NFL Playoff Notebook: Television ratings highest since '97 for Steelers-Jets

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The AFC championship game earned its highest television rating in 14 years, while the NFC game also drew the best rating for the early conference championship game in the same span.

The Steelers' 24-19 win against the New York Jets in the AFC title game Sunday on CBS had a 28.3 rating and 43 share, the highest since the Jaguars-Patriots matchup in January 1997.

The Green Bay Packers' 21-14 victory against the Chicago Bears on Fox earned a 28.1, the best since Panthers-Packers, also in '97.

The AFC game was watched by an average of 54.85 million viewers, breaking the record set by San Diego-Cincinnati in 1982 when the population was smaller.

Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program. Shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time.

Towel wars

A Wisconsin towel maker is stuck smack-dab in the middle of the Green Bay Packers-Steelers Super Bowl tilt.

McArthur Towel and Sports, a WinCraft company, has been producing officially licensed sports towels for years, including the Steeler fans' beloved Terrible Towel, which the company began making in 1997. The hunk of yellow terrycloth has become Pittsburgh's battle flag and gets waved by fans at home and away games.

But company's president Gregg McArthur said he loves the Packers, and he's working on a Super Bowl towel for the green and gold, too.

McArthur said he's working on a new version of the "Titletown USA" towel, which the Baraboo-based company located about 135 miles southwest of Green Bay produced for the Packers' 1997 Super Bowl appearance. He hoped to have a design and a name approved by the end of the day Monday.

"I love our Packers," McArthur said. "We bleed green and gold in Baraboo. Right now we're working closely with the Packers to put together a product that will basically compete with the Terrible Towel. We've got a towel war going here between the Terrible Towel and the Packer towel."

Rodgers' shoulder 'sore'

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy says quarterback Aaron Rodgers' shoulder is sore after he was hit in Sunday's NFC championship game victory against the Chicago Bears.

McCarthy didn't seem overly concerned Monday, saying every player has bumps and bruises at this point in the season.

Roof to be closed

The retractable roof at $1.3 billion Cowboys Stadium will be closed for the Super Bowl.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Monday the decision was made well in advance of the Feb. 6 game so the league could have a "singular focus" on logistics.

The weather in Dallas-Fort Worth could be good enough for an open-air game between the Steelers and Green Bay Packers. But there's also a risk of freezing temperatures.

Aguilera to sing anthem

Christina Aguilera will sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl.

The five-time Grammy award winning singer will be making an encore at the NFL championship. She was part of the halftime show during the 2000 Super Bowl.

The previously announced halftime show will feature The Black Eyed Peas.


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