The biggest unofficial American holiday is here once again. This Sunday, the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers meet in Super Bowl XLV with the winner taking home the Lombardi Trophy. If you look closely through all the pomp and circumstance associated with the event, you may recognize a few hometown names participating in the game itself.
Possibly the most visible player with a Colorado connection is Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby. Drafted in 2007 out of the University of Colorado, Crosby has become one of the most consistent kickers in the league. He led the league in scoring during his rookie year with 141 points which is the most ever by a kicker in franchise history.
Colorado Springs native Aaron Smith has played defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers for the last 12 seasons. He played at the University of Northern Colorado prior to being drafted in 1999. Smith helped UNC win back-to-back Division II national championships during the 1996 and 1997 seasons. He has been inactive most of the season due to a triceps injury but has an outside chance to get back on the field for the Super Bowl.
Brad Jones, a second year outside linebacker for the Packers, played at the University of Colorado and earned All-Big 12 honorable mention honors in 2008. Packers’ strong safety Derrick Martin was born in Denver and starred at Thomas Jefferson High School. He played college football at the University of Wyoming. Both Jones and Martin were placed on the injured reserve earlier this season.
Pittsburgh defensive end Nick Eason and Packers defenders Josh Bell and Diyral Briggs all played for the Denver Broncos for a short time. Bell was placed on injured reserve during training camp due to a foot injury.
A few of the coaches also have a Colorado connection. Mike Trgovac, who coaches the Packers defensive line, coached at Colorado State University from 1990 to 1991 under Earle Bruce.
The wide receiver coaches for both Super Bowl teams played at least one season for the Denver Broncos. Jimmy Robinson coaches for Green Bay and played for Denver in 1981 and Scottie Montgomery coaches for Pittsburgh and played for Denver from 2000 to 2002.
Super Bowl Fun Facts:
- Super Bowl XLV is matching up the team with the most Championships (Green Bay with 12), against the team with the most Super Bowls (Pittsburgh with 6).
- The last time Green Bay played in the Super Bowl was after the 1997 season. They came into the game as a huge favorite and lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII.
- Pittsburgh will have played in 8 Super Bowls after this Sunday. That is tied for the most all-time with the Dallas Cowboys.
- The Denver Broncos have played in 6 Super Bowls which ties them with the New England Patriots for the third most appearances in league history.
- The AFC has won 21 Super Bowls and the NFC has won 23. (This includes the Super Bowls that were played before the AFL-NFL merger)
- The record for Super Bowl appearances by a player is held by Mike Lodish. He played in 6 total Super Bowls – 4 for the Buffalo Bills and 2 for the Denver Broncos.
- The record for Super Bowl appearances by a quarterback is held by John Elway who started 5 Super Bowls for the Denver Broncos.
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