by Zach Noble, Staff Writer
Super Bowl XLV was not kind to the SVC community. In the hours leading up to kickoff, “Black and Yellow,” Wiz Khalifa’s Pittsburgh-centric hip-hop anthem, blared across campus, and those ubiquitous Terrible Towels filled the air. SVC’s boisterous expectancy, however, soon gave way to stony silence as the Steelers started the game poorly and never recovered, ending with a 31-25 loss against the Green Bay Packers.
From the beginning, the Steelers underachieved. After allowing two touchdowns and failing to put any points of their own on the board in the first quarter, Pittsburgh spent the rest of the game trailing Green Bay. It was hard to tell if Ben Roethlisberger was playing catch-up or playing catch with the Packers; the Steelers’ quarterback threw two critical interceptions and had few redeeming plays.
“It’s on my shoulders,” said Roethlisberger as he took responsibility for the loss, but Roethlisberger was not the only star player who failed to perform. The Packers spread the famed Steeler’s defense and threw 39 times, compared to just 11 runs, and neither Troy Polamalu nor James Harrison did much to stop them.
The Steelers did start to rally in the second and third quarters, closing the gap from 18 points to just 4. Another touchdown and a two-point conversion in the middle of the fourth quarter brought the score to 28 Packers, 25 Steelers, and with seven and a half minutes left to play, it seemed as if Pittsburgh had a shot at victory, but the Packers hung on and plowed another field goal just before the two-minute mark, leaving the final score 31-25 Packers, and bringing the Vince Lombardi trophy back to Green Bay for the first time since 1997. Aaron Rodgers, long trapped under Brett Favre’s shadow, established himself as a great quarterback in his own right, earning MVP honors and his first Super Bowl ring.
This bland performance by the Steelers stood in stark contrast to their Super Bowl XLIII victory two years ago, when James Harrison’s 100-yard interception return made Super Bowl history and a tense fourth quarter saw Pittsburgh stifle an Arizona comeback with only 35 seconds left on the clock. The reactions of the SVC community were different as well, as senior Sam Comfort remarked.
“After [Super Bowl] 43, residents tried to tear down the goalposts,” said Comfort, who has been a Prefect since 2008. “There was at least one kid Saran-wrapped to a light pole. I almost got hit in the face with a can of Natty; someone up on the Rooney path fired one at me.” This year’s post-game shenanigans were dull by comparison. “There were a few disagreements between opposing fans,” said Comfort, “but nothing major.”
Of course, the Steelers were not the only ones who failed to impress; Super Bowl XLV’s entertainment was decidedly sub-par. Christina Aguilera botched the words to the National Anthem, and when the Black Eyed Peas performed at halftime, Fergie’s microphone did not turn on until after she began singing.
Sophomore Bridget Fitzpatrick commented that the halftime show would have been better “if Fergie’s mic had never turned on,” a sentiment echoed by commentators who found the halftime show lacking energy or soul.
The Super Bowl ads were also mostly forgettable. Eminem starred in a lengthy plug for Detroit, “The Motor City,” and Joan Rivers appeared in a Go Daddy commercial wearing short shorts and a tank top and looking much younger than her 77 years would warrant. The Internet is abuzz with speculation that Rivers used a body double.
All in all, the Packers dominated Super Bowl XLV. In the post-game press conference, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin held his head high, saying, “We came here to win the football game… and we didn’t do that. Green Bay did and we congratulate them.”