By Teresa Varley
Don't get Chris Hoke wrong for a minute when he says that winning Super Bowl XL was a bit more special than winning Super Bowl XLIII. Both were highlights of his playing career, but there was something about the first time that just made it stand out.
"There is nothing like the first one," said Hoke. "When we won Super Bowl XL the emotion was so pure because we had never done it before. It was the ultimate."
That being said, Hoke still enjoyed every minute of winning Super Bowl XLIII and still is.
"This one was so exciting because of the way we did it," said Hoke. "People said we had the toughest schedule. We knocked down that door. We went into the playoffs and went on a run. People said we couldn't beat Baltimore a third time and we beat them. In the Super Bowl we had control the whole game and in the fourth quarter we got behind and then had that great drive.
"Just the way that the season went it was such an exciting time to share that moment with your teammates, coaches and family."
Hoke had a great time sharing the win with his family, including his wife Jaimee and his four kids as his two older boys, Cade and Nathan, can now understand how special winning a Super Bowl is.
"They understand it more," said Hoke. "I know they were more into it because when Larry Fitzgerald scored that last touchdown my eight-year old (Cade) started crying and was upset like most Steelers fans.
"They enjoyed it and were riding the emotional ride that everyone was on. They came on the field after the game and were really into it. It was great they could share that excitement with me."
Hoke is spending the offseason in Pittsburgh, so the excitement hasn't died down. Every time he goes out somewhere, there is always someone who wants to talk about the game. And he enjoys it.
"People are all saying congratulations, great season and great job," said Hoke. "The Pittsburgh fans take so much pride in their football team. Us winning the Super Bowl has brought so much hope and happiness to people's lives and it's great to see that when we go out in the community.
"It's been a lot of fun. It's also been crazy. Everyone wants you to do things. It's been fun though to be able to see the fans and thank them for their support throughout the season and Super Bowl run. The fans are having a lot of fun with it."