Black Sunday

I may be wearing black, but I will join the legion of NFL fans from the 30 franchise markets outside New England and Seattle and watch Super Bowl XLIX Sunday night. After all, it is the Super Bowl and it should be a good game. We’ll watch it not as fans, but strictly for the purity of the game, which, of course, is an oxymoron since both the Patriots and Seahawks have been known to straddle the chalkline between legal and slightly illegal advances.

I know I speak for my fellow fans from Green Bay, Dallas, Carolina, Detroit, Arizona, Indianapolis, Denver, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh who believe the two best teams are not in Glendale. And, at least on the NFC side of scrimmage, there is the sense Seattle didn’t win its chance at a repeat … Green Bay lost it’s chance to attend the Big Dance.

But, hey, that’s why they play 60 minutes — not 55. I’ll give kudos to the Seahawks for hanging around and taking advantage of the situations they were handed.

It’s also why I believe the Seahawks will win. They have a tenacious defense and an opportunistic offense — both designed with a youthful, college-like exuberance. Trick plays are common — and executed well. My best advice to the Pats is to expect the unexpected.

Both coaches — Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll — are superior tacticians. If they even sense a weakness, the team reacts swiftly. They have molded purpose-driven clubs that shrug off adversity. One bad play? No problem! Missed assignment? Immediate correction! Weakness on the other side of the ball? Exploit it! Neither team will blink and neither team will panic.

This is especially troublesome for New England. If it doesn’t start quickly — with TDs, not field goals — it will be a long day. And if the Pats let the Seahawks hang around, there could be some late ramifications. The only success I see for New England is playing for six points every drive and keeping the hammer down.

Unfortunately, Seattle’s defense is just plain too good to allow that to happen for 60 minutes. New England will have to find a way to keep Tom Brady upright, and his go-to guy, Rob Gronkowski will never have a free release and heavy hitters like Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas in coverage.

If Seattle has a weakness, it is its offense, but Russell Wilson is a magician behind center {note, far from the best quarterback in the league} who keeps plays alive and releases airballs with leading precision. I can’t count the number of times he was trapped in the backfield yet still got the completion — including that bizarre two-point conversion from about 30 yards out. And he has Marshawn Lynch. It would really surprise me if Lynch didn’t continue to run roughshod over the Pats.

But, of course, the Patriots are the Patriots, singularly one of the consistently best teams year in and year out. You can never discount them.

Still, I find it hard to root for the Seahawks, although conventional wisdom is to always root for your division. On arrogance, the team as a whole — from Carroll to Lynch to Sherman to, well, just about any one of them — lead the league. Swagger is one thing. Confidence is one thing. But arrogance is one trait I just cannot tolerate.

Arrogance aside, a Seahawk win will open some freshly-scarred wounds from a couple of weeks ago. with its would haves, could haves, should haves.

Personally, I would root for neither. In the playoffs you can’t play to a draw, but watching them play, say, four quarters and a half dozen OTs and reduced to huffing, puffing behemoths dragging around the field would make my night.

Besides, there’s always the commercials and the entertainment.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.


About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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