Today’s the day. The culmination of five plus months of NFL football. In just a few hours we’ll know which team and city can stake claim to the title of “Super Bowl XLV Champions.” The Green Bay Packers. The Pittsburgh Steelers. History, tradition, and honor all at stake. This game has all of the makings to be one of the all-time great Super Bowls. Let’s just hope neither team decides to lay an egg.
So what exactly am I expecting from tonight’s game? From the Green Bay side of things I expect a track meet. Not the same kind of speed game that was instituted by the 1999 St. Louis Rams, but it’ll be damn close. For Pittsburgh it’s going to be the same old song and dance, old school smash mouth football. It’s a true contrast of styles and ideologies for professional football. But for all of the differences these two teams exhibit on the field, they couldn’t be any more similar off of it. Their tradition and ability to continuously stay competitive is a model for all other NFL teams. These are two of the most well run organizations in all of sports and it continues tonight on the grandest of stages.
I expect Aaron Rodgers to go nuts. I think he’s primed to have an amazing game. This is the moment he’s been waiting for since he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and forced to sit all those years behind Brett Favre. If ever there was a perfect moment for someone that has more than earned it, it’s tonight for Rodgers. It’s his time to exorcise the demons of Brett Favre and solidify himself as the next great quarterback.
Ben Roethlisberger is looking for redemption. Despite everything that has happened to him in the past year or so, the Steelers decided to keep him around. Tonight he can prove to them and the rest of America that they made the right decision. Leading into the game a lot has been made of his past transgressions, so much so that the media has been over analyzing an innocent night spent out with his offensive line on Tuesday night. Tonight he can shut everyone up once and for all… as long as he doesn’t have another run in with the law in the future.
Mike Tomlin can further solidify himself as one of the best coaches in football. A few years ago after Bill Cowher retired, the Rooney family took a chance on the young inexperienced coach over other, more qualified candidates from within the organization. Most everyone thought they were crazy. As it turns out they were crazy… crazy smart. Tomlin has already won a Super Bowl and is now primed to win a second. he is the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl and would be the youngest to ever win two. In addition to his successful record, he has done so in the tradition of Steeler football. The hard nosed approach instilled by Chuck Knoll and continued by Cowher has been a staple of the Tomlin era as well. The Steelers have a tough minded attitude and it all begins with their coach who has truly been a great hire.
Other players in this game have the opportunity to have their break out moment. Yes, as football fans we all know their names, but to America as a whole some are more well know than others. Tonight is a night for player such as Clay Matthews and AJ Hawk of the Packers and Mike Wallace or Rashard Mendenhall of the Steelers to say hello to all of America. Have a big game in a super bowl and it’s hello endorsements and talk show appearances. However, the players know that this is the grandest of all stages and there is no guarantee that they will ever get back to this point. The team that can best control their nerves will be successful. I think the Steelers have the advantage here and it makes it hard to not pick them based on them alone.
Then there are the commercials. I can’t wait to see the commercials this year. There has been a real shift towards funny in the past few years and I expect nothing less this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what Budweiser and Miller have in store. Their’s always seem to be the best. There’s also the chip companies, Go Daddy, and the E-Trade babies. And you can’t forget about the wild card companies that seemingly come out of nowhere to have the best commercials.
So with all of that said, all of the analysis, all of the predictions, there’s nothing left to do but actually play the game. I won’t lie to you and say that I’m going into this unbiased. I’m not. I’ll be rooting for the Packers. And while yes, I did pick them to win it wasn’t because I hate the Steelers. I was very tempted to pick the Steelers. I just have this feeling that the Packers are a team of destiny of sorts. They’re peaking at the right time and they have overcome so much this year, not to mention they have looked absolutely dominant this postseason. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if they Steelers pulled it out. Either way I think we are looking at a very good game. I can’t wait. So what do you guys say…
Are you ready for some football?