The Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot to be thankful for, especially when it comes to their six Lombardi trophies on display at their team headquarters. They also have a lot of players to be thankful for who helped them reach those lofty milestones.
Names like Greene, Bradshaw, Harris, Swann, Stallworth, Lambert, Ward, Roethlisberger, Porter, Polamalu and even Santonio Holmes.
Holmes, the Super Bowl 43 MVP who caught one of the greatest Super Bowl passes in NFL history came back to Pittsburgh Tuesday to officially retire as a member of the Steelers.
What most are asking is why Holmes is doing this now.
“I wanted to do it to pay respect and honor to an organization that gave me an opportunity,” said Holmes via the Steelers official website. “No matter where I travel, I will always be remembered as the Pittsburgh Steelers receiver who caught one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history.”
Holmes will be remembered for a lot of things. He stepped up big in big games, he was a Ravens killer and always seemed to have the dagger against AFC North foes. But no catch or play was bigger than the one in Super Bowl 43. The one which almost—and some might say should have—never happened.
On first down from the 7-yard line, Ben Roethlisberger threw a pass which sailed right between Holmes’ hands. A rather easy and catchable pass which fell incomplete.
Holmes talked about his thoughts after the first down play:
“I remember coming back to the huddle after dropping the pass,” said Holmes, who finished the game with nine catches for 131 yards. “Heath (Miller) tapped me on the hip and said don’t worry, he’s going to throw you the next pass. I can remember just looking at him and thinking, ‘yeah right.’ He just gave me an opportunity to catch the ball and I blew it, trying to get my feet down in bounds.
“Ben walked into the huddle and looked me dead in my eye and called the play he did. It was the play we had run so many times in practice and never completed the pass. I remember Coach Randy Fichtner telling me don’t catch the ball at this time, because at the right time you’re going to catch it. We went through the whole playoffs running this play at practice and never completed the pass. I can recall putting my mouthpiece in and smiling and thinking this opportunity is about to come. I remember nobody touched me at the line of scrimmage. I almost fell because I was so wide open coming off the line of scrimmage. I thought the guy was going to jump in front of me, but he moved out of my way so I could get to the spot I needed to get to.
“Then seeing Ben point to the back of the end zone, not knowing if he was going to throw this ball, but in the back of my mind it was stay here and don’t move. To have such a perfectly thrown ball delivered where nobody’s hands could touch it but mine. I could see Ben’s eyes from the moment he released the ball to me. I didn’t see any defenders in front of me. I only had eyes for the ball and it landed in the perfect place.”
Fans in Arizona still don’t believe Holmes got two feet down, despite very obvious visual evidence, and the rest is history.
Holmes came back and wants forever to be remembered as a Steeler. I think I speak for everyone when I say there was never any doubt how he’ll be remembered in the Steel City.
Santonio Holmes with Art Rooney II, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin after he announced his retirement. pic.twitter.com/Yrw9QSvusv— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) October 10, 2017