Steelers start Super Bowl with edge in experience
When Green Bay and Pittsburgh touch down in Arlington, Tex., Monday to begin the leadup to Super Bowl XLV, the Steelers will have the Packers decidedly outgunned in Super Bowl experience. If that was a determining factor, in fact, organizers could probably save everybody a lot of trouble and Super Bowl party expenses by just handing the Steelers the Vince Lombardi Trophy right now.
The Steelers have 14 starters who have won Super Bowl rings, and a total of 25 players who have at least competed in the big game.
The Packers? They haven’t been to the Super Bowl since 1997. Only cornerback Charles Woodson, as a Raider, and defensive lineman Ryan Pickett, as a Ram, have Super Bowl memories. And neither has a ring.
That didn’t seem to bother Packers tight end Donald Lee.
“I look at it like the hungry dog hunts harder than the fat dog,” Lee told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “And we have a lot of hungry dogs in this locker room. If I was a betting man, I‘d bet my money on the hungry dog.”
But if the secret to winning is handling the distraction-filled week, just having ring-bearers such as Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Casey Hampton, James Harrison and Troy Polamalu should help keep younger Pittsburgh players such as rookie wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders focused.
Safety Ryan Clark, 31, started that task as early as training camp in Latrobe, Pa.
"I remember [Clark] said, ‘You're going to be spoiled this year,'" Sanders told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I was like, ‘What do you mean?' He said, ‘You're going to be spoiled this year because you're going to the Super Bowl your first year.'"