Sunday's NFL contests to determine the participants of Super XLV are must-see TV, but at least two Ravens players have a rooting interest in the NFC championship game between the No. 6 seed Green Bay Packers and the No. 2 seed Chicago Bears.
Offensive tackle Tony Moll was drafted in the fifth round by the Packers in 2006 and even though he's been a Raven for the last two seasons, the distance hasn't watered down his ties to Green Bay.
"I'd still pull for them over the Bears," Moll said Monday. "That's the one thing that's great about that [NFC North] division. There's a lot of good rivalries. I'm still holding onto a thread of the Green and Gold."
Meanwhile, Moll's linemate, right guard Chris Chester, said he's rooting for the Bears simply because of the presence of defensive tackle Tommie Harris, who played with Chester at the University of Oklahoma.
"If anything, just because I went to school with Tommie Harris, I'm kind of pulling for him," Chester said. "I hope he does well. But I don't know that I have any real strong emotions for any of the teams."The Packers-Bears series is the most frequently played rivalry in the NFL with Chicago leading 92-83-6. But Green Bay owns a 12-9 advantage in NFL titles.
Both teams split their regular-season meetings, and although the Bears captured the division crown, the Packers squeaked out a 10-3 win against Chicago in the regular-season finale to qualify for the postseason.
Moll said bragging rights is just one objective at stake in Sunday's contest at Soldier Field in Chicago.
"It's a close tie with the Ravens and the Steelers," Moll said of the rivalry. "It goes back and forth. It's the same with the Vikings. That whole area up there, they love football just as much as the area around here. It's great. It's great for the fans, it's great for the teams. That just makes football fun."
Will the NFC champion extend its run to the Super Bowl against either the Pittsburgh Steelers or the New York Jets? Moll paused before answering the question.
"If I had that answer, I'd be going to Vegas," he quipped.