Super Bowl Frenzy: 45 Ways To Win Super Bowl XLV, Ways XLI-XLIV
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.
XLI: Rest. Relax. Get your mind right.
With the game plan in your mind, take this day before the Super Bowl to get your mind right, your psyche right, and your body rested.
Teams that are relaxed tend to do much better in the ultimate crucible of the sport compared to those who go in nervous.
Ask Mike Shanahan. He and his Denver Broncos upset the Packers in Super Bowl XXXII, 31-24.
He was so confident, so relaxed, that he watched a kids movie with his son in his hotel room.
Ask Dick Vermeil. He can give you both perspectives.
He had his 1980 Philadelphia Eagles so nervous before Super Bowl XV that they couldn't perform loose, perform right, and his team lost to the wildcard Oakland Raiders, 27-10.
19 years later, in Super Bowl XXXIV against Tennessee, he learned his lesson.
Vermeil was loose. He was trusting of his St. Louis Rams staff and his team. He wasn't so controlling. He let his players be a lot more.
He even loosened up and relaxed before the game by listening to Ray Charles, and when "America, The Beautiful" came over the loudspeakers at the Georgiadome before kickoff, and he had that feeling they'd be champions.
They were, 23-16.
Ask Tom Brady, especially considering his performance two years later against the same Rams team.
After the final pre-game warmup, in that hour or so before they could play, what did he do?
Sleep. He napped at his locker.
They won, 20-17.
Take those lessons.
XLII: D-backs, prepare to get physical.
He is the anti-Lynn Swann. He is perhaps the most physical wide receiver the sport has ever seen.
Pittsburgh loves to run, and he is as destructive of a run blocker as any of those offensive linemen.
And considering the problems Pittsburgh has on the interior line (as detailed in Way XVIII), running wide may be the way for them to win.
Bring your Muhammad Ali with you. It's gonna get physical.
XLIII: Can you get big scoring plays in the passing game?
Is it true the Steelers have the best defense in the sport? Statistically, yes.
But their style of football plays right into your hands, Green Bay.
Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in football - not just in general, but against the blitz - about a 105 QB rating, which is better than when he doesn't face a blitz.
Additionally, by spreading the field with the four and five wideout sets, they can neutralize Troy Polamalu's ability to freelance by making him have to cover too much field.
You scored 36 on these guys last year. They can be burned.
XLIV: Trust your game plan.
Put your confidence in it.
You have prepared as well as you probably can for this contest.
Your game plans all year have been excellent - especially when you've needed them in five straight win-or-die games.
They've worked in track meets like Atlanta, and barroom brawls like Chicago, because you're versatile enough in multiple ways.
Trust Sunday's plan. And go all out with it.