ARLINGTON TX - FEBRUARY 04: A couple walks down a snow covered street ahead of Super Bowl XLV at on February 4 2011 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Super Bowl XLV Week, Steelers Vs. Packers: News And Notes Leading Up To The Big Game

Stay here for news on the Steelers and Packers leading up to the 2011 Super Bowl.

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Green Bay Packers Injury Report: Donald Driver, Chad Clifton Probable For Super Bowl 2011

The Green Bay Packers injury report for Super Bowl XLV looks much better than the Pittsburgh Steelers' does, listing five players as either probable or questionable and nobody as out, but the Pack has dealt with more than its share of injuries this year. With 16 players on injured reserve, Green Bay will welcome all the healthy players it can.

WR Donald Driver is the biggest name on the injury report, listed as probable after a week of limited practice due to a quadriceps injury that hampered him throughout the regular season. OT Chad Clifton and OL Jason Spitz are also probable, but both were able to fully practice on Friday.

LB Frank Zombo fully practiced all week despite a knee injury, making LB Erik Walden the only question mark. He was limited all week with an ankle injury.

For more on the Packers, visit Acme Packing CompanyCheck out the rest of the StoryStream for pregame updates. Check out our Super Bowl XLV section for features, coverage from Texas, and more.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Injury Report: Maurkice Pouncey, Aaron Smith To Miss Super Bowl Kickoff

Maurkice Pouncey and Aaron Smith will be on the sidelines for Super Bowl XLV, per the Pittsburgh Steelers injury report. Both were ruled out late in the week after attempting to fully participate in practice.

Pro Bowl center Pouncey suffered a high ankle sprain injury early in the AFC Championship Game against the New York Jets. He was replaced by Doug Legursky, which worked fine for the most part but did perhaps contribute to a bobbled snap that wound up giving the Jets a critical safety. This isn't a surprise for the Steelers, who've been saying for days now that they expect to go without Pouncey, no matter how hard he insisted on trying to play.

DE Smith was limited in practice throughout the week, but his triceps injury will prevent him from suiting up. He hasn't been 100 percent since 2008, playing in only 11 games in the past two seasons, and has only made 13 tackles in that time. 

For more on the Steelers, visit Behind The Steel Curtain and SB Nation PittsburghCheck out the rest of the StoryStream for pregame updates. Check out our Super Bowl XLV section for features, coverage from Texas, and more.

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2011 Super Bowl Schedule: Kickoff Time, TV Information, Ads And More For Steelers Vs. Packers

More: Super Bowl 2012 coverage.

Hey, have you heard about this Super Bowl XLV thing? It happens today. And because we know you're curious about the TV information and other facts for today's Steelers-Packers showdown in the 2011 Super Bowl — including things like Super Bowl ads and the Super Bowl kickoff time — we compiled it for you. (And yes, we remembered to talk about the Super Bowl halftime show and the Puppy Bowl.)

Kickoff time: 6:29 p.m. Eastern, though you can probably turn on any TV in America right now and find some pregame coverage.

Line: Right now, the Packers are favored by three points.

TV broadcast: FOX. It's the network's sixth Super Bowl broadcast.

Ads: Volkswagen and Kia are among the game's many advertisers. Follow along with the ads and see them all again in our Super Bowl commercials StoryStream.

Broadcasters: Joe Buck will do play-by-play, and Troy Aikman will do color commentary.

Location: Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Jerry Jones' new cathedral of football will attempt to break records for attendance at a football game, and you will gawk at the absolutely gorgeous HD screen above the field.

Teams: The Pittsburgh Steelers, AFC champions, will play in their eighth Super Bowl, while the NFC champion Green Bay Packers play in their fifth.

Injury report: Pittsburgh will miss Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey, while the Packers' injuries were mostly early season-enders.

Halftime show: The Black Eyed Peas will perform, and Usher and Slash are rumored guests. Or you could watch the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet!

National anthem: Christina Aguilera will belt it out.

Notable names: Take a deep breath: Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson, Mike Tomlin, Hines Ward, Donald Driver, Mike Wallace ... do you want more?

For further reading: Check out the rest of the StoryStream for pregame updates. Check out our Super Bowl XLV section for features, coverage from Texas, and more.

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Maurkice Pouncey Injury: Steelers Center Ruled Out Of Super Bowl XLV, Mike Tomlin Says

It's official. Pittsburgh Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey isn't playing in the 2011 Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers. Mike Tomlin broke the news to ESPN's Suzy Kolber on Friday.

The latest news on Pouncey was that he would try to test his injured ankle at Friday's practice. He said if he could practice by that point, he would have a chance of playing. In fact, he put the odds of him playing at 75 percent earlier this week.

Tomlin confirmed he did not practice on Friday and has now been ruled out.

Pouncey originally injured the ankle in the AFC Championship game against the New York Jets. It's been called a high ankle sprain which can keep players out several weeks but because he plays along the offensive line, and not a skill position, the Steelers were holding out hope he could play.

This means that Doug Legursky will be taking Pouncey's place. However you look at it, this is a blow for the Steelers. Pouncey was one of the best rookies in the NFL this year and his absence has the potential to be a dangerous situation for Pittsburgh.

Check out Behind The Steel Curtain for more on Pouncey's injury.


Green Bay Packers Injury Report: Donald Driver Quad Injury Limits Receiver's Practice

The Green Bay Packers pre-Super Bowl XLV injury report for Thursday is the same as Wednesday'sthe team announced, except for the addition of WR Donald Driver. Driver was limited in practice Thursday with a quad injury, which he struggled with at times during the season.

Driver missed week 9 due to the injury, but played strong after returning despite missing practices.

The Packers don't have any players who aren't expected to play, other than the basketball game's worth of players they have on injured reserve. If the rest of the report is indeed the same as yesterday's, that means even Frank Zombo and Erik Walden were able to practice somewhat.

For reference, here's yesterday's injury report with Driver added as Probable:

Probable: A.J. Hawk (knee), Desmond Bishop (ankle), Jason Spitz (calf), Chad Clifton (neck), Greg Jennings (knee),  Donald Driver (quad)

Questionable: Frank Zombo (knee), Erik Walden (ankle),

For more on the Packers, visit Acme Packing Company.


Super Bowl Injury Update: Maurkice Pouncey's Ankle Boot Removed

Heading into Super Bowl XLV, the Pittsburgh Steelers injury report should be released later tonight, but. Center Maurkice Pouncey, who was injured during the team’s AFC Championship Game against the New York Jets, has had his boot removed. His high ankle sprain hasn’t completely healed yet, but this is a … step … in the right direction, and should take a little Super Bowl media pressure off of the rookie.

Pouncey has been struggling with the injury for the past two weeks, though he still hopes to be able to play in the Super Bowl.

He didn’t practice Wednesday and won’t be able to practice today, but has set himself the goal of practicing Friday. He’s already been ruled out of the Super Bowl by a teammate, though he sounds like he’s going to keep fighting until it becomes official.

For more on the Steelers and their Super Bowl run, visit Behind The Steel Curtain and SB Nation Pittsburgh.


Super Bowl XLV: Pittsburgh Steelers LB James Harrison Continues To Be A Quote Machine

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison hasn’t been shy during Super Bowl week when it comes to discussing the NFL’s fines leveled against him this season. On Media Day, he said the league doesn’t care about protecting the defense; it just cares about making money. And in a video on NFL Network he showed he’s still slightly bitter about Roger Goodell taking $100,000 out of his pocket.

In an interview with USA Today on Thursday, Harrison continued to talk about Goodell and the league:

On the commissioner: “Roger Goodell, I don’t know if he even played peewee football.”

On NFL decision-makers: “You’ve got a bunch of people in the front office of the league who are running things, making up these rules, and they haven’t played a down of NFL football. Our players are 10 times faster than they were years ago.”

We should all hope that having played football in the NFL never becomes a requirement for being named commissioner of the league.


Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre Questions Amplified By Super Bowl XLV Media

Whether you’ve thought about it or not, Super Bowl XLV is the official national culmination of talk about whether Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is doing good enough of a job at replacing Brett Favre. He might be the best player in the NFL, while Favre’s demolished body limped into retirement, so I don’t really know what we’re discussing or what Favre has to do with this Super Bowl, but it’s out there.

Deion Sanders kicked off Media Day by asking Rodgers about Favre, and on Wednesday Packers president Mark Murphy was quoted expressing relief about Rodgers being so good so quickly.

Murphy also credits the decision to go with Rodgers over Favre as being a crucible that helped make something of a young front office.

I’m proud looking back of how the organization handled it. Also as I look back one of the benefits was early on in my tenure it forced Ted, myself and Mike to really come together on an issue. And I think it’s been really positive in terms of the relationship and how we all worked together.

But while Rodgers can escape Favre’s weirdly lengthy shadow, the Packers will never be free of the Gunslinger. The team has also announced it wants to carve out a role for Favre in the organization at some point.


Steelers Vs. Packers: Maurkice Pouncey Still Hopes To Play In 2011 Super Bowl

Reports this week have indicated Pittsburgh Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey will not play in the 2011 Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers because of an ankle injury. Apparently someone forgot to tell Pouncey. He tells Albert Breer of NFL Network that he still has hopes of playing in the game.

"If I'm not on the field Friday, most likely I'm not playing," Pouncey said, adding that it's his thought, not something he has been told by the Steelers' coaching staff. "I'm not going to put the team in a bad position."    

So the answer to the Pouncey question could be answered by Friday. If he doesn't practice, he won't be playing. If he does practice, the door is open. Pouncey has gotten rid of the walking boot he was in so there is some tangible signs of progress.

If Pouncey can't go, it'll be Doug Legursky filling in. The second year undrafted offensive lineman will have a major test against Packers NT B.J. Raji. 

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


2011 Super Bowl: Dallas Weather Forces Green Bay Packers To Practice Indoors

With snow and ice pelting the Dallas region, the Green Bay Packers will take their Super Bowl XLV preparations indoors, practicing at a local high school ahead of Sunday's big game. With bitter wind and frigid temperatures hitting the region, the Packers decided to play it safe, figuring an indoor practice would be more productive.

The interesting part of it all comes from ESPN's Chris Mortenson, who reported Green Bay decided to practice indoors at a local high school instead outside in the elements at nearby Southern Methodist University. Green Bay linebacker A.J. Hawk had high praise for Texas football after hearing about the facilities from former Ohio State teammate Anthony Schlegel.

"I'm from Ohio and high school football is pretty big, at least we think it is," Hawk said. "[Schlegel] has told me about [the indoor facility]. Texas football is amazing. Everything in Texas is great."

It is Texas, after all, where high school football is serious business and the facilities rival those of NFL teams. Highland Park boasts a $4.47 million indoor practice facility complete with amenities that would make many college programs jealous.

The Packers and Steelers hit the field on Sunday at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. For the latest on the game, stay tuned to our Super Bowl StoryStream.


Green Bay Packers Injury Report: Erik Walden Testing Ankle; Frank Zombo Says He'll Be Healthy For Super Bowl

In the days leading up to Super Bowl XLV, the Green Bay Packers' primary target of concern is the left outside linebacker position. Starter Erik Walden is out with an ankle injury, and the most likely candidate to replace him, Frank Zombo, has been nursing a knee injury.

Hopeful news has emerged for the Pack on Wednesday morning. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Walden will attempt to practice, injured ankle and all:

"I'm going to give it a go tomorrow," Walden said Tuesday at media day. "There's some soreness and stiffness, but I've played in college and the NFL hurt. Once the adrenaline and excitement kicks in under the lights, I won't think about all that."

Walden has been undergoing all type of treatment around the clock. He also has been able to maintain a measure of cardiovascular fitness by working out in a pool.

And if Walden doesn't start, Zombo sounds confident that he will be able to. Once again, from the Journal-Sentinel:

"I practiced all last week," he said. "Felt really good. Felt real confident. I didn't have any pain or anything like that, so I'm looking forward to the game."

Here is the Green Bay Packers' full injury report:

Probable: A.J. Hawk (knee), Desmond Bishop (ankle), Jason Spitz (calf), Chad Clifton (neck), Greg Jennings (knee)

Questionable: Frank Zombo (knee), Erik Walden (ankle)

For more, check out SB Nation's Green Bay Packers blog, Acme Packing Company.


Pittsburgh Steelers Injury Report: Maurkice Pouncey Reportedly Out For Super Bowl

Losing center Maurkice Pouncey would be a significant blow for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have suffered multiple offensive-line injuries. Pouncey is still officially listed on the injury report as "questionable," but according to an independent report, he will not appear in Super Bowl XLV, and neither will defensive end Aaron Smith. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Shortly after the team arrived at its hotel, sources confirmed to the Post-Gazette that Pouncey and Smith will not play in the game. Doug Legurksy will start at center.

"I don't think it's going to affect us at all, personally," right tackle Flozell Adams said about Pouncey. "We have a lot of guys on this team, not just the offensive line, who come in and step up. I have no shadow of a doubt that Doug will do just as good a job, if not better, than Pouncey. I mean that."

Pouncey, for his part, is still holding out hope that he'll be able to start at center. Technically, a "questionable" status is supposed to indicate that a player has a 50-50 chance of playing. Here is the Steelers' injury report as it currently stands.

Probable: Emmanuel Sanders (foot), Bryant McFadden (abdomen), Jonathan Scott (ribs), Troy Polamalu (achilles)

Questionable: Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), Aaron Smith (triceps)

For more, be sure to check out SB Nation's Steelers blog, Behind The Steel Curtain.


2011 Super Bowl: From Clay Matthews To Troy Polamalu, Hair Is The Word

It's the 2011 Super Bowl between two of the most storied franchises in NFL history with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. It's two of the best defenses in the league as well as two of the best quarterbacks in the league.

So what's the topic of conversation at Tuesday's Media Day?


Yep. Hair. It all got started with the Steelers' Brett Keisel. He's been in the news this week because of the ridiculous beard he's growing. Asked if he enhances his beard at all, Keisel said, "I'm all natural." Other money quotes from Keisel on his beard: "It's not that itchy. I wash and condition." And: "I rinse. I'm a rinser." Here's a shot of that beard:


His coach, Mike Tomlin, didn't say whether he was impressed with the beard -- but he was asked about his own beard. He said it took about three weeks to grow his current one and moved on from hair-related questions.

And then there's Troy Polamalu, who signed a deal with Head & Shoulders. His locks have been popular for some time and that's probably why he drew crazy-guy-in-fur-hat at his media session on Tuesday.


Yes, they were talking about his hair for the most awkward 90 seconds you can imagine. What saved us from the awkwardness was Chad Ochocinco -- acting as a reporter -- stepping in with a microphone.  Only at the Super Bowl does Chad Ochocinco and Ines Sainz interrupt crazy-guy-in-fur-hat.

Packers LB Clay Matthews was also asked about -- what else -- his hair. Matthews signed a deal with Suave For Men and noted that he had to do it because Polamalu was dominating the hair market. 


The Packers' Daryn Colledge joked that he was watching Troy Polamalu's Head & Shoulders commercials to help make his beard look a little better. In fact, this man dressed as, um, Batman awarded Colledge the best hair award. 


And that's your update on all hair-related topics at the 2011 Super Bowl.


2011 Super Bowl: Ben Roethlisberger Faces Media Day, Calls Himself A 'Nice Guy'

The 2011 Super Bowl is less than a week away and the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing by....being grilled by reporters at Media Day. The event is taking place at Cowboys Stadium and includes the majority of the players and assistant coaches, as well as head coaches.

The biggest crowd of the day goes to Ben Roethlisbeger. The Steelers QB talked for an hour and covered a lot of topics. Obviously the national media wants to write the redemption story after he was suspended the first four games of the season. However, Roethlisberger's way of handling that has been to say he's not in a reflective mood yet and moves onto the next question.

Here are a few other topics he hit:

-Roethlisberger says game day is going to be extra special because this game includes two of the best fan bases in the NFL. The Packers are actually the second best traveling fan base (behind the Jets) while the Steelers are 11th. Roethlisberger says his transition from "Roethlisberger the jerk" to "Roethlisberger the nice guy" is going smoothly as he received an award issued to him by the Pittsburgh media. "That award really meant a lot to me," he said after admitting he wasn't always a nice guy to the media.

-He mentioned Packers LB Clay Matthews when asked about his biggest concerns. The Packers LB has been the best pass rusher this season and can do some damage. Stopping Clay Matthews was the theme of what the Steelers had to say.

-He says he isn't sure where he gets the ability to feel pressure and escape the pocket. "I'm not pretty when I play," he says. "I'll be the first to admit that." He says he'll never win a passing title or an MVP (though some might disagree with that) but he only worries about the stats that matter and that's your win/loss record. 

-Does it bother him that he didn't have to beat the Patriots to get here? "Heck no."


Green Bay Packers Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Who Wants Charles Woodson Now?

On Tuesday morning I was speaking with our Green Bay Packers blogger from Acme Packing Company and asked: How is Charles Woodson still good? It's a good question because positions like cornerback are predicated on speed and things like speed usually don't get better with age.

We asked Woodson that same question during the Super Bowl 2011 Media Day and he said Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers has done a good job of allowing him to play multiple positions that utilize his strengths. He said that's been the case the last two years and the results -- 2009 AP Defensive Player of the Year -- speak for themselves.

Woodson, 34, says he's excited about Sunday's game because it could be a defensive battle. He suggested one of the keys to the game will be the play of both defenses. After the quarterbacks, the defenses are the most talked about aspect of each team down here in Dallas. 

Woodson also talked about one other amusing story -- nobody wanted him before he came to Green Bay. Woodson left the Oakland Raiders after the 2005 season and says he talked with several teams to see if anyone wanted his services and no one was that interested. He said he took a visit to Tampa Bay so they "at least returned my phone call" and he called Jacksonville and Atlanta, among other teams, to see if they'd like to talk. Apparently they didn't.

Green Bay did return his call in April 2006 and you can ask Packers fans if it's worked out. 


2011 Super Bowl Schedule Feels Like Bowl Week, Packers' A.J. Hawk Says

Green Bay Packers LB A.J. Hawk should be used to Super Bowl. Though he's never been in a Super Bowl, he has been through a BCS Bowl game schedule with Ohio State. 

Hawk made an appearance at the 2011 Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday and suggested the two were similar so the craziness of Super Bowl week isn't totally unexpected for him.

Hawk played at Ohio State when they appeared in the Fiesta Bowl and happened to be dating Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn's sister at the time. If you followed that game, you know the amount of media attention that they gave those three. 

It's easy to see how a guy like Packers RB James Starks could be overwhelmed considering he went to school at Buffalo and hasn't seen anything like this before. Some of the big time college football guys, like Hawk, are a little more prepared for this. 

Hawk said the one-day-at-a-time mantra comes into play with events like this. 

Who knows where Hawk will be playing next year but he talked about staying in shape to make sure you're going to be around for a while. He mentioned Donald Driver, who is turning 36 years old on Wednesday, as someone who's been able to do that. 


2011 Super Bowl Predictions: Pittsburgh Steelers Will Beat Green Bay Packers (According To Madden '11)

The Pittsburgh Steelers will win Super Bowl XLV over the Green Bay Packers, 24-20, according to a Madden NFL simulation. EA Sports simulates the Big Game every year using its flagship video game, and this season Pittsburgh walked away with its seventh ring in franchise history.

In the simulation, Super Bowl XLV was a back-and-forth contest, that ended when Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw a late interception on a last-minute drive. Steelers WR Mike Wallace was the game’s virtual MVP, pulling in five catches for 111 yards, including the game-winning touchdown.

Here are the full video highlights of EA’s Super Bowl XLV simulation:

Sure, it’s just a video game, so it would be silly to put much stock in the outcome it predicts. But keep in mind that Madden has correctly predicted the Super Bowl outcome six of the last seven years using its simulation.

Regardless of who actually wins the game, hopefully the real version will be as exciting as the simulated one was.


Super Bowl XLV: Maurkice Pouncey Injury Recovery Continues; Steelers Not Ruling Him Out

The Pittsburgh Steelers are still clinging to the hope that starting center Maurkice Pouncey will be able to play in Super Bowl XLV against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The Pro Bowl rookie continues to recover from a broken ankle injury suffered in the AFC Championship game. When the team arrived in Dallas on Monday, Pouncey exited the chartered jet on crutches while wearing a walking boot on the injured ankle.

Head coach Mike Tomlin said on Monday that the Steelers “remain hopeful” that Pouncey can suit up on Sunday:

“We’ve been very aggressive in terms of treating it,” Tomlin said in Fort Worth. “We’ve even been putting it in hard casts and so forth. Just trying to do everything in our power to give him the best opportunity to participate. I don’t know what his chances are at this point.”

On Monday, sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Pouncey definitely won’t play in the Super Bowl. That seems to jive with all the previous reports as to the severity of the injury. But the team doesn’t seem eager to make anything official leading up to the game.

If Pouncey cannot go, back-up center Doug Legursky will get the start.


Super Bowl XLV: Stopping Packers' Clay Matthews Is 'Not A One-Person Job,' Steelers' Mike Tomlin Says

The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers have made it to Dallas for the 2011 Super Bowl. On Monday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin met with the media discussing a variety of things including the impact Packers LB Clay Matthews can have.

Matthews was reported to be the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year on Monday night before we learned those reports turned out to be false as Steelers safety Troy Polamalu took the award. Still, the point remains that he's good enough that no one batted an eye when they heard he had won the award.

Tomlin recognized that stopping Matthews is "not a one-person job".

We better be prepared to deal with him. He is a unique and dynamic player. He's physically talented. He appears to be mentally tough. His motor runs non-stop. We have to reckon with him. It's not a one-person job of course. It's going to be a multiple-person job, and that makes it increasingly difficult because of the way they move him around. But such is life in the NFL, particularly in this game. They wouldn't be in this game if they didn't have dynamic playmakers like Clay Matthews. So we are going to do the best we can to deal with him and neutralize him.

This is one of the most important keys to the game. One of Ben Roethlisberger's biggest strengths is his ability to escape the pocket and make plays on the run. If the Steelers stop Matthews, it creates room for Roethlisberger to create plays. If Matthews is able to get to Roethlisberger then one of the Steelers biggest advantages is taken away.

So the play of Clay Matthews and how the Steelers contain him will be a significant part of this game. 

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


Green Bay Packers 2011 Super Bowl Schedule May See Changes Due To Snow

The media, teams and fans have arrived in Dallas for the 2011 Super Bowl only to see....snow. Yes, there's snow on the ground in Texas, but this isn't something the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers will have to worry about for the actual game -- the Jerry Dome roof will be closed.

But this will cause some changes to the current schedule. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Monday that they'll be looking into moving their practice indoors.

"It's something that I am going to look at tomorrow. I am going to go to both facilities and look at the setup. Doug Collins, our Director of Security has been here. We talked about it on the plane ride down here today and we discussed it early in the week. With the weather, and the indoor facility, the surface and so forth we'll probably make that decision sometime later tomorrow."     

So it looks like they'll be going inside because of this snow.

The National Weather Service tells us it's 23 degrees with a "light freezing rain" in New Jersey, the site of the first cold weather Super Bowl in 2015. They also tell us it's 23 degrees with a "wintry mix" in Dallas, the site of this year's Super Bowl.

So why the uproar over an outdoor Super Bowl again?

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


2011 Super Bowl: Packers' Aaron Rodgers Reaches Out To Steve Young, Kurt Warner

The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will meet in the 2011 Super Bowl and one of the biggest story lines will be QB Aaron Rodgers. With the media attention and excitement surrounding the Super Bowl rising each year, Rodgers will be subjected to a level of media attention perhaps no Super Bowl quarterback has ever seen.

Rodgers joined KHTK in Sacramento this week and said he talked to a few guys who have been here before for advice.

"I reached out to Steve Young and Kurt Warner for advice and they pretty much said the same thing, the most important thing is this game and just to manage your time to be prepared to play the biggest game of your life."

The part about managing your time is important because there's a lot more going on this week than any other normal week. For example, both the Packers and Steelers will be paraded around on Tuesday as part of the annual Media Day before the Super Bowl.

"They said, ‘Enjoy it.' That's one thing I'm really looking forward to is media day down there. It's something that I watch as a fan and, as a fellow player, it's something I've always wanted to be a part of. ... I know it's going to be a crazy day, but it's something I've been looking forward to."

Calling Media Day a zoo would be an understatement. Follow along with SB Nation's Super Bowl StoryStream, as well as Behind The Steel Curtain and Acme Packing Company for more as the week goes on.


Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Smith Questionable For Super Bowl XLV With Injury

Aaron Smith in a defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and one of the better players at his position in the league. Unfortunately, he's only played in six games this season, and has been out since Oct. 24 with a torn triceps (and this after missing a majority of the 2009 season with a torn rotator cuff). While the Steelers would love to welcome him back on Sunday, the chances of him being ready to suit up in Super Bowl XLV against the Green Bay Packers look slim.

Despite the fact Smith has been recovering ahead of schedule, he is still officially listed as questionable on the team's injury report. The reality of not playing in his third career Super Bowl is slowly washing over Smith

"I've come to grips with it," Smith said of the possibility he will not play. "I'm holding out hope, but that's a reality I've had to deal with (for) months. I've tried optimism, I've tried pessimism. I've tried being happy. I'm just day to day. If I get an opportunity to (play,) it will be a blessing."

The Steelers kept Smith on their 53-man roster all season, even without any guarantee the DE would be ready to play in the Super Bowl (if they even made it that far). 

Throughout it all, his coaches and teammates have been supportive, with James Farrior saying, "He does everything the right way."

He has remained a quiet but strong presence in the locker room. When asked if there is a more respected player on the team, defensive end Nick Eason shook his head.

"Absolutely not," he said. "The dude went nine years without missing a football game. We know he's doing everything he can to get back here."

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


Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Green Bay Packers: Learning The Rules Behind Super Bowl Parties

When media and fans come to the 2011 Super Bowl, they may be looking for some parties. When players from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers come to Dallas, their coaches hope they won't be looking for parties. But even if there is some extra-curricular activities planned, their coaches can't really stop them from taking part.

"Youth is something you need to keep an eye on," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said. "They're human. They need to understand the limits. We're going to educate them like we always do."    

Packers players will have a curfew during the week but McCarthy says he can't tell his players not to party -- as long as they're in by curfew. McCarthy hasn't announced what time that curfew is but the Packers are scheduled for the early (8:00 a.m.) media sessions so logic would say it'll be an early one.

Two names will likely be brought up when the Steelers and Packers talk to their players about staying on their best behavior this week -- Eugene Robinson and Stanley Wilson. Robinson, with the Falcons, solicited sex from an undercover police officer the night before Super Bowl XXXIII. Wilson, with the Bengals, went on a cocaine binge the night before Super Bowl XXIII. Obviously those are incidents no one wants to see repeated.

With all the hoopla surrounding the week leading up to the Super Bowl, it's easy to forget that there's an actual game to be played. Stay with Behind The Steel Curtain and Acme Packing Company for more Steelers and Packers updates throughout the week.


Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Green Bay Packers: Super Bowl Week Weather Will Be Frigid, But Won't Affect Game

Winter weather is headed for the North Texas region just in time for the start of Super Bowl week. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers will arrive in Dallas on Monday, along with frigid weather moving into the area, creating a winter storm warning through Tuesday afternoon.

A wintry mix is expected for the area Tuesday with temperatures in the 30's. Wednesday is supposed to be in the 20's, and the unseasonably cold weather will continue all week, but should warm up in time for Super Bowl XLV on Sunday. Temperatures on game day are expected to be back in the 50's.

Regardless of the weather, it won't have any affect on the Super Bowl itself as it was already announced that the dome on Cowboys Stadium will be closed during the game. The weather is nothing more than an annoyance for fans and media converging on the area for the week leading up to the game.


2011 Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers Happy To Play On Cowboys Stadium's Fast Turf

Despite playing in the various elements that the Packers face in Green Bay, and in opposing cities like Chicago, their passing attack was explosive this season. They were fifth in the NFL in passing yards per game, and Aaron Rodgers threw 28 touchdowns on nearly 4,000 yards. The Packers don’t need any help from the turf to be successful in the passing game. But that’s what they’ll get in Super Bowl XLV thanks to the turf in Cowboys Stadium.

Green Bay wide receiver Greg Jennings discussed playing on the faster, more climate-friendly surface in Dallas:

“That’s all I can do is smile,” said a clearly relieved Jennings. “I mean, you go from playing in Chicago in January, late January, to Dallas and they close you inside a dome. You can’t do anything but smile.

“Obviously the surface is going to be perfect. The atmosphere is going to be unmatched. … Obviously we play well inside. But in a game like this, game of this magnitude, it didn’t matter if we had to play in the park.”

Obviously, the advantage works both ways. But it should help the Packers slightly more than the Steelers, who are more of a run-oriented team.

The 2011 Super Bowl kicks off Sunday, Feburary 6th at 6:29 p.m. EST.


Super Bowl XLV: Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers Defenses Should Be Familiar

If I had to guess now, Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will be remembered for one of two things -- quarterbacks or defense. Both have elite quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger and both have arguably the two best defenses in the NFL.

And the interesting part of it all is that they're very similar defenses. Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers and Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau worked together in Pittsburgh during the 1990s so they're familiar with what each is trying to do.

The Steelers have been doing it for 40 years and, while the Packers aren't on their level yet historically, there are plenty of similarities between these two teams in 2010, as Steve Wyche of notes.

The intrigue now is that the Packers are built in the same mold as Pittsburgh and generating similar results. Green Bay was fifth this season in total defense (309.1 yards per game), fifth in passing defense (194.2 yards per game) and second in scoring defense (15.0 points per game). They forced 32 regular-season turnovers to Pittsburgh's 35. In the postseason, Green Bay has generated eight turnovers (six interceptions) to four for Pittsburgh.    

Defensive geeks should love this game. After understanding a little more about the history of each defense and their coordinator, I'd venture to say this game will be remembered for defense.

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


Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers Set To Arrive In Dallas, And 2011 Super Bowl Week Has Begun

The Pittsburgh Steelers will arrive in North Texas at 12:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon. The Green Bay Packers will get in just a few hours later, at 4:30. Just like that, Super Bowl Week is here.

For the next six days, it's okay to forget about the NFL Lockout and the ridiculous injury statistics that emerged last week. We can forget about the New York Jets, and Antonio Cromartie's face-smashing abilities. We can forget about the referendum on Jay Cutler's manhood. That doesn't mean we say goodbye to the moron soap opera that came with all of those discussions. It's still the NFL, and if anything, Super Bowl has a tendency to amplify the idiots in the room. Nevertheless...

For one week, all of that energy--from morons, moms, hipsters, haters, jocks, geeks, diehards, experts, and Ad execs--gets channeled into one game. It's uncanny. Every year, Americans' interests become more specialized and niche specific. But every year, right around this time, all of America's niches converge into one. There's no other spectacle that attracts everybody quite like the Super Bowl.

And let's be clear up front: Super Bowl week and the show that comes with it isn't any less ridiculous (or redundant, after about 4 of 12,000 hours dedicated to it) than a neverending debate about Jay Cutler's toughness or Barack Obama's State of the Union address. But even if you acknowledge it's mostly a self-indulgent waste of time and attention, isn't there something kind of amazing about everyone staring the same thing for seven days straight, trying to come up with something original to say?

This year's game is in North Texas, and the Packers and Steelers will give us plenty to talk about, with the added bonus being that there's a good chance they'll also supply a decent game, and none of us really has a clue which team will win, or even which team deserves to be favored. As Super Bowls go, that's pretty rare.

And as Super Bowl week goes on--and your boss and mom and friend and girlfriend and bus driver and co-worker and roommate down the hall all talk football with you--this year figures to provide as much colorful conversation as ever. So enjoy the absurdity for all its worth. will have you covered from top to bottom for the week to come. That includes features and commentary from me, Jon Bois, Spencer Hall, and Andy Hutchins, reporting from Texas courtesy of Joel Thorman, and guest analysis from writers from around our network of blogs. Because why not blow it out, ya know?

If you love football, then the opening weekend of each NFL season is sort of like New Year's. And if opening weekend is New Year's, then Super Bowl Week is like one, long 4th of July.

Even the people that don't like football can't help but get sucked in by the fireworks in the coming days. It's a total "America! F--K YEAH!" phenomenon. So, even if you're worried the game itself will disappoint us in the end, you can rest assured until then. The spectacle of Super Bowl week never fails to live up to the hype.


2011 Super Bowl: Steelers Vs. Packers Should Be A Classic

2011 Super Bowl week is here. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers are preparing for Sunday's game and they'll be arriving in Dallas, TX on Monday marking the official start of Super Bowl week. It's been fairly quiet lately with each team not yet arriving in Dallas but there have been a couple of stories that have dominated the headlines.

First, the team photo controversy. The Packers were originally supposed to take a team photo that didn't include the players on injured reserve. Two IR'd players spoke up on Twitter about wanting to be in the photo causing a "total overreaction" from fans and media according to Packers coach Mike McCarthy. Eventually, the Packers changed their plans so that the players on IR could be in the picture. This is a good example of the mini-controversies that arise with so much media focused on just two teams.

Second, the injury to Maurkice Pouncey. It appears he's not going to be playing which is a blow for the Steelers. He was a solid rookie center who fit in well with the Steelers. His loss will hurt them but the Steelers are here because of their ability to move past injuries like that. 

Other minor story lines that have been or will continue to come up -- Where does Ben Roethlisberger rank if he wins his third Super Bowl? Will Hines Ward retire? Is Aaron Rodgers out of Brett Favre's shadow? Those are the sorts of things you'll likely be hearing this week.

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

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