“I said, ‘It’s now or never, guys. You’ll be remembered forever if you do this.'”
— Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the only NFL franchise in history to win six Super Bowls. His words preceded the play that won the Steelers their 27-23 vistory over the Arizona Cardinals. Another hero last night: Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who at 36 is the youngest head coach ever to reach the Super Bowl. “I go out of my way to not put them at ease,” he says, explaining how he manages his players. “There’s nothing wrong with being in a permanent state of arousal and not finding a comfort zone.” (He’d do fine in business, don’t you think?)
Football stole the front sports pages, but records got smashed in tennis too. Serena Williams’s Australian Open win this weekend–her 10th Grand Slam singles championship–lifted her back to No. 1 in the world rankings, released today. Williams is now the top prize-money earner in women’s sports–ever.
And in the men’s final down under, Roger Federer lost to Rafael Nadal–unexpectedly since Nadal had endured a five-hour-plus semifinal and had one day less to prepare for the final. Nadal beat Federer in five sets. Federer fell short of matching Pete Sampras’s record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles. “God, it’s killing me,” he said, fighting tears, at the post-match ceremony. –Jessica Shambora