Friday, January 31, 2014

Super Bowl Preview XLVIII, My Version

The Super Bowl is around the corner which means after Sunday we won't have much to look forward to until March Madness. There isn't a whole lot to preview so before I get to the game here’s a few of my lingering end of the season thoughts.

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin allegedly stole one of Bob Kraft’s Super Bowl rings.

“I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring,’” Kraft said during the Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence gala in New York City. “I put my hand out, and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”
Before you feel too bad for Kraft allegedly being strong armed by the Russian President, remember that his team was caught cheating and it is very possible he only has rings because of it.

Random quote from Putin that I can’t substantiate (say in Russian accent):
“I don’t understand American economy. All they do is buy and sell each other’s houses.”

Super Bowl Props

My favorite prop bet this year is what Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach after the game. This is the first year in a long time that we've had a Super Bowl in cold weather. They added a few extra potential liquid celebrations. +5000 that Hot Chocolate or +5000 that chicken broth will be dumped on the coach. It makes me laugh just picturing steaming hot chocolate dumped on Pete Carroll at the end of the game.

Thinking of betting the Broncos?
If you bet on the Broncos you’re going to get about -130 to win. If you bet on Manning to win MVP you’re going to get about +120. That means that if the Broncos win Manning only needs to be the MVP 64% of the time to break even. If you’re backing the Broncos there’s a lot more value in just taking Peyton for MVP.

America is still afraid of an angry black man
Fake Outrage
The Richard Sherman post-game interview has been discussed ad nauseam. Was he out line? Should he be fined? Etcetera etcetera etcetera.
Here are the real questions:
Does anyone really care? Who the hell are these people that were offended? I do not know anyone that could possibly find his comments offensive. Fake outrage is becoming increasingly prevalent in our lame modern day media cycle. The media takes comments that have offended no one and then incessantly discuss how outraged you should or shouldn't be.

Instant Replay
The NFL went from instant replay to no instant replay to coach challenges on some plays and official review sometimes. Now is the time for the NFL to evolve and allow review and/or coaches challenges on penalties.

The Niners were a Richard Sherman’s hand length away from advancing to the Super Bowl last night. Unfortunately for them, they weren't good enough to beat arguably the best team in the NFL in the most difficult stadium and the referees. There were three crucial egregious calls made by the officials (personal foul called, personal foul not called, fumble recovery called incorrectly). Each of these three calls caused a change of possession in favor of Seattle.

If you think I’m whining about the refs and you’re one of those stupid people that says, “you can’t blame it on the refs” or “if the refs make bad calls you have to still go out and win the game” then stop reading because my blog isn’t intended for stupid people. The fact remains that when a team gets 3 or more extra possessions they win 95% of the time.

This is for all my readers on the NFL rules committee:
Put a couple officials in the booth and expand automatic replay or allow coaches to challenge penalties. And thank you for reading my blog.

If the NFL had this system a year ago the Niners might be the 2013 Super Bowl champions but would definitely be playing Broncos on February 2nd.
Let’s not forget the karate chop on Drew Brees that costs the Niners a 13th win, a first round bye, and home field throughout the playoffs.

I hate it when sports history can be altered due to technicalities or logistical mistakes.

Leather Helmets
The discussion about going back to leather helmets is absurd. Normally I would say that no one is serious when they say this, but they have people getting paid large salaries to discuss this on the biggest networks in the world. This is a huge waste of our time because it’s not going to happen.

It’s more likely, and would be more fun, that the players play with the same helmets/hats/heads that they use for the Sausage races in Milwakee.
One friend of mine suggested helmets made of sausage.

But I digress
Why Seattle will win:
Seattle has the best defense in the league and has shut down some very good QB’s.
Seattle has played the toughest schedule in the league.
Denver has played one of the weakest schedules in the league.
Denver has yet to play a defense this good.

Why Denver will win:
Peyton Manning calls plays at the line of scrimmage better than any QB in history.
Even though Seattle has a good pass rush it might not matter because Peyton makes up his mind so fast that he gets rid of the ball way too early for a pass rush to bother him.
Seattle's offense has been awful since November.
Denver might not need that many points to win.

Who will win?
I'd be lying to you if i said that it's not a crap shoot. Denver hasn't played a defense this good and Seattle hasn't played on offense this good. That being said, I'll take the best offense ever over the best defense of 2013.
Denver 27-20

Bold Predictions:
Peyton has negative 31 rushing yards on the season (he never runs and the minus is due to kneel downs at the end of the game). I wouldn't be surprised if Peyton does naked boot leg for a key first down or touchdown late in the game.

Broncos offense struggles the first half. Peyton heads into locker room and while dropping a deuce the light bulb comes on. He comes out in the second half and shreds the Seahawks.

Last years Super Bowl preview:

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