Super Bowl XLIII (43)
Half Time Show
Headliner: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Raymond James Stadium
Tampa Bay, FL
Date: August 21, 1970
Wide Receiver (WR)
Pittsburgh earned its sixth Super Bowl win, which places it in sole possession of the record for most Super Bowl wins, breaking a three-way tie among them, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Dallas Cowboys, each of which won five. The Cardinals sought their first league title since 1947 and only the second undisputed league championship in their history. Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes, who caught 9 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown, including 4 receptions for 71 yards on their final game winning drive, was named Super Bowl MVP. He was only the sixth wider receiver to win the award, and also was the third Pittsburgh receiver to win the award, following Lynn Swann and Hines Ward.
Super Bowl XLIII will be the forty-third edition of the Super Bowl, an American football game that will feature the American Football Conference champion Pittsburgh Steelers (14-4) and the National Football Conference champion Arizona Cardinals (12-7) to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2008 season. Of historical note is that this game matches up two franchises that were merged into a single team (i.e., Card-Pitt) for the 1944 season, in response to the depleted rosters during World War II. Pittsburgh will be going for its sixth Super Bowl win, which would place it in sole possession of the record for most Super Bowl wins, while the Cardinals are seeking their first league title since 1947 and only the second undisputed league championship in their history.
The Cardinals will be the designated "home team", as is the case for all NFC champions in odd numbered Super Bowls. The game is scheduled to be played on February 1, 2009, with kickoff at 6:20 PM Eastern Time (23:20 GMT), at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Super Bowl XLIII will be the second Super Bowl at this venue and the fourth overall in that city. Tampa was selected for the game site on May 25, 2005, beating out three other finalists: Atlanta, Houston, and Miami. It is the third Super Bowl in history to feature two pre-expansion era (pre 1960) teams.
The Super Bowl XLIII logo features an abstract representation of a football stadium, with blue and green colors representing the regional waterways and landscapes of Tampa Bay. Eight yards of playing field are shown, alluding to the game's status as the championship of the 2008 NFL season. In a tradition starting with the Super Bowl XL logo, two stars one red, representing the AFC, and one blue, representing the NFC are flanked on either side of the Super Bowl XLIII logo.The tagline for Super Bowl XLIII as well as the 2008 NFL season is "Believe In Now".
The NFL will salute four decades of champions during the coin toss ceremony and the Vince Lombardi Trophy presentation. The coin toss will feature Roger Craig (Super Bowl XXIII, 1989), John Elway (Super Bowl XXXIII, 1999) and Lynn Swann (Super Bowl XIII, 1979). Roger Craig follows last year's participants and fellow San Francisco 49ers Craig Walsh (son of Bill Walsh), Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice and Steve Young. Joe Namath (Super Bowl III, 1969) will participate in the Vince Lombardi Trophy presentation and he previously participated in the coin toss in Super Bowl XXVIII.
For the first time in team history, the Cardinals reach the Super Bowl. The team held the second longest championship drought in US sports (sixty one years, with only the Chicago Cubs last winning their championship in 1908). The team is coached by Ken Whisenhunt, and led on the field offensively by Kurt Warner, who holds a Super Bowl championship ring with the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV with running back Edgerrin James and wide reciever Larry Fitzgerald.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin becomes the third head coach of African-American descent to reach professional football's biggest stage, joining Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy who faced off in Super Bowl XLI.
The Steelers won the AFC North with an 12-4 record, and defeated the San Diego Chargers in the Divisional Playoff round and then won the AFC Championship Game against divisional rival the Baltimore Ravens, 23–14 as both games were played at Heinz Field.
The game will be televised live in the United States on NBC, the network's first Super Bowl broadcast since Super Bowl XXXII at the end of the 1997 season, and will be available in 1080i high definition. Play-by-play announcer Al Michaels and color commentator John Madden will be in the booth, with Andrea Kremer and Alex Flanagan serving as sideline reporters. The pre-game show which will be a record five hours long will be hosted by the Football Night in America team headed by Bob Costas, and preceeded by a three-hour special edition of Today hosted by the regular weekday team live from Tampa and the NFL Films-produced Road to the Super Bowl. According to an NBC press release, Matt Millen will also be part of the coverage as a studio analyst.
Super Bowl XLIII will be the final Super Bowl to be telecast in the United States in analog television format before the nationwide digital television transition on February 17. It is the penultimate analog broadcast of a major sporting event; Fox Sports' Daytona 500 coverage on February 15 will be the last such broadcast.
Pregame and halftime show
The Super Bowl XLIII halftime show, sponsored by Bridgestone, will feature Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Journey will perform during the pre-game show, and Jennifer Hudson will sing The Star-Spangled Banner in her first public appearance since the tragic murder of her nephew, brother and mother.Hudson becomes the second consecutive alumna from the American Idol television series to perform the national anthem (Jordin Sparks sang the anthem at Super Bowl XLII).
Super Bowl XLIII will also mark the first time that a 30-second commercial time slot will cost US $3 million. At September of 2008, NBC had sold all but ten of the in-game advertising spots, and could command higher fees for said last ten spots. Many traditional advertisers of the game, such as Anheuser-Busch and Pepsi-Cola, are buying multiple ads at discounted rates. Two traditional advertisers, General Motors and FedEx, will pass on the game, citing the current economic crisis as their main reason. Doritos is reprising a contest for a fan-created ad run two years ago, but with a top prize of $1 million provided it wins the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter's number one position. A trailer of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will debut during the Super Bowl, according to director Michael Bay. Paramount Pictures confirmed that a preview of the upcoming Star Trek film will also premiere during the game, it is unclear if new footage will be included or if it will just be a recut of the theatrical trailer. One ad that has been announced will be a promo with SoBe, DreamWorks Animation, Intel and NBC which will feature a trailer of Monsters vs. Aliens and a SoBe lizards ad being done in 3-D, which was announced between games of the NFL Wild Card Saturday doubleheader January 3, 2009. The last time NBC did a 3-D promotion was the "Be-Bop-Bamboozled" halftime show for Super Bowl XXIII twenty years earlier. Hyundai will also be advertising their new Genesis Coupe in two 30-second commercials.
Other North American telecasts
Canadian English language network CTV will air NBC's feed of the game live throughout Canada. Although NBC itself is legally available in Canada on cable and satellite, CTV is expected to request simultaneous substitution for the game. This means most Canadians will see Canadian commercials during the game rather than the much-hyped American ones. The game will also air on the French cable channel RDS.
The game will be broadcast on Televisa and TV Azteca in Mexico (both in HDTV), and ESPN Latin America in Latin America.
The game will be broadcast at 10:00 PM GMT on Sky Sports and BBC One, only one of two NFL games broadcast on the BBC, the other being the international series. Sky Sports' NFL host, Kevin Cadle, will be in the studio with guests throughout the event, while co-presenter Nick Halling will be live in Tampa and will provide analysis live from the event itself.
The NBC game broadcast will be relayed live by ESPN, which is carried on pay TV networks Foxtel and Austar in Australia. German television channel ARD Das Erste and Austrian channel ORF will begin live broadcasting from 00.00 CET. Swedish television channel TV6 will begin live broadcasting from 00:00 CET. RAI will broadcast live on Rai Due in Italy. The digital transmission will be in 16:9 and HD. TV3 will broadcast in Denmark. ESPN America will also broadcast in Europe.
ESPN Brasil will show the game in Brazil with Paulo Antunes (commentating), Everaldo Marques (play-by-play) and André Kfouri (on field).
United States On radio, Westwood One has the national broadcast rights to the game in the United States and Canada. It is only made available to local affiliates as part of a 57-game package of regular season and post-season games. Stations are not allowed to stream the broadcast on their web sites. Marv Albert and Boomer Esiason will be the announcing team for the network. Univision Radio/United Stations will carry a Spanish language version hosted by Clemson Smith-Muniz and David Crommett. Only flagship stations of the participating teams (KTAR-AM in Phoenix and WDVE-FM/WBGG-AM in Pittsburgh) will use their local announcers due to contractual restrictions, although affiliates of those networks may carry Westwood One's broadcast.