The Steelers are going to steamroll the Packers this Sunday.
That's the opinion of a majority of participants in the 22nd annual Scripps Howard Celebrity Super Bowl Poll. Of the 97 notable personalities who made predictions, 51 believe that 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 their 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."
Other celebs, like comedian Phyllis Diller, chose the Steelers for more eclectic reasons. Several years ago, she was scheduled to perform in the Pittsburgh area on the same day the Steelers were playing.
"I couldn't get to the job. The town went wild," she said. "They had to (delay) the show because the Steelers won. To me, they're just always winners."
If the Steelers win, it will be the 14th time in 22 years that a majority of the celebrities have picked the Super Bowl winner. If the Packers win, it will be the third time in the last four years that a majority of the celebrities picked the wrong team.
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.
Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova said, "Aaron Rodgers is too hot to handle."
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.
Actor Gordon Clapp foresees a Pittsburgh rout of 38-16.
"The Steelers will run up the score in the second half over the road-weary Packers and nab their record-seventh Lombardi trophy," he said.
Poet and author Maya Angelou picks Green Bay to win, 27-7.
"I am supporting the Green Bay Packers because of the wonderful cheese and butter," she said.
Rock star Joan Jett thinks Green Bay will win, 38-24. Jett may be on to something. She's correctly predicted the winners of the last five Super Bowls in the Scripps Celebrity Poll.
The celebrity who picks the winning team and whose guess at the final score comes the closest to the actual score wins the Scripps Howard Super Sage Award. Last year's winner was actor Joe Mantegna, who picked the New Orleans Saints to beat the Indianapolis Colts, 28-17 -- just three points off the actual final score of 31-17.
This year, Mantegna picked Green Bay to win, 24-21. Navratilova (1998) and actor Dennis Farina (2005) are the only two celebrities in the history of the poll to have picked the winning team and gotten the score exactly right.