What will matter most? The fact that Seattle has no players with Super Bowl experience, or their youth and speed and top-ranked defense? Or will the game be won by Denver’s suddenly stout rush defense and Peyton Manning’s blessed right arm?
Everything is larger in New York, and Super Bowl Boulevard is no exception. It has the obscene, fun-house distortion you expect when a party is thrown in Times Square.
It’s not as toxic a topic as the New York/New Jersey border war, or as socially inflamed as the Richard Sherman saga. But, in a strictly sporting sense, it really is the topic du jour. If he wins Sunday’s Super Bowl, is Peyton Manning the greatest quarterback in NFL history?
In the days since his rant, Sherman has moonwalked from his outburst. Well, kinda. He didn’t apologize for humiliating Michael Crabtree, but insisted he was sorry for deflecting from his team.
No matter who has the edge Sunday, it seems the nation is rooting for Manning, because it’s been harder for him to win, because he’s not so pretty, because he’s considered one of us, because you get the sense that his aw-shucks, southern refrain is real.
My hands may be white from all the chalk I pick, you know there will be one supreme surprise this week. But where? Since we went 3-1 last week – losing with the wretched Bengals, like everyone else – let’s try our hand at the most heavenly weekend of a most horrible winter.
Every game this weekend has fascinating plots, from Cincinnati trying to break their playoff futility to the Frozen Tundra earning its sobriquet with a 30-below wind chill expected Sunday.
Despite their dearth of recent success, all eyes will be on the Cowboys. For the karma and the drama, for better or worse, they are America’s team. Mostly for worse. Just watch on Sunday.
Local cable providers love to remind us that we have nine – yes, nine – professional sports clubs, a way of persuading us to click on this package or that so we can view the screen-in-screen horror we call baseball, football, and basketball.
But no matter how black or gold my allegiance, no matter how nostalgic I feel about them. and no matter how deep the Rooney roots run in NFL history, there’s no excuse for their head coach’s conduct on Thanksgiving.