DETROIT -- A final edition of musings and observations from the 40th game in the NFL's annual Roman Numeraled affair:
I suppose Joey Porter had the last laugh on Sunday night, since Pittsburgh won, but with just three tackles and no game-changing plays of any sort, it was a pretty quiet Super Bowl for the Steelers linebacker. Especially after he enjoyed such a noisy week.
Even with his killer case of the drops, Porter's nemesis, Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens, did wind up scoring Seattle's only touchdown on a 16-yard reception in the third quarter. In all, Stevens had three grabs for 25 yards -- and three drops.
Let's give it up for BillCowher's "Christopher Columbus speech,'' which he delivered to his Steelers when they lost three in a row to fall to 7-5, and on the brink of being a non-factor in the AFC wild-card playoff chase. They responded with eight consecutive wins and a Super Bowl title.
Columbus was told the world was flat. The Steelers were told they were toast. You get the analogy, don't you? And you thought football coaches couldn't motivate highly-paid professional athletes any more.
So much for my theory that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wouldn't find the Super Bowl to be too big for him. Big Ben's two interceptions both hurt, but his second one -- by Seattle cornerback Kelly Herndon -- single-handedly kept the Seahawks in the game for about a quarter longer than they should have been.
Roethlisberger had a sickly 22.6 passer rating -- which was 128.7 points behind AntwaanRandleEl's perfect 158.3 -- and his nine completions went to just four different receivers. Only two Pittsburgh receivers, Hines Ward and Randle El, caught more than one pass.
And I'm still not convinced Roethlisberger got into the end zone on his 1-yard touchdown run late in the first half.
That was one pretty touchdown pass that Randle El threw to Ward. With the dearth of quarterbacking in this league, you wonder if somebody could use an arm like that on their roster. The Steelers have a receiver who can really throw (Randle El), and the Seahawks have a quarterback who can really catch the ball (Senaca Wallace).
Jerome Bettis, on the definitiveness of his impending retirement after 13 NFL seasons: "It's official like the referee's whistle.''
Any chance we could get similar clarity out Brett Favre -- one way or another -- in the coming two months?
Now that the Steelers have won, we can finally and thankfully put to rest that lame "One for the thumb'' campaign that folks in Pittsburgh started in 1980, after winning four rings in the six-season span of 1974-79.
"You've never heard me saying 'One for the thumb,''' Steelers owner Dan Rooney said last week. "This is a new team, a new group of players and coaches. We just want to win this one. Never mind all that thumb stuff.''