Super Sunday without the Patriots.
No, denial won't get you out of this one. This doctor in Michigan was determined to pick Tom Brady as the winner Sunday's Super Bowl even though the Patriots aren't playing.
It might be good if he doesn't watch the game.
Ugg, or more like Ugh!
There's much temptation for unhappy, frustrated and lucid Patriots fans to find a reason not to watch Sunday's "Big Game" between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.
Check out a list of things to do right here for some options if football just isn't your thing.
Sunday's game should not be a hate fest for Patriots fans, though. No matter what happens with Peyton Manning or Pete Carroll, nothing will change the fact that they remain historically subjugated to Brady and Bill Belichick. One of the things that makes New England fans so special is our inner-arrogance. Even after a devastating loss in the AFC Championship Game, the Patriot Life goes on.
Hating on Manning or Carroll isn't worth the waste of energy, especially since they can't both lose.
Then there's Wes Welker.
But there are still plenty of reasons to watch Sunday's game. We've been tasked to come up with 10 Reasons for Patriots Fans to Watch Super Bowl XLVIII, so here goes:
10. Scouting The Free Agent Market
Patriots Nation and many of the media professionals who cover the team, and even me, have seen the missing piece and it appears in the form of a wide receiver over 6-feet tall who can catch the ball when Tommy throws the ball. Preferably one who isn't consistently injured or in prison.
High atop many a wish list is Denver's Eric Decker, a 6-foot-3, extra-large size piece of Brady-esque Hunkdom.
Sunday's game affords you the chance to analyze his play without suffering mental angst and anguish each time he makes a catch. And you'll also, no doubt, be given a peak or two at his very pregnant wife, Jessie James, who just happens to star with her hubby in E!'s "Eric & Jessie: Game On."
If Eric and Jessie end up in Foxborough, it will be "Game On" for Tom and Gisele, and Bob and Ricki, when it comes to 2015's OBF Patriots "Cutest Couple Award."
Here's an example of what we can expect:
Take that, Gisele.
9. The weather
It's supposed to be rather benign for Northern New Jersey in early February, if not warmer than normal. If things work out well weather wise, Bob Kraft hinted on Friday that he may push to get the game played in Foxborough in the future. He was this week very complimentary of the decision to play the game in the New York area.
Now, it would be a fun to watch this game on TV if it were played in blizzard with temperatures in the 10s. But "mild" weather in New York/New Jersey may leave the door ajar someday for a Super Bowl in Foxborough/Boston/Providence. Maybe one in time to be played before Brady's Biological Clock expires. Perhaps there will be more than Hobbits and Rob Gronkowski on his radar screen by then.
8. The commercials
It needs to be said, just one more time mercifully, that the commercials can be almost as interesting as the game for non-fans.
Some are emotional and inspiring:
This Budweiser "Coming Home" commercial filmed in Central Florida last month was posted on You Tube Thursday and has more than 5 million views.
Thank you, Lt. Nadd.
Patriots fans will get to see the second of Tim Tebow's #NoContract spots for T-Mobile.
If it's half as good as the first, that alone might be worth three-hours of Manning Love.
7. "Puppy Bowl" gets boring.
"Puppy Bowl X" kicks off at 3 p.m. Sunday on Animal Planet. It will be re-broadcast starting at 6 p.m..
Sixty-six puppies will be featured. The canines were selected from 37 various shelters across the nation and most have been adopted. The purpose of the show this season will be to spotlight shelter pets and promote animal adoption. Great stuff and a wonderful cause. My 15-year-old Lab-Shepherd mix was an abandoned dog who had been fostered. My cat came from the county animal shelter. I'm down with the struggle. More than 12.4 million humans tuned into parts of "Puppy Bowl IX."
But watching dogs play something resembling football is a lot like beer-flavored ice cream. The idea is great and and may work for a short time, but it will get stale and flat fast.
Watch if you must, but real football beckons. Don't miss this year's kitten halftime show as it will feature a new keyboard cat.
Speaking of cats, the "Kitten Bowl" begins at noon on Hallmark Channel.
Somewhere, there's a DVD of Super Bowl XXXVI with my name on it.
6. You can bet on it.
And when you say "it," that actually means just about anything.
Type of hat Bruno Mars wears at half-time [Fedora is a heavy favorite at 3/2].
Who gets on TV first Pam Oliver [46%] or Erin Andrews [54%]?
How often Manning will say "Omaha" in the game [28.5].
The over/under on the National Anthem, which is being delivered by [apt for New Jersey] soprano and opera singer Renee Fleming is 139.5 seconds. The "over" is favored at +115 [which means you have to bet $115 to win $100], while the under is netting -150 [bet $100 to win $150], according to SportsBook.com.
If you're trying this at home, the clock measuring the anthem starts on Fleming's first note and ends when she has completed the word "brave."
Interesting side note, USA Today's "For The Win" noted Friday that odds on Welker dropping a pass were "even." A quick survey of several on-line betting sites, including sportsbook.com, bovada.com and topbet.eu, showed that none were taking action on that play. Guess they didn't want to go under on football's biggest day.
5. Manning and Carroll both can't lose, but they can mess up
The bad news, one of them will win. The good news, one of them will lose. Not to dwell too much on the negative here, but there is the chance that either Manning and/or Carroll could really screw up big time. That's potentially delicious and something any good Patriots' fan would not want to miss.
The last time Peyton Manning played in a Super Bowl, this happened:
And the last time a "professional" team coached by Pete Carroll played for a championship, this happened:
That was Carroll's USC vs. Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl. The Trojans had a healthy payroll back in those days. Keith Jackson's call in his final-ever Rose Bowl is Football Porn at its finest.
By the way, you might recall what happened the last time Welker had a potential Super Bowl-clinching catch in his grasp:
Sunday is Groundhog Hog Day.
History can repeat itself.
4. The Unknown
A little chaos is always fun.
[Required Internet/Twitter Troll Disclaimer: Of course, no one is wishing to see anyone harmed, injured or traumatized. We're talking about some harmless mayhem.]
The most-memorable part of the last Super Bowl was a power outage that lit up Twitter and changed the course of the game. The concept of the power going out for no situational reason during the NFL's premier event, one loaded with advertisers spending millions of dollars, still seems incomprehensible a year later. It was flat-out hilarious that the NFL, which is so concerned with mindless issues like player Tweets, uniform codes and non-existent locker room bullying, didn't bother to double-triple-quadruple check the power source to the Super Bowl venue last year.
Thinking this whole "electricity" issue is a bit higher on Roger Goodell's to-do list in 2014, but you never know.
The odds of another power outage this time are 20-1. Wager accordingly.
3. You have "7" and "0"
You've bought into the office pool for years and were finally lucky enough to land "7" and "0." That combination gives you the best probable chance of cashing in, at least according caseyshead.com which compiled this chart, based on NFL scoring data from each of the 1,067 regular-season and playoff games during the past eight seasons.
I've never heard of caseyshead.com, but he/it seems nice and pretty smart. I'm not going to check the math since I've got to come up with two more reasons and time is short.
2. Next stop, Sochi
For those who didn't go to BC, BU, Northeastern or Harvard, the biggest sporting event of this February won't be the Beanpot, but rather the Olympics in Sochi. And it will be Olympic overload starting the second the Super Bowl ends. The Super Bowl is live. NBC's Olympic prime time coverage will feature taped coverage of multiple events that ended hours earlier. Not much suspense there.
The Olympics begin with a avalanche of hype [see every story about Lindsey Vonn for the past year] that fails to materialize. Thankfully, there are always athletes and moments we don't expect, which become memorable. Speaking of catastrophes in the making, the Olympics seem to be a prime candidate this time. And nothing good can come of that.
1. It's still football
The last meaningful football game for seven months begins at 6:28 p.m. Sunday. It features the two best teams in the NFL this year. And this is coming from someone who picked the Patriots over the 49ers when the season began. It will give us a definitive - at least until next time - answer to the question of what wins championships: "The Best Defense or The Best Offense?"
The Super Bowl is the last standing, non-political, non-natural disaster, regularly-scheduled "national event" that brings Americans together on such a massive scale. It's a unifying event, even if the people watching it are divided by team loyalties. The only harm involved for most of us is to our waistline. Avoiding the Super Bowl just to say you "avoided the Super Bowl" may offer the veneer of sophistication and contrarian-chic. But all you're doing is skipping a spectacle that brings so many millions of Americans together to have a good time.
Even if it's just for a few hours.
And even if it means Peyton Manning or Pete Carroll will emerge a champion.
Prediction: Seattle 24, Denver 20.
Enjoy the game.
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