Super Bowl XLV

Packers 31, Steelers 25: My Top 10 Observer-ations

10. Can't believe I just watched Troy Polamalu play like Alan Ball. And James Harrison like Anthony Spencer. I know Harrison had a sack, but for the most part those playmakers were non-factors.

9. Biggest play of the game was Rashard Mendenhall's fumble at Green Bay's 36 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh had momentum and was seemingly driving to finally take the lead. That turnover, the last of three by the Steelers, changed the entire tenor and landscape of the game.

8. Down six. Two minutes left. One timeout. 87 yards out. I was totally preparing for Ben Roethlisberger to rescue another ugly performance with a scintillating finish. But that final drive was ... underwhelming. After one first down out to the 33, he threw three consecutive incompletions to end the game. Kinda deflating.

7. I know Pittsburgh lost, but the sweetest play of the game was the two-point conversion that pulled it within 28-25. Fake dive handoff, then Roethlisberger on an option left with a perfect pitch to Antwaan Randle El, who started the play in motion.

6. Hate the Steelers. Hate the Packers. Saving grace: Aaron Rodgers (who's hard to despise) has as many Super Bowl rings as Brett Favre (who's impossible to like).

5. Green Bay called heads and won, the 14th consecutive Super Bowl that the NFC has won the coin flip. That makes zero sense.

4. Gotta admit, the Black Eyed Peas were energetic and entertaining, if not gifted musically. Fergie is a yowza and Slash and Usher were nice touches. But what was with Christina Aguilera screwing up the National Anthem?

3. Ice. Snow. Rolling blackouts. Taxi strike. Injuries at Cowboys Stadium. And to cap off a disastrous week, yesterday after temporary seats were deemed unsafe, 400 fans who had purchased tickets were shoved out the door. Arlington: "On second thought, Dallas, yeah Super Bowl XLV is all yours." Dallas: "No thanks." And to think, for all his Jerry-mandering the Cowboys owner didn't even get his coveted attendance record - missing it by 766.

2. Packers' win is even more impressive, considering in the first half they lost their No. 1 receiver (Donald Driver) and No. 1 cornerback (Charles Woodson). They're the better team, no doubt.

1. Rodgers deserves his MVP, but his offensive line and backs gave him time to throw all night. When the Steelers tried to become Blitzburgh, Green Bay stoned them, leaving the Packers' receivers to eat up inferior defensive backs in man-to-man coverage. I know the Packers' receivers are good and deep, but cornerbacks Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden were underwhelming at best.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt