Steelers coach reflects on big win, chat with president

02/02/09 Mitch E. Perry
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There was a thrilling ending to last night’s Super Bowl, with the Pittsburgh Steelers beating the Arizona Cardinals in the closing moments last night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

This morning, the winning coach, 36-year-old Mike Tomlin, addressed the media. He said he was humbled by the enormity of being a big part of one the most observed events in the country. Tomlin said he was a product of all the people who have taught and mentored him over his short career, including former Tampa Bay Bucaneer coach Tony Dungy.

Two years ago, Dungy was the winning coach in the Super Bowl, the first black man to enjoy that honor. Tomlin was asked if he appreciated that he hasn’t had to hear questions about being the second black man to win the game.

After last night’s game, President Obama called and spoke briefly with Tomlin, who later said he couldn’t hear much because of locker room noise.

Also meeting the press this morning was the MVP of last night’s game, wide receiver Santonio Holmes.

Today’s news briefing was the last scheduled by the NFL for Super Bowl Week. There were a number of press conferences held by the league in the last week, but perhaps the most important one was not held at the Tampa Convention Center, site of the League’s Media Center.

Instead it was in a hotel ballroom at the Mariott Waterside, and the issue was a neurodegenerative condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), formerly linked to boxers, but now associated with football players. That news conference was not nearly as well attended as others, but one reporter who was there was Bob Glaubman with the New York Newsday.

The Super Bowl will stay in Florida. Next year’s game takes place in Miami.

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