Memo to Albert Haynesworth: Nose tackle is the new glamour position of the NFL. Did you see the Packers' B.J. Raji in the NFC Championship game, making the game-clinching pick-six and doing the hippy-hippy shake?

And did you see the Steelers' Casey Hampton in the AFC Championship game, sometimes occupying three blockers, including Jets All-Pro center Nick Mangold, allowing his teammates to terrorize Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez?

Forget Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. Raji and Hampton were the stars Sunday as it was demonstrated again that defense wins championships. Not coincidentally, the teams with two of the NFL's best nose tackles are going to the Super Bowl, played appropriately this year in a place called Big D.

In the next two weeks, you're going to hear a lot about the Super Bowl's dueling nose tackles. And why not? This has been the year of the nose in the NFL. Sports Illustrated put the Patriots' Vince Wilfork on its cover three weeks ago, previewing the playoffs. Now it's Raji and Hampton playing prominent roles in determining this season's conference champions.

The 24-year-old Raji (6-foot-2, 337 pounds) and 33-year-old Hampton (6-1, 325) are position prototypes. Both were first-round draft choices -- Raji, the ninth overall pick out of Boston College, and Hampton, No. 19 overall out of Texas.

Hampton's nickname is "Big Snack." Raji is known as "Freezer," a take-off of Bears defensive tackle William "Refrigerator" Perry from a generation ago. The nickname came about because Raji, like Perry, is occasionally employed as a lead blocker out of the offensive backfield in short yardage situations.

One NFL personnel executive told AOL Fanhouse the following about Raji: "He has the ability to tie up three guys, the center and both guards. He frees things for the linebackers. If you're good enough at that position in the 3-4, you can change the game. He's good enough."

Raji showed his athletic ability on his game-changing play Sunday, dropping into coverage and intercepting Bears backup quarterback Caleb Hanie.

"The guy has some style," Packers cornerback Charles Woodson told reporters following the game. "That was huge."

So Albert, let that be a lesson. After all, this could have been you.