by Ryan Meehan
Super Bowl XLV: Arlington, Texas – February 6th, 2011 5:29 PM CST
Pittsburgh Steelers (14-4) +2 at Green Bay Packers (13-6)
It’s humorous how many fair weather football fans we have in the Quad Cities. Once the Bears are out of it they stop caring about professional football. They hit up Facebook and Twitter to let everybody know they couldn’t care less who’s playing in the Super Bowl. I’m tired of hearing “Fuck the Packers” from these tools. Look, you lost the game fair and square: They went into YOUR house, got inside YOUR starting quarterback’s head early on, and then knocked HIS ass out of the game. DEAL WITH IT. YOU LOST. If you want to blame somebody, blame your offensive line. And let the rest of us true fans move on and watch what should be a killer matchup.
This one has all the potential to be a classic. On one hand, you have a guy who’s already won two Super Bowls trying to win his third (which would tie him for the most by any active quarterback – Tom Brady with 3) going up against a young man in Aaron Rodgers who is letting nothing get in his way of becoming an elite quarterback. Both of these guys have had obstacles to overcome this year. Roethlisberger was suspended four games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy after being accused of sexual assault for the second time. Rodgers had two concussions this year and had to play every single one of their playoff games on the road in order to make it to the big game. The Packers had so many injuries this year that they had two guys from their O line take snaps on the defensive end of the ball. That’s crazy.
The Steelers have won more Super Bowls than any other team in the league with six. The Packers have won more NFL championships than any other team in the league, three Super Bowls and nine NFL titles that predate the Super Bowl era. Historically these are the two most successful franchises in NFL history. The last time the Steelers were in the Super Bowl was 2009, where they defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 with Roethlisberger hitting Santonio Holmes in the corner of the endzone in the final seconds of the game. Green Bay’s last trip to the big one was Super Bowl XXXII where they were heavily favored and lost to John Elway’s Broncos.
PIT Offense vs. GB Defense
As I mentioned in the conference championship wrapup, each playoff game for the Steelers has included a whole half where they couldn’t get their shit together on offense. That vulnerability is probably why the Packers are the favorites with a two point spread. The oddsmakers know that if the Packers’ linebacking corps comes out swinging, it could be a long day for Big Ben. A defense like Green Bay’s has the power to do what they were able to do in Chicago last week. I’m not saying Ben Roethlisberger and Jay Cutler are comparable by any stretch of imagination, but sometimes if your defensive pressure is that severe, you could have a 28 year old Joe Montana out there and it wouldn’t make one bit of difference.
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey will not play in the game after suffering a high ankle sprain during the AFC championship against the Jets. He was replaced by Doug Legursky who did a hell of a job in relief leading the way for Rashard Mendenhall to have a career game. Center is a very difficult position to substitute, but with a name like Legursky he can probably drink every guy on the Steelers D-line under the table.
GB Offense vs. PIT Defense
The playoffs have been a coming out party of sorts for Packers running back James Starks. What a testament to this offense to immediately lose their starting running back in Ryan Grant for the year, then have to deal with the concussions Aaron had, and still make it all of the way to the Super Bowl. James Starks has been the integral part of why this offense has been so productive during the past month. It’s going to be interesting to see how effective Troy Polamalu is at picking up Greg Jennings when they run that slant route. According to ESPN’s Sportsnation, 82% of their viewers believe that the Packers have the edge on offense, and even after you factor in that 70% of those people are fucking idiots I’d still say Green Bay has a slight advantage here.
Neither of these squads have exceptional special teams players. Nobody will be busting any 102 yard kickoff returns for touchdowns. The punters and kickers are just about even when it comes to accuracy.
As previously stated, the Packers are the favorite. They are a little bit younger than the Steelers at a majority of the skill positions, and their quarterback would have to be the MVP of the playoffs so far. And even with all of that, I still can’t pick against Pittsburgh. It’s a sick, sick world.
Meehan’s Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 32, Green Bay Packers 26
Here are a few other observations I have that pertain to the game and football in general:
Position player most likely to get injured:
Roethlisberger and it’s not even close. His whole approach to the game combined with his lifestyle and the incredibly lucky year he’s had lead me to belief the judgmental hand of God is about to smack him right in his mouth. And if he does get injured, there’s the opportunity to get himself some Kobe-like action during his stay in rehab. That guy must pour 5 Hour Energy into his dickhole every morning when he wakes up.
The Black Eyed Peas are the halftime show? Ouch… You know what’s interesting about them? they only have four members but I swear I can count at least six hype men. “Hype men” are the guys in a rap group that have no legitimate musical talent but are given a microphone when they walk onstage anyway. It’s their job to make sure the audience stays into the act, and they’re going to need to be equipped with some pretty heavy smelling salts next Sunday. And I’m tired of every trying to tell me how hot the girl in that group is. Jennifer Lopez is hot as well, but I wouldn’t spend $17.00 on one of her albums if you had a gun to my head and a razor blade to my nutsack. I don’t care who the entertainment is, these Super Bowl halftimes seem to get longer and longer every year.
A 30 second spot during the game costs anywhere between 2.8 and 3 million dollars this year. I usually ignore the ads, so this year should be no different. Still, I’m going to say the first erectile dysfunction ad will air at 8:06 PM CST. The first genital herpes medication spot I’m going to say happens at around 8:47 PM CST. Followed by an awkward moment five minutes later when around thousands of households nationwide, fathers explain to their sons what “daddy loves mommy forever” really means as they recoil in horror.
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