Packers-Steelers: The Forgotten Headlines

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Each and every year, the media entrenches the masses with positive stories surrounding the two football teams in the Super Bowl. This goes on for a full two weeks following the conclusion of the conference championship games.

However, the ugly truth is that the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers have both had their fair share of negative publicity in the last couple of years.

Sit back and buckle up as we take a trip down memory lane and reflect on a few forgotten headlines.

By: Nick Grays

1.) Big “BAD” Ben Roethlisberger

If Big Ben goes on to lead the Steelers to a third Super Bowl win in the last six years, people are already ready to put him up there with the Tom Bradys and Joe Montanas of the world.

While the case could definitely be argued, I would say not so fast. Let’s not forget the highly controversial sexual assault accusations in Lake Tahoe and Milledgeville, Georgia.

The Super Bowl bound Steelers didn’t even need Roethlisberger for the first four games of the season when he served a suspension for the previously mentioned off-field issues. Without a doubt, Roethlisberger makes the Steelers a better team, but he’s very far away from being in Brady or Montana’s class.

If I recall correctly, there’s another quarterback who prospered in Pittsburgh  and won more than a couple of Super Bowls. He may or may not be an analyst for FOX.

2.) Brandon Underwood and Lake Delton

Back in the summer when we were all anticipating another season of the NFL, some drama surrounded a group of Packers who had taken a trip to Lake Delton, WI for a charity event hosted by Clay Matthews.

The player to come out of the mess with the worst accusations of them all was defensive back and special teams extraordinaire Brandon Underwood.

I was quite surprised to see this story disappear for the majority of the year because the case is still under investigation and Underwood has played significant minutes all season for an injury-ridden Packers team.

3.) James Harrison and the Illegal Hit

Remember how big this story was in the midst of the season? Harrison was eating up substantial fines like they were candy. The hard-hitter even contemplated retirement because he didn’t know how to play the game anymore.

After somewhere in the area of $120,000 in fines, there hasn’t been a lot of chatter since Harrison’s post-game comment in the Steelers-Ravens divisional playoff bout. When asked about a non-penalized helmet-to-helmet hit on Pittsburgh’s tight-end Heath Miller, Harrison had an interesting take.

“I make that same hit, nine out of ten times I’m penalized,” said Harrison.

I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t wait to see the hard-hitting Harrison flying around during the Super Bowl. Hopefully Aaron Rodgers has been practicing his slide because this is not a guy you want to challenge in the open-field.

4.) Ted Thompson: Worst GM Ever

Since taking over the duties as General Manager for the Green Bay Packers in 2005, Thompson has had a wild ride. Let’s just say he’s been under fire more than he’s been praised.

His most notable transgressions in Packer Nation in the last few years involved the trade of the legendary Brett Favre and the failure to sign a running back after Ryan Grant was placed on IR this season.

We could go on forever about the Favre-saga, but really it’s simple as admitting that Thompson knew what he was doing. Despite a couple of concussion issues, Rodgers is everything the Packers fans want and more.

When it comes to not signing Marshawn Lynch, Larry Johnson or some other veteran running back, Thompson was right on that too. James Starks with a pinch of Brandon Jackson has carried the Packers through the playoffs in dramatic fashion.

Maybe it’s time to anoint Ted Thompson as one of the best GM’s in the league?  Just saying.

How many of these headlines had already left your mind? Do any of these so-called forgotten headlines play a role in Super Bowl XLV? Let me know by commenting below!

Nick Grays is a senior editor at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Brewers. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.

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Comments

  1. Justin Mertes-Mistretta says

    Interesting article. I think the last two stories are great. I think the key to the game is how well Green Bay can protect Rodgers, mainly from the edge pass rush of Harrison.

    Also, I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about the much-maligned Ted Thompson. I’ve been critical of him in the past, but I don’t think anyone can argue against what he did at this point. Rodgers is everything they could have hoped for, and more. My biggest concern was that the Pack should have signed Lynch, but that too has been alleviated with Starks’ emergence. I just hope he’s not a one-year wonder (a.k.a. Samkon Gado).

    How about our first point-counterpoint article for the upcoming Super Bowl? I’ll think of a rough format this weekend for it.

  2. Nick Grays says

    Yeah, I’m up for it, just let me know

  3. Raymond Stokes says

    Yes, Ted Thompson is actually one of the very few GM’s in the NFL that actually know what they are doing.

    But also give credit to the entire Packers’ organization for having his back after the Favre saga. The easy thing would have been to get rid of the guy, like some of the other teams do to their general managers.

    You can’t become a good or great team if you don’t have stability in the front offices.

    Also the Packers coaches deserve some credit as well.

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