James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Super Bowl Thoughts

Apparently, Bruce Springsteen has a new CD. I won't begrudge him playing the first single at the Super Bowl halftime show, whatever it is. But he has two choices after that:

a) be a nostalgia act, playing "Born in the USA" and "Born to Run." Or perhaps "Glory Days" and "Hungry Heart." In other words - and with all due respect to these songs - he could be lame in the sense of giving the crowd what he thinks they want to hear, as opposed to what he wants to perform..
b) be a great rock & roll act and make the halftime show entertaining. In this instance, I'd suggest a medley of "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" transitioning to "Blinded By the Light" (which will wake up a large segment of the audience that doesn't even know it's a Springsteen song.) But if I had to choose, I'd pull out all the stops with a rendition of "Rosalita" that goes on as long as time allows.

As for the game, you can tell who the underdog is by the word "if." A year ago it was, "if the Giants can get to Tom Brady, they have a chance." Which means, the Patriots are presumably the better team, but this one thing may turn the tide for the Giants.

If the Steelers and Cardinals each played their normal game, each doing what they do well, the Steelers look like the favorite. That's because there's no "if's" about them; if they play well, they should win. The "ifs" fall on the Cardinals. If there is more than one "if," the bleaker it looks for the Cards, because it means lots of things have to go right for them. But at the end of the day, I think only one "if' matters: how well Kurt Warner responds to the Steelers' packages of disguised blitzes. If he can make accurate throws, it's a close game. And NOBODY knows whether this will happen or not.

The problem with predictions even less than 72 hours before kickoff is that no one knows what might happen to one of the teams, such as a drug overdose, an arrest, or a disappearance, on the eve of the game. That may be a demoralizing force, and will especially be so if it happens with the Cardinals, the team that's "happy to be here" with "nothing to lose." But there's little reason to believe this will happen. Teams have learned from the Bengals '89, Falcons '99, and Raiders '03.

The wild card is Ben Roethlisberger's nerves. History records him as a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, but he played terribly in that game three years ago, where the officiating was sub-par and seemed to work against the Seahawks. If Ben feels pressure to "redeem" himself by putting on an MVP performance, he might fold for that very reason.

I suspect that Warner will play well, that Roethlisberger may not play quite as well, and the Cards will eke out the victory. Or at least cover the seven-point spread.

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