag up the coverage that follows on BBC One and the BBC Sport website (if you're in the UK)

"If Arizona win this game, I will eat my hair... then again I said that about the Giants last year when they beat my beloved Pats!"
gers-ham89 makes the first useful comment of the evening on 606

2234: Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner is out on the field at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, back in the Super Bowl after a tough few years. He was voted the league's Most Valuable Player in 1999 and 2001, and the Super Bowl MVP nine years ago, when he led the St Louis Rams to victory.

His career went downhill from there, losing his starting job four times at the Rams then the New York Giants. When he was signed by the Cardinals as a back-up three years ago he was considered finished. But he was named the starter this year and is a key reason behind Arizona's success, with his 4,583 passing yards the second best in the NFL this year.

2226: One of the first men out of the locker room is Pittsburgh wide receiver Hines Ward, clearly limping with the strained right knee that has put his participation in doubt this week. He could be vital to the success of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offence.

2225: For the second year running, I had a chance to chat to former Steelers cornerback Rod Woodson in the week leading up to the game and, for the second year running, Rod tipped the underdogs to come up trumps.

Rod will be in the BBC studio again, flanked again by veteran American analyst Mike Carlson, who brutally exposed Woodson's tactics last year: Pick the favourite and no one remembers, pick the underdog who loses and no one is surprised, pick the underdog who wins and you're a hero.

Obviously I wasn't going to argue with Rod - who sounds friendly enough over the phone but is probably still a brutal hitter in person - but I'm picking Pittsburgh. Let me know what you think on 606 or text 81111.

2220: It's been a wild season for the NFL and tonight it could become even wilder if the Arizona Cardinals come out on top. With a 9-7 regular season record, the Cardinals have equalled the 1979 Los Angeles Rams (who lost to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XIV) for the dubious accolade of worst team to reach Super Sunday.

In case you've been asleep for the last month, though, the Cardinals are reborn, having upset Atlanta, Carolina and - a fortnight ago - Philadelphia on their way to their first NFL championship game since 1948.

Will this year's game be as wild as the one in Arizona 12 months ago, when the New York Giants scored late, via David Tyree's helmet, to overcome the perfect Patriots? Surely not.

The players are now out on the field warming up, with kick-off around an hour away.

2217: Speak of the devil.

BBC Sport's Tim Love
"I've made it through the snow and into the beered up O2 Arena. Walking into the venue and seeing Trevor Nelson having an awkward chat with cheerleaders is a dream come true, and the eclectic mix of NFL fans from across the country are already thoroughly enjoying themselves. The Super Bash is ready to roll!"
BBC Sport's Tim Love at the Super Bash

2215: My colleague Tim Love has been banished to the NFL's Super Bash at the O2 Arena this evening, where he will be chatting with celebrities, ogling cheerleaders and emailing in from time to time to let us know what a good time he's having. Those who have read Tim's regular 606 columns this year will be pleased to hear he is wearing trousers this evening.

2213: The Super Bowl always does things bigger and better than any other sporting event in the world. This year, 150,000 will watch in the stadium, consuming 15 gallons of beer and 14 hot dogs each. A further billion will be tuning in on TV worldwide. Of course, I made those stats up but you get the idea.

2209: Hotdogs and apple pie, cups of cola big enough for you to drown in, cheerleaders, big hits and razzmatazz. It's Super Bowl Sunday folks! I'll be with you until the small hours (if you're in the UK) to channel some of that Super Sunday atmosphere. There's a game of American football going on too so we'll keep you up-to-date with that too.

see also
NFL great tips Arizona for upset
29 Jan 09 |  American Football
Hudson to perform at Super Bowl
15 Jan 09 |  Entertainment
London NFL team 'a decade away'
30 Jan 09 |  American Football
Super Bowl fever hits America
29 Jan 09 |  TV/Radio Schedule
Cardinals & Steelers seal titles
19 Jan 09 |  American Football
Super Bowl XLII as it happened
04 Feb 08 |  American Football

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