The early days of February are here, and another Super Bowl is on our hands. As much as we all love the most glorified weekend in sports, this will be the last football game of another prestigious season. Whether your team is in New Orleans or not, one more franchise in history will go down as champions. Let’s get to your non-professional guide…
Conference Championship Sunday lived up to its hype, and the Harbaugh brothers are now meeting in Louisiana. I actually forgot to mention the possibility of the “Harbaugh Bowl” in my latest column; don’t ask me how, just happened.
Well, Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons failed to give the hometown fans a Super Bowl berth, but expect them to be around the next few years. Tony Gonzales or not. The same scenario played out in Foxboro, and Tom Brady failed to cement his legacy even further. Was this the last run for Brady and Belichick? Every year that certain speculation is given light, but you can never count TB12 out, even if he wears Uggz. He’s aiming to be the only QB to ever appear in six Super Bowls, and I’m looking forward to when Eli Manning takes him down for a third straight time in Super Bowl XLVIII, ironically enough, in the Meadowlands. Wouldn’t that be a fitting end to Brady’s career? Alright, I’m kidding. Wait, am I?
I believe it’s time for another Love/Hate list, and I’m guessing you also have plenty to say on these topics.
1) Sean Payton- Welcome back to football, Sean. He may have had something to do with “BountyGate,” but one of the NFL’s greatest masterminds will be back on the sidelines next season. He’s also allowed to talk to his team again, as well as the Saints organization. Do you realize the extent of his ban? He couldn’t talk, text, or even email anyone who was involved with the Saints. He couldn’t even wish Drew Brees a happy birthday. Or wish Drew Brees’ kids a happy birthday. That’s almost a public solitary confinement. How is this allowed? I have absolutely no idea. It’s absurd. However, Payton and Brees are back, and maybe New Orleans won’t just be hosting the Super Bowl. We’ve seen crazier things happen.
2) Neurologists- According to reports, neurologists will be on site for all NFL games next season. That’s great news for concussions, the players, the coaches, the training staff, and most importantly, the neurologists. I don’t want to estimate how much these specialized doctors will be getting paid. The only thing we have to cross our fingers for is that we don’t end up with replacement neurologists. That would be awful.
3) Harbaugh Brothers- John and Jim will forever go down in history as the first brothers to face each other in a Super Bowl. Last year they had the opportunity, but this year it’s reality. There’s probably no one happier than the Harbaugh parents, especially former football coach, Jack Harbaugh. And there’s probably no one more upset than Tom Crean. He may have a superb basketball team, but he’s not as cool as his brother-in-laws.
4) Bernard Karmell Pollard- Otherwise known as “The Assassin,” and the “Patriots Killa,” Pollard did it again two weeks ago, making us all aware that he’s actually the anti-Patriot. I think you all know the history behind it, but just for fun, let’s all watch it together:
4) New Orleans- I’ve never been there, but I hear it’s wonderful. And apparently, it’s a perfect place for the talking heads to set up location for a week. Whether it’s the french culture, the food, or Bourbon Street, southern Louisiana is a mecca for adventure.
5) Bill Simmons- He asked the question everyone else was afraid to ask. He should be commended for that. Go get ‘em, Bill. And sorry about Pollard.
1) Deer-Antler Spray- You knew this was coming. Did Ray Lewis use PED’s? Is is possible to come back from torn triceps in 10 weeks? These are all great questions that may never be answered. Steroids and banned substances are here to stay, and we’ll never get rid of them. And they may have bizarre names such as “Deer-Antler spray,” but regardless of your opinion, they’re illegal. And they’re tainting our sports. But we may have to live with it.
2) Super Bowl Media- I love radio row, and the set locations in downtown, but I despise the hype. If you’re talking about the teams’ journeys, or the teams’ history, that’s fine. But if you’re trying to dissect the strategy on how each team will win on game day, and you’re doing that everyday, I’m not watching it. I’ll read your column or hear your opinion, but only once. Not twice, not three times, and not four times. Speculation on the outcome is fun amongst your friends, but not the same answers from the same talking heads for two weeks. Can we think of something more creative?
3) Alex Rodriguez- Yes, not football related, but PED related. How can you get caught twice, Alex? Are you kidding me? Like the famous line, but I’ll reverse it: “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you.” That makes more sense when PED’s are involved.
4) Sports Illustrated- Way to divert the topics of discussion, SI. Are you trying to put an asterisk next to this Super Bowl? Are you pulling a Jerry Rice? Are you turning into private investigators? Is the Super Bowl not good enough for you? Do you hate New Orleans? Do you hate Baltimore? Do you not like murderers (allegedly)?
5) The Game Line- San Francisco is only favored by 3.5 points, making it nearly impossible for me to be confident in my pick. Yes, San Fran could blow them out, but they might only win by the leg of Akers, also. The Ray-Train and Baltimore might believe in destiny, and that’s not good, either. Regardless, I’m sticking with my gut and taking San Francisco -3.5.
The coveted preseason Super Bowl pick was within a hand’s reach, but I fell short. Am I pissed? Yeah. Is it okay? Yeah, it is. But I was so damn close. Here’s the revisions on my playoff picks:
Wild Card Weekend
(3) Houston defeats (6) Cincinnati. (Correct.)
(3) Green Bay defeats (6) Minnesota. (Correct.)
(5) Indianapolis defeats (4) Baltimore. (Incorrect.)
(5) Seattle defeats (4) Washington. (Correct.)
(1) Denver defeats
(5) Indianapolis (4) Baltimore. (Incorrect.)
(2) New England defeats (3) Houston. (Correct.)
(1) Atlanta defeats (5) Seattle. (Correct.)
(2) San Francisco defeats (3) Green Bay. (Correct.)
(2) New England defeats
(1) Denver (4) Baltimore. (Incorrect.)
(2) San Francisco defeats (1) Atlanta. (Correct.)
Super Bowl XLVII
(2) San Francisco defeats
(2) New England (4) Baltimore.
Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers (Sunday, New Orleans, 6:30 PM ET, CBS)
If you’ve read me before, you know I picked San Francisco to win the 47th Super Bowl back in May, and I’m not wavering from my predictions. They may have changed quarterbacks mid-season, but it brought new energy to an already energized organization. It’s the tale of Tom Brady all over again, history is almost repeating itself. San Francisco has never lost a Super Bowl, they’re 5-0 all time. Baltimore has only played in one Super Bowl, but they were also victorious. The legend of Ray Lewis is coming to an end, but the legend of Kaepernick is just beginning. Both Harbaugh’s are tremendous coaches, but Jim has the highest ceiling. No one’s mentioned this all week, but Randy Moss could win his first Super Bowl. These two teams are talented and ready to leave it all out on the gridiron, but only one can be crowned champions. And only one franchise can hoist the glistening Lombardi Trophy in the Mercedez-Benz Superdome. Let the era of the 49ers begin.
The pick: San Francisco 49ers. May you all enjoy the final day of the 2012-13 NFL season.
About the Author
Written by Corey Rioux
A wise man once told me, "Sports are modern-day mythology." I tend to disagree. Proper grammar is optional. You can read my columns here: http://www.prosportsblogging.com/author/c_rioux23/ You can follow me on twitter at: @C_Rioux23 You can contact me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org