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Once Tomlin was hired by the Steelers, Grimm joined Whisenhunt in Arizona in the same position as assistant head coach as he had in Pittsburgh, and the two of them began to remodel the perennial losing club into a winner like the Steelers.Of historical note the game matched up two franchises previously merged into a single team, "Card-Pitt", for the 1944 season in response to the depleted rosters during World War II.But the Steelers marched 78 yards to score on wide receiver Santonio Holmes' 6-yard game-winning touchdown catch with 35 seconds left.Holmes, who caught nine passes for 131 yards and a touchdown, including four receptions for 73 yards on that final game-winning drive, was named Super Bowl MVP.Both offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and assistant head coach Russ Grimm were widely considered the front-runners to succeed Cowher in Pittsburgh.Without waiting to see if Pittsburgh would hire him, however, Whisenhunt accepted the head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals, a team that held the second-longest championship drought in U. sports (1947, with only the Chicago Cubs last winning their championship in 1908, but as of the 2016 World Series, the Cubs ended the 108 year championship drought) and had never advanced to the Super Bowl in their franchise history.
The Cardinals entered the game seeking their first NFL title since 1947, the longest championship drought in the league.
In February 2008, the Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee unveiled the Super Bowl XLIII logo, featuring an abstract representation of a football stadium, with blue and green colors representing the regional waterways and landscapes of Tampa Bay.
Eight yards of playing field are shown, alluding to the game's status as the championship of the 2008 NFL season.
It also was the first time that two quarterbacks who previously started for a Super Bowl winning team (Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger) opposed one another since Jim Plunkett's Los Angeles Raiders defeated Joe Theismann's Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV and Super Bowl XXXVI, winning the first (aided by a heads-up defensive play by linebacker Mike Jones on the final play of the game) and losing the second one (the first of Tom Brady's five in eight attempts), while Roethlisberger was the winning quarterback in Super Bowl XL.
Under Tomlin's first season as head coach, the Steelers improved to a 10–6 record in 2007.
Los Angeles Rams, the latter of which coincidentally also went 9–7 in the regular season) and Super Bowl XLI (Indianapolis Colts vs. This game also featured the oldest franchise in the NFC playing the oldest franchise in the AFC.