Super Bowl picks
Believe it or not, according to the Las Vegas odds makers, the Pittsburgh Steelers are actually the "underdogs" in the Super Bowl.
The Green Bay Packers are favored by 2.5 points in Super Bowl XLV.
I can guarentee that every single "Terrible Towel" holder out there throughout the TN coverage area and beyond is simply in disbelief right now.
I'm shocked by those odds because the Steelers own a good portion of Super Bowl history.
First of all, the Steelers have tied Dallas with the most appearances (8) in the National Football League's main event. After missing out on the opportunity last season, the Steelers are back once again after knocking off Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII two years ago.
Meanwhile, Green Bay is appearing in its fifth-ever Super Bowl. However, it's has been 13 years since the Packers were in the big show when they defeated the New England Patriots 35-21 in Super Bowl XXXI.
Next, the Steelers have collected the most rings. They have won the most Super Bowls with six and are looking to extend their lead over Dallas and San Francisco, who both have won five.
On the other hand, the Packers have half that amount to their credit with three two coming in the first two Super Bowls (in 1967 and 1968) and their last one coming nearly a decade and a half ago in 1997.
While history may undoubtedly lie in the Steelers' favor, many experts especially those individuals in Las Vegas still feel that the "Cheeseheads" have the edge in the first-ever Super Bowl on the home turf of the Dallas Cowboys.
I am far from an NFL expert myself, but I'm picking the supposed "underdogs" in this one. The Steelers will write another page in NFL history and will win their seventh Super Bowl.
It's going to be a close one. The Steelers' signal-caller "Big Ben" Roethlisberger hits Hines Ward in the back of the endzone for what ends up being the game-winner. Not as much of an impressive dive like the one two years ago by Santonio Holmes, but the AFC champs still capture a thriller in a 34-31 victory over the NFC champs.
With that final catch, I have a good feeling Hines Ward earns MVP honors and decides to head into retirement on a good note after 13 glorious years with Pittsburgh.
As always, I have asked my colleagues to offer their predictions as well. And, guess what people, the Steelers aren't the "underdogs" within the TIMES NEWS Sports Department.
EMMETT McCALL ..... The Eagles were thisclose to beating the Packers in opening round of the playoffs. If that would have happened, I believe we'd be looking at an All-Pennsylvania Super Bowl this weekend. That didn't happen, however, so I'll have to go with the OTHER Pennsylvania team on Sunday STEELERS 31, PACKERS 24
ED HEDES ..... Well it's not the Super Bowl matchup that a New York Giants fan would want, but it should be an interesting game to watch. Two teams that have tough defenses with test two tough quarterbacks in Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and Gree Bay's Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has better numbers and the Packers might have the lead late in the game, but "Big Ben" comes through in the end STEELERS 24, PACKERS 20
JOE PLASKO ..... Two impressive championship pedigrees for this year's Super combatants, as the game pits the team with the most NFL titles (Green Bay with 12) against the one with the most Super Bowl wins (Pittsburgh with 6). Packers lead the all-time series 21-14, but most of those wins came when the Steelers were putrid. … Pack has had some off the field grumblings since beating the Bears, which usually isn't a good sign, unless you're the NY Jets, who thrive on turmoil … Since 1975, Pittsburgh is 7-2 vs. the Pack, including last year's 37-36 thriller. This figures to be another tight one, so go with Big Ben, the QB that has been there before, over the young gunslinger Rodgers STEELERS 31, PACKERS 28
SHAWN McFARLAND ..... It's hard to say this being a Dallas fan, but the playoffs are what the Steelers do. At least for the last five years it's been like that. They always seem to find a way to win the close games. And their defense always seems to keep the game close STEELERS 27, PACKERS 20
ANDREW STEINMETZ ..... Officially, I really don't care because my Washington Redskins remain near the bottom of any rankings again this past season, fading into the abyss of mediocrity. I don't think there is a bigger Pittsburgh fan than my older brother, Aaron ... yet, that doesn't sway my opinion. However, I feel as though the Steelers are the logical option, as they carry a ton of experience into this biggest of "Big Games." Roethlisberger leads another crew to the title and, coupled with their Polamalu-led defense, make it a "not-so-beautiful day in Mr. Rodgers' neighborhood." STEELERS 24, PACKERS 19
ROD HECKMAN ..... The Steelers boast an impressive defense but they are a bit susceptible to the passing game. With the contest being played indoors and Aaron Rodgers under center, the Packers will hoist the Lombardi trophy in "Big D" PACKERS 23, STEELERS 20
MIKE FEIFEL ..... It's Bart Star vs Terry Bradshaw, Jim Taylor vs. Franco Harris. The team of the 60's vs the team of the 70's, battling for the rights of this decade. Rodgers and the Pack are hot and the Steelers are steady. No comeback for Big Ben PACKERS 20, STEELERS 16
JASON BORIS ..... Personally, I don't like anything about the Pittsburgh Steelers and I certainly don't like the fact that I have to watch a bunch of cheap shot artists playing for a World Championship. The Steelers lucked out the last two Super Bowls by playing weak NFC teams (Seattle and Arizona). This time, they'll be playing a team with a top-notch defense and a group of wide receivers that can exploit their secondary. On Sunday, Cowboys Stadium will turn into Mister Rogers' neighborhood, as Aaron Rodgers guides the Packers to their fourth Lombardi Trophy, while the Steelers can take the trolley (and their bogus championship aspirations) back to the Land of Make Believe. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood PACKERS 24, STEELERS 21