Where I Want the Packers to Win Their Next Super Bowl
The Packers narrowly missed out on playing in Super Bowl LI, losing to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game. Now, Green Bay will retool their roster and work towards winning their fifth Lombardi Trophy.
Winning a Super Bowl is great, but the location of the championship can add a special meaning, too. The NFL has announced the venues for the next four Super Bowls, and each holds some significance to the Packers.
It’d be great to win four straight Super Bowls. It’d also be great to win the lottery every day for the rest of my life and to be best friends with Bill Gates. For the sake of this post, let’s assume (gulp) the Packers will win one of the next four championships - here’s how I’d rank my preferred destinations for them to do so.
4: Miami in 2020
Miami has hosted the Super Bowl eleven times, more than any other city. The first Super Bowl held in South Beach was the Packers’ triumph over the Raiders in Super Bowl II. The last time the game was in Miami, the Saints, behind Drew Brees and a surprise onside kick, bested the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.
Winning a Super Bowl in the same city where Vince Lombardi coached his final Packers game would add a nostalgic storyline. The Raiders have recently returned to their winning ways, making a potential Super Bowl II rematch in 2020 a tantalizing proposition for football fans.
The last time the Packers played in Miami, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers launched a furious fourth quarter rally and used a fake spike as time was running low to fool the Dolphins defense. Andrew Quarless caught the game winning touchdown for Green Bay.
3: Atlanta in 2019
The last Super Bowl hosted in Atlanta was one of the most dramatic – Super Bowl XXXIV ended with wide receiver Kevin Dyson’s outstretched hand inches short of a game-tying touchdown as the Rams beat the Titans, 23-16.
Atlanta has quickly become a house of horrors for the Packers. The Falcons beat the Packers on a last-second touchdown in October, and then pummeled Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game. Thankfully, those games were played in the Georgia Dome, a stadium slated for demolition in favor of the opulent Mercedes-Benz Stadium that opens next season.
Winning a Super Bowl in Atlanta erases the pain inflicted on Packers fans from the recent NFC Championship Game loss. The city’s one of the easiest to reach in the country because of its massive airport; Packers fans from all over would certainly be on hand.
2: Los Angeles in 2021
The forthcoming Rams and Chargers stadium in Los Angeles figures to be the NFL’s premiere destination, as the venue’s price tag has sailed north of $2 billion. 2021 will be the eighth time the game has been held in southern California, training only Miami and New Orleans.
Much like Miami, the first time Los Angeles hosted the Super Bowl, the Packers came out on top. In Super Bowl I, then called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, Green Bay defeated Kansas City.
The first Los Angeles Super Bowl since 1993 figures to be an over-the-top affair full of Hollywood stars. It sure would be something to watch the team from the smallest city in professional sports win in one of the country’s largest cities.
1: Minnesota in 2018
I want this. I want this badly. Next year, the Super Bowl will be played in the Twin Cities. Minneapolis is a four hour drive from Green Bay, and also is home to the rival Vikings.
The Super Bowl is a big ticket event. Even a seat in the nosebleeds costs thousands of dollars, and the average fan spent about $100 on food and drink alone at last month’s Super Bowl. Most fans of their team simply can’t afford to be in the stands for the big game.
However, a Super Bowl appearance in a location that’s a half-day drive from most of Wisconsin virtually guarantees thousands of fans will be in the area simply for the atmosphere. Packers fans will flood Minnesota.
Oh, and winning a championship on the home turf of your biggest rival in recent years? Not a bad consolation prize.