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2011 Super Bowl: Steelers Vs. Packers

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The 2011 Super Bowl matchup between the Steelers and the Packers brings together two franchises with long and strong histories. The Packers won the first two Super Bowls, in 1966 and 1967, and also won Super Bowl XXXI in 1996. The Steelers, meanwhile, have six Super Bowl wins - 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005 and 2008. They're both associated with their long histories and with playing in harsh, cold-weather environments, so it'll be a little weird to see this year's Super Bowl played in the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington (an incongruity to which this USA Today piece alludes).

Following along the same USA Today piece, which introduces some of what I imagine will be the key storylines in this game, you'll obviously hear about the two teams' quarterbacks a ton in the next two weeks. For the Packers, Aaron Rodgers has been around far too long to merely be Brett Favre's replacement anymore, but Favre's shadow still looms, and Rodgers can go a long way toward establishing himself as Green Bay's next iconic quarterback by pulling out a win on Feb. 6.

For Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the stories will probably be uglier, revolving around his offseason problems and his suspension to start the year. That's unfortunate, and hopefully writers will control their temptations to treat the Super Bowl as if it's a path to redemption for Roethlisberger rather than just a football game with a lot of fancy commercials. The world is a complicated place, and Roethlisberger is a complicated, and flawed, person, and a Super Bowl win won't change anything about what happened or didn't happen that night in Georgia.

Also critical (and happily, more clearly football-related) will be the health of these two teams. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey suffered an ankle sprain in the win over the Jets; he should be ready for the Super Bowl, which is good news, because Roethlisberger and backup Doug Legursky flubbed two snaps in the AFC Championship against the Jets. Also critical will be the status of defensive lineman Aaron Smith, who has been MIA with a torn triceps for months but lately has shown signs of returning.

In any case, we here at SB Nation Pittsburgh will be updating this thread regularly with all things Super Bowl-related, so come back often.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.