We are just a few days away from the kickoff of Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This game not only features two of the best teams in the league this season, but arguably the two best franchises in the history of the NFL as well.
When you look at the cities in the country that have an NFL team, almost all of them are part of a top 50 market. Green Bay is an exception. The county seat of Brown County in Wisconsin, Green Bay has a population of about 102,000 people.
To give you an idea of how few that is considering the magnitude of the Packers, Lambeau Field, where the Packers play, has a capacity of 73,128 seats, about 71 percent of the population of Green Bay. Packer games at Lambeau Field have been sold out since 1960, and fans have an average waiting list of 30 years to get tickets.
Fans love to visit Lambeau Field whenever they have the privilege, and it was recently named the No. 1 NFL stadium in game-day atmosphere and fan experience by a Sports Illustrated online poll.
You might ask why Packer fans are so loyal. Well, with three Super Bowl victories plus nine NFL championships, the Packers have the most titles of any franchise in the NFL.
Green Bay has just one title in the last 44 years, however, so you better believe Packer fans want this one.
Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers aren't exactly losers themselves. The Steelers do not have as many championships as the Packers, but they have won the most Super Bowls of any team with six, hoping for a seventh Lombardi Trophy on Sunday.
Both the Steelers and the Packers had dynasties over 30 years ago, but each franchise is hoping for a new dynasty.
If the Steelers win, they will have won three Super Bowls in six seasons, which some would argue is dynasty material. Led by QB Ben Roethlisberger and a great defense, the Steelers are solid in just about every facet of the game. Their running game has been successful with Rashard Mendenhall getting it done on the ground all year long.
The Steelers had the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL, intimidating opposing offenses with SS Troy Polamalu and an elite linebacker corps of James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons and James Farrior. During the regular season, the Steelers gave up the fewest yards per run and the fewest yards per throw of any NFL team.
The Packers are hoping for their first Super Bowl victory in 14 years, back in the midst of Brett Favre's three-consecutive MVP run. Quarterback Aaron Rogers, in his third season as a starter, is looking for his first Super Bowl title. Rogers has had an outstanding start to his career and now has the highest playoff QB rating during the regular season and postseason.
Just like the Steelers, the success of the Packers has been attributed to their defense. Green Bay is second in scoring defense to the Steelers and possesses one of the best secondaries in the league, led by Pro Bowl cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams and Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins.
Second-year pro Clay Matthews, the Pro Bowl outside linebacker, is one of the most explosive playmakers in the league and has been as valuable as any defensive player this season.
There is no question that this Super Bowl will generate large fan interest. For the first time ever, the Steelers and Packers will play each other for a title. As two of the most popular franchises in the NFL, you can find Packer fans and Steeler fans all over the country. The Packers may be the first No. 6 seed from the NFC to make it to the Super Bowl, but by no means do the Packers feel outmanned.