Super Sixth Seed: Six Reasons Why the Green Bay Packers Victory Tastes So Sweet
If Pittsburgh had won Super Bowl XLV, the players would've relished in the win and Steelers' fans would've cheered and gloated. Big Ben might have redeemed himself, and moved closer to a reservation in the Hall of Fame.
Their seventh title would be wonderful for a while, but the joyous effects of the big game would wear within a week. The aftertaste of being champs wouldn't be savored because of the Steelers recent success.
But the Green Bay Packers came out victorious in Dallas, and it was oh so sweet for Titletown and its die-hard cheeseheads.
The Lombardi Trophy found its way back to Lombardi's team and it was a special moment for the the Green and Gold, especially Super Bowl MVP, Aaron Rodgers. He was handed the championship belt he once imagined, now made visible in his hands.
As the confetti fell in Jerry Jone's palace, the Green Bay Packers celebrated as champions. It had been a long ride for Mike McCarthy's team, but now they are reaping the rewards.
Besides a red Camaro and trip to Disney World for Rodgers, and a White House visit for the team (possibly to rub the victory in the face of Bears fan, President Obama) there are several other reasons why this may have been the most memorable Super Bowl win for the Green Bay Packers.
In Ted Thompson's Tactics We Now Trust
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Ted Thompson, General Manager of the Green Bay Packers, may have made one of the biggest decisions in NFL history, the decision to let a legend walk away.
Despite being heavily criticized by the media and Packers fans, Thompson shut the door in the face of Favre when he famously flip-flopped from his decision to retire. Three years later, the guy chosen to replace him became a Super Bowl MVP.
Thompson has built a Super Bowl winning team from scratch, building from the draft and refusing to sign veteran free agents (with the exception of Charles Woodson).
His tactics, at first, led the Lambeau faithful to scream for his firing (even making a website to call for his departure), but now he has given the city another championship and a young team full of potential for more to come.
The depth of his creation enabled it to hurdle the obstacles of injury to run on the road to Dallas. Although Thompson has basked in sun of his success quietly, it had to feel very, very good to accomplish everything he has amidst the doubt of unbelievers.
The Fourteen Year Drought
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It had been fourteen years since Titletown took home a title, back when Favre was in his late twenties.
And before that, it had been thirty-one years since Vince Lombardi coached his final game, a win in Super Bowl II.
When I made a pilgrimage to Lambeau Field, I visited the Packers Hall of Fame and posed next to the team's three Lombardi Trophies. The fourth has finally arrived. It had been way too long since Green Bay was on top of the NFL, but the Pack is back to the joy of Cheesehead Nation.
Donald Driver waited the longest to put his finger prints on the trophy's seven pounds of sterling silver, as he was drafted by the Packers in 1999, a year after the Super Bowl XXXII loss to Denver.
After leaving the game with an ankle injury, it had to have been hard for Double D to watch from the sideline. But as Rodgers set up the offense in the victory formation, his usual bright smile began to return to his face.
Seeking his first Super Bowl win, veteran CB Charles Woodson had to endure a broken collarbone that held him off the playing field in the second half. He was overcome with emotion in the locker room at half-time, shedding tears as he conveyed to his teammates how much the game meant to him.
The Packers would not let their leader down, Woodson may have had his left arm in a sling but the other held the trophy he had long desired.
Aaron Rodgers One-Ups Brett Favre
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Brett Favre may have gathered many NFL awards and records, but Aaron Rodgers is hard on his heels, winning one that the old man could never claim. The Super Bowl MVP.
In 16 years with the Packers, Favre could only win one Super Bowl. Now Rodgers has done just as much in his third year as a starter, and the future is wide open.
Rodgers may never break the consecutive starts record, but he'll also never be the all-time leader in fumbles, interceptions, pass attempts, and QB sacks.
He claims there was no "monkey on his back," but I am sure he is smiling after emerging victorious from the shadow of Brett Favre, all while his predecessor is limping his way into retirement.
Favre's legacy in Green Bay is all but shattered and forgotten by most, all while Rodgers is being welcomed with opened arms as he presents the Lombardi Trophy to shivering cheeseheads at Lambeau Field.
Could it be that Favre, after so many up and down years with the Pack, is now in the shadow of Aaron Rodgers?
Green and Yellow
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By now Packers fans across America have heard Lil Wayne's rendition of fellow rapper Wiz Khalifa's song about Pittsburgh, "Black and Yellow".
In Lil Wayne's song, "Green and Yellow", he declares himself a Packer fan as he raps about how Green Bay will defeat the Steelers in the Super Bowl. It quickly became a hit with everyone who wasn't rooting for Pittsburgh and pumped up Packers fans for the big game.
But what's really so sweet about the song, is that it will live on forever. Now that almost everything that Lil Wayne predicted came true, young fans will listen to it to remember what may be their fondest memory as a Packer backer to date.
Big Ben did look pretty weak in the game and the steel curtain did appear more like velvet, but unfortunately the Packers couldn't literally Lambeau Leap since it wasn't Lambeau Field.
But when the Packers had the ball they did score on Ike Taylor, and figuratively cut Polamalu's hair off by making him a non-factor the entire game. And he called it, Aaron Rodgers won the MVP Award.
I wonder if Lil Wayne threw a Super Bowl party and blew a cigar like Vince Lombardi after the win...
Clay Dominates Hair Battle Vs. Troy
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The big question leading up to the game was, "Who has better hair?" Clay Matthews recently signed a endorsement with Suave, but Head and Shoulders has insured Polamalu's locks for one million dollars.
Clay's play on the field showed that his hair was more powerful on Super Bowl Sunday, while Polamalu was neutralized by the Packers offense. Troy's biggest play of the day was lighting up Greg Jennings in the endzone, after he caught a TD pass.
Both defensive stars had only three tackles, but Matthews forced a critical fumble in Green Bay territory that changed the game and later he presented Rodgers his long-desired championship belt.
What an awesome moment on the podium for the Packers young stars as they relished in the glory of being Super Bowl champions...
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Technically the Packers were the favorites going into the Super Bowl, not the underdogs. But how can a team with sixteen players on the IR, with at least five of them starters, make such an incredible playoff run?
Coach Mike McCarthy deserves tremendous amounts of credit for keeping this team together and going strong through so much adversity.
After a humiliating loss to the Lions and a devastating loss to the Patriots, the Packers had to win their final two games to even make the playoffs as a sixth seed.
It turns out that they pulled out six must-win games, including three road playoff wins and the last being a six-point win over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. It was especially sweet because they knocked off the rival Bears at home to secure a playoff berth, and again at Soldier Field to punch their ticket to Dallas.
The Green Bay Packers became the first sixth-seed in the NFC to win the Super Bowl and perhaps the sweetest thing of all is that they can do it again.