The NFL couldn't be happier. Two teams that have been so important to the history and creation of the league are playing in what may be the final game before a lockout.
Two teams that embody old-school defensive toughness, aggressiveness and an offensive will to run the ball. Two teams that embody new-era quarterbacks that stand tall and create the momentum swinging play, zone-blitzing schemes and young head coaches who players respond to.
As the hours close in on Super Bowl XLV, many people look at these two teams as equal. The only difference is experience, and that the Steelers want this win more.
This Super Bowl showcases a young Packers team that is on the fast track to success. The average team age is just over 25 years old with core players like Clay Matthews, James Starks and Jordy Nelson all at 25 or younger. Aaron Rodgers is already being labeled as great, and by some elite, before his 28 birthday.
This team will unquestionably be an NFL dynasty of the 2010's with the stable leadership of McCarthy and Ted Thompson. Comparatively, this Steelers team has dominated the last decade with playoff appearances within the last ten years, five division championships, and two Super Bowl victories after five AFC championship game appearances.
They are on the tail end of their dynasty.
This year, the Rooney’s decided it was necessary to bring back old players like Larry Foote, Bryan McFadden and Antwaan Randle El. They re-signed James Farrior, Ike Taylor and Hines Ward to long extensions past this year.
Perhaps, the best way to describe this team is with the words of LaMarr Woodley "Band of Brothers." This team was picked by many (excluding Peter King) to have anywhere from six to 10 wins at most.
They had no offensive line, no quarterback for an expected six games and a team with an average age of 28 and leaders pushing 35 in the most difficult conference.
They proved everyone wrong.
They won 12 games, not always beautifully, but they won enough games to be the second best team in the AFC. They patched together an offensive line led by a rookie center fulfilling tradition. They had young players learn from the veterans so that they could achieve their potential.
Unlike the Packers, this team knows this could be their last shot in a long time. There is necessary rebuilding and the older players know their time is almost up. This is the tail end of their dynasty.
But the players are only half of the equation in Pittsburgh. The fans want this one as well. Yes, this Super Bowl is perhaps the last step in finally moving on from Brett Favre.
Yes, this is a team with a far longer Super Bowl drought then the Steelers. For Steelers fans though, this runs deeper.
This is a city that always hears their teams of the 1970's idolized. Those teams were the gold standard, those teams made the dynasty. These championships are great, but a dynasty. There is an entire generation who wants their own dynasty. This game means as much to the players as it does for the fans because both realize that this is the last chance for a dynasty.
This is their 1979 Super Bowl; the send off, the last chance to taste the sweetness of Lombardi's Trophy and slip those huge rings on their fingers.
So let the comments start flowing in.
Tell me why Green Bay wants this more than Pittsburgh. Just walk into the UPMC Sports Complex. Look at those six trophies that are on display.
That's the legacy this band of brothers is expected to live up too.
That's the dynasty these players want to be.
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