It never gets old

Nose tackle Chris Hoke will be playing in his third Super Bowl in six years and the excitement is just as strong as it was when preparing for his first go-around in Super Bowl XL.

"It's just as exciting. It's more exciting," said Hoke. "For us older guys we know that there are more years behind us than ahead of us so there was a sense of urgency to get back here again. We are fired up. We are excited to be here. We know it's not the end, it's just the beginning and we have to get prepared for the game."

The Steelers have a roster filled with players who have at least one Super Bowl ring, many with two, but that doesn't diminish their enthusiasm one bit.

"This never gets old," said cornerback Ike Taylor. "I am fortunate and blessed. This is my third trip in eight years. Flozell Adams has been playing in the league for 13 years and has never had the chance to go to the Super Bowl. I told him from training camp on we are going to get you back home to the Super Bowl."

The Steelers lead the NFL with six Super Bowl championships and have played in more AFC Championship games than any NFL team.

"It's the legacy that is here," said Hoke. "You think back to the Steel Curtain days of the 70s. You come in here and you see the pictures on the walls, you hear people talk about Joe Greene and all of those great guys on defense, Terry Bradshaw and Franco Harris on offense. There are too many to name.

"You know there is a standard here. Winning is an expectation. You aren't hoping to win, you are expected to win."

The Steelers are a team that thrives on having their backs against the wall, and that is a good thing as they are already underdogs in Super Bowl XLV.

"We do our best when we are underdogs," said defensive end Chris Hoke. "People at the beginning of the season were talking about us going 6-10 or 7-9. When you put our backs against the wall and tell us we can't do something, that's when we do our best."

Wide receiver Mike Wallace said the Steelers were underdogs throughout the playoffs, and to him, it doesn't matter if they are favored or not.

"We have gone into every game as underdogs in the playoffs," said Wallace."It doesn't matter who is favored. We have to play."

Safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker James Harrison were both named to The Associated Press 2010 NFL All-Pro Team. Both are first-team selections on defense. The team is selected by a national panel of 50 media members.

The Steelers-Jets game on Sunday on CBS was the most-watched AFC Championship game ever, with 54.8 million viewers tuning in for the 24-19 Steelers win.

The AFC and NFC Championship games combined resulted in the most-watched conference championship Sunday in 29 years with an average of 53.4 million viewers.

Super Bowl XLV will start with a local Pittsburgh flavor as Christina Aguilera from Wexford, Pa., will sing the National Anthem.

"I have been performing the Anthem since I was seven years old and I must say the Super Bowl is a dream come true," Aguilera said. "I am really excited to be part of such an iconic event."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content