Back in my youth there was a decent stretch of years where my family hosted a Super Bowl Party. When I think about those parties now what strikes me is how few people actually watched the game. The guests would come in, we’d take down a score for the pool, but after that I remember the TV being the loneliest place in the house. Of course, these were the years of AFC destruction. The Norwood game. The unfortunate Humphries/Means Charger team, the year Dallas absolutely humiliated the Bills–there was a noticeable lack of drama. But I’m not sure anyone really minded. People ate food, they drank, they did a puzzle, I tried to drink 1,000 orange sodas and when the game was over you knew who won, but maybe not much more than that.
The games in recent years have become closer. I have watched several last drives with keen focus, but I don’t recall giving any of the games my undivided attention. The Super Bowl party is still too much of an event. It’s a happening. That’s why I’m really looking forward to Sunday even though I don’t have much of a rooting interest. In fact, I can come up with reasons to root against each team. Ray Lewis? Meh. And, while I know it’s been a while, I’m old enough to remember that this would be SF’s 6th Super Bowl win. That’s pretty rare air. Plus, if you’re waiting for your team to win, do you want to see Colin Kaepernick win in his 9th start when you’ve been through 9 starting QBs in four years?
The fear of seeing Ray Lewis crying and screaming in celebration though is muted by looking forward to some great food, some tasty beers and spending time with good people. So, of course I’m disappointed that the football season is ending on Sunday, but that’s not just because we’re in a sports black hole and the Flyers stink. It’s also because nothing quite brings people together like a football game on TV. It’s going to be a while until that next gathering.
Now, on to the picks, where I’ll attempt to close out a 9-1-1, in which case I should surely retire.
Big Dub, 3-6-1
San Francisco (-3.5) over Baltimore. I have no friggin idea here. Going with the idea that Baltimore is too slow on defense and won’t be able to stop Kaepernick. Did I just write that? This entire game is going to make sick. I hate the NFL.
San Franciso (-3.5) over Baltimore. The Ravens won the AFC Championship Game by wearing out the Patriots. During the second half, BAL was just faster on both sides of the ball. I don’t know why that happened, but my feeling is that the 49ers will be a little more geeked up for this one and a little more physical on defense. It’ll be a good game, I think, but in the end Frank Gore scores a couple times I think and Flacco has trouble with the vertical passing game. SFO 27 BAL 19.
Baltimore (+3.5) over San Francisco. I’ll take the points in what I think will be a very close game. I dislike the Ravens, but things seem to be lining up for them: the desperation 70 yd heave in Denver, Ray Lewis’ last run, NE playing a terrible game,etc. I guess I’ll take the veteran QB and the pts over the inexperienced Kaepernick. Either way, I’m going to spray some Deer Antler spray on some pizza & wings on Sunday night and see if I feel like I’m 18 again on Monday morning. Can’t wait until Chip Kelly is coaching in the Super Bowl next yr.
San Francisco (-3.5) over Baltimore.
I’ve been staring at this line for two weeks. It’s moved around a bit, going as high as five, but at any number I was surprised to see the Niners as definitive favorites. I thought beating the Patriots would get Baltimore a little more respect. Nope. Combined with that is my year long distaste for the Ravens. I think everything has broken right for them in these playoffs. The miracle last second TD, they match up really well with New England. I still think there’s time for it to blow up in their face. San Francisco is just as good on defense, is more versatile on offense and their QB has two eyebrows. What else do you need to know? How about Ray Lewis won a Super Bowl MVP while I was in college. I’m old as dirt. So, Lewis must be too. He’s done. Party like it’s 1989 and you’re John Tyler–Niners all day.