Former BYU All-American Dennis Pitta, once a walk-on with the Cougars, caught a touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLVII to help the Baltimore Ravens defeat the San Francisco 49ers. Pitta answered five questions from Deseret News columnist Dick Harmon about his Super Bowl experience.
Q. What is your most enduring memory of your Super Bowl game and week?
A. It had to be standing on the sidelines, waiting for the final play. I was there with Joe Flacco and we were thinking, "Are we going to win this thing? Is it really going to happen?" And then as things wound down, it began to sink in. We'd just taken a safety to buy more time and then waited for the last play. I just remember running onto the field to celebrate with the confetti raining down. It's a pretty remarkable feeling and one I'll never forget.
Q. Did your touchdown catch in the Super Bowl register greater in your mind than any of your other touchdown catches in your career?
A. You make a play and you put a score on the board. Looking back it is a pretty special play to be able to say I caught a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl. It will be an important catch when I look back on my career. But when you are in that moment, you don't realize how big the stage is or how monumental that catch actually was. If you are thinking like that, you put too much pressure on yourself to make the play. But no question it was a huge catch and I was lucky to be part of that play.
Q. Just how crazy is Super Bowl week for players?
A. Leading up to the game, when you are there, it is pretty chaotic with all the media interviews and availability. In a normal NFL week you don't have that every single day, a media day every day of the week.You get questioned left and right from all kinds of media and most of the questions don't even pertain to football. It's kind of a spectacle, kind of a media frenzy, and you have to put it in balance and block things out to keep the focus on football.
Q. What have you done with your Super Bowl ring? Is it stashed away or on display?6 comments on this story
A. I have it here in Arizona where we live in the offseason, and when I go back to Baltimore, I don't leave it behind. We have it safely protected. It isn't on display in case somebody broke into our house.
Q. Break down this Super Bowl. Do you have a favorite? What are your Super Bowl plans?
A. I'll be rooting for the Broncos. I'd like to see (Peyton) Manning get another championship. He's a guy who plays the game with a lot of class. He's a guy I look to as one of the best players in the league and one of the best quarterbacks to ever have played the game. I'll be pulling for him. We're going to keep our Super Bowl plans pretty simple and small — just a few family and friends over — but it's fun to get everybody together.
Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.