I wrote a 500-word preview article that set up the Super Bowl. Then our website ate it and will not let me have it back. This sums up my relationship with American football this season. Fuck it. I don’t care enough to do all that again. My time will be better spent playing FIFA on the Xbox and anticipating Saturday’s showdown between Chelsea and Manchester City. So you get my bulleted thoughts and then we will hear from any other Recorder folks who want to weigh in.
* The Seattle Seahawks won an improbable NFC Championship Game.
* Marshawn Lynch’s refusal to respond to media questions is amazing. That is makes the NFL and media members act like petulant children is somehow even more amazing.
* The New England Patriots have been accused of winning the AFC Championship Game with the help of underinflated balls. <insert joke here> The subsequent scandal, which I like to call Ballghazi, has been the most idiotic sports media-fueled scandal I can think of.
* The Patriots’ tight end has become the subject of an erotic novel written without his authorization. He read it aloud at Super Bowl media day.
* A Seahawks win would make them the first repeat champions since the 2004-05 Patriots. A Patriots win would make the duo of coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady the most successful ever. You will hear this mentioned a lot.
I pick the Seahawks to win by 4. Their defensive secondary is the best unit on the field and their offense got its horrendous game out of the way two weeks ago.
I mean, on the one hand, the Seahawks are my favorite team not currently playing in the city of Cincinnati. They have my two favorite NFL players (Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch), they are self-aware and superbly talented, and them emphasize playing as a team. They’re legitimately dope. Their fans are insanely loud.
On the other hand, I work with a lot of Packers fans, and my boss in particular took that last loss pretty personally. Also, we’re doing a Pick ‘Em contest at my day job and I picked the Pats to win like three or four weeks ago, and if I lose, I won’t hear the end of it from the peeps who picked the Seahawks.
Therefore, I’m picking Pats by 8 and hoping I’m wrong. Because the problem with being unable to lose is you’re unable to win.
I’m here to echo Alex’s sentiment. Not the prediction or the analysis, but the utter frustration with a sport that I used enjoy every Sunday when the weather got cold. This disenfranchisement is older than this year — even when my beloved Packers won their fourth Super Bowl a few years back, I was already done with the NFL. There were the rule changes that over-emphasized the QB position, the changes in play that favored spearing over tackling, the benevolent dictatorship of Goodell’s regime, and blind eyes turned toward concussions. This year was just the rancid cherry on top of a carefully-crafted shit sundae.
I can’t escape the coverage, either. Watching hockey games this week has been awkward, as channels force their hockey experts and players to talk about who’ll win the Super Bowl. Look, TV, if I wanted to listen to an ignorant opinion about the NFL, I’d be watching ESPN instead of another sport. Anyhow, my prediction: Millions are surprised when Marshawn Lynch and Bill Belichick silently team up to rip off Goodell’s mask, revealing the commissioner to be a cannibalistc ghoul who feeds upon the dead.
The Super Bowl never goes as expected for me. Over the past few years, every game I had no expectations for became a thriller (New Orleans-Indianapolis) and every game I thought would be a showdown for the ages became a clobbering (Seattle-Denver). Also, the Browns never make it!
On the other hand, due to my spending my formative years going to college in Boston, the teams of Massachusetts are perennially my second-favorites, so after a couple Giant-sized losses, I’d like to see Brady (whose storied career has little time left) take home one more title, and I think he and the Pats want it as well. Patriots by 10.
Let me add one more prediction inspired by my time in Boston. Every year, the Museum of Fine Arts shows the winners of the British Advertising Awards, which is basically a collection of by turns hilarious and heartbreaking short films that just often happen to be selling beer or aftershave. These commercials and public service announcements, crafted for ordinary broadcast, are ads I still remember vividly a decade later, which is something I cannot say about the fabled Super Bowl commercials.
That might change. The Super Bowl doesn’t often show PSAs, but this year, in light of recent events, they have given a prime spot to NoMore.Org for an anti-domestic violence message which I predict could be as talked about as the game itself… and if it gets people thinking, that would be a wonderful thing.