Super Bowl XL: Cowher delighted to bring trophy "home"

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The Independent Online

Bill Cowher, the longest-serving NFL coach, ended his 14th season with the Pittsburgh Steelers by overseeing a 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.

Cowher began his tenure in 1992 when he replaced Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll, who had guided the Steelers to four Super Bowl titles in a six-year span in the 1970s.

Pittsburgh-born and bred, Cowher took the Steelers to the Super Bowl 10 years ago when he lost 27-17 to the Dallas Cowboys.

But he finally achieved his ambition of winning the Lombardi Trophy again for the Rooney family.

"It's surreal right now," said Cowher.

"It is a rewarding feeling to give that trophy to Mr (Dan) Rooney - that's what he brought me here to do.

"It really does complete a void that's been there; I couldn't be happier for him and the city of Pittsburgh."

Ironically, Cowher's first championship came with the first sixth-seeded team to reach a Super Bowl - and only the second team in NFL history to reach the season's finale after winning three road play-off games.

But last night's game at Ford Field was virtually a home fixture for the Steelers and their fans who travelled less than 300 miles to Detroit and were in full force waving their Terrible Towels.

Jerome Bettis capped his 13-year career with a Super Bowl victory in his hometown but was not much of a factor with only 43 yards on 14 carries.

Ben Roethlisberger became the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl at 23 years 11 months but completed just nine-of-21 passes for 123 yards and was intercepted twice.

The stars for Pittsburgh were Hines Ward, who became the second straight wide receiver to earn Super Bowl MVP honours, running back Willie Parker and wide receiver Antwaan Randle El.

Ward, the franchise's all-time leader with 574 receptions, caught five passes for 123 yards - including a 43-yard touchdown on a pass by Randle El in the fourth quarter.

"There has been a lot of great MVPs who won the Super Bowl. I am speechless right now," said Ward.

Parker set a Super Bowl record with a 75-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter - giving the Steelers a 14-3 lead and eclipsing Marcus Allen, who had a 74-yard touchdown run for the Raiders in Super Bowl XVIII against Washington.

Randle El became the first wide receiver to throw a touchdown in Super Bowl history.

Seattle's Mike Holmgren was trying to become the first coach to win a Super Bowl with two different franchises, after guiding the Green Bay Packers to the championship after the 1996 season.

But Seattle's only touchdown came when Matt Hasselbeck hit tight end Jerramy Stevens with a 16-yard pass to pull the Seahawks within 14-10 with 6:45 left in the third quarter.

NFL MVP Shaun Alexander produced 95 yards on 20 carries for the Seahawks but was kept out of the end zone after setting a single-season record with 28 touchdowns.

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