Super Bowl XLV
Coming into the game:
The Super Bowl, arguably the biggest sports event in America, one of the largest global annually.
This year is a match-up between two all-time greats. Both teams somewhat surprising in their appearance. The Pittsburgh Steelers of the American Football Conference (AFC) beat Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets in the AFC Championship game to make it this far. Before that they defeated the Baltimore Ravens. On the other side; the Green Bay Packers of the National Football Conference, whom handed their rival, the Chicago Bears, a loss in the NFC Championship. To make it thus far they walked right past the number one seed Atlanta Falcons. What started the Packers run for the Super Bowl was their wild card victory over the electrifying Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Steelers completed the regular season with a 12-4 (win-loss) record as opposed to the Packer’s 10-6 regular season record.
Whether it’s for the commercials or the game, there isn’t a single town across the country that isn’t tuned into FOX for coverage of the game. The elaborate pre-game, halftime, and post-game celebrations serve as candy for viewers from all over to attract their attention. If you find the entire event strung out you’ll find the commercial statistics even more outrageous. Companies will spend millions of dollars to advertise their business during the big game.
Working up to the Super Bowl coaches and staff lock down on their team for maximum recovery and focus. The media goes crazy during the Super Bowl countdown, and players along with fans bump up their team spirit during preparation for sixty minutes of football. One particular song that has become very popular once the Steelers reached the play-offs was “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa. However, this song was quickly altered to “Green and Yellow” by the Packer’s fan base and the recently released “freestyle” by Lil Wayne. Typical of most Super Bowls the favorite and underdog varies depending on the poll you read, the same applies with over-under bets.
Leading the Steelers are the explosive safety Troy Polamalu (#43) and linebacker James Farrior (#51) on defense. On offense star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a.k.a. Big Ben (#7), running back Rashard Mendenhall (#34), and wide receiver Hines Ward (#86). For the Packers, impact players include, on defense: defensive player of the year, linebacker Clay Matthews (#52) and linebacker A.J. Hawk (#50). On the opposing side of the ball rising quarterback Aaron Rodgers (#12), lineman B.J. Raji (#90), and a duo of wide receivers Donald Driver (#80) and Greg Jennings (#85). Multiple injuries go against the Steelers in this match-up; rookie center Maurkice (Ma) Pouncey suffered a left ankle injury, Pouncey plays a role larger than any other center, especially for a rookie. The second step in the offense, Ben Roethlisberger is playing at the quarterback position with a knee (right) that is not at one hundred percent, Roethlisberger has been battling this injury almost all season long. Troy Polamalu is coming off of an injury not long ago that dealt with his Achilles tendon. Despite the injuries the Steelers are going into the game with confidence. Green Bay’s number one receiver is out, and the head captain. Also, Sam Shields would eventually leave the game, but return. Green Bay had their share of injuries just like any team does in a contact sport like football or any sport. Of course, the impact players listed above cannot be liable for the success of the two teams, every player’s effort and passion for the game got them here.
After the first quarter Steelers fans began to worry but never gave up. Setting up for the Packer’s first offensive possession Greg Jennings muffed the punt and fortunately for the Packers they recovered it. The Packer’s high-powered offense quickly marched down the field to score a touchdown. 7-0. The Steelers with control of the ball set up for a pass, tremendous pressure from James Farrior forced the interception from Roethlisberger to the Green Bay defense, this was returned for yet another touchdown. 14-0.
The second quarter revived the Steeler’s hopes of a seventh title. Once Bruce Arians’ (Steeler’s offensive coordinator) offense got under way Shaun Suisham kicked a field goal to get the Steeler’s on the board. 14-3. However, the Packers responded even stronger with another touchdown to increase their lead to 18 points. 21-3. With the half coming to an end and the Steelers eager to get to the locker room and allow the Black Eyed Peas to take over; Ben Roethlisberger completed a pass to Hines Ward in the end-zone with :39 (seconds) left. Finally, the offense found a rhythm. That raised the question of “Will they continue that energy in the second half of play?” 21-10.
Green Bay receives on the second half kick-off. The Steelers were able to shut down their so far successful offense. With 55 yards of rushing and a facemask penalty against Green Bay, Rashard Mendenhall carries the ball in from within the 10-yard line to make it a one score game. 17-21. On 3rd down and 7 yards to go James Harrison sacks Aaron Rodgers to cause them to punt and give the Steelers decent field position. The Steelers could not convert on the 52-yard field goal attempt to continue their streak of momentum. The momentum of the Steelers was brought down after both teams exchanged chances to score. Though the fans calmed down, tension rose between the players on the field. The third quarter kept both punter Tim Masthay of Green Bay and punter Jeremy Kapinos of Pittsburgh occupied. The chance for the Steelers to take the lead will be left to the final 15 minutes of play.
The first play of the fourth quarter resulted in the Packer’s ball close to mid-field after Mendenhall fumbled it in the backfield, caused by Clay Matthews. Turnovers proved to be the difference in this game for the most part. The Steelers have given up the pigskin three times compared to the Packers zero turnovers. The Packers took advantage and capitalized of the Steelers third turnover. Aaron Rodgers threw to the corner of the end zone to hook up with Greg Jennings for his second touchdown of the game. 28-17. Mike Wallace caught a beautiful pass to keep the Steelers hopes alive. Following that Antoine Randle El made the two-point conversion on the pitch from Roethlisberger on an option play to make it a three-point game. 28-25. 7:34 left on the clock, enough time to decide the final outcome of the 45th Super Bowl. So far, it looked good for the Steelers; they start the defensive field time with a sack on Rodgers. However, it did not appear to pay off due to the well-needed completion by Jennings over the middle to get into Steelers territory on 3rd and 10 followed by a first down run to bring them to about the Steeler’s thirty-yard line. James Jones catches the ball inside the 10 to make it 1st and Goal at the eight yard-line. Wide receiver Nelson couldn’t reel in the pass on 3rd and Goal. The Packers had to settle with a short field goal by Mason Crosby to make it a six-point game. 31-25. With 2:00 left in Super Bowl XLV the Steeler’s offense is ready to put all the practice time to use. It comes down to 4th and 5, :56 remaining. Pass intended for Mike Wallace, a choppy play. Intercepted. Game over.
The number six seed Green Bay Packers win Super Bowl XLV. The confetti pours down onto the field and biggest champions in the National Football League (NFL) of 2011. Green Bay will be one of the liveliest towns for a very long time. This just goes to show how important the post-season is and never underestimate any opponent. It’s a long ride home from Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas if you’re a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Jerry Jones is happy either way; after all, his 1.2 billion dollar venue just hosted the 45th Super Bowl. This was a game between equal veterans and rookies. A game between two teams with mutual respect, knowing what their opponent is capable of. A truly admirable game and was as good as anyone could have expected. From the commercials to the halftime show, the on-the-field performance to the trophy presentation. Mike McCarthy, who grew up in Pittsburgh a Steelers fan, has led the Green Bay Packers to a championship against the Steelers and brought home the Vince Lombardi trophy. Mike Tomlin on the other side has every reason to be proud of his team. Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback had a flawless, perfect game, and that is why he has been rewarded the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the game and a brand new Chevy. The Green Bay Packers, world champions.