Packers vs. Steelers – Lessons from the Champions

by Joe Lavelle on February 1, 2011

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This Sunday, the Green Bay Packers will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Superbowl XLV.  These two teams both have storied histories and play the old school, bang-’em-up type of football that gives this game the makings of a classic.  But, if you asked the prognosticators in September whether either of these teams would be playing for the championship in February, it is unlikely that many would sign onto that prediction.  The Green Bay Packers seemed to have more of their players out with injuries than actually ready to take the field and the Steelers were facing their first four games without their starting quarterback.  However, with unwavering teamwork, strong leadership, and a commitment to the idea that success was the only option, these are the only teams left standing.

It’s not only the teams as a collective, but some of the individuals involved who bring amazing stories to the upcoming game.

Ben Roethlisberger’s story is one of redemption.  He was suspended by the league for six games, with that punishment later reduced to four, as a result of some poor behavior he displayed at a bar in Georgia.  He has had to rehabilitate his reputation for his teammates, his coaches, and an entire city.

Aaron Rodgers was given the task several years ago of replacing a living legend in Brett Favre.  He is now taking his team back to the Superbowl for the first time since the 1997 season and no one questions that the Green Bay Packers are now his team.

Mike Tomlin was only 36 years old when he became the youngest coach ever to win a Superbowl.  Only two years later, he is back to do it again.

Donald Driver will turn 36 this week and, in his twelfth year in the league, will be taking the field as a dangerous and greatly respected wide receiver for the Packers.  Beloved in Green Bay, Driver overcame a childhood that involved selling drugs and stealing cars to help support his homeless mother and sisters and who now leads his team and his own family with great passion.

All of these men offer us lessons on leadership, overcoming obstacles, being focused on success, working with others, and protecting our professional reputations.

Who will you be cheering for on Sunday?  Is there is a particular player or coach on either team for whom you have great respect and/or you believe provides an experience from which we can all learn?

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