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Super day arrives for Super Bowl

At last, Super Sunday has arrived. Super Bowl XLV features theGreen Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. This could be theultimate old school game, featuring the cheese heads versus thehard hats. Both teams joined the league in 1933.

Emotions are running high on both sides of the billion-dollarCowboys Stadium in Arlington. Many of the devoted fans made thetreacherous drive from the frozen tundra through snow and ice toreach the Lone Star State.

Every person has their favorite in the game that kicks off at5:30 p.m. today.

The Steelers have won six Vince Lombardi (Super Bowl) Trophiesover the years. The Packers, originally financed by a meatpackingcompany in Green Bay that donated $500 to help buy uniforms, havewon three. They won the first two Super Bowls under the directionof Lombardi. Brett Favre quarterbacked the Packers to their thirdtitle in the Louisiana Superdome in 1997.

Pittsburgh last made a Super Bowl appearance in 2009, beatingArizona 27-23. The Steelers were winners in 2006, beating Seattle21-10. They haven’t been on the losing side of a Super Bowl since1996 when Dallas prevailed 27-17.

This is Green Bay’s first Super Bowl appearance since 1998 whenthe Packers lost 31-24 to Denver.

Yours truly was born in Manitowoc, Wis., about 30 miles south ofGreen Bay, right on the shore of Lake Michigan. Mayor JustinNickels welcomed President Obama to the Maritime Capital ofWisconsin on Jan. 26, during a tour of the Badger State.

Shipbuilders built 28 submarines in Manitowoc during World WarII. The subs were tested on Lake Michigan and then transported bybarge to the Chicago canal where they were moved to the MississippiRiver and sent down the river to New Orleans where they entered theGulf of Mexico.

The town maintains a population of 30,000, about the same as 60years ago. Obviously, those folks love the Packers.

My mother and stepfather attended and survived the famous IceBowl when Green Bay edged the Dallas Cowboys for the NFLchampionship prior to the first Super Bowl. Then the Packerswhipped Kansas City in the first AFL/NFL title game.

Certainly, we are partial to the Packers but we’ve alwaysadmired quarterback Terry Bradshaw and the Steelers of old. Infact, during those recent years when the Packers replaced BrettFavre with Aaron Rodgers, a love/hate relationship was founded.Suddenly, my wife, Laurie and I were Minnesota Vikings fans.

In Fare’s first season with the Vikings, he beat the Packerstwice, much to the delight of die-hard, No. 4 worshipers. I alwaysliked the Vikings and their purple helmets. I remember watchingquarterback Fran Trenton running the Packer defense ragged with hiswild scrambles when the Vikings were an infant expansion team inthe early 1960s.

Hindsight is 20-20; so now the Packer management resemblesmilitary geniuses by sticking with Rodgers. For sure, no one playeris bigger than the team.

Green Bay is a 2-point favorite going into today’s game. Let’spull for the Packers and say Green Bay 24-14.

This column polled several area coaches for their opinions andpredictions on the game. They provided a variety of answers.

Tucker Peavey, Brookhaven: I’m going with the Packers. They arethe hot offensive team right now. I’ll say Green Bay 27-17.

Herbert Davis, Brookhaven Academy: My favorite is Green Bay.They have the offense that can score on anybody’s defense. I liketheir defense, too. They are the hottest team right now. You wouldthink it would be a low scoring game. Green Bay 24-21.

Gareth Sartin, Bogue Chitto: I think the Steelers are going towin. They have been playing really good defense. Troy Polamalualways seems to make big plays in big games. They’ve been therebefore and won it so that gives them an advantage. Pittsburgh21-17.

Tommy Clopton, Wesson: I really don’t follow either team but Ithink Aaron Rodgers has the hot hand right now. Pittsburgh ismighty strong on defense and they’ve been there before. Pittsburgh24-20.

Glenn Davis, Co-Lin: I have to pull for Green Bay. A kid Icoached at Mississippi State, Donald Lee, plays for Green Bay. Ireally like Charles Woodson. I think he’s a really good footballplayer. Overall, Pittsburgh is pretty darn good. Green Bay24-21.

Chris Calcote, West Lincoln: I like Pittsburgh best from theTerry Bradshaw days. They have a good defense and Roethlisberger isexceptional. Pittsburgh 38-35.

Rickey O’Quinn, Franklin County: I think the Packers are goingto win. My wife is a Packer fan and their quarterback is hot. Idon’t know if the Steelers can slow them down. Green Bay 21-17.

Randall Huffman, Loyd Star: Pittsburgh has been there before andthey remind me of that old bunch. They know what it’s all about.Pittsburgh 28-17.

Todd McDaniel, Hazlehurst:I have a college teammate (DonaldDriver) who plays for Green Bay but I think the Steelers are goingto pull it out. Their defense will make Green Bay one-dimensional.Pittsburgh 27-24.

Josh Garrett, Enterprise: I’m going with the Steelers because Ilike their coach and their organization. Their fans and ownershipstand behind their coaches and players. I think it will be close.Pittsburgh 28-24.

Chris Smith, North Pike: I’m pulling for Green Bay. They arepretty well balanced. Offensively, they are pretty solid.Pittsburgh might be better defensively. Pittsburgh is going to missits center because he makes all the calls up front. Green Bay24-17.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O.BOX 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mailsports@dailyleader.com