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Steelers' Big Ben has sixth sense for Rooneys

TAMPA, Fla. - One franchise is looking for a record sixth Super Bowl title.

The other is looking for its sixth postseason victory.

Super Bowl XLIII, which pits the Steelers against the Cardinals, is very much a matchup of league haves and haven't-very-oftens.

The Steelers haven't tried to distance themselves from their championship pedigree, never tiring of questions relating to the team's glorious past. Of course, part of that might have to do with a portion of the roster knowing that championship feeling. The Steelers earned title No. 5 only three seasons ago.

Now they want a sixth.

"That would feel good," Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. "That's something that goes down in history, the first team to get six trophies. To actually be a part of that team, that's something that goes down in history and that can be something that can never be taken away."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who played horribly in the Steelers' 21-10 victory over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, is looking for redemption. He said as much in the week leading up to the game.

"The first time, my play didn't help the team to win," said Roethlisberger, who completed only 9 of 21 passes for 123 yards and threw two interceptions against Seattle. "It almost helped us lose it."

But Roethlisberger said there is much more at stake today than making amends for one bad Super Bowl game. After all, the Steelers still won.

"For me, it's about getting that sixth one for the Rooney family, giving the family one more than any other team and for our fans," Roethlisberger said. "That would mean so much to our fans because they already think we are the best thing in the world, and if we could give them some proof and evidence of that, that would be awesome."

There is no shortage of stories on the other sideline, and it starts with the quarterback opposite Roethlisberger. Kurt Warner, 37, who led the Rams to a Super Bowl victory over the Titans in January 2000, is only the second quarterback to lead two organizations to a Super Bowl (Craig Morton did it with the Cowboys and Broncos).

The former Giant is proud of the feat, even more so because of the histories of the Rams and Cardinals.

"When all is said and done, whatever happens this week, is the fact that I was able to be a part of two organizations that nobody expected anything from and I helped get them to the Super Bowl," Warner said.

Then there's Arizona's road to the Super Bowl. The Cardinals struggled badly at the end of the season, losing four of their last six games to finish 9-7, and are 61/2-point underdogs against the Steelers.

The Steelers have a dominant defense -- ranking first in total yardage (237.2 yards per game) and first in average points allowed (13.9). But the Cardinals have firepower, which starts with Warner and receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who, counting the regular season, has five straight 100-yard games. But Arizona's defense is more than shaky, ranking 28th this season in average points allowed (26.6).

That unit has been better in the postseason, but regardless of what has been an impressive playoff run, many consider the Cardinals the worst Super Bowl qualifier in history -- or at least among the worst.

It is a long-suffering franchise still searching for respect, which some players aren't even sure will come with a victory.

"I honestly don't know," receiver Anquan Boldin said. "I'm not sure how people would see us if we won the Super Bowl. The only thing I'm worried about is winning the Super Bowl. They can think whatever they want, but you can't take a Super Bowl ring away from us. No matter how people view us -- as the best Super Bowl team or the worst Super Bowl team -- it really wouldn't matter."


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