Super Bowl XLV
(Here We Go!)
You will rarely see me write about sports. I’m not a “jock strap”, but I am a fan. Football and Hockey, in that order, and number one on the list for me is college football…I’m a Wolverine football fan through and through. And let me say this about that…Brady Hoke…I’m all in and if that makes me a Michigan Homer…I’m good with it. When it comes to sports I will generally leave that media venue to my pals Mark “The Man” Wilson, Rob Parker and Art Regner…and Mitch Albom ain’t bad either! (In my humble opinion Art Regner is one of the best hockey minds in sports media - PERIOD.)
For the last two weeks a lot of my friends have been on me to pick the next Super Bowl winner…“You must choose!” First of all…I had the Patriots, Colts, Ravens, Steelers, Packers, Vikings and Bears picked as my favorites to possibly go all the way. So now it’s the Packers and Steelers…WOW…what a game THIS is going to be!
Having been born and raised in Detroit, my heart goes with the NFC. The names I most associate with professional football are the ones I grew up listening to and seeing: Lombardi, Halas, Starr, Landry, Staubach, Walter Payton , Johnny U, Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, Ditka (as a player), Butkus, “Mean” Joe Green, Nitschke, “Night Train” Lane, Alex Karras, Mel Farr and so on.
I remember the first Super Bowl, Packers -vs.- the Kansas City Chiefs. I was sitting in the back seat of my parents ‘66 Chevy Impala listening to it on the radio while my folks were grocery shopping. It really wasn’t as big a deal then as it is now. The Packers won that game and the next but in Super Bowl III it was the upstart AFL that won the day with “Broadway” Joe Namath, claiming the Jets would win, leading the New York Jets to a win over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts, now the Indianapolis Colts.
The trophy the winning team gets is the “Lombardi Trophy”, named after Vince Lombardi the most storied coach in NFL history. The trophy got it’s name in 1970 after Vince died and was awarded for the first time in 1971 to the Baltimore Colts.
Fast forward to today. Let’s look at the teams. Before we go there let me say that I believe in the old adage that “Offense wins games…Defense wins championships”. That said…The Packers have: Rodgers, Driver, Jones, Matthews, Shields and my all time defensive player…Charlie Woodson (Michigan!). The Steelers: Rothlisberger, Mendenhall, Lamar Woodley, Polamalu, Foote, and Ike Taylor…and these are the names I pulled off the top of my head!
I believe that BOTH teams are great on defense. On offense, both teams have great quarterbacks, running backs and receivers. For the Packers the keys are Rodgers and Woodson. For the Steelers the keys are Rothlisberger and Polamalu.
So…what’s my pick…this is the toughest pick I’ve ever had to make. My heart is with the NFC and the Packers…my wallet is with the Steelers…and there you have it.