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News » GRAPEVINE Packers dropped ball with pass of Holmes

GRAPEVINE Packers dropped ball with pass of Holmes

GRAPEVINE  Packers dropped ball with pass of Holmes
The impact players weren't hard to find on Super Sunday.

Bruce Springsteen, the cagey veteran that he is, was having a lot better day than Larry Fitzgerald for the better part of the festivities. For the youngsters tuning into "The Boss" for the first time, "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" was not Pittsburgh's defensive scheme on the gifted Arizona wideout. It only seemed that way.

But then . . . like Springsteen . . . Fitzgerald seized the moment and proved he was born to run.

Then there was Ben Roethlisberger, the below-average motorcyclist, who put the pedal to the metal and drove his team down the field with the game on the line in theater of the improv fashion. The uneasy rider has now ridden off with two Super Bowl rings.

And there was James Harrison, the NFL's defensive player of the year, rumblin' and bumblin' and stumblin' for 100 yards and into the end zone.

Also on the big screen, the guy that fired the snow globe in the Doritos ad made a big move up Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board.

And who could forget the ambidextrous fellow scooping up guacamole with both hands at the same time at the Super Bowl party nearest you?

Yes, it was clearly a day for impact players.

Last, and certainly not least, was that Santonio Holmes fellow. The winning drive covered 78 yards. All he did was snare four balls for 73 yards and put the dagger into the heart of the game Arizona squad with his tightrope act in the waning seconds.

The outing by Holmes was certainly not surprising. You want surprises? Well, when did John Elway decide to go with the Nick Nolte look? Now that was a surprise.

Making matters worse after you woke up and had soggy cornflakes Monday morning was that Holmes could have been sporting an official green and gold Packers uniform instead of the black and gold of the Steelers.

After his junior season at Ohio State, Holmes ran a fade route out of Columbus, Ohio, and entered the 2006 NFL draft. Somehow, he slid down the board faster than anyone on "The Plunge" at Noah's Ark.

He hung around until the Steelers traded up to snare him at No. 25 overall.

The record shows the Green Bay Packers took linebacker A.J. Hawk, Holmes' teammate, with the fifth overall pick.

The record also shows that Hawk and big plays go together like Brett Favre and Ted Thompson.

At the time, ESPN's John Clayton - the modern-day Wally Cox of network television - wrote a column on the worldwide leader in sports' Web site and praised the Steelers as a draft day winner for grabbing Holmes.

Clayton also deemed the Packers as losers for not getting Favre some help on offense.

With that in mind, it is imperative that we stumble down Memory Lane for further review of this draft.

The legendary Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated gave the Packers and the Steelers a grade of B.

But he was also high on Green Bay's selection of Abdul Hodge. This is why they play the games.

USA Today's Jarrett Bell gave the Steelers three stars for their pursuit of Holmes. The Pack rated just a couple stars with the following disclaimer, "If A.J. Hawk becomes the next Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher, he was worth the fifth pick."

We're still waiting for Hawk to become the next Hannibal Navies.

Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News gave both the Packers and the Steelers a C. He also implied that Matt Millen was starting to figure out the draft. Ah, the old Fumbleroooski.

Dan Pompei, writing for The Sporting News, gave the Pack the highest draft day grade at A-plus. He wrote at the time, "With linebackers A.J. Hawk and Abdul Hodge, the Packers have the beginnings of a defense that could dominate the NFC North for years."

The Steelers got only a B but ended up with a receiver who could dominate the AFC North for years.

To recap, the Packers got good grades for taking Hawk.

The Steelers are being fitted for rings.

That's what happens when you take the best athlete available.

Poll position

Everyone who is anyone made their prediction for the Big Game and some people were ordering their crow medium-rare Monday morning.

The 20th annual Scripps Howard Celebrity Super Bowl Poll gave the rich and famous a shot at playing Jimmy The Greek for a day. Only tennis player Martina Navratilova (1998) and tough-guy actor Dennis Farina (2005) were able to predict the exact final Super Bowl score.

Actress Patricia De Leon almost joined the exclusive club. She fearlessly forcasted a 27-24 victory by the Steelers.

Pilar Lastra, who is the "Deal or No Deal" briefcase girl No. 14, and Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin had the Steelers winning, 28-24.

Although some of the dignitaries could not come close with the score, they did show uncanny ability to have their finger on the pulse of the game. Here are the best of the rest with their comments:

Adam West, "Batman": Arizona, 24-17. The Arizona coaches may be inspired by vengeance, warranted or not. They may feel enough insulted by a previous perceived slight by Pitt top dogs to have a real, contagious fire in their respective bellies.

Ted Giannoulas, "The San Diego Chicken": Arizona, 29-24. This is a no bird-brainer.

Carl Lewis, former Olympic track star: I'm boycotting talking about the Super Bowl. I'm still irate about the Eagles.

Connie Britton, actress, "Friday Night Lights": The Dillon Panthers!

Dennis Miller, comedian: Obama with 52.7%.

Seal of approval

One big-time celebrity could not crack the lineup for the Scripps Poll.

Nonetheless, President Barack Obama went public with his pick of the Steelers during NBC's pre-game show, which seemed to run forty days and forty nights.

"I think the Steelers are going to eke it out in the end," he said.

It might be a good idea to tag along with this guy if he heads down to the gas station to buy a lottery ticket.

Apparently, the new commander in chief already has done some decorating at the White House. He told Matt Lauer that he has a Terrible Towel in a room at the White House.

"I do, actually," Obama said. "I'm not going to be rubbing it in because we've got some Arizona congressmen here, and I may need their vote on the recovery package."

Illegal procedure

Viewers watching the Big Game on KVOA-TV over Comcast Cable in Tucson, Ariz., got an eyeful late in the fray.

Boy, did they get an eyeful.

Right after Larry Fitzgerald scored on a touchdown pass from Kurt Warner to put the Cardinals into the lead, around 30 seconds of porn footage interrupted the game.

Comcast said that the porn show was the result of foul play and plans an investigation.

Angry viewers flooded the station with calls.

One viewer, however, took the delay of game in stride.

"I just figured it was another commercial until I looked up," said Cora King.


Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN.com: "Do you have any idea how hard it is to win a Super Bowl? The Steelers have now won a record-breaking six of them, two in the past four years. Fifteen of the NFL's 32 franchises have never won one. Five have never even advanced to the game. So trying to put an Iron City six-pack into perspective is like trying to comprehend Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel or Rod Blagojevich's hair. Some things are beyond explanation." . . .

Steve Rosenbloom in his Chicago Tribune blog: "How come we only get one second of the Miller High Life delivery guy and five hours of John Madden? Clean up in Aisle Common Sense." . . .

NBC's Conan O'Brien, on experts comparing the hoopla over the presidential inauguration to that of the Super Bowl: "Yeah. The only difference is that the New York Jets had a chance to go to the inauguration." . . .

Bruce Springsteen when asked why he agreed to do the halftime show: "I have an album to promote, dummy! C'mon, it's not rocket science." . . .

From Packer Plus wire, Internet reports and other news sources. Send e-mail to mhart@journalsentinel.com

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 5, 2009

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