It all comes down to one day.
After all the hard work that has gone on for months, the two-a-days in July, all the way up to the emotional playoff run in January, we are all set for Super Bowl XLV at the brand new Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas. Over the weekend we learned who the two opponents would be in what has become the biggest event in all of professional sports.
Representing the AFC are the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are making their third trip to the Super Bowl in the last six years. The Steelers handed the New York Jets their second straight loss in the AFC Championship game beating them 24-19 at Heinz Field.
Coming out of the NFC are the Green Bay Packers. The Packers faced one of their toughest opponents of the year on Sunday – their division rivals, the Chicago Bears. The two have a long history between them and it was the Packers who earned a trip to the Super Bowl. The 21-14 win came after they beat third string quarterback Caleb Haine (who came in for an injured Jay Cutler) and the Bears at Soldier Field.
So now that we know it is “Cheese Against Steel”, what can we expect for a Super Bowl XLV?
The two franchises are probably the best brand names in the NFL and have arguably more traveling fans than almost any other team in sports not named the New York Yankees. The Packers will try to become only the second No. 6 seed to win the Super Bowl, having knocked out the one two and three seeds along the way. The only other team to win it all as a No. 6 seed was the Steelers, when they beat the Seattle Seahawks back in 2005. In fact, that same year was the last time that these two teams have met one another. The end result was a 20-10 Steelers win at Lambeau Field but that was then and this is now.
One of the biggest story lines going into the contest is the two team’s starting quarterbacks. The edge clearly goes to the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger. At 28, Roethlisberger has already led the team to two championships and will certainly be in the consideration for the Hall of Fame if he can do it again. He is 10-2 in playoff games throughout his career and is considered one of the all-time best clutch quarterbacks.
On the other side, there is Aaron Rodgers, a guy who thought he might never get to play with Brett Favre in his way. But since Favre is out of the picture and busy retiring and unretiring whenever he gets the chance, Rodgers has quietly become one of the elite quarterbacks in the league and also heads to Arlington the hotter of the two. He has completed 71 percent of his passes for 790 and six touchdowns this postseason.
So now we have to wait to see what kind of story lines unfold and what happens leading up to the game. One thing is for sure, we will be ready for a game that could turn out to be quite a battle.