Clash of the Titans
Paul Higham is heading to Dallas to see two NFL giants fight for Super Bowl XLV.
By Paul Higham @SkySportsPaulH
Last Updated: 31/01/11 4:23am
The NFL season was full of unpredictable scores and shock upsets at every turn, but as the dust settles the last two standing are two of the traditional powerhouses of the league who make up a fitting Super Bowl XLV.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers are among the most successful clubs in the NFL, two of the most well-run and best-supported franchises in American sports, so it is exciting that these two should be going toe-to-toe in the 'greatest show on earth' on February 6.
I, for one, can't wait!
Luckily, they are playing in the magnificent new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, North Texas, which should give the NFL enough tickets for these two groups of loyal supporters to turn up in great numbers to cheer on their heroes.
I was in Tampa two years' ago when Pittsburgh dramatically beat Arizona to win Super Bowl XLIII, and I can say from experience that the Steeler Nation does in fact travel in huge numbers, but the 'Cheeseheads' following Green Bay will surely give them a run for their money.
No teams have ever played in the Super Bowl with more titles between them than these two goliaths of the game - who have both dominated the NFL at one stage or another.
The Packers have a record 12 NFL titles, nine of them before the Super Bowl was even introduced, this led to Green Bay being known as 'Title Town' - and the Super Bowl trophy they'll be playing for is even named after their legendary coach Vince Lombardi!
That's why the Packers fans next week will be willing their team to 'bring the trophy home', expect lots of that from those in green and gold, with plenty of Cheesehead hats floating around North Texas.
The 'Terrible Towel' will also be there in numbers, with Steelers fans not afraid to travel, even if their bank balances must be taking a hit as this will be their third trip to the big game in six seasons.
Pittsburgh have won six Super Bowls, more than anyone else, claiming four in a dominant late 1970s behind their famous 'Steel Curtain' defence, while without many people saying too much they have quietly commanded the last six years.
Ben Roethlisberger is going for his third Super Bowl ring, coach Mike Tomlin his second at the age of just 38 and there can be no doubt they have all the experience heading into this one - although the same could be said about the Colts last year and they lost to New Orleans.
Hoopla does not even come close to describing the frenzy that builds up during Super Bowl week, from the circus that is media day at the stadium, to the continuous stream of question-and-answer sessions - not to mention the plethora of celebrity parties and events.
'Everything is bigger in Texas' they say, it's certainly the case with the stadium, and with events being held in both Dallas and Fort Worth there should be plenty on offer for NFL fans and VIPs alike.
Both teams are run in the right way as well, the Rooney family who control the Steelers are never ones to hit the headlines or mouth off to the media.
The Packers are unique not only in the NFL but in all American sports, as they essentially are owned by the fans with over 112,000 people listed as having shares in the non-profit organisation - giving the fans a huge sense of belonging to their team.
A return to the Super Bowl after 14 years is perhaps long overdue for the Packers, and they will be welcomed back on the big stage by everyone who loves the way the team from such a small town, albeit 'Title Town', travels on their own unique path to sporting greatness.
On the field come February 6, the teams look superbly matched, with two superstar quarterbacks, two fearsome defences and two well-respected coaches on the sidelines - everyone is hoping it will be the classic these two deserve to play out.
I'll be heading to Dallas next week to try and bring you a flavour of the atmosphere from around North Texas, so stay tuned for blog updates and previews, before a live webchat here on skysports.com direct from Cowboys Stadium at the big game itself.
If you are heading out, or know anyone who is, then get in touch and let us know your story, and send us your pictures and we'll try and include you in our coverage and fans' gallery.
Contact me here or better on Twitter @SkySportsPaulH - and I'll see you in Texas!