Super Bowl XLV, between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, will feature 13 players with one commonality – an Orange Bowl appearance. Nine members of this season’s Steelers’ roster and four from the present Packers’ squad have played in Orange Bowls ranging from the 1998 National Championship between Nebraska and Tennessee to the 2010 contest between Iowa and Georgia Tech. All thirteen players are members of the teams’ active rosters.
The 2010 NFC Champion Packers enter their 5th Super Bowl having won three (I, II and XXXI) and owning an NFL-record 12 World Championships in all. Current Packer Orange Bowl alumni include: Brian Bulaga (Iowa, 2010), Chad Clifton (Tennessee, 1998), Clay Matthews (Southern California, 2005) and Brandon Underwood (Cincinnati, 2009). Matthews was a member of the 2005 National Championship team of the 2005 Orange Bowl.
The 2010 AFC Champion Steelers enter their 8th Super Bowl having won six (IX, X, XIII, XIV, XL and XLIII) including four in six years between 1974 and 1979. Current Steeler Orange Bowl alumni include: Jonathan Dwyer (Georgia Tech, 2010), Larry Foote (Michigan, 2000), William Gay (Louisville, 2007), Jeremy Kapinos (Penn State, 2006), Bryant McFadden (Florida State, 2001, ’04), Troy Polamalu (Southern California, 2003), Maurkice Pouncey (Florida, 2009 BCS National Championship Game hosted by the Orange Bowl), Lawrence Timmons (Florida State, 2006) and Jason Worilds (Virginia Tech, 2008-09). Pouncey’s Florida team won a National Championship in the 2009 BCS National Championship Game hosted by the Orange Bowl.
It will be the first Super Bowl meeting between the two teams in franchise history. Green Bay enters its first Super Bowl since losing to Denver in Super Bowl XXXII 13 years ago. Pittsburgh has experienced more recent Super Bowl success having won Super Bowl XLIII at the conclusion of the 2006 season. Both teams, however, have a storied history with South Florida – the Packers having played in Miami for Super Bowl II in 1968 and the Steelers making trips to Miami for both Super Bowl X in 1976 and Super Bowl XIII in 1979.
Orange Bowl veterans have earned Super Bowl Most Valuable Player honors nine times, the most recent being Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1998), MVP of Super Bowl XLI. New England’s Tom Brady (Michigan, 2000) was named MVP of Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII, and Baltimore’s Ray Lewis (Miami, 1995) was selected as the MVP of Super Bowl XXXV.
Other former Orange Bowl players to win Super Bowl MVP honors include Bart Starr of the Packers (Alabama, 1953), the MVP of the first two Super Bowls, Joe Namath (Alabama, 1963, 65), who was the MVP of Super Bowl III, Franco Harris of the Steelers (Penn State, 1970), MVP of Super Bowl IX and John Riggins (Kansas, 1969) who was MVP of Super Bowl XVII.