Steelers are AFC Champions

The Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens to advance to Super Bowl XLIII against the Arizona Cardinals.

Coach Tomlin hoists the Lamar Hunt Trophy

Coach Tomlin hoists the Lamar Hunt Trophy

The game was described by SI’s Peter King like this:

This is now officially the best rivalry in football. It just passed New England-Indianapolis in my book. The thing is, it’s a little bit like the running of the bulls in Pamplona, or Balboa-Creed. I’m not sure how often I want to see it. I’m afraid someone’s going to get maimed. If I’ve ever been to a game with more intense hitting, I don’t remember it. This was primeval.

There were three hits in this game that made the Hines Ward season-ending jaw-breaker of Cincinnati linebacker Keith Rivers look like flag football, and one of them left Baltimore running back Willis McGahee laid out on the field. He had to be strapped to a gurney to be carted off. All signs point to him being fine. Late last night, I asked the sport truck who hit him, Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark, what will hurt when he wakes up this morning. “Everything,” Clark said. My fingers hurt just typing about this game.

If I’m Larry Fitzgerald or Kurt Warner, I’m saying a prayer the night before the Super Bowl. First, to give great thanks for one of the more incredible ascensions to a conference title ever. And second, to humbly ask, “Please do not let me get killed out there.”

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