For those of you who stopped by to read my column and see who my Super Bowl pick is, let me start out by saying that I won’t tease you. Pretty much every Super Bowl column I’ve ever read consists of a long discussion of the merits of both teams, and/or comparing aspects of each team to the other, with the pick coming at the very end. I’m not going to do that to you, folks.
In fact, I’m not making a pick at all. Well, I am, and I’m not.
I have an idea of which team I believe will win, and if you continue reading, you’ll probably be able to figure out which one I’m picking. I’m just not saying. If these playoffs have helped me remember anything, it’s that it doesn’t matter what’s “supposed” to happen. I mean, just look at how the Pats and the Giants survived their conference championship games. New England game within millimetres of losing the game to the Ravens when Lee Evans couldn’t hang on to that ball in the end zone, then they avoided overtime when Baltimore’s kicker missed a chip-shot field goal. As for the Giants, when you get past all the talk about how tough Eli Manning was against the 49ers (he really was), and how awesome their pass rush is (meh), New York is only in this game because San Francisco’s backup kick returner made a huge, tremendous, colossal, enormous (not to put too fine a point on it) mistake to give the Giants a chance to score a TD in the fourth quarter, then the same returner fumbled in OT to give New York the win.
I’m really looking forward to the game today, as I do every year. I’m also really, really looking forward to not having to listen to all of the bullshit that gets spread around so thickly in the lead up to the big game. There’s a saying I like, and it sums up how I feel about the hype leading up to the Super Bowl; “There’s three types of lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.” Here are some of the lies that I won’t miss hearing about this year’s Super Bowl:
Rematch. Oh, how sick I am of hearing that word. Yes the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl in 2008 (not 2007, as I’ve heard multiple times this week). Some of the players from that game are still with their respective teams, including both starting QBs, but a vast majority of them are not. And besides, the NFL and the media have already played the rematch card. Don’t believe me? Go on to the NFL or Sports Illustrated websites, and read the recaps of the Giants-Patriots game from week nine of this season. There’s more about the 2008 Super Bowl in those articles than there is about the actual game that was played. The fact is, neither of those two previous games has any bearing on this one. It’s a nice story, but there’s no substance to it.
The Giants’ defensive line will keep Tom Brady from being able to make plays. Really? It’s not like New England’s offensive line will have anything to say about that. To suggest that Brady won’t be well-protected is just too stupid to discuss any further. Again, don’t believe me? Ask the Ravens. If I was a Giants’ fan, I’d be more concerned with what New York’s offensive line is going to do about Vince Wilfork, who simply overpowers single blockers.
New England has one of worst (or the worst, I can’t keep it straight) defences in the league. By what standard exactly? Oh, right, yards allowed. That makes sense, you know, because that’s how they keep score in the NFL. Myself, I prefer to look at points allowed. By that standard, the Patriots weren’t even the worst team in their own division this season.
The Patriots didn’t beat a winning team all year. Meaningless. The Pats decisively beat the Jets twice this season. Sure, the Jets didn’t finish the season with a winning record, but Rex Ryan’s hatred of losing to New England goes back to his days with the Ravens. Those were not cakewalk games for the Pats. The Jets were “up” for those games. New England also smoked the Eagles in Philadelphia, and the Raiders in Oakland (when they were playing well).
Eli Manning is playing mistake-free football. Eli took a savage beating in the NFC Championship game, and hung in like a real champ, but he’s been pretty lucky in the past several weeks too. I’ve seen a lot of dropped interceptions, defensive backs colliding, and fumbles bouncing the Giants’ way. Luck doesn’t last.
I could talk more about how Rob Gronkowski’ injury isn’t that big a deal, or how Brandon Jacobs talks better than he runs (and he sounds like an idiot) or how many drops I expect from Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham today, but I’m going to relax and start getting ready to watch the game. We’ve got some wings, nachos and beer, and we’re hoping for a good game. I hope you all enjoy the game, wherever you are.
Oh, there’s one more thing I forgot to mention. I’m REALLY looking forward to not having to see or hear Phil Simms for a while. I used to look at him and think about his awesome 22 for 25 performance in the Super Bowl. Now, I look at him and I think, “Boring. Windbag. Blowhard. Dick.”