Hit me with your best shot: SportsAngle’s uninformed Super Bowl pick

Neither one of these guys could hold a candle to the great Daniel Constantine Marino
I wanted to write something about the Super Bowl because, well, it’s the Super Bowl. I was thinking some predictions and whatnot, maybe a little analysis thrown in for good measure. But I’ve immediately hit a brick wall.

The problem is that this can tend to sort of be a niche site, and football isn’t really a part of my niche. If this were the Super Bowl of horror movies, or the Super Bowl of high school basketball – which, uh, I’m actually going to next week – then I wouldn’t have a problem. But it’s not. It’s the Super Bowl of football.

So it goes to follow that I don’t have anything new to bring to the table here. If you read any of my weekly football articles during the season, you saw my disclaimer, which explains that I don’t actually know very much about football. But I wanted to write about the experience, the culture, the drama of the season.

That non-analytical perspective doesn’t really fit in with the Super Bowl, where people have analyzed every single minute aspect of the game. What can I say that hasn’t been said about 5,000 times the past two weeks? To help me answer that, I called on SportsAngle Night Consultant Brian Cougar, the only person I know besides me that is generally still awake at this time:

SportsAngle: I’m attempting to write a quick Super Bowl article, but it’s occurring to me that everything that could possibly be said has been said.

Cougar: You should mention Dwight Freeney’s ankle injury.

SportsAngle: Who’s Dwight Freeney?

Cougar: Wait, did I make him up?

SportsAngle: Wasn’t that the teacher on Boy Meets World?

Cougar: I hope so.

Thanks for nothing, Brian.

But seriously, what really qualifies me – or, for that matter, anyone – to say what’s going to happen in the game? Who really knows until it happens?

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, that’s who. Or at least he’d have you believe that. However, I guarantee if you went back, he’s been wrong about every Super Bowl except the 1972 Dolphins. Because come on, who the hell would have picked against the 1972 Dolphins?

One of these two men may play a major role in the Super Bowl. The other dispenses life lessonsBut since we’re here, let’s give it a shot. Part of what’s making this so difficult is that these are two of the most evenly matched teams in Super Bowl history. They both started out 13-0, both have potent offenses and bend-but-don’t-break defenses. The Saints are inspired by their beleaguered home city, while the Colts are led by a brutally efficient and subsequently boring precision attack.

A part of me really wants to pick the Saints. I like Drew Brees’ intensity and how he always seems to have a chip on his shoulder, though I’d like that a lot more if my beloved Dolphins had signed him when they had the chance instead of trading for the horrible Daunte Culpepper. The Saints are dynamic, though they definitely didn’t finish as strong as they started and weren’t really impressive against the Vikings in a game they should have lost.

Working in the favor of the Saints – a five-point underdog – is that all the tape study and point spreads in the world can mean nothing in a game of this magnitude. Tyree’s catch, Namath’s guarantee, Brady over the Rams and Norwood going wide right are perfect examples of that.

But as everyone and their grandmother has pointed out, the Colts have Peyton Manning, the best approximation of Joe Montana in the sport today. Back when Montana won his first Super Bowl, he coolly and famously pointed out John Candy during a TV timeout before leading the game-winning drive. I can’t see Manning relaxing enough to do that, and Candy isn’t even around anymore, but I could picture the Saints up 28-24 late and Peyton not missing a beat, firing it right down the middle to Dallas Clark for the game-winner. Let’s go with 31-28, Indy.

But make no mistake: If I get this right, it’s purely by accident. The thing is, that goes for literally everyone else too; I’m just the only one who’ll admit it.

Enjoy the game, folks.


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