February 2, 2008

Super Bowl XLII

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

It’s the biggest annual sporting event in the world and its taking place tomorrow. The NFL’s championship — the Super Bowl — is set for kick off at 6:17 p.m. ET at the home the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale. It’s the Giants of New York representing the NFC against the undefeated* Patriots of the AFC and, if it all goes down like I expect it to, it’s not going to be a close game.

Sure, you can convince yourself that the New York’s front-seven will but enough pressure on Thomas Brady to force some bad throws. Sure, you can convince yourself that maybe Thomas won’t be at 100% because of his ankle injury. You can also try talking yourself into Elisha Manning turning the corner and becoming the quarterback the Giants expected him to be, or that New York’s thunder-and-lightning running game can wear down the Pats even to control the clock and game. Gambling-wise you can also remind yourself that the Patriots have won three Super Bowls by a total of nine points and that they’ve only covered two spreads since Thanksgiving Thursday.

But then you have to remind yourself that you’re wagering on Eli Manning and in the Super Bowl. Remember how Eli has those up weeks where everybody forgets that he stinks up streaks of games at a time? This is happening right now. Just earlier this year Elisha tied a record for interceptions returned for touchdowns in a game. Are we sure enough that we want to put our money on a hot quarterback who just had a week off to possibly cool down?

Another key factor is where the Big Game is being played: sunny Arizona. The past few games have been in poor conditions; in rain, wind, sleet, snow and generally cold weather. This greatly affects passing teams, even the best of passing teams. In relatively good conditions, the Patriots are set to have a great day passing the ball, despite the Giants fabulous d-line play.

And how dare Plaxico Burris make a prediction – that slowly turned into a guarantee by the media – that the Giant would win 23-17. Did he really need to fuel a team that was already hungry? It makes no sense. Don’t poking the sleeping bears you moron! And then missing two days of practice really helped back up that statement, which also gave your defence way to much credit.

Lastly, the fact still remains that for this cycle of the universe, Boston teams rule over New York teams. It’s just plain dumb to take a New York team when these cities match up any more. The Red Sox are going to be great for a long while, the Celtics and Knicks don’t even have to be discussed because Isiah Thomas is involved and then there are the Patriots. The NFL’s New York teams (Giants and the Jets) have less wins combined than New England. I think the pick here is obvious, but if you bump the line to Pats minus-22, I’d give you some action.

Congratulations New England on your undefeated* season. May you live with that asterisk forever, cheaters.

Dan’s Pick: New England (-12) over New York.
Dan’s Score: New England 38, New York 21.
Dan’s MVP: Asante Samuel

The playoffs: 3-4-1
The season: 111-117-10

And just for fun:
The tech guy: New England 24, New York 17.
The Intern: New England 35, New York 3. MVP: Randy Moss.

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