The Pittsburgh Steelers have won six Super Bowls, more than any team, but in next week's NFL finale in Dallas they'll be going against a Green Bay Packers team that can hold their own in the history department.
Green Bay, Wisconsin, is known as Titletown USA but the Packers haven't won a Super Bowl since 1997.
Their fans who wear cartoon-looking blocks of cheese on their heads believe that's long enough, considering the boys of the frozen tundra have won more titles than any other team when taking into account what happened before there was a game with Super in the title.
The Packers count a dozen NFL titles in all, including the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and '68 with Vince Lombardi stalking the sideline. That '97 title, a 14-point romp past the New England Patriots, is the only time Green Bay has hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy since then, though.
By contrast, Pittsburgh is in the big game for the third time in six years, the most recent in 2009, when it topped the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 with a touchdown 35 seconds from the end.
The Super Bowl is America's most outsized sporting event, a de facto national holiday that brings all of America together in front of their high-def, big-screen TVs for a blitz of salsa and chicken wings, unabashed capitalism and glitzy halftime shows _ and, for most of the past decade, some great action on the gridiron.
And not to forget America's other national pastime: Gambling.
The Packers are 2 1/2-point favorites for the game on Feb. 6 at Cowboys Stadium, the spaceship of a stadium that Jerry Jones built to showcase a game as big as all of Texas.
That betting margin sounds about right, based on the classic finishes that have become the norm in a game that used to be anything but Super on the field.
Beginning in 2000, when the St. Louis Rams stopped the Tennessee Titans a yard short of the tying score as time ran out, six Super Bowls have been decided by a touchdown or less, many of them going right down to the final seconds.
The storylines abound in this one, from Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger turning an offseason of discontent into a year of triumph to counterpart Aaron Rodgers leading the sixth-seeded Packers to one big win after another, much like the guy whose shadow he's left in the dust, Brett Favre.
Both teams started strong and held on for dear life to win their conference titles last weekend. Pittsburgh was up 24-0 but needed a goal-line stand to finally silence the big-talking New York Jets 24-19 for the AFC Championship. The Packers jumped ahead by two touchdowns on the Chicago Bears, who nearly pulled off a win with third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie leading the comeback. An interception in the final minute gave the Packers their third straight road playoff win 21-14.
"We made a play to win the game and that's all that matters," linebacker Clay Matthews said. "Keep playing defense the way we know how, and it's going to be tough for teams to beat us."
Roethlisberger is going for his third title in six years, after sitting out the first four games as punishment for his behavior in a small Georgia university town in the offseason. He was accused of sexually assaulting a young woman, though no charges were filed. His reputation took a beating, however.
Having apologized and insisted that he's a changed man, Big Ben hopes to move into rarified territory with a third Super Bowl ring. The only quarterbacks who have won more are 1970s predecessor Terry Bradshaw and San Francisco great Joe Montana, each with four.
Green Bay hasn't had much luck in Dallas, losing nine straight games since its last win there in 1989. But all of those defeats came against the hometown Cowboys in old Texas Stadium.
This is a different time, a different place, a different team. The stakes have never been higher.