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Holmes is trying to pull it together

February 03, 2009|Broderick Turner

Pittsburgh wide receiver Santonio Holmes was named the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLIII for his game-winning, tippy-toe six-yard touchdown catch that pushed the Steelers to a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

But Holmes' story is about so much more than that catch, or his MVP trophy.

It includes a drug history that threatened to pull him under.

During the week of the Super Bowl, Holmes never backed away from telling his story to reporters about how he sold drugs as a teenager in Belle Glade, Fla. He owned up to more recent mistakes, which included a marijuana possession charge in October that forced him to serve a one-game suspension. Holmes said the final indignity was when he had to miss a game against the New York Giants in October. "It was my first game missing. It hurt," Holmes said.

His goal now is to be a better example for the kids who look up to him.

Trivia time

Steelers players have won six Super Bowl MVP awards. Name them.

Super Bowl low lights

The Steelers have their Super Bowl highlights, the Tampa police have theirs: 26 arrests, 18 ejections and four small planes that breached the secure air space above Raymond James Stadium.

Police say they arrested nine people for selling counterfeit tickets Sunday. One was arrested on suspicion of selling counterfeit NFL merchandise. Two others were accused of selling fake credentials.

Two people allegedly tried to steal their way into the stadium. Police say the suspected thieves swiped one fan's tickets but dropped them while attempting to flee from officers. The tickets were worth $800 apiece.

No word who the Tampa police MVP was.

Money well spent

You'll donate money to who we tell you to, and not the other way around.

That seemed to be the message the NBA sent to billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban when the league told him it won't allow him to make a donation to a charity in J.R. Smith's name.

Cuban was fined $25,000 for what the NBA called his "improper interaction" with the Denver guard during a Mavericks loss to the Nuggets on Jan. 13. Cuban was upset with an elbow thrown by Smith that missed Dallas' Antonie Wright, arguing Smith should have been suspended.

In the past, when Cuban has been fined by the NBA, he matched the amount and donated it to charity. The NBA wasn't going for it this time, apparently feeling that Cuban was taking a dig at the league.

Trivia answer

Santonio Holmes (2009), Hines Ward (2006), Terry Bradshaw (1979 and 1980), Lynn Swann (1976), Franco Harris (1975).

And finally

Phil Mickelson told Golf.com before the FBR Open, his 2009 debut on the PGA Tour, that he has been using "devices" to help him retrain his eyes so he can line up putts better. He didn't elaborate on what the devices were, but said he expected to have a good putting year.

So far, so, er, not so good.

He missed the cut by seven shots and his putting average ranks 156th on tour.

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broderick.turner@latimes.com

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