Joe Burrow says Steelers-Cardinals thriller is his most vivid Super Bowl childhood memory

© Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Joe Burrow watched every Super Bowl as a kid growing up in Athens, Ohio. A week from Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals‘ quarterback will play in his first Super Bowl against quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams

Burrow was asked this week if there was a Super Bowl from his childhood that stands out more than the others. He picked a Super Bowl that was won by a future AFC North division rival. 

“The one that I really remember was when the Cardinals was playing the Steelers,” Burrow said, “and Big Ben made that amazing throw on the back pylon.” 

Burrow was alluding to Ben Roethlisberger’s game-winning touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes during the final minute of Super Bowl XLIII. Roethlisberger led Pittsburgh on a game-winning, 88-yard scoring drive after two touchdowns from Kurt Warner to Larry Fitzgerald had given the Cardinals the lead. 

Burrow and his family were cheering for the Cardinals to upset the Steelers, who were able to hold off Warner’s last-second comeback bid to preserve their sixth Super Bowl win. 

“Kurt Warner was always a family friend,” Burrow said. “My dad was actually on the Iowa Barnstormers’ staff when Kurt was the quarterback for the Iowa Barnstormers. My family’s known Kurt for a long time, so we were cheering for Kurt in that situation.” 

Burrow recently joined Warner and Roethlisberger in the history books, as they are three of just six quarterbacks in history to start in a Super Bowl in their first two seasons. Like Warner, Burrow led his team to the big game during his first full season under center. Burrow missed the final six games of his rookie season after suffering a season-ending knee injury. Over two decades earlier, a knee injury to then-Rams starting quarterback Trent Green gave Warner an opportunity to play entering the 1999 season. Warner made the most of his opportunity while carving out a Hall of Fame career that included a Super Bowl and two league MVP awards. 

A dozen years after watching him play in the Super Bowl, Burrow went head-to-head against Roethlisberger three times during his first two NFL seasons. He went 2-1 in those matchups that included a 41-10 rout in Week 12 of the 2021 season. Burrow will now look to mimic Roethlisberger’s performance in Super Bowl XLIII, a performance that made an impression on Cincinnati’s young quarterback. 

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