For the last two weeks my life has been one big attempt at distracting myself from this Super Bowl. Essentially that meant an inordinate amount of listening to Rick Ross and hoping I didn’t end up offending one of my black roommates. (editor’s note: Rick Ross lit’rally IS the fine line between genius an insanity: “have you ever made love to the woman of your dreams in a room full of money out in London while she screams?” Dude is molten lava). Of course, this distraction couldn’t possibly last, as I have devoured every single article written about the Super Bowl, the players, the player’s wives, the player’s side pieces and any factoid to grace the covers of ESPN, NFL, SI, or other acronym which covers sports on the interwebs. Fortunately for you, all you have to read is this one blog. I have no idea how to present this information to you, but I imagine this will turn into some sort of list involving the biggest story lines and players, videos, quotes, and my own anecdotes which I’ll number by using Roman numerals, because they are both fancy, and used by the NFL to denote its most important game. How’s that for clairvoyance? What’s clairvoyance? Shut up and watch the G.O.A.T. swag all over Carnival!
II. Gronk Will Play, Duh: This is the Super Bowl. Something like a little high ankle sprain isn’t stopping the Gronk any more than one of the defenders constantly being dragged and emasculated all over the field by him. It’s simple, true champions play through injuries. Time for an anecdote: Last week, I’m in the middle of my own personal Super Bowl: murdering a dance floor double-dutch. Just as I’m going straight Harlem playground on this thing, I slip due to wet game conditions (spilled drink) and Gronk the living shit out of my ankle. Running on pure adrenaline, and whiskey, I head to the locker room (bar), get a shot (not Cortisone), compose myself (chase with beer), and get back on the field (dance floor).
The point here is simple. The human body is an amazing machine. You all saw Gronk back on the field just moments after having the ball of his ankle rolled onto the turf like he was a double-jointed circus freak. Thing is, Gronk IS a circus freak, and I think you’ll see him play like it. The far bigger question to Gronk’s health is whether he misses the game Sunday because he’s contracted the burn from one of the multitude of war pigs he ran through this week in Indy without wearing his helmet (non-football related).
III. Gronk and this Blogger Had a Moment: This has nothing to do with the Super Bowl, but I’m already concerned about getting 25 topics, so I’m including an even better anecdote than the one that just happened. Last Halloween, the Patriots were at Howl at the Moon in Boston and Gronk rolled up dressed up as Gronk. I was obviously the Tea Party, and Gronk misconstrued this as it being my birthday (due to my party hat) when I went up to him to say “what up, Gronk?” Next thing I know, Gronk is ordering a round of shots for Julian Edelman, Alge Crumpler, and ME. I’m smitten as all hell and go to take the glass from him when Gronk goes, “What?! Nah bro, I’m feeding this to you! No homo.” At which point, he grabs the glass, pushes my head back and feeds me the shot, wishing me a happy birthday. At that moment I knew we had drafted an overgrown fratboy man-child who had become my favorite Boston athlete (besides Tom). If you don’t believe this story, that’s cool, Gronk and I don’t even care.
IV. The Giants are Dumb Lucky: Can we just clear the air here? If not for a dropped interception, followed by the most impossible catch in the history of the sport, Eli Manning is still just a middling quarterback with a career passer rating of 82. If not for two muffed punts in the NFC Championship game, Eli Manning has no chance now at a second Super Bowl ring and being talked about as a potential Hall of Famer. Look it up, he’s a career 82.0 passer.
V. The Patriots are Pretty Lucky, Too!: Let’s get this all out of the way. Tuck rule. There, now we’re even going into this Super Bowl on the luck thing.
VI. Tom Brady’s Legacy: Cemented as the NFL’s G.O.A.T. with his 4th Super Bowl win.
VII. Tom Brady’s Legacy: Should not be tarnished by a loss in this game. He has led the worst defense to ever make a Super Bowl. Saying he sucks, and is overrated and lucky will only make you look like a New York sports fan, which is rarely a good look.
VIII. But Seriously, Let’s End the QB Debate: Eli Manning is an 82 career passer! This just continues to blow my mind that some “experts” are actually giving the Giants the edge at quarterback in this game. That doesn’t even include the heresy going on by speaking ill of Tom. Eli had two surefire picks dropped last game because the 49ers defenders like to run into each other. As I said earlier, he threw a pick on the final drive of the last Super Bowl, only nobody told Asante Samuels’ hands about it. Tom Brady is coming off a season in which he threw for the second most yards, ever. He threw six less interceptions than Manning, and 10 more touchdowns, yet because Manning sucked for three quarters all year and played well in 4th quarters, he’s hot. That’s all fine, too. If you’re a Giants fan and you honestly trust Eli Manning in this game, you’re lying to yourself, or you’re my buddy Joey Z, a Giants “fanatic” who I’m positive can’t name their starting cornerbacks, or one of their O Linemen. But I know one thing: Patriots defenders are rarely near each other, so Eli better be careful, because we can’t possibly run into each other to break up our own interceptions. Watch the tape. Our defenders are rarely even defending.
IX. Wes Welker’s Sidepiece is About to be his Wife, Which is Just Plain Smart
X. The Game’s Biggest X Factor for the Patriots: See what I did there with the numeral we are on and the topic for it? Anyway, I think the biggest X Factor in this game for the Patriots will be Defensive Ends Rob Ninkovich/Mark Anderson. Remember in the first Super Bowl win for the Pats, when Mike Vrabel rushed from the edge, forcing Kurt Warner into throwing the pick six to Ty Law? Easily the biggest play of that Super Bowl, and the difference in the game. If the Pats can get something like this, or maybe a strip sack scoop-and-score, it will be the difference.
XI. X Factor for the Giants: Mario Manningham. The third head of their “three-headed monster” at Wide Receiver, Manningham is more accurately a wide receiver who catches some touchdowns but rarely impacts the game between the 20s. He has three touchdowns in three playoff games, but just eight total catches and 116 yards in that span. Calling him a monster, or even, marginally difficult to defend is like calling Chad Ochocinco a serviceable wide receiver (who almost made my X Factor for the Patriots because he actually played last time these teams met and burned the Giants for a touchdown that Brady underthrew).
XII. I’m really not sure what happens to numerals in the high-teens. We’ll see.
XIII. Jason Pierre Paul is a Fool: Look dude, I know your dad is blind, so you may have felt the need to talk more than usual so he knew you were playing in the Super Bowl this week, but why would you give Brady extra motivation? I know everyone tries downplaying this stuff by saying, “It’s the Super Bowl, he shouldn’t need any extra motivation” but that’s like saying guys don’t have extra motivation to hook up with girls when they see them in yoga pants. Sure, you don’t NEED the extra motivation, but it still exists. As soon as Jason Pierre Paul said Tom Brady isn’t God, this Super Bowl put yoga pants on (is your mind blown?). Which is ironic, because I’m pretty sure God made Tom Brady, football, and Yoga pants as man’s ultimate purpose in life. If this next picture is porn, my bad.
XIV. Best Fact of the Week’s Research: Unrelated to anyone in this game, but this is a line in Ray Lewis’ Wikipedia regarding the murder trial he was a part of: “The white suit Lewis was wearing the night of the killings has never been found.” Umm, duh? Murder 101 says once you stab a dude in his face and he ruins your white suit, you burn those threads. Blood stains hard, no matter how tirelessly the Vietnamese dry cleaner down the street tinkers with it.
XV. Bill Belichick Coaches Football Good: In case you didn’t know. Dude wins like, almost all the football games he coaches. I’m not googling his career record with the Patriots because it would embarrass Tom Coughlin. Speaking of which…
XVI. Wasn’t This Guy Getting Fired? So the Giants go on a nice run down the stretch, save Tom Coughlin his job, then win some playoff games, and now he’s a win away from going to the Hall of Fame? Gosh, two weeks is way too long to give sports writers time to make shit up.
XVII. I’m Watching this Game at Home: Last time we played the Giants in the Super Bowl, I was this cool as hell 21 year-old who was getting a keg with his friends to party and watch the game. That ended with me doing a misery drowning keg stand after the game which I may still be drunk from. This game, I’m back in my living room at home, where three previous Patriots Super Bowls were won.
XVIII. If You Don’t Think I’m Eating Hummus: During the Drafting of this Blog, You Don’t Know Jack.
XIX. This Clown is Supposed to Beat Tom Brady Twice?!?!
XX. Kelly Clarkson Singing National Anthem: Too soon that I gave her the “XX” numeral because it’s already on all her clothes? Cheap joke, but I’m cheap, so we’re cool.
XXI. Sucks to Be Peyton Manning This Week, Huh? Poor bro is just lying around all half-paralyzed because his neck exploded while his little brother and arch nemesis get elbow deep in his city, and the stadium he built. Brady is just abusing Peyton’s locker, draping his loin-towel all over Manning’s face, splashing on Stetson cologne and leaving UGG mocassins at their altar. It wouldn’t shock me if Brady snuck Gisele in for a quick trip to plowtown at the 50.
XXII. When The Patriots Have the Ball: Expect the offense to be in the hurry up more than ever to keep the Giants vaunted pass rush off their game. The offensive line has been great lately, and if Brady has time, you could see a classic surgical effort in this game. I also think we are going to see some sort of trick play that has been rarely employed this year by the Pats offense. You’ll remember in some of their earlier Super Bowl runs, reverses and even flea flickers factored in to stretch the field. Could Julian Edelman, a college quarterback turned wideout turned defensive back throw a pass?!
XXIII. When the Giants Have the Ball: Expect it to move down the field, quickly. The Patriots defense is improving, but is still a sieve, and reliant on big turnovers and red zone defense. Victor Cruz should be targeted plenty while Hakeem Nicks will try to take the top of the defense. Eli could put up big numbers, but it will be key for the Pats secondary to capitalize on his mistakes, which he is sure to make, as evidenced by the rest of his career.
XXIV. Red Zone Decides the Game: This should be a high scoring affair with teams moving the ball easily, so work done by both sides inside the red zone will likely decide the final outcome. I obviously pre-gamed for the Super Bowl by eating chinese food and watching “A Football Life: Bill Belichick.” In it, he makes a few things quite clear, one being that play in the “red area” gets the exclamation point-underline in his game plans. Additionally, after watching this, how do you not love what a crazy bastard Belichick is?
XXV. Final Prediction: I just got back from church with my family. I slept on this prediction, prayed for Tom’s health like Gisele asked in her e-mail to our inner circle, and am now fully prepared to break down exactly what will happen in this game. Brady and Eli will both easily throw for 300+ yards. Welker and Cruz will both go over 100. Giants defensive linemen will sack Brady twice. Patriots defensive linemen will sack Manning thrice. Brady will not throw an interception. Manning will throw one. Neither running game will matter in the end, but Woodhead will pick up a few huge first downs because a bear cannot hug a mouse, and that’s what tackling him is like. So far, everything seems pretty close. Unfortunately, that’s before Myra Kraft smiles down upon the field in the fourth quarter. Eli’s pick will come in the end of the game, and give Brady the ball with the score tied and 2:08 remaining. After a methodical drive where Brady is his surgical self, he’ll find Gronk who drags three Giants into the end zone, spikes the ball, and has his ankle disintegrate. Belichick and Brady seal their history with a kiss, and Gisele dances like there’s no tomorrow. I finally recover from the loss in 2008, which marked a quarter life crisis that until now, I have been unable to recover from. FINAL SCORE: Patriots 31, Giants 24.