The Steelers are going to steamroll the Packers this Sunday. That’s the opinion of the majority of participants in the 22nd annual Scripps Howard Celebrity Super Bowl Poll. Of the 97 notable personalities who made predictions, 51 believe the Pittsburgh Steelers will win Super Bowl XLV, while 43 picked the Green Bay Packers. Three celebrities jokingly picked another team or said they didn’t care.
The Steelers have won six Super Bowls, more than any other NFL team. Several of the celebrities said Pittsburgh’s experience on the big stage will make the difference. “The Steelers have a very good team and a great bunch of guys,” said golfing legend Arnold Palmer, a native of Latrobe, Pa. “Terrific defense and lots of experience in big games.” Lamar Odom of the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers put it simply, “Pittsburgh, because they’ve been there before.”
Some celebrities picked Pittsburgh because of its quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, who is going for his third Super Bowl ring in six years. “Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger is 2-0 vs. the Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who is much less experienced and suffered several injuries,” said actress Cloris Leachman. Added Donald Trump: “Steelers will win because Big Ben is a winning football player.”
Many of the celebrities who picked the Packers did so because of Rodgers, Green Bay’s dynamic quarterback. “Aaron Rodgers and the Packers won’t be denied,” said college basketball announcer Dick Vitale, who picked Green Bay, 28-24.
Las Vegas oddsmakers have installed the Packers as a 2- to 2-1/2-point favorite. Most of the celebrities agree that it will be a close game, but a few are predicting a lopsided score.
Here are 25 celebrity Super Bowl picks…
DONALD TRUMP, businessman, “The Apprentice”: Pittsburgh, 21-14. Steelers will win because Big Ben is a winning football player.
SHAQUILLE O’NEAL, NBA star, Boston Celtics: Pittsburgh, 24-17. Big Ben is a friend of mine, has been for several years. He has regained his focus after the beginning of the season in turmoil.
STAN MUSIAL, baseball Hall of Famer: Pittsburgh.
JACK NICKLAUS, golf Hall of Famer: Pittsburgh, 27-24. I am an AFC guy because of my longtime support of the Miami Dolphins. Even though I have always been a big fan of the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers, I still have to go with the AFC.
DAVE GROHL, rock star, Foo Fighters: Pittsburgh by a hare (It’s the Year of the Rabbit, you know).
KEITH URBAN, country music star: Green Bay. I think they’re both obviously fantastic teams. I’d like to see the Packers win, just to be a nice moment. I have a lot of friends in Wisconsin.
MARK WAHLBERG, actor and producer: Not the Patriots, so I don’t care.
JOE MANTEGNA, actor, “Criminal Minds,” 2010 Super Sage Award winner: Green Bay, 24-21. As a Bears fan, it’s hard to pick the Packers, but I respect any team that plays normally outdoors in zero weather.
CLORIS LEACHMAN, actress, “Raising Hope”: Pittsburgh, 24-10. Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger is 2-0 vs. the Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who is much less experienced and suffered several injuries.
ANDY WILLIAMS, singer: Green Bay, 24-17. They’re both good teams, but I just think the Packers are better this year and I like Aaron Rodgers.
DON RICKLES, comedian: Green Bay, 31-21. I just think they have the attitude that this is “our time.”
PHYLLIS DILLER, comedian: Pittsburgh, 21-17. One year I was playing outside of Pittsburgh. I couldn’t get to the job. The town went wild. They had to hold the show because the Steelers won. To me, they’re just always winners.
ARNOLD PALMER, golf Hall of Famer: Pittsburgh, 28-14. The Steelers have a very good team and a great bunch of guys. Terrific defense and lots of experience in big games.
CAL RIPKEN JR., baseball Hall of Famer: Green Bay, 27-24. They’re both really solid teams. Hard to pick. End of the day the edge goes to the Packers offense by a slight margin.
BILL O’REILLY, Fox News host: Green Bay, 28-17. Aaron Rodgers will have a hot hand and the Packers defense will get to Ben Roethlisberger.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA, tennis Hall of Famer: Green Bay, 27-20. Aaron Rodgers is too hot to handle.
YOGI BERRA, baseball Hall of Famer: Green Bay, 23-20. The best team should win and it could also be Pittsburgh.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, radio talk show host: Pittsburgh.
MIKE HAYDEN, former CIA director: Pittsburgh, 23-17. What a matchup. Historic NFL franchises. Great defenses. Quarterbacks who can escape the rush. My head says it’s a tossup. My heart says Steelers. Either way, ya gotta love the fact that this game features teams with no cheerleaders and two of the smallest TV markets in the NFL!
PENN & TELLER, magicians: Pittsburgh, 33-24. Taking Obama‘s State of the Union to heart, Packers decide the first step in “winning the future” is “losing the present.”
CHUCK YEAGER, first man to break the sound barrier: Pittsburgh by 2. They’re at the top of their game, and they’re peaking at the right time.
ED ASNER, actor, “Working Class”: Green Bay, 24-20. Aaron Rodgers is doing a wonderful job.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, five-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion: Pittsburgh, 31-28. I lived in Wisconsin for a while and followed the Packers, but I’m picking the Steelers because of Bill Cowher. I always respected him and the way he coached. I started liking the Steelers because of him and I’m sticking with them for the Super Bowl.
MAYA ANGELOU, poet and author: Green Bay, 27-7. I am supporting the Green Bay Packers because of the wonderful cheese and butter.
TIM LINCECUM, World Series champion San Francisco Giants: Green Bay, 24-15. I’ve got to go with Green Bay since Aaron Rodgers is from Cal and I root for the Pac-10.