Friday, 3 February 2012

Gauging Superbowl Sunday

Bobby Roy

Super Sunday is almost here.

It’s a day hardcore and mediocre football fans, half-time show and commercial enthusiasts find a television set to sit around for three plus hours to watch what is more than just a football game these days.

But I’m not going to focus on the commercialism that is the Superbowl. I’m going to focus on the most important part that should be pretty obvious, but isn’t to some — the game.

For almost two weeks, the New England Patriots and the New York Giants along with each teams’ large following of fans have been chomping at the bit for what should be a great game and rematch of the epic Superbowl XLII. If you’re one of those true, blue (and the colour blue works for both teams in this case) fans, you’ll only have to wait a few more days until the talking is done and the playing can begin.

For all the other hardcore NFL fans whose teams have been eliminated recently or in my case, a long time ago (being a Tampa Bay Bucs fan this year was tough), Superbowl Sunday usually is a good time spent with other football friends dissecting the game, picking who is going to win and watching the unthinkable unfold sometimes.

If this year’s Superbowl is anything like the first matchup in 2008, then football fans and the football world are going to have a lot to talk about for some time.

In 2008 the Patriots were heavy favourites to win the Superbowl as they went into the game undefeated on the season, but were upset 17-14 by a Eli Manning led, hot Giants team. And who can forget the former, where is he now Giant, David Tyree who made a Velcro like catch late in the fourth quarter to set up the winning touchdown for the Giants.

Is a crazy play like that one going to happen again this year?

Who knows, but imagine if something happened like that again. That’s the beauty of the Superbowl, because something crazy always happens.

This year, the Patriots are once against favoured, but not nearly as much compared to the 2008 team. For anyone who followed the 2008 Patriots, it’s hard to think this year’s version of the Patriots could have a better chance at winning, but in some cases it’s true.

The Patriots had a better defense in 2008 and all-star wide receiver Randy Moss catching touchdown after touchdown, but this year they’ve got even more weapons on offense, which most teams haven’t been able to shut down on a consistent basis.

On the other side of the ball are the Giants, who have followed an eerily similar path to the one in 2008. In ’08 they won every game on the road, beginning with an NFC South opponent and beat Green Bay in Lambeau.

This year, they almost did the same.

They beat the Atlanta Falcons first, an NFC South team, took care of business against the seemingly unbeatable Green Bay Packers in Lambeau the week after and squeaked out another road win in San Francisco to clinch the Super Bowl date.

I will bet money only a few had the Giants making it to the Superbowl this year, never mind making the playoffs with four weeks left in the regular season. They have followed the same formula of success they did in ‘08— strong defense, timely offensive plays and fantastic quarterbacking from Eli Manning.

There are so many factors that will be at play in this year’s Superbowl.

Can the Giants’ front four continue to create havoc in the opposing teams’ backfield? Will Brady’s offense continue to pour our points? Can the Pats’ patchwork defense come up with another big performance? Can Eli Manning continue to make perfect throws at key points in the game? Could there be another David Tyree-like play?

Those are just a few of the many questions sports’ reports and football fans have leading up to Sunday.

I could go into in-depth stats and examine past games between the two, but sometimes it’s best to throw things like that all out in a winner takes all game like the Superbowl.

Enough talking, because talking doesn’t create Superbowl moments, the plays do.

Forever lives Super Sunday.

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