Super Bowl 48  

 

Tale of the tape: Super Bowl XLV edition

  • By Nick Bakay Special to NFL.com
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As we tremble at the prospect that the coming year might not include NFL football, one good thing pierces the deep-seated dread of losing our best excuse to avoid spending "quality time" with our loved ones: Super Bowl XLV is going to be a fantastic game.

There, I said it. No take backs, no waffling, no escape hatches. You can call me "Jinxy the Clown," but I have never gone into a championship throw-down with more confidence in both teams taking the field.

The fact that the Packers and the Steelers are both iconic franchises synonymous with greatness only sweetens the pot. If, indeed, a labor impasse closes the corral door on our little party, we are surely going out with a bang.

Subjecting these two cities and teams to the rigorous probing that is the tale of the tape is challenging -- both are tough, cold places filled with warm people, much like my hometown of Buffalo. Places I respect, places that seem to have a lot in common -- but that's why they play the games. Pittsburgh vs. Green Bay ... let's see how they stack up at the tale of the tape ...

Category Pittsburgh Steelers Green Bay Packers Advantage
Super Bowl rings: 6 3 Steelers
Is the trophy named after one of their coaches? No Yes Packers
Magic talismen:
Terrible Towel

Cheesehead
Push, the towel is indeed terrible, but so is a sweaty cheesehead, circa 1997.
Weather Cold enough to host an outdoor NHL game. Colder. Packers
Culinary side effects:
Your cholesterol after lunch at Primanti Brothers.

Beer, brats and the perfect storm brewing in your lower intestine.
Push
Is their QB offensive to women? Yes Not their current QB Packers
What will fill their lockout void?
The raw excitement of Pirates baseball

Umm ... ice fishingpalooza?
Push, there are no winners here.
Former player food product: Frenchy Fuqua's Immaculate Confection -- yes, the man originally targeted for the most famous pass in Steelers history is commemorating the moment with a milk chocolate candy bar certain to give Raiders fans agita. A lengthy Internet search yielded nothing. I have serious doubts that some former player hasn't lent his name and likeness to a bottle of brat mustard or cheese curds, but pending further evidence. Steelers
Unnaturally large masses of flesh:
Bill Cowher's chin.

Tony Mandarich's everything.
Steelers
Team-specific words meant to be spoken by John Facenda: "Cuhrrtin" as in Steel Cuhrrtin ... "Lombahhdi ..." Packers
Insults that could cause a donnybrook in the lodge:
The "Immaculate Reception" was, in fact, the work of the devil.

Favre looked sweet in that Viking purple.
Push
Football movies shot on location: "All the Right Moves" "Semi-Tough" Push, it's not like either one is "North Dallas Forty."
Stadiums named after:
A condiment

A Hall of Famer
Packers. I loves me some ketchup, but please ...
Words they have added to the fabric of our culture: Yins, sort of Pittsburgh for "y'all" Gemuetlichkeit Anyone who can give me a definitive explanation what gemuetlichkeit means gets a thanks and a hat tip. In the meantime, I'm going with the sound a halfback makes when tackled by Ray Nitschke and pounded into the frozen tundra.
Owners
The Rooneys

The people!
Packers -- Don't get me wrong, I wish the Rooneys owned my favorite team, but this one is a slam dunk.
Nicknames: City of Champions Titletown, USA Push -- no one wins with bragging, kids.


So there you have it -- it's all so simple when you break things down scientifically. In a street fight, the advantage goes to ... the Green Bay Packers! But hang in there, Pittsburgh, I still think the Steelers are going to win. Curse or consolation prize? Time will tell. Until next time, I'm Nick Bakay, reminding you the numbers never lie ...

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