Tag Archives: Super Bowl

Super Bowl LV Post Mortem: A Love(?) Story

Introduction

No other title in the history of this web page matches as well as Super Bowl LV Post Mortem. Hell, I needed almost a week to mourn the loss. Thank you for your patience during this radio silence. I promise next week will be back to normal. I plan on finally finishing the comics from this month and either playing D&D with the family or doing the new MTG set review.

RIP in pepperonis my excitement about the National Football League.

Well, Tom Brady won….again. He looked flawless…again. In all honesty, I fully expected the Bucs to win. As I texted Chris when I heard the news, “Paranoia is setting in. The entire Chefs offensive line is backups.” He replied with a story from WEEI that said half of the team might have COVID after getting hair cuts. That turned out to be untrue. Nevertheless, Tom Brady and his deal with the devil endures.

And, still, this outcome dilutes my anticipation of next season. Sure, you could make the argument that I should be anticipating the revenge and redemption story of Patrick Mahomes. Sorry, I’m just not that kind of fan. I watch football at this stage in my life because I find it fun and I find no joy in Tom Brady curb stomping Mudville out of existence. In the interest of getting back into the habit of posting, let’s do this Super Bowl LV Post Mortem.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Instead of wallowing in the swamp that is my indifference towards what others call greatness (Look, I admit, he’s great. It’s also boring.), I will focus on the positive. An impossible task? As a great man once said, “You underestimate my power.”

Granted, that didn’t work out so well for him. Perhaps I should choose my allegiances more carefully.

If we go back to my preview article about the Bucs, I listed two people that I’d be happy for if they won. Granted, I did write that article on a high that Kansas City was going to thoroughly eviscerate Tampa Bay. Now that I have to face the reality, do I still feel the same?

Sure, I picked Gronkenstein mostly as a lark. But, I admit that I actually feel good for the old lunk. I can’t explain my sudden change of heart that doesn’t extend to The Golden Boy. Oh well, best to not analyze it. Just wallow in my hatred. Avoidance is a healthy way to deal with our problems. Speaking of avoidance…

I’m extremely happy for Bruce Arians. Again, I say, the Steelers made the wrong decision in picking Ben over him. This extremely limited data point proves me right on that point. Congratulations to Mr. Arians. He deserves this and if any coach could get me to feel even slightly good about a Mahomes loss.

Kansas City Chiefs

And, so, we congratulate the Buccaneers on winning the Super Bowl. It’s just too bad that they had to win because the other team forfeited the game. Avoidance and denial. Two healthy coping mechanisms for sure. Though, to be honest, a forfeit comes close to the truth. I will say one thing about the Chiefs. Bill Maher made the point by saying, “Somehow this team is still called the Chiefs. Washington doesn’t even have a name. They’re literally just ‘Team’, but these guys get to keep Chiefs for some reason.” I guess love for Patrick Mahomes blinds me to the blatant racism of this team name.

The Verdict

Growing up, the Super Bowl always sucked. Most of the time, the NFC won in convincing fashion. Tom Brady changed all of that. Nearly every game he played in was exciting and decided by a field goal or less. For a while, I enjoyed that change of pace. Little did I know that I’d be enjoying that change of pace for over 2 decades. Time for some new blood. Hopefully this is a one time thing and I can find a reason to look forward to next season.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

We Love Super Bowl LV: Tampa Bay

Introduction

What do we love about Super Bowl LV: Tampa Bay? Not really anything. No offense to them. What do we hate about Tampa Bay? As that represents the original title of the article, surely I can give you several reasons why. Well, about that. I simply named the article that originally to be in contrast with the “We love” article tomorrow about the Chiefs. However, my headline analyzer, even though it talks about strong emotion words, clearly values positive emotion over negative.

Sorry, Buddy.

What makes me indifferent about Tampa Bay? That’s a far less interesting proposition. However, to be true to myself, I must explore that. I mean, I did spend two or three paragraphs trying to convince my readers that I don’t hate Tom Brady. You may argue that I wasn’t persuasive in my argument and I might agree with that. However, I promise you. I don’t hate Tom Brady nearly as much as I did when he played for the Patriots. Something about that unholy union of player and team rubbed me the wrong way.

And, so, I will take inspiration from the fact that my headline analyzer pushed me to focus on the positive. If I search my feelings, can I find legitimate reasons to be happy if the Bucs win this Super Bowl? Join me then for We Love Super Bowl LV: Tampa Bay.

Bruce Arians

Bruce Arians coached the Steelers offense once upon a time. I texted Chris, “Arians is the last time the Steelers had a viable offense that I trusted.” He and Ben never saw eye to eye, which means that Ben, for some reason, didn’t like Arians or his offense. For some reason, the Steelers hitched their wagon to Ben and so Arians went packing.

All he did was reinvigorate the Arizona Cardinals and then landed in Tampa Bay and dumbed into coaching Tom Brady. Ben and the Steelers started off a suspect 11-0 before falling completely apart and lost two straight games to the Cleveland Browns. I think we can all agree the Steelers made the wrong decision between the two.

Plus, the man can dress.

Gronkenstein

Being the only member of the Patriots that received a cute nickname from me, Gronk holds a special place in my heart. By all rights, I should hate him as much as I hated most of the other players on the team, if not more. For reasons I can’t explain, I actually love the lunk.

I texted Chris that he would return next year. Chris wondered why. I responded, “What else will he do? Sell his name to shady CBD companies?” “Good point,” Chris replied. The guy has the personality to be an announcer. However, I don’t see anyone actually hiring him. Maybe he could fill the Moose Johnson role for some network.

Anything Else?

Honestly, nope. I should be excited to witness the history of Tom Brady winning 7 out of 10 Super Bowls. I mentioned in a previous article that “been there, done that” prevents me from experiencing that particular sense of joy.

Leonard Fournette can take a hike. He dissed my man Blake Bortles when he said earlier in the season that it would feel good to finally play with a decent quarterback. Likewise, Antonio Brown’s and Ndamukong Suh’s histories both preclude me from feeling anything but contempt.

The Verdict

We most certainly do not love Super Bowl LV: Tampa Bay. Sure, I’ll be happy for Gronk and Arians. I’m not sure that those feelings of joy will outweigh the great sadness I feel for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. As you know, I don’t even watch the Super Bowl anymore. Because I am the only football fan, bout a decade or so ago, we came up with the idea to watch a movie marathon instead of the game. This year, we decided to watch Super Hero movies, so I may not even tune into the Gamecast. In any case, join me tomorrow for my Chiefs preview.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

Noob’s Top 10: Super Bowl LIV

Introduction

First, it was nice of the NFL to name this year’s Super Bowl LIV after Steven Tyler’s daughter. I don’t think she’s been working much lately, so this will be a bit of a pick me up for her. Secondly, this Top 10 is going to be the “Top 10 reason I would actually watch the Super Bowl this year (but still won’t because my family has a tradition)” but that title was entirely too long.

Besides, I’m not sure how I would watch the game. I got rid of Hulu Live TV a few months ago to save money. Chris and I talked about maybe getting together for the game, but as too often happens with our plans, they fell apart. So, we are going to go with the usual family plan of watching movies instead. However, I will still have the Gamecast of Super Bowl LIV on in the background because I really want to watch this game. Let’s explore why.

Update: This was supposed to be posted before the Super Bowl. As happens, it was not. So, I will update it as a preview and post mortem. Hope you enjoy. Also be sure to check out my championship preview.

Noob’s Top 10: Super Bowl LIV

10. Eff the Pats – For the first time in forever, the Patriots didn’t even sniff the Super Bowl this year. Long time fans of the page will know why this makes me so happy. For those who are new here, welcome! I have always hated the Patriots for as long as I can remember. Stick around for a while and you’ll learn why. In any case, I’m so happy that the Pats lost in the wildcard round.

Update: The Patriots still weren’t in the game. In spite of my fears that they might find a way to use Tom Brady’s connection to Donald Trump to Electoral College their way in, the only connection to the Patriots was Jimmy G.

9. Schadenfreude – Don’t think that just because the Pats aren’t in the Super Bowl that I won’t be able to find joy in the misery of others. That’s my specialty. There is plenty to be happy about if Jimmy G falls on his face.

Update: Speaking of Jimmy G, he didn’t exactly fall on his face. However, he definitely wasn’t up to the challenge of out Mahomesing Mahomes. Honestly, I don’t know if anyone was up to that challenge this year.

8. Halftime Show – Gaga and Katy Perry. Then, whatever the heck happened last year. This year, another show that middle aged white guys like me will surely enjoy. I mean, Shakira and JLo on the same stage? How can you go wrong?

Update: The answer, of course, is that you couldn’t go wrong. Unless you are a bitter old racist. Then, seemingly, you lost your ever loving mind.

7. Andy Reid – I give him a lot of crap for his clock management and for good reason. However, a couple of weeks ago, Chris and I were texting. I said something about Reid letting the game plan go and allowing his coordinators to call the shots. I’m not sure how true that is, but the team has been running smoothly.

Update: Andy Reid was in the perfect position to Andy Reid the hell out of this game. He didn’t. Furthermore, it seemed like the Chiefs weren’t going to let him if he tried.

6. Go for the throat – Directly related to the last point, the Chiefs have taken a page from the Patriots playbook. They try to score at the end of the half and then bury the opposition with their first possession of the second half. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. Especially since it isn’t the Pats.

Update: The Chiefs managed to do neither of these things. I texted Chris that SF being able to prevent this from happening was huge. In fact, San Francisco was in prime position to win this game. They did nearly everything right. Uh, about that…

5. Kyle Shanahan – Remember, he was the offensive coordinator on the Falcons the year that they blew a 25 point lead. Now, I’m not saying that will have any bearing on this game, but it’s something to keep in the back of your mind as you watch.

Update: Poor Kyle Shanahan. I heard a ridiculous stat on Simmons and Sal about the last two 4th quarters that a Kyle Shanahan offense has been in the Super Bowl. It wasn’t good. Now, he goes down in history as the guy who blew it against Belichick and out Andy Reided Andy Reid.

4. Next Year – I don’t know the last time I was actually looking forward to an NFL season. It has been at least a decade. I got out of football slowly over the years, but you can see my progression if you watch my Facebook memories.

Update: I said to Chris after the game that I’m looking forward to the season, so this hasn’t changed. I want to see if Baltimore can continue their rise next year like the Chiefs did this year. I want to see if Father Time can finally defeat the Golden Boy. Chris mentioned Buffalo, who could easily win the east if so. Can’t wait!

3. Prop Bets – I’m not much of a gambler. Unlike many weekend warrior bettors, not even the amount of Super Bowl props can make me want to throw my money away. However, I like the shows about the bets and imagining myself making stupid money because someone scored a safety as the first points of the game.

Update: I didn’t make any money off the props again this year. I didn’t spend any money on them, either, so all in all, zero net gain is a win. Like the commercials that everyone enjoys watching for some reason, these things are getting out of control, though.

2. San Francisco’s Defense – Other than Patrick Mahomes, this is the sole reason to watch the game. They haven’t been historically good this year, but San Francisco’s defense is downright scary. If the 49ers win, I hope it is because of the defense and not beautiful Jimmy G.

Update: As mentioned above, San Francisco was in the pest position to win a Super Bowl that I’ve seen from a team in the last few years. They had a 10 point lead. Their defense was confounding Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense. Then, it all just fell apart. Or…

1. Patrick Mahomes – I had a brief fling with Lamar Jackson this year as my quarterback man crush, but Mahomes is the OG real deal. He is the only reason that I watch football at all over the last two years.

Update: Alternatively, Mahomes just did what Mahomes does. He and the Chiefs just seemed to want to spot their opponents 10+ point leads in the playoffs and then come back to win the game. I watched the last two touchdown drives when I finally realized they were streaming the game on NFL.com. They were things of beauty.

The Verdict

Super Bowl LIV was fun. Sure, the middle was a bit concerning if you were rooting for the Chiefs, but the comeback was amazing and that’s all we’ll remember years from now. The NFL will make sure of that by only playing highlights from the comeback. I’m excited for the new season and a fan of football again. However, not enough to watch the XFL.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

2019 NFL Conference Championship Preview

Introduction

Welcome to my 2019 NFL Conference Championship Preview. This is getting posted during the Tennessee/KC game, so it will soon be obsolete. Nevertheless, I wanted to post the article for posterity sake. You will just have to take my word for it that I wrote it a few days ago. After all, I’m pretty good about being honest.

Speaking of being honest, I just spent the last 45 minutes playing cribbage with my wife. So, this isn’t going to post until after the Chiefs game and maybe well into the evening game. Oh well, better late than never. So, I can’t use the “Eff the Pats” scale that I used a couple of years ago. They got effed by Tennessee in the coin flip round.

Another admission. You can obviously see that this is posting on Monday afternoon, after both games were played. I mean, that’s not a huge deal since I’m not making any picks (though my picks were the Chiefs and 49ers, so 5-4-1 so far in the playoffs and improving every round). But, still, in the interest of full disclosure, I figured I’d explain. Now, on to the potential match ups.

Least Favorite (Tennessee vs. San Francisco)

San Francisco seems like the only team left in the playoffs capable of containing Derrick Henry. That would mean that this game would just end up being a snooze fest defensive battle. Once upon a time, that’s the kind of game I’d be interested in. However, this isn’t your father’s National Football League. We want offense and lots of it. Keep this boring match up in the truly worst of timelines.

Slightly More Interesting (Tennessee vs. Green Bay)

At least in this game, the possibility exists that Henry goes off and sets a Super Bowl record for rushing. Plus, Rodgers gets to go for his second. This is just a demonstrably more interesting match up than Tennessee and San Fran. I don’t want Tennessee anywhere near the Super Bowl this year, but facts are facts.

Okay, Now We’re Talking (Kansas City vs. Green Bay)

I was having a tough time ranking the last two match ups. Like Chris said when I texted him about it, “I just want KC. I’d be okay with either match up.” I’m excited for this one because I think it could just be a good old fashioned shoot out between Mahomes and Rodgers. But, Chris put a bit of a damper on it by saying that Mahomes wins hands down. He’s right. KC’s talent on offense is just ridiculous.

Strength vs. Strength (Kansas City vs. San Francisco)

Kansas City’s offense, as I just said, is ridiculous. San Francisco’s defense is downright scary. The classic immovable object vs. the irresistible force. Who wins? Unfortunately, I think that it’s San Fran’s defense, but it will still be a fun game if it happens.

The Verdict

Three out of the four match ups can be really fun. The fourth, I could talk myself into finding interesting in the two weeks of hype leading to the game. In any case, I hope that your team finds a way into the Super Bowl. Thanks for reading my 2019 NFL Conference Championship Preview. Be sure to come back for my Super Bowl Preview and Post Mortem in the weeks to come.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

Super Bowl Post Mortem

Introduction

I spent the better part of two weeks convincing people (and maybe even myself) that I wasn’t going to watch the Super Bowl this year. A�I haven’t watched an entire Super Bowl (not even when the Steelers were in it) in over a decade, so why start this year. A�Then, I was actually invited to a Super Bowl party. A�It wasn’t one of those, “maybe” invites either. A�It was from the same friend that I’ve made a tradition of watching the CFP Championship with and might even try to make some time this year to watch some of the March Madness tournament.

We said yes. A�I say “we” because our wives are friends, too, and Aiden expressed interest in watching the game this year. A�We were going to make a family event of it. A�Liam was a bit upset that we weren’t going to do our annual movie marathon, but everyone else seemed to be on board. A�Then, the big day came, and some of our family wasn’t feeling well, so we didn’t want to spread germs. A�Cue up “Night at the Museum” trilogy!

I did watch the Gamecast at the end of the first half and then the end of the game. A�Because, let’s be fair. A�The NFL (and college to some extent) has become a league where you don’t actually have to watch the whole game. A�If something exciting is going to happen, it’s going to be in the last few minutes of either half. A�Sure enough, that’s exactly how this game went down. A�Well, in conversation with Chris, he said it was a good game, but I’m okay being in the dark except for highlights.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. I work nights at a school and it gets spooky as heck in the dark.

What Exactly Are We Watching?

NFL ratings have been down. A�I’m sure you’ve heard that at least once during the season. A�Everyone has a theory as to why. A�People are disrespecting the flag and the anthem! A�The product is too diluted by being on so many times during the week! A�Parents are horrified to let their kids watch what ultimately is the slow suicide of 106 large men who crash into each other at full speed!

I think that what many people are not considering is that ratings everywhere are going down. A�As more and more realize that everything is much better on demand and often sports are much better consumed as highlights, the old model of television is becoming obsolete. A�Sure cable companies are holding on for dear life, bolstered primarily by ESPN’s Disney money, but the end is extremely effing nigh as 28 Day Later told us.

I would, for a moment, like to return to the concussion issue. A�The flag and anthem are non starters for me, so don’t even start. A�If you want to have an intelligent discussion about it, fine. A�As I said in a previous article, if you want to shout generalities and memes at me, I’m just going to conclude that you don’t have the intellectual capacity to hold a conversation and I’m going to walk away. A�However, after listening to Hang Up and Listen this week, I do think there might be something to the concussion theory.

Football good. Concussion bad.

They were talking about how Patriots super tight end (yikes, those words in that order sound really weird) Rob Gronkowski, referred semi-affectionately by me as “Gronkenstein”, sounded almost contemplative during his post game interview. A�I was intrigued by this because (a) I just assumed that Gronk would Gronk as long as his body allowed him to Gronk and (b) he’s not exactly the most contemplative individual. A�It was a bit of a shock to hear that Gronk maybe didn’t want to Gronk as hard and maybe not at all anymore.

Sure, there have been other players who have decided that the game wasn’t for them and have retired early. A�Especially as more evidence is coming out that the NFL kept research from the public and, more importantly, the players, some guy are deciding that going on playing a game that might leave them so brain damaged as to eventually hurt somebody else or themselves might not be the best idea. A�Gronkenstein is the perfect specimen for playing football. A�It’s like he was selected by a casting director for a football movie. A�Hearing that even he was considering his own mortality has me a bit shook.

“I’m Rooting for the Meteor”

In spite of my insistence that I wasn’t watching the game (at this point because I was convinced more than ever that it would just be another typical Patriots victory), I kept getting drawn into conversations about the game.A� I finally just responded to one conversation with Craig (the guy who I was supposed to be ignoring the game at his Super Bowl party), “I’m rooting for the meteor.”A� I also said to Chris after the game, “Know that this is one of the few ways that the Patriots would lose the Super Bowl and I wouldn’t be dancing on their graves.”A� For a Steelers fan, this game was a lose-lose proposition.

Did the meteor win?

If I Had Any Money, I’d Probably Develop a Gambling Problem

During one of my conversations with Craig, he mentioned that he bought one of those squares for the game this year.A� That got me thinking, so I went and I checked out some betting sites to see what odds you could have gotten on various scenarios.A� The Eagles won, which was unexpected, and Nick Foles won MVP, which was very unlikely.A� I figured that if you were going to bet one then you’d probably have taken the other, so I figured out parlay odds for those things happening.A� It was over 10 to 1.A� I also figured that if you hedged with Tom Brady as MVP, you’d only have lost only 10 dollars on that hedge.A� I ended several conversations with the conclusion that I’d have to put some money away so that I could throw it at Vegas next year.

Sorry, Kids, you can’t go to college. Daddy really liked Jimmy G-sus and the 49ers to win Super Bowl LIII.

Wither Defense in the NFL?

Chris insists that this was an exciting game.A� I have heard that assessment from others as well.A� I was riveted by the last 5 minutes or so as I watched the GameCast on NFL.com.A� I asked him if the defenses were as bad as they seemed or if it was just an illusion of the high scoring game.A� He replied, “Oh, no.A� It wasn’t an illusion. The defenses were that bad.”A� So, I checked out the highlights and all I can say is, “Wow.”A� It wasn’t a surprise that the Patriots defense was terrible, they’ve been suspect all year.A� The Eagles, on the other hand, were supposed to live on defense this year.A� This is not my father’s NFL.

Some people complain about college football and the fact that many teams don’t bother with defense much other than maybe Alabama.A� On the other hand, I enjoy the college game and the quick strike offenses that rule the day there.A� It seems as if some of the more progressive coaches in the NFL (maybe spearheaded by Chip Kelly’s somewhat failed experiment) have noticed that if they want to win, they might have to go the college route.A� Then again, perhaps this game is an aberration and we’ll be back to ugly 3 and out football next season.

Perhaps it won’t be as bad as this, but NFL coaches too often coach not to lose instead of coaching to win.

“Inch by Inch”

Perhaps influenced by the Madden video game series and their hero worship of players, I didn’t give much thought to coaching in the NFL.A� Sure, people make the argument that a good coach makes a difference, but really, how much of a difference?A� These are grown men who have fought tooth and nail all of their lives to rise to the epitome of their profession.A� And, they need a guy to motivate them to do well at that profession?A� It’s an absurd proposition.

Well, I’m here to say that I was wrong about all of that.A� One of the main reasons that Philadelphia made it to the Super Bowl is that they have a good coach who is willing to do what it takes to win the game.A� Most of the time, when faced with the Patriots “unbeatable aura”, coaches and teams shrink.A� Not so with the Eagles in this game.A� They stood toe to toe with the Pats and barely blinked.

There ain’t gonna be no rematch.

I’m Impressed By Philadelphia’s Marbles

Speaking of coaching, not only did Philly not blink, but they took it right to the Patriots.A� They went for it on fourth down more than once.A� One time, they went for it on 4th and goal from the Patriots 1 and showed them how a trick play throw to your quarterback is supposed to work.A� I was impressed and jealous all at once.A� Both Mike Tomlin and Bill Cowher have withered in the face of the great Belichick and Brady in the playoffs.A� I want a coach that will throw the hammer down on the accelerator and never let up.

Granted, they played a little too safe at the end of the game and I was convinced that it would come back to bite them eventually.A� They gave Brady way too many chances.A� If we’ve learned one thing it is that you do not give Tom Brady any chance at the end of the game.A� I guess I can understand them becoming a bit more conservative at the end of the game because you don’t want to happen to you what happened to Brady.A� I didn’t like it, though.

Tanaka approves of those huge marbles, Philadelphia.

That Old Patriots Magic

Right up until the end of the game, I was convinced that the Patriots will win.A� Heck, even about a week later, I’m convinced that the NFL will somehow review the tape of the failed Hail Mary and determine that the pass was actually complete and then the Patriots used some obscure rule to complete a three point conversion so that they actually won the game.A� The Patriots winning close Super Bowls, sometimes in unexpected fashion has become a part of the NFL mythos.A� Years later, we are going to tell our grandkids about 28-3 and the Tuck Rule just the same as our parents and grandparents told us about the Heidi game and the Immaculate Reception.

Nearly everyone I have spoken to agrees with me.A� They are astounded that the Patriots did not win the game.A� Not only did they not win the game, but they were scrambling at the end in much the same way that other teams do against them.A� On the first potential game winning drive, Brady was stripped of the ball while being sacked.A� Then, when Philly went a bit conservative as I mentioned above, he still had a chance to potentially tie it with the Hail Mary that harmlessly fell to the ground.A� In any other normal Super Bowl, the first drive would have ended in a touchdown and then the following drive, the Patriots would have stripped Foles of the ball and won the game.A� That didn’t happen this time.A� Is that old Patriots magic dead at last?A� Did it just take an evil of equal magnitude to end their reign?A� Only time will tell.

Either way, ding dong mofos…

The Last Word

It all hit me yesterday afternoon as I listened to the final Simmons and Sal podcast of the NFL season.A� It’s all over.A� I’m not as big a fan of football as I once was, but I’ve grown fond of my little rituals during the season.A� I paid attention to and cared a little bit about the Super Bowl for the first time in years.A� I don’t know how long this will last or if it will grow into a new fandom in my later years, but it is possible.

At the very least, writing for the web page will keep me interested.A� A couple of years ago, I did a preview with plans of doing picks every week and keeping track like the talking heads do.A� This was a weird season, though, as evidenced by my 5-6 record in the playoffs and the Patriots losing the Super Bowl in a way that they normally win them, so who knows.A� If it goes back to being the No Fun League again next year, I could quickly lose interest.

Though, evidence is starting to mount that we collided with an alternate timeline like in The Cloverfield Paradox and things will only get weirder.

Completely Ignorant Super Bowl Extravaganza

Introduction

Yeah, I said Super Bowl. A�Whatchoo gonna do about it NFL? A�Sue me? A�Go ahead, do it, and I’ll bring your whole stupid farce of a league down around your heads. A�The Immaculate Reception and The Tuck Rule both just happened to be against the Raiders? A�Two franchise altering and ultimately dynasty launching plays in the playoffs against the exact same team? A�And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. A�Once I’m done Alex Jonesing you, my cadre of minions will boycott everything that contains an N, and F, or an L, including your fraudulent product. A�I’ve already gotten 4 other people to join me in my anti-Super Bowl party and there’s many more just waiting for a ridiculous cult leader to rise from the population and lead them away from your web of lies.

Okay, did I scare them off? A�Yes? A�Whew. A�It was tough keeping up that insane prattling just to throw them off the scent. A�I just wanted them to go away so that I can freely use the word Super Bowl without fear of being sued by the league. A�Normally, I wouldn’t be worried, but with all of this talk of tanking ratings, concussion protocol, and terrible product on the field, I wouldn’t doubt that they’d come after some tiny web page in the corner of the internet. A�They might actually need the money.

As people tell us, if you misrespect ol’ Glory, she gonna get her revenge! Sad!

Okay, now that the silliness is over, let’s get to the game.A� We will have time for silliness after.A� It is a serious and solemn occasion after all.A� There’s no time for silliness in a child’s game!

What Philadelphia brings to the game

Good cheese steaks that have somehow been elevated to the status of national icon.A� The cradle of American democracy even though the revolution started in Massachusetts.A� Rioting fans that somehow caused the police there to rub Crisco on light poles.A� At least, that’s the official story.A� Maybe some rogue cop there just likes rubbing Crisco on light poles.A� Some dude did still ascend a light pole smothered in Crisco.

Oh, I’m supposed to talk about the football team here.A� Apparently, Philadelphia has a great defense.A� They said that about Minnesota and Jacksonville, too.A� The former did what Minnesota does and broke their fan’s hearts by rolling over in an NFC Championship in which they could have played in the Super Bowl in their home stadium.A� The latter played right into script by folding in the second half and letting the Patriots dance all over our broken hearts once again.A� So, I don’t know what to make of the Eagles defense.

Could these guys electric slide all over Brady (boogie oogie oggie)? Sure. Sh’yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.

We’ve seen that the way to get to Brady is the way you get to all quarterbacks.A� You pressure him up the middle and take away his ability to step up out of your pressure on the ends.A� Everyone knows the formula.A� So far, only a select few teams have been able to execute the strategy in the playoffs and only one has been able to in the Super Bowl.A� So, pardon me if I’m not overwhelmed by your ridiculous discussions of the Eagles defense.

Speaking of recency bias, how about Nick Foles!A� I was guilty of the same thing last week in my pick of the Vikings.A� Now, it seems like all of America, clinging to some faint hope of a Patriots loss, is using that logic to elevate Nick Foles to Doug Williams status.A� Again, I’m not going to say that he can’t do what he did against the Vikings.A� I’m just saying that it is highly unlikely.A� He’s playing against Negan Belichick and his version of Lucille, Tom Brady.

This picture redacted due to depictions of eye related mishaps. Just know that the Patriots will give us all the Glenn treatment tomorrow.

Other than those two talking points that have saturated popular culture enough to even make it into a brain that has tried to avoid all discussion of the Super Bowl these last two weeks, I think the Eagles might have a decent running back, maybe two.A� Their coach is apparently a guy who knows how to do football things and tell other guys how to do football things.A� What does it all add up to?A� The Eagles will use all of that to build a 10+ point lead in the first three quarters.A� Congratulations, guys, but a football game is 4 quarters long.A� That’s how math works.

What New England brings to the game

Fans that think that the NFL was founded in 2001 when football Jesus descended from the football heavens above with a football shirt and pants on his body, and a football hat on his head.A� Fans that used to be known for rioting and occasionally urinating on one another in drunken fits of drunkeness, but are now much more sophisticated and refined in their drunken behavior.A� Stephen King, though he’s more of a baseball fan and I think he might have somehow avoided Patriots fever.A� Probably his experience with Captain Tripps.A� Clam chowder that has rightly been elevated to national icon status.

I’m biased here. I can’t talk bad about the region or people. I may hate the Patriots, but I love New England. That’s why my snark might be dialed down a bit. Apologies.

And, again, here we are at the place where I have to talk about football.A� Everyone tells me that this Patriots defense is not as good as Patriots defenses of the past.A� I hear that Tom Brady is 40 years old and that father time is undefeated.A� There have been reports that Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Robert Kraft had a little fight a couple of weeks ago over Jimmy G-sus and Brady’s role on the team going forward.A� Gronkenstein went out last game with a concussion.A� Edleman has been hurt for much of the season.A� I’m here to tell you that none of this means a damn thing.

You can cling to whatever sliver of hope speaks to your stupid little heart.A� I’ve seen this story in some form or another many times over the past decade.A� I don’t suffer entertainment that becomes so predictable as to be boring.A� And, I don’t suffer false hope.A� Do not.A� I repeat.A� Do not hate watch this game thinking that the Eagles will win.A� You will waste 4 hours of your life.

The zombies will always breach the perimeter in the last 2 minutes of the show. Joffrey will Joffrey even harder just when you think that he couldn’t be any more Joffrey. And, the Patriots will win this damn game.

The Gordian Aiden

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned in this article that I haven’t watched the Super Bowl in over a decade.A� I’ve had to say it so much to so many people that it doesn’t even sound like real words to me anymore.A� Well, I haven’t.A� I took an assessment of my life, a la my Skyrim days and I decided that I didn’t like the person I was becoming in regards to the NFL.A� There were other triggers, as well, and I didn’t like how other people in my life were falling into the gravitational pull of the league either.A� We’d be on vacation and people would disappear into a bar to watch the Patriots game instead of doing vacation things.A� It’s almost a disorder.

Instead of the Super Bowl, our family has thrown an anti-Super Bowl party.A� We watch a marathon of movies or TV shows together and I still cook food as if we were watching the Super Bowl.A� Potato skins, chicken fingers, nachos, pizza, etc.A� We just don’t watch the game.A� Well, it got out that Aiden wants to watch the game this year.A� It’s most likely because his friends are talking about it.A� That brings up a bit of a dilemma.A� Christine hates football.A� I’ve gotten used to not watching the game.A� But, we also don’t want to dictate what he does with his life.

Okay, it’s not Gordian Knot level, but both of us have expressed our deep displeasure at having to break our tradition for this silly game.

Well, my friend Craig, who I’ve mentioned a few times on the page, invited us over. He was very careful with his words because he knows that the only one in the family who wants to watch the game is Aiden.A� I told him in no uncertain terms that I have no interest in the game.A� I’m not playing that up to make this article seem more intellectually honest as being “completely ignorant”.A� I don’t want to watch a single minute of this game.A� I don’t want to see highlights.A� I don’t want to know stats or the score.A� It will be impossible to do so, of course, but the longer I can stem the tide of Patriots revulsion, the better I will be for it.

So, I’m not sure how I’m going to do it, but I think we might end up at his place.A� He’s got a big place and I can avoid the game without seeming too antisocial.A� Christine likes to hang out and talk with his wife and he says the only other people that are there are Patriots haters.A� I wish them well in their hate watch, but I’m not falling for it this time.

The Pick

I’m 5-5 so far in these playoffs.A� I don’t know if my crystal ball is just foggy.A� I’ve gone 8-2 in my ignorant picks as recently as three years ago.A� Maybe this NFL season was just especially wacky.A� I have to admit that I never thought at the beginning of the season that I’d be picking between the Vikings and Eagles in the NFC Championship or that the Jaguars would beat my Steelers in a game in which the two teams scored 87 points combined.

But, here we are.A� I mentioned last week that choosing this game is like choosing between sawing off my leg and bleeding to death vs. letting the rot slowly spread through my body.A� It’s an apt metaphor and the main reason that I can’t hate watch this game.A� I hate the Patriots.A� That’s been established.A� I hate the Eagles just as much, if not more.A� That’s in the DNA of every red blooded Pittsburgher.

Though, to be honest, my true hatred of Philly sports teams lies with the Flyers. They can go straight to hell.

Who do I want to win?A� The answer in any Patriots Super Bowl is always “not the Patriots”.A� Who are “not the Patriots” this year?A� Well, fate being the cruel mistress she is, they are the Eagles.A� So, the true answer is, “I don’t care.A� Just end this stupid spectacle already.”A� Well, what about the commercials, you may think.A� I feel like the commercials peaked about 5 or 6 years ago just before they started releasing them online before the game.A� Huh, I guess I am somewhat affected by spoilers.A� The halftime show?A� Justin Timberlake?A� Eh, sure, I guess.A� What’s he gonna do, dress as a troll and sing with Anna Kendrick?A� I’d tune in for that.A� Maybe.A� Prop bets?A� Not a gambler.

Who do I think will win?A� Crazy things can happen.A� Somehow in the recent past, we went sideways in time and now exist in the universe where Donald Trump is president of the USA.A� However, I don’t see any way that the Eagles win this one.A� Heck, I’ll take the loss and go 5-6 in these playoffs to be wrong.A� But, even if they did, so what?

I just hope that it doesn’t take very long to bleed to death.

Completely Ignorant NFL Championship Preview

Post Mortem on the Divisional Round (and the elephant in the room that is my Steelers)

Not much to say about the Patriots game.A� I was 100% correct on that one.A� I was about 50% correct on the Eagles vs. Falcons game as that game was more or less a toss up during the Falcons last possession of the game.A� I was dead wrong about the Steelers game and I don’t even know how to score the Vikings game since they went from about a 22% chance to win to over 98% chance to win after that touchdown.A� What it all boils down to is a 2-2 record in the divisional round and overall 4-4 for the playoffs.

Okay, let’s talk about my Steelers.A� I tuned the game out at halftime and then we went over to visit Christine’s parents.A� My father in law said to me as I walked into the house, “Tie game.”A� I responded with the appropriate shocked reaction and then learned that the Steelers were actually down by 7 points.A� Well, that was enough to hook me for the rest of the game.A� I’m sorry that I did.A� That was a pathetic display against what we were told by all of the experts was an inferior team led by a subpar quarterback.A� I can accept being beaten by the Patriots (no, I can’t), but to continually lose every year with the amount of talent they have is unacceptable.

I was texting with Chris during the game and my assessment was, “I like Tomlin, but that game was an abomination.A� It might be time to start talking about him going.”A� It was in the heat of the moment and I’ve had some time to cool off.A� I don’t feel any different.A� I know that nothing will come of it, but maybe they will at least make an example out of Haley?A� Who am I kidding?A� I’ll meet you back here next year, just as dejected as I am right now.

NFL Championship Weekend

Now, for this weekend.A� I’m going to do things a little bit differently here.A� (a) Because I’m a math nerd and I have to get my brain ready for the new semester, (b) because sometimes I just like to switch things up every now and then, and (c) we all know that the Patriots are going to repeat as champions this year, so why not have some fun this weekend.A� I’ve looked up the probabilities for each team to make the Super Bowl atA�Playoff StatusA�and used those to figure out the probabilities of each match up for the Super Bowl.A� I will analyze each of those from least to most likely and then make my pick at the end.A� Hope this works!

Least Likely MatchupA�(10.35%) – Jaguars vs. Vikings

The Jaguars are massive underdogs to the Patriots this week and the Vikings are just below a coin toss at the Eagles.A� I’m rooting for the Jags for two reasons.A� First, eff the Pats.A� Second, long ago my dad instilled in me that you want to root for the team that beat you because then you can soothe your wounds by saying at least you lost to the champs.A� When the Pats usually beat the Steelers, these two are at odds with one another.A� Not so far this year.A� Watching the Vikings dismantle Drew Brees and the Saints for a half after watching the debacle that was my Steelers makes them my new favorite team.A�A�Verdict: I guess you could say that my heart wishes for this one.

Only Slightly More Likely (12.65%) – Jaguars vs. Eagles

Considering I never thought either of these two teams would even sniff the conference championships, you could say that I’m surprised that this is even a possibility, let alone the fact that it happens in about 1/8 universes that are currently in existence.A� The schadenfreude in me wants to see exactly what they’d talk about in the 2 weeks leading to the game and then in the 12 hours of pregame on the actual day of the game.A� Nevermind, I know.A� It would be all about Blake Bortles, World Beater.A� Get in line, hosers, he got me a championship first.A�A�Verdict:A� Nobody wishes for this horror show of a game.

Happens In Over a Third of Possible Universes (34.65%) – Patriots vs. Vikings

After my Steelers lost, I was in quite the tizzy.A� I went from wanting to see Brady vs. Brees to wanting to see Minnesota’s defense against Brady.A� I may have settled on that last one.A� I don’t want Tom Brady anywhere near the Super Bowl again, but if Minnesota can do to Brady for the whole game what they did to Brees for a half, sign me up for that.A� It would almost be worth it to listen to WEEI for a week or two and hear all of the Southies lose their crap.A�A�Verdict:A� This is the game that I really want to see.

Most Likely Scenario (42.35%) – Patriots vs Eagles

Brady vs. Foles.A� Really?A� I mean, we’ve heard that the Eagles have just as good a defense as the Vikings and they sort of proved it by shutting down Atlanta for the whole game instead of just a half.A� I’m just not as excited about the possibility of Nick Foles being in the Super Bowl as not only did I become a fan of the Vikings defense, but I think I might have a slight man crush on Case Keenum now.A�A�Verdict:A�Other than Pats fans who just want that ring (baby!), does anyone really want to see this game happen?

My Pick

I already told you that I want Pats and Vikes.A� I also think that this is the game that is likely to happen.A� First, Nick Foles is not Drew Brees.A� I’m pretty sure that Minnesota can shut him down for an entire game instead of just the half.A� Also, as Bill Simmons mentioned in his emergency podast to discuss the past weekend games, the Vikings have the stink of destiny on them.A� They won that Saints game in impossible fashion.A� They could become the first team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium.A� It just feels right.A� You may notice that I didn’t even mention the Pats/Jags game.A� In spite of his shredding of my woefully unprepared Steelers team, Blake Bortles isn’t doing the same to a Bill Belichick prepared team.