It’s that time of year again – Super Bowl XLV!

It’s that time of year again when everybody becomes a football fan.  No I’m not talking about 22 men in shorts kicking a ball around the pitch, I’m talking about 22 men in full body pads, helmets and gum-shields tackling, blocking, throwing, running and touching down in one of the biggest sporting events of the year.  Yes, Super Bowl Sunday is upon us.

This year will see the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Green Bay Packers in Texas and the duel in Dallas looks set to be a real battle as both teams are remarkably evenly matched in most areas of the game.

The Packers came into the playoffs as a wildcard team but charged their way through Philadelphia, Atlanta and the Bears to earn their place in this year’s big game.

Pittsburgh overcame Baltimore and the Jets to secure their position in the event for the eighth time, but despite holding the record for the most Super Bowl victories (a total of six) it is the Packers who go into Sunday’s match as favourites.

This marks the fifth appearance for Green Bay who hold the record for 12 NFL titles overall, including three Super Bowl wins, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers is arguably in the best form of his career so far.

However, up against a veteran Pittsburgh team who have 25 players with Super Bowl experience, including 11 starters still remaining from Super Bowl XL five years ago, anything could happen and Sunday’s showdown looks set to be a truly superb sporting spectacle.

The magic of the Super Bowl however, not only lies within the beauty of the game, but also in the one-of-a-kind event that it has proved to be; and the 45th year of the competition looks set to be no different with the Black Eyed Peas headlining the infamous half-time show and the coveted 30-second advertising spots on television going for around $3 million each.

So whether an American football fan or not, someone who knows the difference between a line-out and a touch-down or not, or even if you thought the Super Bowl was some kind of extreme bowling event that happens once a year, I urge you to stay up and witness what promises to become an instant classic both for what happens on and off the pitch.

Super Bowl XLV will be shown live in the UK on February 6th from 2245 GMT on BBC 1.

Jo Wilson

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