Steelers will win by a nose
Reported by Scott Pitoniak
And the winner is . . .
Well, after analyzing and vacillating for two weeks, Iíve decided that the Pittsburgh Steelers will nip the Green Bay Packers, 27-23, in Super Bowl 45. I just believe that, love him or hate him, Ben Roethlisberger knows how to win the big games. And I think the edge the Steelers have in experience will be a determining factor.
That said, I wouldnít be surprised at all if the Packers, behind the red-hot Aaron Rodgers, pull it out. (Told you Iíve been going back-and-forth on this one.)
I think, if there isnít a spate of turnovers, it will be a dramatic, down-to-the-wire game.
I love having two of the NFLís most storied franchises facing off against one another. And I love having what I believe (sorry Bills fans) are the two most rabid and loyal fan bases in all of football involved. Terrible Towels vs. Cheeseheads. Small market vs. very small market. Starr, Lombardi, Bradshaw, Noll. Could be a classic.
With Steelers rookie sensation Maurkice Pouncey out with a high ankle sprain, Doug Legursky becomes the center of attention for Super Bowl 45. His performance against burly Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji might be the key matchup in the game. Big Benís Houdini-like escapability could be put to the test.
Although theyíre known for their homefield advantage on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, the cold-weather the Packers offense is quite at home when invited indoors. Since 2008, Green Bay is averaging 32 points in 12 indoor road games, and Rodgers has 25 touchdown passes and just six picks. So you wonít hear any complaints from the Pack about the retractable roof on Cowboys Stadium being closed Sunday night.
Roethlisbergerís post-season winning percentage of .833 (10-2) trails only Bart Starrís .900 (9-1) among all-time quarterbacks with at least five post-season appearances. And with a win vs. Green Bay, Big Ben will have a third Lombardi Trophy, tying him with Tom Brady and trailing only Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw.
If you extrapolated Roethlisbergerís season over 16 games (he missed the first four after being suspended for violation of the NFLís personal conduct code), he would have finished with 23 touchdowns, 7 picks and 4,272 yards. Iím thinking it could be an awkward situation for Commissioner Roger Goodell if he has to present the MVP award to the player he suspended and isnít exactly fond of.
Counterprogramming for Super Sunday includes the Puppy Bowl, a Sex In The City marathon, a Jane Austen marathon, a Jersey Shore marathon and a Toy Story trifecta.
Savor this game football fans because, despite the immense prosperity enjoyed by NFL owners and players, it may be a long, long time before you experience the joys of watching real professional football again. The odds of avoiding a lockout are not good.
The bitterly cold, snowy February-in-Rochester weather has been the big story in Big D this week. And it has fueled arguments that Super Bowls should be held only in warm climes. A check of the national weather map found these Saturday readings for warm Super Bowl host cities past and present: 52 in Phoenix; 76 in Miami; 77 in Tampa; 41 in New Orleans and 62 in Los Angeles. Iím sure the folks in Dallas would be giddy with the Saintly 41 and no snow weather of Níorleans at this point.