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History on Steelers' side entering Super Bowl XLV

February 4, 2011

File photo by Becky Polaski – Rashard Mendenhall and the Steelers are having a similar run this year with the run two years ago to a championship.

It’s finally Super Bowl week and at some point, after all the hype whether Green Bay Packer linebacker Clay Matthews or Steelers safety Troy Polamalu has better hair, the hoopla of Media Day and the “importance” of learning about which player thinks Lady Gaga is better than Justin Bieber, there will actually be a football game played at around 6:30 p.m. Sunday night. It’s Pittsburgh’s eighth Super Bowl appearance, the Steelers have the most wins with six and are tied with the most appearances with the Dallas Cowboys. Green Bay has won 12 NFL championships, the most in the league. Nine of them predate the Super Bowl, then the Packers won Super Bowls I, II and XXXI.
This run to the Super Bowl looks, feels and is a reminder to the Super Bowl run just two years ago. How is that a reminder? Take a look at the occurrences during the run to Super Bowl XLIII two years ago.
1. The Steelers were the No. 2 seed.
2. Pittsburgh beat Baltimore in the playoffs.
3. The Steelers hosted the AFC title game on Sunday night, not in the afternoon.
4. Pittsburgh avoided New England in the playoffs. (also true for Super Bowl XL)
5. The Steelers finished with a 12-4 record.
6. Santonio Holmes made a great catch in the corner of the end zone during a playoff game.
7. Most of the season was played in an even-numbered year.
8. Rex Ryan left Heinz Field on the losing end of the AFC Title game (as the Ravens’ defensive coordinator).
9. Pittsburgh wore their away jerseys for the game (same as in Super Bowl XL).
Now, take a look at this year. Sound familiar?
This season:
1. The Steelers are the No. 2 seed.
2. Pittsburgh beat Baltimore in the playoffs.
3. The Steelers hosted the AFC title game on Sunday night, not in the afternoon.
4. Pittsburgh avoided New England in the playoffs.
5. The Steelers finished with a 12-4 season.
6. Santonio Holmes made a great catch in the corner of the end zone (Yes, it was for the Jets).
7. Most of the season was played in an even-numbered year.
8. Rex Ryan left Heinz Field on the losing end of the AFC Title game, this time as the Jets’ head coach.
9. Pittsburgh wore their away jerseys for the game.
There are very good things between this run and the one two years ago, the run with Mike Tomlin as coach. It’s crazy how things are lining up. And the Steelers even have a perfect record in Super Bowls against the current teams of the NFC North. Pittsburgh has a 1-0 mark with their win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IX.
Historically, this may be the richest Super Bowl between two teams steeped in tradition with fans that are braving winter conditions in north Texas. And with recent history, don’t be surprised if the Steelers have a seventh Lombardi to match their quarterback’s jersey number.

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