Super Bowl 2011: Packers and Steelers Will Showcase Old-School Matchup
There's something this year's Super Bowl might be missing, and that something is flash.
True, it's hard to imagine a game played in Jerry Jones' magnificent "spaceship," better known as Cowboys Stadium, to lack flash.
But that could very well be the case when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers meet up to play for the NFL title in two weeks.
You can interpret the above thesis any way you please. For those who have a keen taste for aesthetics, look no further than the bland Pittsburgh Steelers helmet. Heck, their lids are even blank on one side.
For those who have an appreciation for history, no team may seem more annually destined for the Super Bowl than the storied franchise in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
We won't be getting Tom Brady's hair or Rex Ryan's outlandish personality, Bears backup quarterback Caleb Hanie or the Atlanta Falcons' disturbingly modern uniforms.
But what we are getting is a game that can be instantly appreciated thanks to the undeniably classic atmosphere the two teams will bring.
Call me crazy, but maybe "time machine" will serve as a better word than "spaceship" for the stadium in Arlington.
Both Mike Tomlin's Steelers and Mike McCarthy's Packers bring old school, blue collar attitudes with them from their blue collar towns.
Two of the most famous noses in the NFL square off as Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers tests his potential legend against Ben Roethlisberger, who will use this stage as an opportunity to further clear the minds of people who hold a grudge for his offseason misconduct.
But frankly, the most exciting aspect of Super Bowl XLV has to be the defenses, and the two most famous hairdos in the NFL (Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews versus Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu).
Then you have the cheese heads and the terrible towels. The team of the 60s versus the team of the 70s. Gosh, could this game fit more perfectly together?
Considering all of the new millennium issues, such as the NFLPA controversies, such as a potential lockout and hitting policies, as well as annoying twitters and soundbites, it's a refreshing thought to know we'll be able to sit back in two weeks and watch a good old black and blue football game between two NFL teams that epitomize consistency and timelessness.
The only things that will be missing will be the voice of Myron Cope and the pregame speech from Vince Lombardi.
I'm not sure what the result of this game will be, but it's not as much of a concern. The bottom line is, when NFL films is showing highlights of the Packers and Steelers finally playing against one another in a Super Bowl, with the voice of Steve Sabol giving the introduction, everything in the NFL will feel right again.
However, because I can, here's my breakdown of the game at hand:
It's pretty much impossible to find a clear advantage on either side. The first thing you think of about Green Bay is the spread out, shot gun passing attack that has worked so well for them.
Aaron Rodgers has looked like a mastermind this postseason. His pocket mobility, rocket arm and composure have seemingly been the difference in all three road playoff victories.
Having the most underrated receiving corps in all of football is a plus too. The only "weakness" for the Packers could be their running attack. Rookie tailback James Starks has been a nice addition to their ground game, but the running part of their offense has been something of a late development.
That's a red flag for me, especially considering they are going against the Steelers defense, which was best in the league against the run in the regular season.
Rashard Mendenhall of Pittsburgh should have easier sledding against Green Bay's run defense. But the Packers pass defense has been extremely impressive.
Who wins Super Bowl XLV?
I can't think of a better set of cornerbacks to have than Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson. Not to mention the fact no team is better at sacking the quarterback than Green Bay.
So who gets the nod from me? I can't even come close to deciding.
I want to give the edge to Green Bay, simply because I want to see them win the big game after having to watch their former hero (Brett Favre) stain his legacy.
But while the Pack has been sizzling hot in the past few months, I can't pick against the consistent and reliable Pittsburgh Steelers.
Predicted Score: Steelers 26, Packers 17
There you have it. This game should have the most authentic NFL atmosphere we've had in years.
And, in the very serious words of Jets linebacker Bart Scott, I "can't wait."
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