by Ryan Meehan
Super Bowl XLV – Arlington, Texas
Green Bay Packers 31, Pittsburgh Steelers 25
Super Bowl weekend has once again came and went and we have a new world champion. Hopefully you enjoyed the game with friends and family, and didn’t drive your car into a tree or a lake because you were hammered. And if you did drive your car into a tree or a lake because you were hammered, I’m impressed that you were able to get such quick access to a computer and spend some time bleeding with yours truly.
The Pregame Nonsense
The pregame festivities featured performances by Maroon 5 and Keith Urban. What those two acts have in common is that none of them own loose fitting T-shirts. Oh, that and they blow ass. The pregame was four and a half hours long and ESPN had stuff running at 9 in the morning that day. But hype is the NFL’s machine, and there was certainly more of it than ever. Bill O’ Reilly interviewed President Obama and asked his who he was rooting for, which was a stupid question because the Rooneys contributed millions of dollars to his campaign.
The pregame show concluded with Christina Aguilera singing the national anthem. I’m so tired of artists adding “their own touch” to something that is supposed to be a very traditional song. And it’s a stupid selection for the NFL because this particular artist insists on using twelve notes for every syllable. You sing the national anthem the way that it was written, it’s not Primus covering a Residents song. She miffed the lyrics as well, but I can’t see why people are so surprised someone like that couldn’t remember the words.
Now, I respect the national anthem but I do believe that one song is plenty. Whoever came up with the idea that we need to also sing “God Bless America” before the anthem at every game should have to spend the rest of their life in a phone booth. (That’s assuming of course that we can actually locate one)
The First Half
After that Grammy thief cleaned her asshole with the American flag, the Packers won the toss and decided to defer. The Packers realized very quickly that they had no chance in hell running the ball, and took to the air right away. Green Bay went up 7-0 with a touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson. Nelson is one of the reserves who stepped up after all of the injury problems the Packers have had, and they threw to him quite a bit during this game. (9 catches for 140 yards is not too shabby)
What stood out about Pittsburgh in the first half was some of Rashard Mendenhall’s ballsy runs. It’s amazing how you can lose an entire year to injury and the whole league can forget you’re a killing machine. However, Big Ben was throwing some awfully risky passes, and at the risk of sounding pretentious I knew that was going to have an adverse effect at some point. That moment came in the first quarter when Nick Collins intercepted a pass from Roethlisberger and ran it back for a touchdown. The Steelers found themselves in a 14-0 hole.
After a 33 yard field goal from Shaun Suisham that narrowed the gap to eleven, Rodgers and crew went right back down the field and he found Greg Jennings at the end of the drive for a 21 yard score. A pretty incredible start when you consider that the Packers lost both WR Donald Driver and first ballot Hall of Famer CB Charles Woodson to injury in the first two quarters.
Pittsburgh answered with a drive of their own that was capped off b y an eight yard Hines Ward touchdown, and the teams went into halftime with the Packers leading 21-10. More importantly, we had ourselves a ballgame. But there wouldn’t be any football on the television for the next 25 minutes, and trouble was on its way.
The Halftime “Entertainment”
This year’s stupid song and dance show on a football field provided us with music from the Black Eyed Peas. If you’re lucky enough to have never heard them before, just ask the black guy you work with to say “Come On Y’all” eighteen times in a row and that’s pretty much the gist of it. I thought their cover of “Sweet Child of Mine” was every bit as offensive as the national anthem that got butchered on that same field just an hour and a half before. What kind of a dumbass has to book guests that are willing to appear on national television and comes up with Slash and Usher? Neither one of those artists are really relevant enough to be on the Super Bowl broadcast. They played at least 118 songs in what ended up being the longest twelve minutes of my life. They looked hungover as fuck and it just wasn’t working. I was a tad impressed that the Indian guy rapped a few bars, but not impressed enough to drop my theory that he’s really just a security guard.
Now a lot of traditional fans weren’t sold on the idea of having the Black Eyed Peas doing the halftime show, but in all fairness, the Super Bowl is running out of options when it comes to the halftime show. Michael Jackson is dead, and at least half of Fleetwood Mac is almost dead, so don’t be acting all shocked when Bridgestone presents Daughtry in Indianapolis next year. Plus, I’m convinced that the Black Eyed Peas were designed specifically for these types of sporting events: Anybody can sing along because the lyrics are very simple, and it reminds everyone of that Jock Jams CD that the one friend who lived in your neighborhood that didn’t know shit about music couldn’t stop playing.
You know who’d be an excellent halftime act? Helmet.
The Second Half
At the beginning of the third quarter, the Packers looked a little bushed. They punted four times in the third frame, the Steelers appeared to be picking up steam. Rashard Mendenhall had a strong touchdown run to pull Pittsburgh within four points. I’m not sure why they opted to not go for two here, but maybe they were going by that chart that isn’t always right.
The point at which the momentum turned had to have been the Rashard Mendenhall fumble. He’d played a hell of a game up until then, and that’s a ball you’re expected to hold onto after the collision. Green Bay had 21 points off turnovers in this game, and I think the second they turned that ball over (and all of a sudden the defense had to get back on the field again) they pretty much accepted the fact that the Packers were going to score and there wasn’t a whole lot they were going to be able to do about it.
Big Ben completed a touchdown pass to Mike Wallace and then executed an option play to perfection on the two point conversion. This would give the Packers the chance to essentially put the game out of reach with a touchdown. The Packers did put together a very nice drive, but were stopped at the five and had to kick a field goal, giving the Steelers a chance to run all the way down the field and win the game.
On the ensuing kickoff, Pittsburgh special team player Keyaron Fox committed an inexcusable personal foul penalty that would force the Steelers to start this drive from their own 13 yard line. They drove all of the way into Green Bay territory but then they hit a wall. Roethlisberger threw an incomplete pass intended for Mike Wallace with :56 on 4th & 5 and Green Bay took over on downs. The game ended in Green Bay’s favor 31-25.
Pittsburgh had a great year. They earned every one of their victories except for the Dolphins game. They came back divisional playoff weekend in a the Baltimore game after they were pretty much buried at halftime, then beat the Jets who talked crazy amounts of shit to them. One of the most telling moments for the Steelers was after the game, in which a very pissed off Mike Tomlin said “We’re not into moral victories around here”. That should tell you they’ll be back. My father then turned to me and suggested to me that this won’t be their last rodeo, and I’d agree with that statement. As for Roethlisberger, it’s simple: He loves Jesus, but Jesus isn’t that sold on him. The Steelers turned the ball over three times, the Packers didn’t turn it over at all. It’s cliche to say it, but that’s usually the difference in close games. And Polamalu said after the game that he was “a step off” here and there, but he looked to be several on a lot of big plays.
Worst Postgame Quote
“Wow, it’s a great day to be great, baby” – Greg Jennings
You know what? I’m sick of the E-trade babies. And memo to Budweiser: The people that consume your product don’t give a flying fuck about how many calories are in it. Same thing goes for Pepsi: Just because something has zero calories doesn’t mean it isn’t full of high fructose corn syrup, which will turn into fat if you continue to not exercise and watch crime dramas with washed up rappers in them. And I don’t think America is laughing at Ozzy Osbourne trying to struggle through life anymore. It’s sort of like making fun of the handicapped. And by “sort of like” I mean “exactly”. Other memo I have is to the people that run that domain hosting website GoDaddy.com: If you pay three million dollars per thirty second Super Bowl ad the people at home shouldn’t have to go to your website to see the whole ad. I don’t know “what happened next” and I don’t plan on checking it out. And the average viewer probably STILL isn’t aware what it is that company sells. If I didn’t know any better I’d just as well assume they sold scantily clad pictures of Danica Patrick.
So the Green Bay Packers are the world champions and they earned every second of it. This is precisely what is so special about the NFL: The world champion is a team that saw their starting running back go down week one, their quarterback suffer two concussions, in total puts FIFTEEN guys on injured reserve, barely makes the playoffs as a six seed at the last minute, has to play Philly (who was the hottest girl at the party) in their building and beat them, then goes into Atlanta (the second hottest girl at the party) and just lights them up, beats Chicago (the guy at the party who everyone suspects is gay), and wins the Super Bowl against a team that had an insane amount of playoff experience. It’s interesting to see the Lombardi trophy finally go home and Green Bay does have awesome fans so it’s good to see that happen for them.
Also, there was a little bit of bickering on the forums as to whether or not Aaron Rodgers deserved to win the MVP award. He was 24 for 39 for 304, which aren’t spectacular numbers but when you consider how many of his passes they ended up dropping that statline probably should have been more impressive. I heard several arguments that it should have gone to Jennings who did indeed play an excellent game and scored twice. These two facts lead me to believe two things: 1) We need some kind of statistic that can quantify dropped passes so that it can be factored into the passer rating (whether or not you think that’s an accurate measure of a QB’s success is a moot point), and 2) When any of the position players don’t stand out as a clear MVP the NFL tends to select the quarterback by default and I’m not sure that’s the best method. With all of the social media outlets available, I would think that in the twenty minutes between when the game ends and the MVP candidate is announced we would be able to have a program in place that could count fan votes and intertwine them with the votes of the selection committee.
A Brief Note Regarding Myself
I’m going to be taking a little bit of timeout from a lot of the writing now that the season is over. It’s not just that, it’s that I have to really start focusing (foci?-sp?) on school. I’m learning how to cut metal which is very intense stuff and I have to keep my eye on the prize. That being said, I’ve had a fucking blast in the past year writing for this website. We’re going to get into more of the guest picks next year, and I’m going to try and do a better job understanding some of the medical terminology associated with some of these injuries. But other than that it’s pretty much been very close to our collective goal here at FOH to bring you insightful writing. I’m a very lucky guy to be part of a site like this.
Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.