Here's three things to think about today while getting fired for wearing a tie...
1. The History of Packers vs. Steelers - NFL Network replayed the game between the Packers and Steelers on Monday night, the one where Ben Roethlisberger threw a game winning touchdown at Heinz Field with no time left on the clock. The game, from last season, really exposed how bad the Packers defense and secondary can be on an off day, as Ben threw for more than 500 yards in that affair. You have to think that with the emergence of guys like Sam Shields, Tramon Williams, and Charlie Peprah, a performance like that from Old Rapey isn't going to happen again. Really though, between these two teams, that's about the only memory that we can draw back on to see how the two teams matchup together. The only other Steelers/Packers game I can even think of off the top of my head is the Yancy Thigpen drop back on Christmas Eve in '95. Despite how long these two teams have been around, and how historic their legacies are in the world of the NFL, they've barely come into contact with one another, especially as of late.
The Packers do hold the edge against the Steelers all time at 18-14, however the first nine of those wins came on a streak in the '30s and '40s when Pittsburgh was a joke of a franchise. In more recent history, the Steelers have taken seven of the last nine. And even though the two are not common opponents, the pure fact that these two clubs are atop the heavyweights of the National Football League makes this a very interesting matchup. I'm expecting very respectable and friendly interactions between the two fan bases when they meet in Dallas, as opposed to the three Steelers fans that watched the AFC Championship Game at the Packer bar I was at on Sunday that ended up trying to throw fistacuffs at a bartender.
2. Don't Say Cheese - Speaking of bars, there was a bar in La Crosse I used to frequent that had a picture of the 1996 Super Bowl team, and a good drinking game between me and friends used to be trying to name as many members from that squad as possible. If we try to do it with this year's photo, we'll have to remember not to look for Jermichael Finley, Nick Barnett, or any other Packers on injured reserve. Because the Packers are keeping the IR'ed guys in Green Bay until Thursday, as opposed to Monday when the rest of the team will fly out, anyone on the injured reserve will not be a part of the team photo. Because Twitter is the number one source of news these days, Barnett and Finley's comments about being neglected from the photo made national headlines. It'd be nice to see these guys get credit for their contributions to the team this season, but I feel the Packers reason for keeping them in Green Bay is just, as they'd rather focus their resources in Dallas on helping the players on the roster win the game as opposed to rehabilitating the ones that won't be suiting up. Hey, it's a weak story, but when you have two weeks before a game this is the kind of stuff that is going to be talked about.
3. Goin' Green - This is actually something I really found myself caring about, although I really can't explain why. As the "home" team, the Packers had the choice to wear either their white jerseys or their green jerseys for the Super Bowl, and they have chosen to wear their home greens. It's the jersey they wear at Lambeau, and one they must feel the most comfortable in. Even though I do like our green jerseys better, I was kind of rooting for them to wear their whites. Whenever I think of an Aaron Rodgers jersey, I always pictured it as white, some of which may be attributed to the fact that I never saw anyone wear white jerseys that said "Favre". The Rodgers jersey I bought is white for that reason, I wanted it to be different from Old Dongy. Also, I have fond memories of Rodgers wearing a white jersey in Dallas a few years ago on a Thursday night game where he performed very well after replacing Favre when the game was out of hand. For a long time, this was the only picture you could find of Rodgers on the web. Plus, we have won all three of these playoff games on the road, and I wanted to see the Packers continue with the white jerseys similar to what Pittsburgh did in Super Bowl XL.
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