Super Bowl Frenzy: 45 Ways To Win Super Bowl XLV, Ways XIII-XVI
By Jay Sorgi
Next game: February 6th at Super Bowl XLV vs. Pittsburgh
MILWAUKEE - With the 45th edition of the biggest sporting event in the world - well, America at least, and the Green Bay Packers playing in it for the first time in 13 seasons, it's a reality that most people connected to this organization - and almost everyone on the team - have never played in this game.
So perhaps some tips are in order to help the team.
XIII: Beware. James Harrison is around.
(Wait: Harrison just crossed the Cardinals' 15 yard line.)
We know from Super Bowl history he can cover passes.
He can also hit. As hard as any defensive player in the sport.
Much like Troy Polamalu can roam around and wreak complete havoc, Harrison can do the same thing in the zone blitz scheme the Steelers throw at you (much like the Packers do).
Know where he is. Have him accounted for.
Running backs will need to make sure they know where he is, and keep him from reaching Rodgers or the people in green with the football.
XIV: Don't think too much about winning. Think about football.
One of them is a Packers champion, the 1967 champs who won Super Bowl II.
That team's right guard, Jerry Kramer, was known for the block in the Ice Bowl that sprang Bart Starr into the end zone that gave the Packers the record-breaking third NFL title and the spot in that Super Bowl against Oakland.
Part of why they got there? As he put it in his book, Instant Replay, he spent his every waking hour not thinking about what it would be like winning the game, but on his assignment.
He focused on what he would face in Dallas defensive tackle Jethro Pugh.
It got to such a level of obsession that Kramer called his wife, Jethro, asking "Jethro" for his breakfast and coffee in the morning.
It worked. Especially on the last drive where the Packers traversed 68 yards of frozen tundra, including the final yard in the sneak.
What didn't work? The Denver Broncos' attitude 10 years later in Super Bowl XII when they faced the Cowboys.
Kicker Jim Turner said it best, according to NFL Films: "We came in thinking about winning, and they came in thinking about football."
In other words, the Broncos spent a lot of their attention and thought in what it would be like to win the biggest game in their sport.
The Cowboys spent their attention on the details of how to win the biggest game in their sport.
The Cowboys dominated the game, 27-10.
It's easy for a first-time Super Bowl participant (like almost all the Packers) to focus their thoughts on the glory of lifting the Lombardi Trophy.
Don't get caught in that mindset.
Focus on your job at hand. Obsess about it.
Just don't call your wife or girlfriend Jethro.
XV: Similar defenses mean similar knowledge for offenses, and a big possibility of high scoring.
This could be a shootout, similar to the one the Steelers won over Green Bay in Week 15 of the 2009 season.
The teams use basically the same defense.
Sure, there are particulars in the Dom Capers Packers scheme that may have some differences than what Dick LeBeau does for Pittsburgh defenders.
But the basics are the same - lots of zone blitzing coming from all different directions.
The offenses will practice against basically what the other team runs.
This could help the offenses know what's coming, and may help them overcome the greatness of these defensive units.
XVI: They've been here before. Most of you haven't.
The Steelers won Super Bowl XL in a domination of Seattle, while Pittsburgh also won a close game - much like this game is expected to be - three years later over Arizona.
Teams that have been to Super Bowls within five years of their current games are 14-6 in Super Bowls where they face a team that hasn't had that advantage.
In games where the margin of victory is eight points or less, teams with such experience are 7-3.
Such recent experience for the Steelers will probably count for something.