Sunday, February 03, 2008

Down To This

Funny how politics and sports intersect, with Super Bowl Sunday and Super Primary Tuesday so close to each other, and the fate of winners & losers and has-beens & also-rans at stake.

And in elections and football alike, you go first with who you love, then who you like, until finally there's no one left who fits that description and so you go against that which you hate for as long as it takes until there's no one left to root for.

In politics this week, both the guy I hated most of all, Rudy Giuliani, and the candidate I was hoping would win, John Edwards, were forced to drop out on the same day. So now you're left with Clinton versus Obama on one side, and McCain against Romney on the other. That's it. Basically a year to go and the Final Four is set.

In football, the team that gave me so many highs this year, the Cowboys, were bounced out three weeks ago against the Rudy Giuliani of NFL teams, the Giants, who then, proving that we indeed live in the worst of all possible worlds, shot right into the Super Bowl. Waiting for them, however, are not just any football team, but the Tammany Hall of sports teams, the New England Patriots, led by Bill "Boss Hoody" Belichick. New England is ready to dot the 'i' on another championship season, their 4th in 7 years -- this one a perfect landslide of a campaign: 19-0 if they can beat the Jersey Giants this afternoon. But even perfection in this case is not necessarily unblemished, as rumors of corruption in the form of extra-legal shenanigans on the Patriots' part refuse to die -- stoked most recently by none other than Mr. Single Bullet Theory himself:
"A senior Republican senator says he wants the NFL to explain why it destroyed evidence of the New England Patriots cheating scandal.

"I am very concerned about the underlying facts on the taping, the reasons for the judgment on the limited penalties and, most of all, on the inexplicable destruction of the tapes," said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., in a Thursday letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Back to the game at hand, it would not, repeat not, shock me if the Giants win. That's the kind of crazy year it's been. The Patriots have not blown the doors off a team in a long while, Randy Moss has been dormant so far in the postseason, and their defense can be scored on. Add to it a loose Giants team that doesn't make mistakes, has proven it can run the ball and make big plays in the passing game, with a loose, blitz-happy defense that has made its mark in their 3 playoff games. Of course, the team that doesn't turn the ball over, commit costly penalties or give up the big play has a much better chance of emerging victorious. At least that's what the experts are saying this year.
That said, the one number that jumps out when looking at both teams' 2007 seasons is this: the Pats outscored their opponents by an astounding 335 points, while the Giants squeaked by with a net gain of just +39, with a schedule that included some of the worst teams in football: Dolphins, Niners, Falcons, Jets. With two weeks off, I also think you will see a Pats team that resembles the earlier part of the season, the one that flat out dominated teams through the first 8 or 9 weeks, while the Giants best asset was the momentum it had built up while racking up road wins in Tampa Bay, Dallas and Green Bay. The two weeks off will have the opposite effect on them, and combined with a conservative offensive game plan, the Patriots have an excellent chance of roaring out to a sizable early lead -- something on the order of 21-3 or 28-7.

My final score, given that Super Bowls are rarely defensive struggles, at least on the scoreboard, is 48-20. Lawrence Maroney is the surprise MVP, with 3 TDs and 154 yards rushing. I would have loved for my team to even get the chance to be on the wrong side of a rout, but for some unknowable reason the football gods were not smiling down through the Whole in the Roof, and so Dallas came up 21-17 losers against the Giants. Next year everyone starts 0-0 again, and it's anyone's guess who will or won't be back to the Big Show.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wrong again asshole---you suck at everything including picking football teams