9

February

Game Balls and Lame Calls: Super Bowl XLV Edition–World Champion Green Bay Packers

World Champion Green Bay Packers. The Vince Lombardi Trophy is back home.

Here we are, nearly a few days after the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 to win Super Bowl XLV and my feet are still nowhere near to touching the ground.

What a ride. After the 31-27 defeat at Foxboro to the New England Patriots that dropped the Packers to 8-6, things looked bleak. Aaron Rodgers was coming off his second concussion of the season and the defense, depleted by injuries, got burned in a shootout by one of the NFL’s best in Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Some fans had doubt as to whether the team could win its last two regular season games to just make the postseason, let alone win 3 road playoff games to make it to Dallas for Super Bowl XLV. It seemed like the Packers, while they fought gallantly all year, would finally succumb to the ridiculous amount of injuries and start preparing for 2011.

After that game however, something magical happened.

Rodgers returned and rode a hot hand all the way to the MVP of the Super Bowl. The defense buckled down and different players rose to make plays on different occasions. Mike McCarthy fell into a zone with his playcalling and suddenly could do no wrong.

I thought this season was special with the Packers just making the playoffs. Now that they’ve won the Lombardi Trophy, the season qualifies as legendary and epic.

Before we look back on the season as a whole, let’s take one final look back at Super Bowl XLV in another edition of Game Balls and Lame Calls.

Game Balls

QB Aaron Rodgers

To borrow a line from CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman, Aaron Rodgers was “ballin’” during Super Bowl XLV en route to the game’s MVP award.

Despite his numbers being lower than they should have been due to some boneheaded drops by his receivers, Rodgers was locked in all day long throwing the ball with the pinpoint accuracy.

Rodgers gets a game ball for another reason as well. All week long, with national and international media present, he was asked multiple times about Brett Favre. Every day since the departure of Favre in 2008, Rodgers bit his lip and turned a question about Number 4 into a statement about the team.