Super Bowl 2011: Top 10 Storylines for Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Let the media frenzy begin.
Super Bowl XLV is less than two weeks away and the storylines are already taking form for the marquee matchup in Dallas on February 6, 2010.
By the time the big game rolls around we will all undoubtedly be sick and tired of hearing about each of these storylines, but for now, this is one of the more intriguing Super Bowls we have had in a while.
Super Bowl XLV brings us an ideal quarterback matchup, pitting Aaron Rodgers against Ben Roethlisberger, each carrying his own story and each backed by a tremendous defense.
The leagues two winningest teams in history are led by two of the best young head coaches in the game and have battled adversity to get to this coveted game.
And as if those headlines weren't enough, Super Bowl XLV will be played in the most over-hyped stadium in the history of sports, Cowboy Stadium. You can count on this being quite the spectacle in Dallas.
Here are the top 10 storylines to follow throughout the next two hype-filled weeks.
10. Flozell Adams Returns To Dallas In Search Of His First Super Bowl Ring
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Flozell Adams spent 12 seasons with the Cowboys and will return to Dallas in search of the first Super Bowl Title of his storied career.
This is a homecoming of sorts for "the Hotel" after a successful career spent playing under Jerry Jones.
This is far from the most dramatic Super Bowl Homecomings (Jerome Bettis in Detroit comes to mind), but it should garner some attention in the days leading up to the game.
9. Cowboy Stadium Hosts Super Bowl XLV
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Jerry Jones loves any chance he can get to show off his billion dollar creation and he now has the game's largest stage at his disposal.
Throughout the next couple of weeks countless time will be spent getting every possible angle of the stadium and talking about it ad-naseum.
Jerry Jones always finds a way to sneak into the spotlight, this should be no different.
8. Ted Thompon's Construction Of The Green Bay Packers
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One storyline that won't get the attention it deserves is the job Ted Thompson and the rest of the Green Bay front office has done constructing this team.
They made a commitment to the future when they let go of Brett Favre and they have been adding depth ever since. The result is the deepest roster in the NFL and a trip to Super Bowl XLV.
7. Super Bowl XLV: A Matchup Of The Two Winningest Teams In NFL History
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Few teams in the league could stack up the history and tradition of excellence Green Bay and Pittsburgh have established.
With 12 Super Bowl titles between the two of them, the league could not have asked for a better matchup.
Along with the excellence on the field comes two of the NFL's best fan bases who will travel from far and wide to watch their team make a run at the Lombardi Trophy.
6. Hines Ward Retiring On Top
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Hines Ward mentioned prior to the start of the season that he would retire with one more Super Bowl Ring.
It remains to be seen if he will follow through on his claim should the Steelers win their third Super Bowl in six seasons.
We have seen a number of players walk away from the game on top, and it would be no surprise if Hines Ward was the next of that group.
5. Mike McCarthy's Rise To Greatness As a Head Coach
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On this biggest stage in sports, Mike McCarthy is getting an opportunity to step into the upper echelon of NFL head coaches.
Sure, Green Bay has a ton of talent, but he has gotten this team through some tough stretches with genius play calling and scheming.
The 2010 Super Bowl made Sean Payton a genius, and 2011's version could do the same for Mike McCarthy.
4. Defense Wins Championships
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The old mantra "Defense Wins Championships" still rings true in the new age of football that favors the offense.
The Steelers and the Packers boasts the two best scoring defenses in the entire NFL. They have difference making star players in Clay Matthews and Troy Polamalu and great defensive coordinators in Dom Capers and Dick LeBeau.
This should be a fun one to watch.
3. Aaron Rodgers Stepping Out Of Brett Favre's Shadow
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This is Aaron Rodgers's best chance to date to step out of Brett Favre's enormous shadow once and for all.
Rodgers has established himself as one of the best young quarterbacks in the game but is on the verge of being considered the very best in the business.
If the Packers win this game, Aaron Rodgers will have as many Super Bowl rings as Brett Favre. Weird huh?
Big time players make big time plays in big time games. This is a big time game A-Rod.
2. Green Bay Packers Overcoming Adversity and Injuries
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No team has overcome more injuries to key players than the Packers this season. They lost 10 key contributors to injury including star tight end Jermichael Finley, Ryan Grant and Nick Barnett.
It is astonishing that Green Bay is still playing for a Super Bowl. What if those guys had never gotten injured?
1. Big Ben's Redemption
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Talk about overcoming adversity.
On the other sideline is Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who was suspended for the first four games of the season after rape allegations.
Now he finds himself playing for the third Super Bowl of his young career.
These two teams have overcome as much adversity as any team and the league and that is why they find themselves on the NFL's biggest stage. They got hot at the right time and have set up a classic clash between two of the league's very best.
I'm ready for the hype and the headlines to pass and for these guys to play football.