ARLINGTON, Texas – Greg Jennings finally got to handle the football he really wanted from Aaron Rodgers in the locker room after the Super Bowl ended: that silver one that tops the Lombardi Trophy.
Jennings caught two touchdown passes from Rodgers in the Packers' 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. Yet, the receiver never got to kiss or even touch the championship trophy until long after the game.
When the Super Bowl MVP quarterback walked in carrying the trophy, Jennings excitedly said, "I need to see that" before scooting through a crowd to get to Rodgers' locker.
Moments earlier, Jennings was wincing because of pain in his left shoulder when his pads were being pulled over his head. He got hurt blocking on a play before his first TD catch.
"It's OK now," Jennings said, "because the season is over and we're champs."
The Packers won their fourth Super Bowl championship, and first since 1997. They also won the first two Super Bowls when they were coached by Vince Lombardi, the namesake of the championship trophy.
Jennings caught a 21-yard touchdown pass late in the first half, on a ball over the fingertips of safety Ryan Clark. After catching the ball at the goal line, Jennings took a hard shot from Troy Polamalu after falling into the end zone for a 21-3 lead.
"I really didn't think it was going to make it to me. ... I thought he might get his hands on it. It looked like it grazed off his fingertips," Jennings said. "(Polamalu) caught me pretty good. He caught me pretty good."
Jennings said he actually got hurt two plays before that when throwing a block on fellow receiver Jordy Nelson's 16-yard gain.
The Packers didn't score again until Jennings caught an 8-yarder in the fourth quarter, a catch in the right corner of the end zone out of the reach of Polamalu. Jennings celebrated by throwing both arms high in the air after making it 28-17 with just less than 12 minutes left.
"I saw Troy, but it was more I was looking to the left and coming back to the right side, and had a good idea from a couple of plays before that Greg was going to be open on a corner route," Rodgers said. "He made a good catch. I almost threw it too far."
Not for Jennings, even with a sore shoulder. He caught four passes for 64 yards.
"That was completely my fault," Polamalu said. "Earlier in the game, they ran Jennings down the middle and I was anticipated that same pass play. And I guessed wrong."
Two touchdown catches in the Super Bowl was quite a finish for Jennings in a season when he became a Pro Bowl pick for the first time. He had 76 catches for 1,265 yards and 12 touchdowns in the regular season, his fifth since being a second-round pick out of Western Michigan.
And those big plays were even more important with veteran receiver Donald Driver out after injuring his ankle in the first half.
"Obviously throughout childhood, you dream of having the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl. And being afforded this opportunity to fulfill it, it speaks volumes not only about this organization but about the guys that made up this team this year," he said. "We were able to overcome a lot of adversity, even throughout this game, and we got it done."