SB XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes (NFL)
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Santonio Holmes

Position:Wide Receiver
Height:5' 11"
Weight:189 lbs.
Birthdate:March 3, 1984
Birthplace:Belle Glade, FL
College:Ohio State
Team/Year:Pittsburgh; 2006-2009
New York Jets; 2010-Present
MVP:Super Bowl XLIII

After midseason arrest, Super Bowl MVP took 'humble' route
By Skip Wood, USA TODAY

February 3, 2009 TAMPA Having just concluded something of a surreal season that included a march to the Super Bowl, a scrape with the law and ensuing one-game deactivation and an individual postseason surge that in many respects carried the Pittsburgh Steelers offense, wide receiver Santonio Holmes was the picture of serenity early Monday morning.

With good reason.

Not only did he catch the winning touchdown in his team's 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory against the Arizona Cardinals, Holmes also was voted the game's most valuable player.

And as Holmes sat in a conference room to receive the MVP trophy several hours removed from the feat, he heard NFL commissioner Roger Goodell describe his play as "just an extraordinary night" and "really something to marvel at."

Then the presentation. Holmes, decked out in a tan argyle sweater vest, accepted the trophy and smiled broadly for the cameras.

A few minutes later, the third-year Steelers player out of Ohio State shared a brief conversation he'd had the previous evening with fellow wide receiver Hines Ward, who was the Steelers' Super Bowl MVP three years ago.

"He just told me, 'Stay humble,'" Holmes said. "Things are going to come for me, (and that I'll) be ready to represent my family, this team and this whole organization, because everybody behind me has my back (and not to) lose sight of where I came from and definitely what I'm trying to accomplish for the rest of my life."

One thing he certainly did not lose sight of Sunday evening was the game-clinching pass, a 6-yard scoring lob that he snagged near the rear right corner of the end zone, somehow keeping both feet inbounds.

That capped a game in which he had a career- and game-high nine catches for 131 yards.

He celebrated by spending time after the game in the hotel room where his three young children were staying.

"I put on a movie," Holmes said. "They were very excited about watching Madagascar 2 last night. We definitely spent a little time together, watched the movie. I really just stayed in and relaxed a lot."

And now it's on to Pittsburgh, where he will hoist his trophy at a celebration.

"I'm really excited about getting back to Pittsburgh for this parade so that we can definitely enjoy it all together," Holmes said. (He chose a Cadillac Escalade, the carmaker said, which was a perk of being named MVP.)

Such a scenario appeared improbable this season when he was arrested and charged with possessing a small amount of marijuana. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin met with Holmes and deactivated him for the Oct. 26 loss to the New York Giants.

"I see that he put me in a better situation by handling the situation firsthand, getting the distractions away from the team, and away from myself, and allowing me to come back to the team the following week, ready to go." Holmes said. "He accepted all of that."

Tomlin indicated Monday that though his first priority at the time was the team, he also wanted to send a harsh but constructive message to Holmes.

Said Tomlin: "That's the business of coaching, really. When you work the way we work with these players, you're a life coach in a lot of ways. You care about them. You wear many hats in this business. I embrace that as much as I do the X's and O's.

"I probably get more enjoyment out of watching people grow than I do preparing and winning football games. It is a beautiful thing. I believe that is what we're all called to do."

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