|The Steelers' Troy Polamalu is looking to reach his third Super Bowl when Pittsburgh take on the Jets [GALLO/GETTY]
The biggest date in American sport is just two games away as four of the most fabled teams in the NFL fight it out in the Conference Championships this weekend.
The winners of Sunday's NFC and AFC title games will play in Super Bowl XLV – or 45 for those that don't count in Roman numerals – on February 6.
In what has been a thrilling and unpredictable postseason so far, the remaining four teams are some of the NFL's oldest, with timeless legacies and die-hard fans.
So whom should you support if you are observing from afar?
The first game on Sunday is between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. The venue is Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.
The Packers and the Bears are the oldest rivalry in the NFL, dating back more than 90 years. They play twice during the regular season in the NFC North, so this will mark the third time they face off this year.
In the past, when making the playoffs was out of question, if either of these teams beat their rival then the fans chalked it up to being a good year.
While players such as Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers seem to respect the opposing roster, the fans do not share the same view.
Green Bay is located in the state of Wisconsin, which considers itself the nation's leading state in milk production.
It is actually third, but major efforts have ensured that the truth never reaches the people of Wisconsin.
Most Bear fans' jibes centre on the Packers backers' love of everything dairy, resulting in the longstanding nickname of "cheeseheads."
Instead of being offended, the Packers fans began wearing giant yellow foam cheese triangles as hats.
You'll see plenty of cheeseheads in the crowd on Sunday. But across the United States, many small-town residents become fans of the Green Bay Packers because it is the only major professional sports franchise located in a small community.
On gamedays, it is typical for Green Bay to shut down because everyone is at Lambeau Field.
The Packers have more Super Bowl titles – three to the Bears' lone title in 1985.
Bears fans tend to be born and raised in Chicago. One major supporter of note is President Barack Obama, who has stated that if the Bears make it to the Super Bowl, he will be attending.
The second game on Sunday will be between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets.
Some quick advice – if you meet someone from New York City, do not assume they are a New York Jets fan. You could make a New York Giants fan very upset.
It is kind of like assuming someone from Spain automatically loves Real Madrid.
Jets fans appear to have played second fiddle to the Giants for quite some time, and have developed a "little brother" syndrome.
They even play in the same stadium. When the Jets have good years – like the past two – they become very loud and outspoken. This is the second year in a row that they have made it to the conference title game.
|Packers fans: keen on cheese [GALLO/GETTY]
Last weekend, after a week of pointed insults led by Jets coach Rex Ryan, they dispatched their biggest rivals, the New England Patriots, on the Pats' home field in Massachusetts.
Respectful comments for the Steelers have replaced any trash talk this week.
Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will be packed with loud, die-hard Steelers fans waving their "terrible towels" above their heads.
It is often impossible for visiting teams to hear the snap count before facing the Pittsburgh "Steel Curtain" – the nickname of the formidable defense, led by star safety Troy Polamalu.
I am honestly wondering if any Jets fans are going to find tickets to the game. Loyal Steelers fans will often track down season ticket holders that sell their seats to opposing teams' supporters.
The Steelers have been to seven Super Bowls, and won six of them. The Jets have been to one, and famously won it – 42 long years ago, after their quarterback Joe Namath "guaranteed" a win in the press.
This season's Jets seem to have the same moxie – talking and then backing it up on the field.
The odds makers are predicting a Packers/Steelers Super Bowl, but the Jets and Bears can more than compete.
So there you have it. The charming smalltown cheese, versus the presidential-backed big city for the early game. Followed by the metropolitan team with a Napoleon complex versus the die-hard pride of a Midwest city.
The super-quick summary of this weekend: two green jersey teams are visiting two black jersey teams. Las Vegas expects cheese to trap bears, and a steel curtain to down fast-moving aircraft.
Source: Al Jazeera