Super Bowl XLV: Packers, Steelers Will Play On NFL's Biggest Stage

After two exciting conference championship games, Super Bowl XLV looks to be a great matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:25 pm EST on Feb. 6.

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2011 Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers Aren't Lucky, They're Good

Bill Parcells made famous the line, "You are what your record says you are." While that's the case, the Green Bay Packers could make an argument that they're better than their record says they are. The Packers lost six games in the 2010 regular season. Of those six losses, the biggest margin was by a whopping...four points.

Yes, when the Packers lost, it was a very, very close game. That's something to keep in mind as we enter the 2011 Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

While the Packers were considered underdogs because they were a sixth seed in the playoffs, their run to the Super Bowl isn't actually a surprise. As SB Nation's Acme Packing Company points out, records and seeds mean very little.

So, don't believe records and seeds. They tell you next to nothing. All that someone could imply from the Packers' record is they either lost their composure in some close games...or got really unlucky. Watching football teams with your own eyes and forming your own opinions about their play is probably the best way to measure a team's quality, but detailed statistics and Vegas odds tell the story much better than team records and seeds.     

The Packers were in a coinflip situation against the Eagles in the wildcard round and favored to beat both the Falcons and Bears after that -- as a sixth seed. So they were hardly the underdogs.

Check out Acme Packing Company for more on the Packers leading up to the game. 

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2011 Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers Remain Slight Favorites Over Pittsburgh Steelers

The opening line on the 2011 Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers was 2.5 points in favor of the Packers and that's risen slightly to three points. The Packers have been hot in the playoffs and folks have noticed that which is the reason they've favored at this moment.

There are some really interesting odds regarding the 2011 Super Bowl.

For example, the over/under on first half points for the Packers is 12 and for the Steelers it's 11.5. For the final score, the Packers are placed at 23.5 points and the Steelers at 21 points. The over/under on the game is 45 points.

This would be a very difficult game to pick the over/under because, while both defenses are superb, the offenses have clearly shown they're capable of putting up a ton of points. The Packers have put up 45 points or more in two of their last five games while the Steelers have put up over 30 points twice in the last four games. 

Two great defenses plus to two great offenses makes this a tough game to pick.

Check out Behind The Steel Curtain and Acme Packing Company for more on the game.

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2011 Super Bowl: 'Suspicious Package' Near Cowboys Stadium Brings Bomb Squad

As we explained, there are lots and lots of mini-controversies that arise in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl because there is so much media attention. One of those was the Green Bay Packers team photo controversy with the players on injured reserve.

Here's another controversy that may or may not be mini -- investigators are checking out a "suspicious package" near Cowboys Stadium.

The 900 block of Randol Mill Road in front of Cowboys Stadium has been closed because of a suspicious package. Officials from the Arlington Bomb Squad and HAZMAT teams are on site investigating the device, which is believed to be in a manhole.

Obviously we hope this is simply a false alarm as many of these things are. 

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2011 Super Bowl: Maurkice Pouncey Injury May Be Broken Ankle

Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was already questionable for Super Bowl XLV, but his injury may be more serious than originally thought. Speculation has run rampant about Pouncey's status, fueled by Chris Kemoeatu's declaration that Pouncey would be unavailable for the Super Bowl on Wednesday, though he later back-tracked from the comments.

Now, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting Pouncy has a broken bone in his ankle to go along with high-ankle sprain he was originally diagnosed with. In the same report, the Post-Gazette said Pouncey has still been unable to practice and the ligament damage, not the broken bone, is the problem.

Sources told the Post-Gazette that, while there is a broken bone, damage to the ankle ligaments are the major stumbling block.

With Pouncey on the shelf, Doug Legursky is taking reps at the center spot for the Steelers. Even though Pouncey hasn't been ruled out, it's clear it'll take a swift recovery for him to take the field in Dallas on Feb. 6.

For the latest on the big game, check out our 2011 Super Bowl StoryStream.

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Green Bay Packers Coach Says Players Overreacted To Team Photo Issue

Earlier this week two Green Bay Packers on injured reserve -- Nick Barnett and Jermichael Finley -- complained via Twitter that they would not be part of the team's photo.

Apparently, they said, players on injured reserve wouldn't be part of the team photo. The Packers will arrive in Dallas on Monday, and were originally scheduled to take the photo on Tuesday, two days before the players on injured reserve were scheduled to come.

The Packers have since moved the team photo so that the players on injured reserve can be involved.

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said on Thursday that the complaints from the players was a "total overreaction" and they made a "poor decision" complaining about it.

"There's a number of components and I really don't want to waste anybody else's time with it," he said. "It's unusual, because your initial plan is you take everybody. But you're off-site. There's a number of reasons why it was Thursday as opposed to Monday, and good reasons. Because at the end of the day, it's about getting ready for this game. It's not that they are not part of the team. They are in the photo. You want them in the photo and that's important."    

My reaction: Welcome to Super Bowl week, where even the slightest distractions can turn into national stories. 

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2011 Super Bowl: Steelers' Aaron Smith Not Expected To Play Vs. Packers

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Aaron Smith has been off the field since late October with a triceps injury and the team has opted not to place him on injured reserve hoping he would be able to return in a deep playoff run. Well, the Steelers are deep into the playoffs but it appears Smith won't be playing.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Smith is unlikely to play in the 2011 Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers.

"You can't help but get frustrated sometimes," said Smith, the disappointment in his eyes and voice palpable. "Just the fact it takes time; you can't do anything to speed it up."

The Steelers have been playing without him for much of the season so this isn't a significant loss -- or even a loss, really, considering Ziggy Hood's play -- but it has to be disappointing for Smith, who may be nearing the end of his career.

So the Steelers may be missing two linemen with C Maurkice Pouncey on the offensive side and now Smith.

Check out Behind The Steel Curtain to see what Steelers fans are saying.

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2011 Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers Key Matchup Is Pittsburgh Steelers WR Mike Wallace

The 2011 Super Bowl is over a week away and we're running through some of the key matchups in the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. An important matchup for both sides will be Steelers WR Mike Wallace against the Packers secondary.

Wallace hasn't put up many stats in the postseason but we've seen him play the last two years and we know he's a significant threat. SB Nation's Acme Packing Company has an excellent writeup on how the Packers match up.

These match-ups seem like a push, possibly leaning towards a Packers advantage, but Mike Wallace is a home run hitter. He disappeared from both of the Steelers' playoff games, but he can break a massive play at any time, and for that reason, he needs to be watched closely. Based on his performances over his career, his talent, and the talent and performances of the Packers' defense, it seems safe to say that Wallace will put up stats somewhere in-between his playoff showings thus far and his better regular season performances.    

The Packers have an outstanding secondary so I have to give the edge to them. Guys like Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams are two of the best in the league and, until Wallace proves me wrong, I think Green Bay at least slows him down. 

Check out Acme Packing Company for the full writeup on how Wallace matches up.

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Maurkice Pouncey Injury Will Keep Center Out Of Super Bowl XLV, According To Chris Kemoeatu

Pittsburgh Steelers guard Chris Kemoeatu isn’t a doctor, but he has commented on center Maurkice Pouncey’s injury. Kemoeatu said Wednesday that the rookie center’s left high ankle sprain will keep him out of Super Bowl XLV. Pouncey’s linemate, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

“We are definitely sad that he won’t be able to be with us in the Super Bowl. Definitely I feel bad for him. We just have to win it for him. We know how big this is for him and him not being able to play is definitely motivating for us to go out there and get that ring for him.

We’ve known that Pouncey has been seen wearing a cast, and that he appeared on Pittsburgh’s latest injury report as being held out of practice with an ankle injury.

But Pouncey himself has insisted he’ll play in the game, drawing on his previous experience with a similar injury in making that pronouncement. And the word of a teammate is by no means final and official.

If the Pro Bowler can’t go, he’ll be replaced by Doug Legursky, as he was in the AFC Championship Game. Against a team with a pass rush as aggressive as Green Bay’s, offensive line shuffles would be a very serious problem, no matter how good the replacements are.

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2011 Super Bowl: Maurkice Pouncey, Troy Polamalu Appear On Steelers Injury Report

The Pittsburgh Steelers issued their first injury/practice report of Super Bowl week and a couple of big names are included on the list. There's not a whole lot we can tell from this list because the game is still 11 days away but here's who practice and who didn't for the Steelers on Wednesday.

Did not practiceS Will Allen (knee), CB Bryant McFadden (abdomen), S Troy Polamalu (achilles), C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), WR Emmanuel Sanders (foot), T Jonathan Scott (ribs)

Limited participation in practice: DE Aaron Smith (triceps)

Pouncey and Smith are a couple of the names to keep an eye on. Pouncey injured his ankle in the AFC Championship game against the New York Jets and, while he said he expected to play shortly after the game, was seen this week in a cast. Smith has been out for two months and was thought to be close to returning last week.

Check out Behind The Steel Curtain for more on the 2011 Super Bowl.

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Charles Woodson Sends President Obama A Jersey: 'See Ya In The White House'

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship game and it was a "tough day for Bears fans", President Obama said this week after his hometown Bears lost the game. Obama earlier in the week had picked the Bears to beat the Packers. 

Obama was speaking in Wisconsin this week and started things off making light of his pick last week:

Let me start by clearing something up. I am not here because I lost a bet. I just want to be clear about that. I have already gotten three Green Bay jerseys.

He says one of the jerseys he received was from Packers CB Charles Woodson that read: "See ya in the White House". Of course that's a nod to the annual White House visit from the Super Bowl winners.

Obama wasn't done with his predictions, though, as he promised Packers fans the Bears would get them next year. 

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Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Team Photo Will Include Injured Reserve Players

Some Green Bay Packers players on injured reserve were understandably miffed earlier in the week at the news that they wouldn’t be flown out to Texas in time to appear in the official Super Bowl XLV team photo. LB Nick Barnett and TE Jermichael Finley complained on Twitter about the exclusion, but settled down shortly after.

The team has now scheduled the photo so that all 15 IR players can participate, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Rob Dremovsky. Injured players will fly in on Thursday, and the photo will now take place on Friday.

The issue was a logistical one. The Packers said that they simply didn’t have the resources to keep up with 15 injured players that far in advance of the game, but it looks like they’ve figured it out.

To the average sports fan this all might sound like a couple of spoiled millionaires whining about a picture, but a team photo is one of the more personalized mementos a player gets to enjoy from a once-in-a-lifetime Super Bowl trip. It would’ve been ideal for the matter to be addressed internally, but it’s nice to see it all worked out.

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2011 Super Bowl Tickets: Packers And Steelers Fans Forking Over A Hefty Price

We've talked about some of the 2011 Super Bowl ticket prices before and, yeah, we're going to talk about it again but the prices are just insane. Shortly after the game they were going for an average of $3,600 a pop with some suites going for as much as $73,000.

The prices have come down a little bit so now you can buy them for "only" $2,444.

So let's say you buy the cheapest ticket -- which according to this is $2,444 -- you'd have to park about a mile from the stadium to avoid spending several hundred (or $990) more on a closer parking spot. Add in the cost of a hotel, flight and the increased prices everywhere you go and you could be spending over $7,000 for two people to attend the game. 

(Note: $7,000 was the cost of my first car....which I used for six years.)

Even with the price, I imagine Bears and Jets fans would trade places with them any day of the week. Check out Behind The Steel Curtain and Acme Packing Company for updates throughout the week.

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2011 Super Bowl: Maurkice Pouncey Injury Has Him In A Cast

Steelers rookie Maurkice Pouncey exited Pittsburgh's AFC Championship victory over the New York Jets with an ankle injury that, at the time, looked pretty serious. Pouncey later told reporters that the injury won't keep him out of the 2011 Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers.

Well....maybe it will. No one's talking -- including Pouncey -- but reporters spotted him in a cast. Not a walking boot -- but a cast. He was also on crutches.

Pouncey declined comment to reporters but the news has to be concerning to the Steelers. Albert Breer of NFL Network reported he was "told that team would cast an ankle, or put one in a boot, as procedure to immoblize it."

The bottomline is that we don't know what it means for his status on Feb. 6. Pouncey's been one of the best rookies this year so his absence could certainly hurt the Steelers. We should learn more next week when the Steelers arrive in Dallas for Super Bowl week.

Check out Behind The Steel Curtain for more leading up to the game. 

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2011 Super Bowl: Pittsburgh Steelers Need A Complete Game Against Green Bay Packers

SB Nation's Behind The Steel Curtain brought up a great point regarding the 2011 Super Bowl matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers -- Pittsburgh needs to show they can put up two good halves. 

As BTSC notes, the Steelers went into halftime of their divisional round game after giving up 21 first half points to the Ravens. The worst of it all was that the Steelers, at least statistically, were outplaying the Ravens. In the New York Jets game the following week, the Steelers went into halftime with a three touchdown lead and ended up winning by just five points.

Against the Packers, BTSC predicts, the Steelers can't afford to have one good half and one bad half.

In order to win the Super Bowl the Steelers are going to have to show they can put together a complete game to beat the Green Bay Packers.  I say that, because the Packers are a better team than both the Ravens and the Jets.  From my 2010 defensive analysis earlier this week, they came out as the 2nd best team in the league.  Dom Capers is a defensive coordinator that draws similarities to our own Dick LeBeau.  They have several playmakers on defense in Clay MatthewsCharles WoodsonB.J. Raji, and Desmond Bishop.

It's hard to say how much better the Packers are than the Ravens or Jets but at the least they'll have an extra week to prepare. That should be enough motivation for the Steelers to realize they likely won't be able to get away with playing half a game and still win.

Check out Behind The Steel Curtainfor the full story. 

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Super Bowl XLV: Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers Boast Top Defenses

You know the old saying: defense wins championships. In Super Bowl XLV, the first- and second-ranked scoring defenses will be on display, setting up what many expect to be a low-scoring, defense-oriented affair. Though they attain the goal in different ways, both the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers have shown the ability to lock the opponent down throughout the 2010 season.

The Packers are strong against the pass, allowing 194.9 yards per game through the air, fifth-best in the NFL. The run defense, however, may be the weak point for Green Bay. The Packers have allowed 114.9 yards per game, ranked 18th in the league. Charged with stopping a Steelers offense that loves to pound the ball and utilize a smash-mouth style, can Green Bay come up big against the run? They've done it before in the playoffs, holding Matt Forte, Michael Turner and LeSean McCoy under 100 yards, with the most physical back, Turner, limited to just 39 yards on 10 carries.

The Steelers are known for their stout run defense, limiting opponents to an NFL-best 62.8 yards per game on the ground. It's wasn't just the best, they lapped the field, holding a 27-yard advantage over the second-ranked team. Pittsburgh's weak point, by comparison, is its pass-defense, the very thing Green Bay excels at. The Steelers allowed 214..1 yards per game through the air and, like the Packers' run defense, ranked in the middle of the pack.

In the Super Bowl, the Packers and Steelers will each face offenses that excel in the facet they're weakest against. The Packers boast an aerial attack powered by Aaron Rodgers while the Steelers throw Rashard Mendenhall at the opponent and dare them to stop the ground game. Can these two defenses that have been so strong all year come up big one more time in Dallas?

We'll find out on Feb. 6 as the Steelers and Packers hit the field in the Super Bowl. For more on the game, check out the rest of our StoryStream.

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2011 Super Bowl Odds: Green Bay Packers Get Early Money As Line Shifts

On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers opened as 2.5-point favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. Throughout the playoffs, money came in hard on the Packers' side, leaving Vegas little choice but to install Green Bay as favorites. Since then, Green Bay has seen a bit more action in early bets, evidenced by where the line has moved in the two days since it was posted.

As it stands now, the odds have Green Bay as a slightly bigger favorite, holding a three-point advantage in the Bodog.com books. Lines move for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which has to do with where the money is flowing. Point spreads are set to encourage equal betting and are fluid, moving one way or the other if the action becomes one-sided. In this case, it appears Green Bay is feeling the love early.

Will the spread continue to move in Green Bay's direction for the next two weeks? It's unlikely. At some point it will settle and may, in fact, head in the Steelers' direction as the game draws closer. It doesn't necessarily mean either team suddenly improved in the two weeks ahead of the game; it simply means gamblers are throwing their weight around.

With the Super Bowl the biggest gambling event of the year, there's plenty of money at stake as sports books adjust to the actions of the public. Keep an eye on the line for an indication of who America likes in the Super Bowl as it draws closer. It may not mean much, but it's a sign of where the public opinion lies. 

For more on the Super Bowl, check out our StoryStream for previews and other relevant information ahead of the game.

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Aaron Rodgers Shoulder Injury Won't Keep Green Bay Packers QB Out Of Super Bowl XLV

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers suffered a minor shoulder injury during the NFC Championship Game, but there’s no reason to think he won’t play in Super Bowl XLV. Rodgers took a hit from Chicago Bears safety Danieal Manning while running in a one-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He also took a number of other shots throughout the game, though none that appeared to seriously affect his shoulder.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy isn’t worried about Rodgers, but says the quarterback is sore. McCarthy said every player has wear and tear at this point in the season anyway.

Rodgers missed two games this season with concussions, and has had to adjust his playing style later in the year to avoid unnecessary contact. But as he proved early in the NFC title game, he’s still more than willing to take a hit.

For their part, Packers fans are a good bit more worried than McCarthy is.

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2011 Super Bowl Parking Will Be Expensive For Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers Fans

Interested in going to the 2011 Super Bowl in Dallas, Texas? First, you better set up your airfare and hotel -- very few spots remain. Second, you better pony up over $3,000 for a ticket. And, third, you should get another $990 ready for a parking spot.

Indeed, the cost of the closest parking spot to Cowboys Stadium reaches a whopping $990, according to ParkWhiz.com. There are three entries for parking spots within 0.1 mile of the stadium ranging from $550 to $990. For a $400 difference they better wash my car during the game and rotate my tires.

If you're willing to walk half a mile, the price gets slightly more realistic at $137.50. The best "deal" appears to be spots for $55 about a mile from the stadium.

So if you're headed out to the Super Bowl, get ready for lots and lots of walking -- or just dig deeper in that wallet.

Check out Acme Packing Company and Behind The Steel Curtain for more on the game. 

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2011 Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers Will Play Under Closed Jerry Dome Roof

The 2011 Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Jerry World, as it's called, has a retractable roof on the top of it -- no, not like the one in Minnesota -- and it will be closed for the Super Bowl, the NFL announced.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said (via Dallas Morning News) the decision to leave the roof closed was a decision made well in advance of the 2011 Super Bowl so that they could focus on other logistics.

You can't predict the weather far enough in advance of the time a decision like this has to be made so closing it makes the most sense. The weather in Dallas for the game could be rainy so the closed roof is actually sounding like a good idea.  

So it doesn't look like we'll get to test the NFL's 2015 Super Bowl plan of an outdoor game.

Check out Acme Packing Company and Behind The Steel Curtain for more on the game. 

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Green Bay Packers Super Bowl XLV Jerseys Will Be Green; Pittsburgh Steelers Will Wear White

The NFL rotates the home team and away team for each Super Bowl and this year it was the NFC's turn to be the home team. The Green Bay Packers have their choice of their white or green jerseys and they'll be wearing green.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said that the Packers prefer to wear the green jerseys and they're "excited" they got their choice. The Packers wear their green jerseys at home and they went 7-1 in Lambeau this year so it makes sense to me. Then again those road jerseys have been kind to the Packers in the postseason as they've won three consecutive road games to make it to the 2011 Super Bowl.

The Packers in green jerseys means that the Pittsburgh Steelers will be wearing their white jerseys -- the same ones they wore in their last Super Bowl victory over the Arizona Cardinals. 

The Packers and Steelers won't be getting dirty, either, as the NFL announced the roof at Cowboys Stadium will be closed on Feb. 6 for the game. 

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Getting Super Bowl Logo On Footballs Is A Quick, Handmade Process

I bet you didn't think you'd learn where the Super Bowl balls come from, did you? Well, you will.

The footballs for Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will come from an Ohio plant which started producing the balls shortly after the Super Bowl teams were known. Each ball must have each team name and the Super Bowl XLV logo and the plant will get half of them to the Steelers and Packers by Tuesday.

The footballs at the Wilson factory -- more than 700,000 of them each year -- are completely handmade, with workers cutting the cowhide (pigskins are a thing of the past), stamping the logos and tying the laces.

With the cowhides for the Super Bowl balls cut in advance, a small crew of workers labored through the night after the AFC championship game getting the balls stamped in time for the full staff of 120 to show up at its customary 5 a.m. start time.

I did not realize these were all handmade. For the Super Bowl, that's 216 of them. About half will be delivered to the Packers and Steelers by Tuesday and both teams will be responsible for delivering 54 balls to Super Bowl officials before the game. After the officials inspect the ball, they're considered official.

And that is one quick explanation of where all those Super Bowl balls come from.

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Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Schedule Will Be As Normal As Possible

The Green Bay Packers Super Bowl schedule created by head coach Mike McCarthy isn't something that they came up with overnight. McCarthy actually started the schedule back in 2007 when the Packers were in the conference championship game. They didn't win that but McCarthy's Super Bowl scheduled stayed filed away.

With the Packers beating the Chicago Bears on Sunday and earning a Super Bowl berth, it's now useful again. McCarthy says, as most coaches do, the goal is to keep it as normal as possible.

The week's work will begin Wednesday with film and meetings and then will include three days of practice on Friday, Saturday and Sunday before the team charter departs for Dallas on Monday.

"When we get on the plane Monday, we'll be ready to play the game," McCarthy said. "This will be a normal week for us."    

They're required to be at the Super Bowl site by 5:00 p.m. Monday. From there, it's media day on Tuesday and all sorts of other events throughout the week -- all while practicing for the game. McCarthy says it'll be normal, but everyone knows that won't be the case. 

Check out Acme Packing Company to read more about the Packers. 

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2011 Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers Can Choose Between Green And White Jerseys

As the Super Bowl XLV home team, the NFC champion Green Bay Packers get to choose whether to wear their traditional home green jerseys or their road whites. If they go with green, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be in white tops, which would at least blunt (…) some of the momentum Wiz Khalifa’s “Black & Yellow” has built up for Pittsburgh’s two primary colors.

Green Bay could choose to stick with white, as they’re one of the first NFC teams to make a Super Bowl by winning three straight road games in the postseason. The white jerseys have served them well in wins over Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Chicago, while they went 7-1 in their home greens. That only loss came in overtime, too.

The Packers wore white in Super Bowl II and Super Bowl XXXII, and green in I and XXXI, so there’s no particular championship game tradition to uphold here.

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2011 Super Bowl: Maurkice Pouncey Injury Won't Keep Center Out, Says Center

Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey suffered an ankle injury — a high ankle sprain, to be exact — early in the AFC Championship Game, but says it won’t keep him out of Super Bowl XLV. A defender, Jets LB Bryan Thomas, rolled up on the back of Pouncey’s ankle as the center’s attentions were engaged elsewhere. Pouncey:

I know in my heart that I’m playing in that game. I had the same injury before on my other ankle and I know how to attack it. I know how to approach things.

Pouncey, a rookie, was named to the AP NFL All-Pro second team and the Pro Bowl. Backup Doug Legursky filled in ably, but the loss of Pouncey seemed most apparent on a bobbled snap late in the game that resulted in a safety and continued the New York Jets second-half rally.

The injury will likely force him to miss practice time. He started all 16 games this season, and his only struggles came early in the year when Pittsburgh had to file through quarterbacks rapidly in Ben Roethlisberger’s absence.

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2011 Super Bowl Ticket Prices Averaging Over $3,600

Tickets for the 2011 Super Bowl are expensive. Very expensive. CNBC's Darren Rovell reports that the average price on StubHub for a ticket to the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers is averaging $3,678.

This game features two of the most storied teams in NFL history so everything from ticket prices to TV ratings will likely be super-sized. Both Pittsburgh and Green Bay have two of the best traveling fan bases so there will be plenty of ticket competition in Dallas.

Rovell also passes along a note that one man paid $73,000 for a 15-seat catered suite. If you break it down, that's just under $5,000 per seat.

If you think that's expensive, then check out this Craigslist posting

The full suite is for sale, not selling individual tickets. $254,000 is the total with tax and everything. No hidden additional fees. E-mail with your credentials (who you are and who you're buying for, if other than yourself, for a company, etc) and I'll respond with more information.     

Hmm...do I want a house or do I want to see Super Bowl XLV? The poster asks for "serious inquiries only", which means he can expect a few hundred emails from folks who have no interest (or ability) to buy those tickets.

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2011 Super Bowl: Christina Aguilera To Sing National Anthem Before Game

Before the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers battle in Dallas for Super Bowl XLV, Christina Aguilera will take to the field to sing the National Anthem. The five-time Grammy winner has been practicing for this moment for awhile:

“I have been performing the Anthem since I was seven years old and I must say the Super Bowl is a dream come true,” Aguilera said. “I am really excited to be part of such an iconic event.”

Aguilera’s pregame performance joins the line-up of Black Eyed Peas, who will show off their marginal talents during the Super Bowl XLV halftime show. Remember: There are strict rules about who the NFL can invite to perform during Super Bowls now. You must be either a formerly relevant, once iconic band from the 60s/70s, or be a wildly popular, yet untalented current top 40 act.

It should be interesting to see where Vegas sets the over/under on Aguilera’s version of the Anthem. It’ll probably be somewhere right at two minutes.

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Super Bowl History: Pittsburgh Steelers Look For Seventh Ring In XLV

The Pittsburgh Steelers already hold the NFL record for Super Bowl titles with six in seven tries. On Feb. 6, they'll try to make it seven as they take on the Green Bay Packers in Dallas. A dominant run in the 1970s gave the Steelers a jump on the NFL before Pittsburgh suffered through a long Super Bowl drought. In the 2000s, the Steelers saw a resurgence, winning another two titles to retake the record from the Dallas Cowboys.

Here's a look at the Steelers' Super Bowl history.

Super Bowl IX: Steelers 16, Vikings 6. Super Bowl IX pitted two dominant defenses against each other, but it was Pittsburgh's Steel Curtain winning out. Using its trademark defense, Pittsburgh forced the first safety in Super Bowl history, had three interceptions and didn't allow an offensive touchdown. That was enough for the win, with the Vikings only touchdown coming by way of a blocked punt.

Super Bowl X: Steelers 21, Cowboys 17: The Steelers made it back-to-back Super Bowl wins in thrilling fashion. Lynn Swann became the first wide receiver to win the Super Bowl MVP, securing the award with four catches for 161 yards and a touchdown. The Pittsburgh defense sealed the win with an interception in the end zone as the clock hit zero.

Super Bowl XIII: Steelers 35, Cowboys 31: In the Steelers' third Super Bowl appearance during the 1970s, they met the Dallas Cowboys again, squeaking out another close win. The Cowboys went down in history with their Super Bowl loss and still remain the only team to lose a Super Bowl despite scoring more than 30 points.

Super Bowl XIV: Steelers 31, Los Angeles Rams 19: Back-to-back titles again? This should tell you how the 70s went for the Steelers. Terry Bradshaw won his second-straight MVP award for the Steelers, passing for 309 yards and two touchdowns. Two touchdowns in the fourth quarter put the Rams away, sealing the Steelers' fourth title in six years.

Super Bowl XXX: Cowboys 27, Steelers 17: The Cowboys finally got their revenge in 1996, 20 years after these two teams met for the first time in a Super Bowl. Larry Brown intercepted Pittsburgh quarterback Neil O'Donnell twice, taking home the MVP honors for his work. It was, and still is, Pittsburgh's only Super Bowl loss.

Super Bowl XL: Steelers 21, Seahawks 10: The Steelers made it "one for the thumb" in Super Bowl XL, dropping the Seahawks in Detroit. Hines Ward took home Super Bowl MVP honors after catching five passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. The Steelers became the first six-seed to win a Super Bowl, as well.

Super Bowl XLIII: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23: Santonio Holmes came through in the clutch for the Steelers, catching four passes for 71 yards during Pittsburgh's game-winning drive, including a toe-tapping touchdown grab for the go-ahead score. The win gave the Steelers six Super Bowl titles, pushing them ahead of the Dallas Cowboys on the all-time list.

Super Bowl XLV: Coming up on Feb 6, the Steelers and Green Bay Packers meet in Dallas. Can the Steelers make it seven wins in eight tries?

Stay tuned to our Super Bowl StoryStream as we breakdown the matchup and other relevant information ahead of the game. For more on the two teams, check out SB Nation's Acme Packing Company and Behind The Steel Curtain.

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2011 Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers Thrive On The Road During NFL Playoffs

The Green Bay Packers hit the road three times in the 2011 NFL Playoffs, taking care of business each and every time. As the No. 6 seed in the NFC, the Packers never had the benefit of playing on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Instead, they walked into hostile environments three-straight weeks and shined. Their reward for the hard work is another road trip, this time to Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.

In the first round, it was up to the Green Bay defense to contain the Philadelphia Eagles' explosive offense. Faced with the task of stopping Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and the rest of the speedy Eagles, Green Bay rose to the occasion, holding the Eagles to just 16 points. With the Packers' offense giving the defense a cushion, Green Bay took control, hanging on down the stretch in a 21-16 win.

On the surface, the divisional round didn't appear to be easier as the Packers traveled to Atlanta to face the Falcons. You wouldn't know it watching the game, however, as Aaron Rodgers carved up the Atlanta defense for 366 yards and three touchdowns, playing a near-perfect game. By the time the carnage was over, Green Bay was a 48-21 winner, securing its second road victory in a row.

In the NFC Championship, the Packers faced a familiar foe in NFC North rival Chicago. In frigid weather, the Green Bay defense came up big, holding the Bears scoreless through three quarters. Down 14-0, third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie came out of nowhere for the Bears, nearly pulling off an improbable comeback. A few timely plays, including two fourth quarter interception, sealed the game a trip to the Super Bowl for the Packers.

Though the Packers hit the road one more time on Feb. 6, we're sure they'll happily take the plane ride to Dallas for the Super Bowl. As a six-seed, Green Bay took the road less traveled, but did it in style while cruising through the NFC.

Green Bay looks to make it a clean road sweep in the playoffs on Feb. 6 as they take on the Steelers in the Super Bowl. For the latest on the matchup, check out our Super Bowl StoryStream.

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2011 Super Bowl Date, TV Schedule And Announcers For Steelers Vs. Packers

The 2011 Super Bowl is set with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Steelers beat the New York Jets in the AFC Championship game to get here while the Packers took down the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship game.

The game will take place on February 6th at 6:30 p.m. (ET). It will be televised on FOX and the announcers will be Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. The location is Dallas, Texas at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. This will be the first Super Bowl in the Cowboys new stadium.

Green Bay ended the season at 10-6 and second in the NFC North which earned them the sixth seed in the NFC. They've won five consecutive games including three straight road playoff games. Pittsburgh ended the season at 12-4 and in first place in the AFC North which gave them the second seed in the AFC and a first round bye. The Steelers have won four consecutive games.

Early 2011 Super Bowl odds have the Packers as a 2.5 point favorite over the Steelers. 

Check out SB Nation's Behind The Steel Curtain and Acme Packing Company for more on the game. 

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Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Is Rarity

The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers are two of the NFL's most storied franchises. A matchup between the two, however, is a rarity. Due to the way the NFL puts together the schedule each year, the two rarely share the field, with long gaps between games. The matchup provides intrigue in Super Bowl 45 and gives fans a chance to see these two battle in the NFL's biggest game for the first time.

Here's a look at how the meetings between the Steelers and Packers over the last 50 years.

2009: Steelers (H) 37, Packers 36
2005: Steelers 20, Packers (H) 10
1998: Steelers (H) 27, Packers 20
1995: Packers (H) 24, Steelers 19
1992: Packers (H) 17, Steelers 3
1986: Steelers (H) 27, Packers 3
1983: Steelers 25, Packers (H) 21
1980: Steelers (H) 22, Packers 20
1975: Steelers (H) 16, Packers 13
1970: Packers 20, Steelers (H) 12
1969: Packers 38, Steelers (H) 34
1967: Steelers (H) 24, Packers 17
1965: Packers 41, Steelers (H) 9
1963: Packers (H) 33, Steelers 14
1960: Packers 19, Steelers (H) 13

The two have met 15 times over the last 50 years, nearly splitting the series. The Steelers hold an 8-7 advantage over the period.

Does it mean anything at all when it comes to the Super Bowl matchup? Probably not. Still, it's interesting to look at where these two franchises have come from and how they did head-to-head over the course of history.

The Packers and Steelers will meet in the Super Bowl for the first time on Feb. 6 in Dallas. Stay tuned to our Super Bowl StoryStream as we breakdown the matchup and other relevant information ahead of the game. For more on the two teams, check out SB Nation's Acme Packing Company and Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Maurkice Pouncey Injury Will Not Keep Him Out Of Super Bowl Against Packers

The Pittsburgh Steelers scored on their first drive in the AFC Championship game against the New York Jets but it came at a price. Center Maurkice Pouncey went down with what appeared to be a severe ankle injury and was carted off the field. 

It was called a high-ankle sprain which could keep someone out for anywhere from a few days to a two months. The good news is that Pouncey told reporters following the game he plans to play in Super Bowl XLV against the Green Bay Packers in two weeks.

"Most definitely," Pouncey said when asked whether he would be playing against the Packers in two weeks in Dallas. "I had this same injury before on my other ankle and I know how to attack it. I know how to approach things. I know in my heart I'm playing in that game."

Pouncey said he had a similar injury while at Florida and came back to play in the next game. The Steelers will have an extra week to prepare for the Super Bowl so the odds of him playing look good. 

Pouncey said he heard a pop when he went to the ground and it was "the worst pain ever" but apparently not enough to keep him out of Super Bowl XLV. Check out Behind The Steel Curtain for more on the Super Bowl.

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2011 Super Bowl Odds: Green Bay Packers Became Vegas Darlings In NFL Playoffs

It took a while, but the Green Bay Packers became a gamblers' favorite during the 2011 NFL playoffs. After playing the underdog role to perfection in the wildcard round against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Packers saw a shift in the odds as money began to move towards them more in each round. It ended with Green Bay being favored on the road in Chicago and continued in the early Super Bowl odds, where the Packers are favored by nearly a field goal.

Here's a look at the odds for Green Bay's playoff games.

Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) vs. Green Bay Packers: The Pack opened as the underdog, but opened some eyes while shutting down the Philadelphia offense and hanging on down the stretch in a 21-16 win.

Altanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers (even): This line was either even or as close to even as you can get. Atlanta opened as a 2.5-point favorite, but money came in hard on Green Bay, shifting the line all the way down to right about even before game time.

Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers (-2.5): The love affair was complete. Despite playing on the road against the Chicago Bears, the second-seed in the NFC, Green Bay was favored. A convincing road win against the Falcons opened eyes as Vegas, and gamblers, took notice. Again they covered, winning the NFC Championship by a touchdown.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers (-2.5): It's the same story in the Super Bowl. Green Bay is favored by the same amount as the NFC Championship, with Vegas likely expecting early money to come in on the Green Bay side. The line could, of course, change as late action comes in on the Steelers should the line shift even more toward the Packers. If the earlier rounds are any indication, gamblers will continue their love-affair with Green Bay right up until the Super Bowl on Feb. 6.

For the latest odds and ends leading up to the big game, stay tuned to our Super Bowl StoryStream.

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Packers-Steelers Line: 2011 Super Bowl Expected To Be Close

The odds for the 2011 Super Bowl are already rolling in as sports books began posting soon after the Pittsburgh Steelers polished off the New York Jets to book a trip to Dallas. The Steelers will meet the Green Bay Packers, winners of the NFC Championship, in Super Bowl 45 on Feb. 6 in the NFL's penultimate event. As expected, the line is close, with the over/under set low, as well.

The Las Vegas Hilton was first to post, installing the Packers as a two-point favorite. ESPN's Chad Millman tweeted the line almost immediately after the AFC Championship. Shortly thereafter, the online books posted, favoring the Packers by 2.5.

The over/under for the game -- the other key piece of information in the betting world -- is set at 45.5. If the game plays out according to the odds, you should expect to see each team in the 20s and a game that goes down to the wire.

With two weeks to go until the Super Bowl, expect the lines to slide around as action comes in. We'll keep you posted as more lines become available, including the prop bets, everyone's favorite meaningless gambling exercises.

For the latest Super Bowl news, stay tuned to our StoryStream all the way up to, and throughout, the game. To connect with Packers and Steelers fans, check out Acme Packing Company and Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Super Bowl XLV, Packers Vs. Steelers: Two Historic NFL Franchises Will Share Dallas Stage

It's official: the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will meet with a Super Bowl on the line.

The Packers and Steelers each won their respective conference's championship game on Sunday to claim a Super Bowl berth.

Both survived rather than stomping. The Packers led the Bears 14-0 in the first half, then held on as third-stringer Caleb Hanie staged an improbable rally late, winning 21-14. The Steelers built a 24-0 lead in the first half, then hung on as injuries and miscues helped the Jets shrink that lead to its final margin, 24-19.

This sets up one of the better Super Bowl matchups in recent memory. Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger give Super Bowl XLV two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and each has a full complement of offensive talent capable of putting points on the point.

But both defenses are very good, and, better yet for the average fan, aggressive. Dick LeBeau and Dom Capers' affinities for blitzing should produce fireworks both on defense and offense.

Moreover, there's a lot of history on the line. The Steelers will be aiming for an NFL-record seventh Super Bowl win, while the Packers can move into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time Super Bowl list with their fourth win.

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Super Bowl 45: Packers Look To Boost 3-1 Record In Big Game

In Super Bowl 45, the Packers will have a chance to add to a stellar Super Bowl resume.

Green Bay, perhaps the NFL's most historic team, got a head start on Super Bowl history by claiming the first two Super Bowls. That start has helped them one of the best teams in Super Bowl history: the Packers are 3-1 all-time in Super Bowls, having been led to the promised land in consecutive years by both Bart Starr and Brett Favre.

Let's check out the Packers' Super Bowl history in advance of Super Bowl XLV:

Super Bowl I: Packers 35, Chiefs 10. The Packers laid a licking on the Chiefs in the first Super Bowl, scoring 21 unanswered second half points to win the first championship game between AFL and NFL champions. Max McGee scored the first touchdown in Super Bowl history, and Bart Starr was named Super Bowl MVP.

Super Bowl II: Packers 33, Raiders 14. The Packers began with a 13-0 run, then poured on 20 straight points after the Raiders' first touchdown. Bart Starr is named MVP again, and the Packers win their second straight Super Bowl without ever trailing.

Super Bowl XXXI: Packers 35, Patriots 21. Brett Favre throws for two touchdowns in his first and only Super Bowl win, but it's Desmond Howard who is named MVP after a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that put the game away. Reggie White has three sacks in the game.

Super Bowl XXXII: Broncos 31, Packers 24. The Packers' only Super Bowl loss comes at the hands of John Elway and Terrell Davis. Green Bay has no answer for the Broncos' running back, who racks up 157 yards and a Super Bowl-record three rushing touchdowns en route to being named MVP, but it's Elway whose helicopter-like rotation on a late scramble becomes the iconic image in his first Super Bowl victory.

 

Super Bowl XLV: Packers vs. Steelers/Jets. Well, we'll just see, won't we?

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2011 Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers Become NFC's First Sixth Seed To Play For NFL Title

The Green Bay Packers are headed to the 2011 Super Bowl.

After a 21-14 victory over the Bears in the NFC Championship Game, the Packers will play for the NFL title for the first time since 1998.

The Packers became the first sixth seed from the NFC to reach the Super Bowl by winning on the road in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Chicago this postseason.

The Packers are 3-1 in Super Bowls, having won Super Bowl I and II and then returning to the NFL's championship game in 1997 for a win over the New England Patriots. They lost to the Denver Broncos in 1998, allowing John Elway to win his first Super Bowl.

This will be the first Super Bowl appearance for much of Green Bay's roster, notably Donald Driver and Charles Woodson.

Green Bay's also got some recent history against the tenants of Cowboys Stadium, the site for Super Bowl XLV. The Packers handed the Cowboys a 45-7 defeat this season that was followed by the firing of Cowboys coach Wade Phillips.

Expect much of the storytelling about the Packers this week to discuss how Aaron Rodgers has played in this postseason: Rodgers has been superb for Green Bay of late, and will have a chance to match Brett Favre's single Super Bowl win as a Packers quarterback.

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2011 Super Bowl: NFL's Big Game Heads To Cowboys Stadium, Football's Biggest Stage

The 2011 Super Bowl will take place on the NFL's biggest stage.

Super Bowl XLV will kick off at 6:25 p.m. Eastern (5:25 p.m. Central) two Sundays from now, on February 7, from Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. It will match the AFC champions and NFC champions for the Lombardi Trophy for the 45th time, and it might be the biggest Super Bowl in the history of the NFL's biggest game.

That's because, thanks to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, this Super Bowl will aspire to prove that everything really is bigger in Texas. Jones has spun this Super Bowl as a reason the $1.2 billion investment into Cowboys Stadium will have been worth it, and Jones wants this to be the best-attended Super Bowl in NFL history.

That's more possible because of an NFL ruling that tickets sold outside Cowboys Stadium will count toward the game's official attendance.

The Cowboys began making the outside tickets available Tuesday to club-seat season-ticket holders. The fans can buy tickets to a party plaza area at the east end of Cowboys Stadium, outside the building.

The tickets will cost $200 a piece and each season ticket holder will be allowed to purchase up to four tickets, the team said.

The party plaza tickets, however, do not allow holders into the actual stadium.

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