Holmes voted MVP

Published 2:03 am Monday, February 2, 2009

Santonio Holmes sat on the grass alongside the end zone — legs outstretched, head bowed, arms wrapped tightly around the ball.

He’d come too far to let go.

The kid who once sold drugs on a street corner had grown up to become MVP of a most remarkable Super Bowl.

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Holmes, who overcame his gritty childhood in rural south Florida, made a brilliant touchdown catch with 35 seconds left to give the Pittsburgh Steelers their record sixth Super Bowl title, a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night.

‘‘I dared the team,’’ Holmes said. ‘‘Just give me the ball, give me the chance to make plays and I will do it for you.’’

He was true to his word on the 6-yard winner.

After a pass to the left corner went through Holmes’ hands, Ben Roethlisberger lofted the ball toward the right corner, over the hands of not one, not two, but three Arizona defenders. Holmes leaped to get it — and somehow managed to drag both feet in bounds, his toes barely scraping the grass before he tumbled out of bounds.