As Broad & Pattison Turns: Superbowl XLVIII Edition

Broncos vs Seahawks  6:30 PM (FOX) – For this one, they should bring back the Kingdome and Mile High Stadium.

Bring back Dave Krieg, Jim Zorn and Steve Largent.  Bring John Elway out of the executive box and Tom Jackson out of the ESPN booth.

Bring back Chuck Knox and former Penn State great Curt Warner.  And while you’re at it,  bring back Karl Mecklenburg, the “Three Amigos”, and the “Barrel Man” (RIP Barrel Man).  And for a goof, bring back Brian Bosworth…

While the Seattle Seahawks played in the NFC west in their inaugural season of 1976 (and reside there now), they were actually in the AFC West from 1977 till the start of the 2002 season, where they faced the Broncos twice on an annual basis as division foes.

Ironically, their first ever playoff appearance came at home against the Broncos in the 1983 AFC wildcard game when, leading by 10-7 at halftime, the Seahawks exploded for 21 unanswered points, leading to the franchise’s first playoff victory.  Did I know that info. by researching the internet?  No…I actually remember watching that game in my parents’ family room as a little tyke growing up in Northeast Philadelphia (while I frequently struggled just to get a C grade in elementary school due to lack of interest, I can recite where I was watching random NFL games from childhood with relative ease….go figure).

With all of the history then, this is, in essence, a “Back to the Future” sort of Superbowl.   And while Peyton Manning would do an admirable job of playing “Biff” the bully, it would be his brother Eli, instead of Seattle QB Russell Wilson, that would be a better fit to play the role of “Marty McFly”.

While the main focus in the NFL usually centers on the quarterbacks, the conference championship games showed us that football is still a team sport, and losing one piece of the puzzle on your team can lead to devastating consequences.

In the AFC Championship game, New England seemed to keep Peyton Manning in check until Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib went out with a knee injury.  After that, it was as if the border patrol went out to lunch and never returned, as Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas suddenly began to get open against a mismatched secondary, ending with seven receptions for 134 yards.

In the NFC title game, even with all the talk of Russell Wilson & Colin Kaepernick, it was Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman that made the defining play, followed by a defining rant that has gotten more played out than those annoying Progressive Insurance commercials with “Flo” (personally, I prefer “Jan” from the Toyota commercials).

So who wins this Sunday?  Peyton Manning was lucky to play in 63-degree weather at home in the AFC Championship, but it will most likely be much colder than that come kickoff Sunday night.   The Seahawks are used to playing in dreary weather in the Pacific Northwest so the conditions should suit them just fine.

The matchup pitting Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas against Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman will be the most intriguing one to watch.  Unless the Broncos get lucky again by way of the opposing cornerback going out with an injury, think the Seahawks will take this one and win their first ever Superbowl.

Superbowl XLVIII will also be one of “firsts” – the first one where the price of admission gets you the sight of your own breath for three plus hours, plus a set of handwarmers and lip balm (as opposed to sunscreen given to attendees in Tampa a few years back).  Considering the price of the ticket, hope that it’s at least Chapstick brand…

The Last Word:   Superbowl XLVIII will be the first in 19 years featuring two teams that reside west of the Mississippi River, and the first in 14 years that will not have a participant from the Eastern Time Zone.

As Broad & Pattison Turns Week #5: Eagles at Giants

So it seems that my prediction for last week might have been just a little off, but hey, even “Nostrad-Amit” can be wrong once in a while (that is an understatement I know…my batting average on picks this year has been along the lines of “Chooch” without the help of Adderall).

On a sun-splashed Colorado afternoon which would surely have had John Denver singing “Rocky Mountain High”, the Eagles were actually competitive for the 1st half, and down only 21-13 at halftime before acquiring a “flat tire” (no pun intended for you Colorado beer fans) and getting blown out in the 2nd half and losing 52-20 in what was surely a “rocky mountain low” on the young season for the Birds.

Perhaps it was the thin Rocky Mountain air that did them in in the 2nd half?  Or perhaps, in anticipation of the series-finale of the AMC hit TV series “Breaking Bad”, the Eagles decided to watch some reruns during the 2nd half and send out members of the Indian table tennis and badminton teams as replacement players.  Coming to think of it, the Indian badminton team may have done a better job covering Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker than whoever was playing in the secondary in the 2nd half.

Got to give props out to Denver though…nice stadium and nice people (though I do prefer the intimacy of our 65,000 seat “LINC” over the 76,000 seat Sports Authority Field).

Sitting in my Denver hotel lobby the morning of the game in my Eagles attire, I was easily approached by a handful of Broncos fans asking if I was headed to the game and initiating conversation (and when does that ever happen in Philadelphia?).  One fan who was working on his laptop, after chatting for 10 minutes, asked if I could watch his computer for a few minutes while he went up to his room.  This writer suspects that if that was, instead, an Eagles fan from home, he would have probably been afraid that I was going to steal his laptop.   Just keeping it real yo…

This week the Birds face the Giants, and while in the past, this has often been a marquee matchup played at 4:25 or on Sunday night, this week’s contest marks a must-win for two teams that have one win between them.

From a prediction standpoint, this game makes me uncomfortable.  I know the Giants are 0-4.  I know the Giants are aging.  I know the Giants have a porous offensive line….which makes picking the Eagles just way too easy.

Just like the Denver Broncos, sitting at 4-0, can’t continue to win forever (and I actually think the Cowboys will upset them this week), the 0-4 Giants, as bad as they are, can’t continue to lose forever either.

With the G-Men playing in front of their home fans this week, I think they’ll unfortunately put together enough quality play to defeat the Eagles, 28-27, and send fans around the Delaware Valley asking all next week if Chip Kelly was the right hire.  But as Yoda once preached patience to Luke Skywalker, we as Eagles fans will have to have patience as well (and a few more solid drafts) before this team will turn things around.

The Last Word – At least in the “something good comes out of something bad” category, an Eagles loss will mean that Glen Macnow, from the WIP midday show with Anthony Gargano, will be forced to wear a dress on Monday’s show.  Perhaps they can get Dustin Hoffman from “Tootsie” and Robin Williams from “Mrs. Doubtfire” and rename Monday’s show “The Three Amigas”??

Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless otherwise noted):

Saints at Bears  1:00 PM FOX

Lions at Packers  1:00 PM FOX

Seahawks at Colts  1:00 PM FOX

Patriots at Bengals  1:00 PM CBS

Chiefs at Titans  1:00 PM CBS

Ravens at Dolphins  1:00 PM CBS

Broncos at Cowboys  4:25 PM CBS

Texans at Niners  8:30 PM NBC