Superbowl Predictions

sports blogOk so here we go. Here are the things I predict, I wish and my final thoughts on Superbowl XLIX (that’s 49 to you).

In-Game predictions/things discussed:

Cris Collinsworth overstates the obvious at least five times during the game.

Steve Largent is mentioned (only because he still might be the Seahawks best receiver)

We hear about Richard Sherman saying to Tom Brady “You mad bro”?

David Tyree is shown making “The catch”.

Kurt Warner’s wife is shown. Oops wrong Superbowl.

Someone is shown on the sidelines guarding footballs (maybe Roger Goodell). And the process of how the footballs were protected prior and leading up to this game being explained.

Where Darelle Revis plays next year and how he compares to Richard Sherman.

That Belichick will say at halftime that we need to do a better job at something.

The word eligible and ineligible being uses multiple times.

How the next Superbowl will be stated as #50 instead of Roman numeral “L” for loser!

Things I wish:

NBC would replay Al Michaels call of Dave Henderson’s HR in 1986. “To left field…and deep… and Downing goes back… and it’s gone. Unbelievable”. “You are looking at one for the ages here.” “Astonishing.”

“Do you believe in miracles?” was a decent quote also I suppose.

That someone would discuss how badly Pete Carroll cheated at USC and how he left the program in complete shambles.

Katy Perry would have a wardrobe malfunction.

That Peyton Manning will consult Brett Favre for retirement advice.

That Pete Carroll would say he is pumped and jacked for the game.

Final Thoughts and Game Prediction

It has been two weeks of talk mostly surrounding Deflategate, Marshawn Lynch’s antics, legacies and comparisons to West Coast Pete and the affable Bill.

Everything has been dissected. Can the Pats run the ball and execute a short passing game? I saw one analyst said the Seahawks defend the short passing game poorly and another one said completely the opposite. Can Seattle win back-to-back titles? 98 football writers/experts from around the country were polled on who was going to win and 50 said Seattle and 48 said the Patriots. The line is a pick. I mean you just can’t get much closer than this.

My biggest concern for the Pats winning:

Tom Brady’s biggest weakness as a QB is the deep ball and in a game like this, I think you have to throw deep to keep the Seahawks honest at least a few times so expect to see that early in the first half. If Brian Tyms is somehow active and Belichick has the guts to use someone like that in the Superbowl, he could be the guy, otherwise it will be Brandon Lafell.

That Brady doesn’t throw a pick six.

That the offensive line holds up and can give Brady time to throw.

My biggest concern for the Seahawks winning:

When the Pats play a team that doesn’t have more than one or two legitimate weapons, they usually respond very well defensively by making other players beat them (see T.Y. Hilton). I don’t respect the Seahawks receivers at all and they will make some plays as will tight end Luke Willson, but that is only because the Pats are paying so much attention to Lynch and Russell Wilson.

The health of Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas. Very tough guys and they will be out there, but if they are noticeably not at 100 percent, that will be a problem.

If the Seahawks fall behind and Russell Wilson has to throw a lot.

Final Prediction:

I think the Seahawks D is tremendous and I have the utmost respect for Russell Wilson, but the Patriots for the 4th time will win a Superbowl by three points. I think the Patriots are locked in and are deep enough defensively this season. Final score pats 19-16 over Seattle.

275 minutes until game time but whose counting.


Thoughts on the Morning of Superbowl Sunday

So when will Richard Sherman’s wife go into labor and where will Sherman be when he does? “The Legion of Womb” is anxious this morning. This topic of course brings back the story from last April when New York Mets infielder Daniel Murphy opted to take three days off and missed the first two games of the season to be with his wife. Murphy’s decision prompted a sensitive and comical quote from WFAN’s Michael Francesa “You’re a major league baseball player. You can hire a nurse,” Francesa reportedly said of Murphy. “What are you gonna do, sit there and look at your wife in the hospital bed for two days?” Paternity leave is an evolving issue in society and sports simply brings it to the forefront. My problem is that athlete’s decisions seem to be rationalized by sport and the importance of the game. A lot of people argued that no big deal for Murphy because it was early in the regular season so give the guy his time. It would seem unfathomable for Sherman to miss the game if his wife did go into labor today.

In football, you only have sixteen regular season games and potentially 20 total. Missing one game even in the regular season especially at the quarterback or cornerback position could be the difference in your team making the playoffs or not or winning the game or not. In baseball, Murphy missed two of 162 and potentially 183. Here is the question. Is it okay for players to take leave based on certain times of year, what position they play and level of game importance? Regardless of what athletes want to do or feel there priorities should be, the pressure of fan backlash and letting your teammates and organization down will be too powerful to overcome. 

Aaron Rodgers won the MVP which is understandable, but I think a legitimate argument could have been made for JJ Watt. The problem is that typically MVP candidates aren’t strongly considered from losing teams or from the defensive side of the ball. Watt had 20.5 sacks, 78 tackles — 29 for losses — 50 quarterback hits, four forced fumbles and 10 blocked passes. He also had five touchdowns (three offensive and two defensive). He did win defensive player of the year, but Watt’s presence and impact was immeasurable. I find it to be the similar challenge a pitcher has in baseball winning MVP since there is a Cy Young award.

I found it disappointing this week that Joe Montana made some snide remarks about “Deflategate” and subtly detracted from Brady’s accomplishments. Of course he had nice things to say about Brady as well, but I chalk that up to when someone is discriminating against a person and then after they discriminate they say, oh I have friends that are XXX. Then Jerry Rice of course chimed in with negative comments but he of course is still bitter about Randy Moss breaking his single season touchdown record in the 2007-08 season and reminded everybody that he did it in 12 games as opposed to Moss’ 16.  But I digress! And to add icing on the caking, the eternally bitter and jealous Don Shula piped up and pipes up whenever possible to disparage Bill Belichick and referred to him earlier in the month as “Belicheat”. So what is the common thread between all of these NFL greats. The answer is jealousy and bitterness. Montana and Rice know that if the Pats win today, their tag of the 49’ers being the all-time greatest dynasty is in jeopardy. Shula knows that Belichick is passing every record he had and it kills him. Just for curiosity, does the fact that Shula’s undefeated season was only 14 regular season games have an asterisk? I think we should ask Jerry.

By the way, a few stats about Shula. He had Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino to work with for 13 seasons and got to one Superbowl. Belichick is onto his sixth Superbowl with Brady in 14 seasons (I didn’t count the year Brady was out with a torn ACL). In the final 22 seasons Shula coached, he won 0 Superbowls and lost the only two the Dolphins played in and his teams didn’t even make the playoffs in 10 of those seasons.

There is always so much discussion on how much money is wagered in the Superbowl whether it be on straight up wagering or proposition bets. This yesterday from Jason Simbal of CG Technology.

“We’re taking more bets on the Patriots, but the more substantial money has been on the Seahawks,”  Simbal said. “What we’ve been seeing lately is for every two-, three-, four- or five-hundred dollar bet that comes in on New England, we’ll then take a five-figure bet on Seattle.”

Ultimately, by game time, I think the money will be evenly split on both sides which is ultimately what Vegas wants anyway. Only two other Superbowls had the lines this close and that was in 1973 and 1982.

And just in case things don’t go well for the bad guys, they can feel good about the following statistics and aren’t in danger of going broke anytime soon.

David Purdum of ESPN reports that Nevada sports bettors wagered more — and lost more — than ever in 2014. The state’s 187 sportsbooks won $227.04 million off of the $3.9 billion wagered on sports in 2014. Both amounts are all-time records, according to Nevada Gaming Control. The sportsbooks won $113.73 million on college and pro football in 2014. In comparison, the books won $54.2 million on basketball and $21.2 million on baseball in 2014. As usual hockey gets no respect.

Thought I would list my top 8 sports betting propositions for the Superbowl from Bovada in Las Vegas:

  1. Will Idina Menzel forget or omit at least 1 word from the National Anthem? Yes/No
  2. How many times will deflated balls be referred to during the game? Over/Under 2 and ½
  3. Will Marshawn Lynch grab his crotch after scoring at TD? Yes/No
  4. Will Belichick smile during the game? Yes/No
  5. What kind of hoodie will Belichick be wearing? Sleeves cut/sleeves intact
  6. How many times will Gisele Bundchen be shown on TV? Over/Under 1 and ½
  7. Who will have more on Superbowl Sunday? Sidney Crosby points or Russell Wilson touchdown passes?
  8. What color will Katy Perry’s hair be when the halftime show begins?

First Down Markers:

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is making formers Yankees pitcher Steve Howe blush.

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson scored 37 points in a quarter last week.

The Atlanta Hawks have won 19 games in a row! I’m serious.

Who won the NFL Pro Bowl?

Colorado prison inmate Terry Hendrix is suing the NFL over the overturned Dez Bryant catch in the Packers-Cowboys playoff game. America’s team is always so well represented.

Superbowl blog coming later!


Pre Pro Bowl

Wow what a quiet week in sports. Seems like there is nothing going on. So deflating.

The worst part is the Pro Bowl isn’t getting nearly the attention it deserves. This might be the most befuddling event of the four major sports. For the tremendous success the NFL has had and the amount of money  the league makes, the approach to this game couldn’t be more ass-backwards.

First of all, the Superbowl participating players opt out and many other marquee players frequently bow out because they don’t care. The NFL has tried to liven things up by doing a fantasy draft. The top two revenue sources of the NFL are based on fantasy leagues and gambling. Those don’t apply in the Pro Bowl hence no interest in conjunction with what I mentioned above. And when Andy Dalton got named as an alternate that was the last straw. How about having the Pro Bowl after the Superbowl. I know the NFL would have nothing to offer its fans between the conference championship games and Superbowl, but more Superbowl hype would be more appealing than a boring game with alternates and players not caring. The NHL has the skills competition, the NBA has the slam dunk and 3 point contest, MLB has the home run hitting contest and the NFL has a fantasy draft and beach football??????????

Okay so let the trash talk begin. Seahawks nickel corner Jeremy Lane said “Gronkowski isn’t very good.” I would say Lane isn’t very good but I didn’t know who he was prior to the quote. What I simply don’t understand is why insignificant players are stupid enough to provide bulletin board material and specifically to go into detail about Gronk being ineffective when people are physical with him. Yes these guys should be motivated regardless of bulletin board material, but if what Lane sees on film is correct, than why call it out and instead just take advantage of it. As competitive as Gronk is, you don’t think now more than ever he is going to try and shed that label in front of gazillions of fans on Superbowl Sunday.

Remember prior to the Eagles-Pats Superbowl in 2005 when Freddie Mitchell said he just knew the numbers — not the names — of New England’s cornerbacks. Stupid, not necessary and coming from an insignificant player trying to make a name for himself giving needless extra motivation to the other team.

And one more trash talk note. I found it comical that Aaron Rodgers felt the need to call out Richard Sherman before the NFC Championship game saying he wasn’t afraid of him and then proceeded to get picked by Sherman in the first quarter. Again, why say anything at all and let your actions and the actual game do the talking for you.

Green Bay is probably the model franchise in the NFL and its fans and team has always been classy. But that was not only one of the biggest sports chokes I have ever seen, but one that will stick with the players and fans for years and too much of the focus was on Seattle’s big comeback and not enough on the multiple wasted opportunities by the Packers in the first half.

So I guess that’s it. I think there was one other thing. Ichiro Suzuki and the Marlins are close on a one-year deal. I kid I kid.

“Inflategate”. I refer of course to 1977 when former great Raiders kicker Ray Guy was suspected of kicking a football filled with a substance lighter than air. Houston Oilers return man Billy “White Shoes” Johnson said he has never seen a ball hang up there that long. According to news accounts, the Oilers were able to retrieve one of Guy’s footballs and took it back to Houston. The Oilers would send the ball for testing at Rice University, but no helium was found, according to the AP.

And now we have “Deflategate”. This has been talked about ad nauseum all week so I am just going to make a few points.

  1. When the Raiders were a dynasty/always winning and successful (this was before they changed their slogan in the last 25 years to (“Just Lose Baby”) in the 70’s  and early 80’s, people hated them and found every reason to pick on them. Same with the Steelers. Then the 49’ers and then the Cowboys. I mean people were so resentful of “America’s team” and so many people rooted so hard for them to lose. And now we have the Patriots, who to add insult to injury have a coach the majority of the country despises because of his obstinate, secretive and unfriendly nature and a QB who is perceived as the ultimate pretty boy.

  2. Yes there is a pattern of cheating and crossing the line, but what is more disturbing is that the players who have lost key games to the Pats over the years are using circumstantial evidence in some cases and no evidence in others, as an excuse for their failures instead of owning up to not being good enough.

  3. I wear my “City of Champions” badge of honor as fiercely as anyone and have always prided myself on being able to have a comeback when an annoying fan from an opposing city tries to trash Boston teams. Prior to 2004, I had nothing to say to Yankees fans. Now I can say the Yankees have the biggest choke of all time in pro sports and the Red Sox have been the better team in the 21st Century. Montreal hasn’t won a Cup in 20 odd years and the Bruins have had more success overall for a while now. The Celtics have the most championships in NBA history and now I have nothing to say for the Pats. There is nothing worse in this world in my opinion than being called a liar or a cheater. Once you open the door, it is virtually impossible to close and regain trust. Belichick opened the door and now the entire team, and fan base suffers for it and permanently has to answer for it. So disappointing and frustrating. The most detestable word in the English language now has to be asterisk for Pats fans.

  4. If Bill Belichick really did spy on the Rams prior to the Superbowl, did he have that little confidence in his own team or when he taped the Jets: Same question? So if Belichick didn’t know about this, and this was on Tom Brady, did Brady have that little confidence in his receivers and himself where he needed this slight meaningless edge against a team that has been clearly inferior to them for a while. A home game, bad weather, inexperienced QB wasn’t enough. Maybe this is a conspiracy  but I am having a hard time believing Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky any more than Tom Brady wasn’t aware of what happened.

Until next week!