Super Bowl 2011: 10 Biggest Storylines

Alex MonacoContributor IIJanuary 31, 2011

Super Bowl 2011: 10 Biggest Storylines

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    I was on the cover of Madden what have you done A-Rod?
    I was on the cover of Madden what have you done A-Rod?Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    The 2011 Super Bowl is one for the ages.  It features two extremely historic franchises in one of the biggest Super Bowls to date.

    It's Super Bowl XLV and it's the Pittsburgh Steelers versus the Green Bay Packers.

    One dedicated football city against another.  One team trying to win back a trophy that started in their football town versus a team that's one win away from becoming a three time world champion in just seven short years.

    Without further ado, let's take a look at the top 10 headlines heading into Super Bowl Sunday.

10. Fat Boy Touchdown

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    Get down with your funky self
    Get down with your funky self

    We're going to start off with a little comic relief: if there's one thing I learned in my one year in football pads, it was celebrating.

    Unfortunately for me, I played in the fifth quarter, so all my celebrating was happening while moms with coolers were walking across the field to congratulate their kids, who played in the actual game.  

    Nevertheless, No. 10 is courtesy of the Green Bay Packers' own B.J. Raji.  B.J. picked off a ball and went all the way to the end zone in the NFC Championship against Chicago.

    What happened after he scored?

    Well, that all depends on the angle you saw it from.  As for the camera man and viewers who saw it on television, after he scored, Raji looked like an extremely heavy set man on his honeymoon in Hawaii trying to fit in at a Luau.

    My point: let's all hope for a fat boy touchdown on Sunday, because after exclusive evidence, we've come to the conclusion that the—

    "Best thing about a fat boy touchdown is a fat boy dance."  

9. Super Bowl Ticket Prices

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    Look how much fun they're having in the parking lot
    Look how much fun they're having in the parking lotJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    If I were to tell you spending $700 on a Super Bowl wouldn't get you in the stadium, would you believe it? Well, let's just say some old timers out there, including the guys who do the Visa commercials for every Super Bowl attended, are absolutely blown away.

    Jerry Jones is selling tickets to stand in the parking lot during the game that are going for almost a thousand dollars a ticket.  

    Now, I'm a college kid.  If you gave me a thousand dollars and told me I could either stand in the parking lot watching the game on a television or create a Super Bowl party of my own, which would I choose?

    Let's just say I'd probably be watching from the comfort of my own home...or a kick ass suite in downtown San Diego with a plasma, because that's what I could show up with that kind of budget.

    Give me a break.  

8. Second Year Undrafted Free Agent Doug Legursky

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    No gloves...interesting choice
    No gloves...interesting choiceAl Bello/Getty Images

    Pouncey is out, Legrusky is in. Douglas is his full name, Legursky is his given name.

    Douglas Legursky, a second year undrafted free agent, will be snapping the ball to Ben Roethlisberger in the 2011 Super Bowl.

    Does anybody else see this as a big deal?

    I used to be a backup center (at the park with my friends) and I can tell you one thing about us backup centers...we never think we're going to play in the game.

    Legursky didn't do terriblly against the Jets, but he was the beginning to a Jets safety and almost the downfall of the Steelers in that game.

    All eyes will be on Legursky and like I said earlier, we're all rooting for a fat boy touchdown.  

    Don't drop the ball!

7. Hines Ward vs. Charles Woodson

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    Get down with your funky self
    Get down with your funky selfJamie Squire/Getty Images

    Now I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure Tramon Williams will be matched up against Mike Wallace.  With that being said, the other corner-wide receiver matchup could be one for the ages, literally. 

    Charles Woodson versus Hines Ward (both drafted in 1998, ironically).   

    Woodson: eight years with the Raiders, five years with the Packers.  The guy's a Pro Bowl corner and with three interceptions shy of an even 50, he just may be a Hall of Famer.  

    One thing Woodson doesn't have that Ward does: jewelry.  

    Ward: 13 years with the Steelers, over 11,000 yards receiving and a ring for both of his hands. He also may be a Hall of Famer.

    One thing Woodson has that Ward doesn't: a chip on his shoulder.

    Woodson wins this matchup with either a crucial interception, forced fumble, hit-stick like tackle or just an overall shutdown game.  

    Sorry Hines, but you've met your match and the pushing and shoving doesn't work this time against this (do the Chris Berman voice) Oakland Raiderrrrrrr.

6. James Starks

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    e.g. 'Chicago Blackhawks', 'Chicago Cubs'
    e.g. 'Chicago Blackhawks', 'Chicago Cubs'Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Starks...I haven't heard that name since I was eight years old and rooting for my dad's hometown team, the New York Knicks.

    Starks came out of college after a career with the Buffalo Bulls.  Not the Bills, but the Bulls.  

    James found a roster spot on the Green Bay Packers and had 29 carries in the 2010-2011 football season.

    I HAD 29 CARRIES IN THE 2010-2011 SEASON!  Are you kidding me?

    No touchdowns in the regular season for Starks, but nonetheless a guy with nothing but tremendous upside.  

    Three extremely impressive games later and he's now the starting running back for a Super Bowl contending team.  Can he live up to the challenge and the expectations?  Are there any expectations?  He's going against the "Steel Curtain," for goodness sake.

    All I have to say is if James runs the ball and he runs it halfway decently, that's enough for the Packers offensive game plan to run smoothly.  

5. The Hair vs. the Hair

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    Coming in as one of the top 10 headlines for Super Bowl XLV has to be Clay Matthews versus Troy Polamalu.  Or should I say, the hair versus the hair?

    I'm sure Clay is furious that his blond locks haven't earned him a commercial with Head and Shoulders yet.  

    And I'm sure Troy Polamalu doesn't like the fact that some other athlete is getting credit for his locks?  

    Is Polamalu playing to prove he's the best at what he does without proving being aero-dynamic as a factor?  Or is Clay Matthews out to show the world that he, too, deserves a commercial for his mane?

    Regardless, it's the curly versus the straight, and it's a rare headline for Super Bowl XLV.  

4. Greg Jennings and Company

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    James Jones wasn't paying attention for the picture, what do you know?
    James Jones wasn't paying attention for the picture, what do you know?Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    There's no denying the talent Aaron Rodgers has on either side of him at the wide receiver position. Sure, there a fun group of guys, but when the talking stops and the whistle blows, this group of Green Bay wide receivers can be so lethal with their route running and playmaking, you just can't help but acknowledge what you're watching.

    Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones and Jordy Nelson are by far a Super Bowl headline within themselves.  

    Talking fantasy football numbers alone, these guys have done some serious damage.  

    Give a little credit to Favre on this one for keeping them believers, but now it's up to them to prove Green Bay is worthy of a Super Bowl championship.  

3. Mike vs. Mike

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    MIke versus Mike
    MIke versus Mike

    It's not Mike and Mike in the morning this Sunday, it's Mike versus Mike in a bruiser for the ultimate prize. 

    Mike McCarthy, a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan, will go against his favorite team growing up this Sunday. Is this ironic, or another reason that it just feels right for the Packers to win this game?

    McCarthy is only 47 years old and will be attending his first ever Super Bowl.  Pretty exciting stuff.

    The other Mike, Mike Tomlin, will be entering his second Super Bowl with the Steelers at just 38 years old and looks to make coaching history this Sunday.  Unbelievably impressive.

    However, Tomlin will not be going against a senior citizen quarterback this time (nothing personal, Kurt Warner).  He's going against someone younger than him this time.

    Question proposed: which Mike would you rather be on Sunday?

2. Defense Wins Championships

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    Here's the group
    Here's the groupKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Defense wins championships.  The better defensive team will win this game on Sunday, there's no doubt about that.  

    The question is, will it be the Steelers or the Packers?

    Let's look at the two defenses:

    The Steelers:  Hard hitting, high flying, defensively prepared for anything and everything and run by Dick LeBeau.

    The Packers: Opportunistic, crafty, risk-taking and run by Dom Capers.

    One defensive coordinator is in the Hall of Fame already (LeBeau).  The other is looking to state his case.

    I think the Steelers are a better defensive team statistically and position for position, more talented.

    However, the Super Bowl is all about capitalizing and Pittsburgh knows that firsthand.  

    The Saints sealed the deal on a defensive play last year. My prediction: the Packers win this game with a defensive play that shocks the world.  

    Any given Sunday, my friends.  Any given Sunday.

1. Rowengartner vs. Favre's Backup

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    Which face looks more truthful?
    Which face looks more truthful?

    In the 2004 draft, no one knew how to pronounce Big Ben's name.  Come on now, Roeth-lis-berger?

    Up until the 2008 season, who was Aaron Rodgers other than the guy getting absolutely roasted on at the ESPY's?

    It's crazy how time changes everything.

    Now, Roethlisberger and Rodgers, two elite quarterbacks within the NFL's best, will square off against each other in Arlington, Texas.

    Big Ben: Big, improvisational, shifty and smart.

    A-Rod: Smooth, swift, accurate and intelligent.  

    In most Super Bowl dreams, you make up some ridiculous circumstance that leads you to believe a 90 yard drive with a minute and a half left is going to win or lose the game for a team.

    Could it be?  Maybe...maybe not.

    All I know is, Aaron Rodgers has kept a football in his locker after every playoff win and he still has one more to collect.

    Big Ben, on the other hand, is trying to erase a reputation he has been given by the media.

    Which to you seems more heartfelt?  

    Aaron Rodgers, congratulations, my friend, you are going to be the quarterback of a Super Bowl winning team.