An official Super Bowl XLV football is seen in Moreland Hills, Ohio on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. The Wilson Sporting Goods football factory in Ada, Ohio, which has made the official Super Bowl football since the first Super Bowl in 1966, began making the this year's game balls Sunday night immediately after the conclusion of the NFC and AFC championship games. The Green Bay Packers will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6 in Arlington, Texas.
As someone whose favorite NFL team is NOT the Green Bay Packers or Pittsburgh Steelers, and therefore must spend a good deal of time every NFL season being told how my team fails to stack up to either franchise in terms of success and tradition and general fanbase awesomeness, I find myself torn about the upcoming Super Bowl. I’m jealous and resentful of BOTH these teams, and I really don’t like the idea of either one becoming more successful and legendary than they already are. That just means my favorite team falls even farther behind.
What’s more, the Super Bowl usually has a clear hero and clear villain. Last year’s villain was Indianapolis. Three years before that, the Giants were the heroes. These things usually correspond with who’s favored in the game and who isn’t (the favorite is always evil), but the line on this game has already switched favorites (from the Steelers being favored by one to Green Bay being favored by two).
So there’s no clear favorite, and the Steelers and Packers have long been portrayed as the “good” franchises of the NFL. They build through the draft. They come from the interior of the country. They have loyal fans who are severely overweight. When that you take all that into account, who on Earth should you give your heart to for this matchup? There’s only one way to do this. We must break out the pros and cons and play… QUIEN ES MAS MACHO?!!!
PROS: -They no longer employ Brett Favre.
-Winning the Super Bowl without Favre only serves to put his legacy further back in the rearview.
-Remember when Aaron Rodgers grew a porno mustache? That was cool.
-They have a very exciting player in Clay Matthews III, a man who appears to have been engineered in a genetics lab somewhere in Oregon.
-A Super Bowl win means Dom Capers will be able to afford a more convincing hairpiece.
-A Super Bowl could cause Ted Thompson to go mad with power, possibly attempt to buy the sun.
-Coach Mike McCarthy punted from inside the opposing 40 roughly fifty times last week. Does that style of coaching really need validation? Please tell me it doesn’t.
-I just know James Starks is gonna end up going way too high in fantasy drafts next year and then have a 300-yard season. It’s inevitable. I’m ready to dislike him right now.
-I know the media says nice things about Packers fans, but have you met any? Like, in a bar? You will NOT be pleased.
-If I hear that FROZEN TUNDRA thing one more freakin’ time…
PROS: -Team chairman Dan Rooney spoke out this week against a work stoppage and an 18-game season. That was pleasant.
-Brett Keisel’s beard. Get that man a guitar and a spot in the Monsters of Rock lineup.
-They have NOTHING to do with Brett Favre. At all.
-Have gained a shocking amount of good will from the football public simply by not being either the Patriots or Colts.
-I would hang out with Troy Polamalu. He seems very cool.
CONS: -Oh, right. That whole thing with Big Ben.
-Almost as bad as two weeks of hearing about Big Ben’s road to redemption. I think I liked it better when he was an arrogant jerk.
-“That Hines Ward sure knows how to block!” says the analyst who refuses to acknowledge that Ward is DIRTY. Dirty dirty dirty!
-James Harrison is a whiny baby who threatened to retire because he got fined for a few hits. Oh, boo hoo, James. I’ve made emptier threats to my children. NO MORE BLUE’S CLUES FOR YOU! Oh, all right. One hour and that’s it!
-Laws of NFL fandom dictate that you hate any team that wins too much. A potential seventh Super Bowl ring? TOO MUCH WINNING. Their fans will all become awful.
And that last point is the one that tilts the scales. No Favre and less titles means that Green Bay is the correct emotional choice for the neutral Super Bowl viewer. But only by a little. If only Jay Cutler had made it here. This would have been so, so much easier.