Thursday, January 29, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII: Final Thoughts and Predictions from the PHSports Football Experts

The Steel crew are 7 point favorites ... but will any of the PHSports crew pick the Cards to peck away at victory?


I used the perfect analogy last year. Mike Bibby and the 1997 Arizona Wildcats, playing the role of giant killers and the team of destiny, all the way to the National Championship. The Arizona Cardinals would be a better fit, if for nothing else than the fact that they play in the same state as the Wildcats. While this year is not as big of a giant killing situation, as the Patriots went into the game 18-0, the signs still point to Pittsburgh winning this game. Last year, I should have followed my gut and predicted a Giants win. This year, I'm not going against my gut (except maybe going on a diet). I pick the Cards (which might be bad news for the Cards). My home-away-from-home team will win the championship and bring credibility to the franchise. Most importantly, they will do it as partial payback to the legacy of Pat Tillman. Somewhere he will be smiling down on the Cards as they celebrate as World Champs.

Cardinals 31
Steelers 27
MVP: Kurt Warner, QB


I’d be lying if I said I was a supporter of either of these two teams. While I used to be quite anti-Pittsburgh, I respect Mike Tomlin (aka Omar Epps), root for Big Ben when he's crazy in the pocket, and like guys like Farrior/"Fast" Willie/Ike Taylor. Meanwhile, Arizona has always been a bit of a joke; nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed their ride through the playoffs this season. Watching Fitzgerald is pure fun and I hope Boldin has a big play or two in him on Sunday evening. I’ll be rooting for Arizona, but suspect the Pittsburgh (or Blitzburgh) defense will be a little too much for Warner, Fitz, and Edge. A large part of me wants to see Edge with a ring in the desert; especially with all the good he has done for rookie Tim Hightower. After last year’s epic affair, what we all should be rooting for (those of us not with specific rooting interests, of course) is a fun, competitive game. It won’t happen. Polamalu will make his mark (and earn an MVP award, even as a safety) and Hines Ward will be game enough to catch his second Super Bowl TD (this time from Big Ben). I just don't think Arizona will be able to convert on 3rd and less than 5 as often as they need to. Steelers win 21-10, in a game odd reminiscent of the 2006 Super Bowl. Or is it eerily reminiscent…

Steelers 21
Cardinals 14
MVP: Troy Polamalu, S


I contemplated completely boycotting this farce of a Super Bowl, as my Eagles were on the business end of two horrendous calls in the final minutes. The first was a block in the back by Reggie Wells on Darren Howard at the 10-yard line (I have DVR'd the play and it's obvious), which opened the pathway for rookie running back Tim Hightower to fight his way to paydirt. The second was a blatant pass interference in which Rod Hood (on an island, no less) pushed off against Kevin Curtis. To many, this is ancient history. To the vigilant, it is one more instance of officials deciding games. Seriously, who cares about the game other than Steelers fans? Pittsburgh wins it because they are the tougher team on both lines and Arizona will actually get flagged for holds and blocks in the back, because referees always call it tight during the Super Bowl. Don't worry, Big Ben will turn the ball over once or twice to keep it mildly exciting.

Steelers 28
Cardinals 16
MVP: Ben Roethslisberger, QB


There have been three constants in the NFL Playoffs and their coverage in PHSports. 1) I have analyzed the Arizona Cardinals game each week. 2) I have predicted the Cards to lose each week. 3) The Cards have shat on my prediction each week. (A fourth could by my mentioning of Kurt Warner + Depends each week ... but nah). Each week I have suggested that Arizona's opponent would learn from the mistakes of the team(s) in the week(s) before. That the opposing team would stay true to its running attack and would also beat the snot out of Kurt Warner with an intense pass rush. And it seems that those teams have steadily avoided my advice as if I was Dave Shula. But there's really no way that Dick LeBeau doesn't rush a QB. And there's no way that a Pittsburgh football team goes pass-happy. Right? It just wouldn't make sense ... it'd be like the Cardinals winning three straight playoff games ...

Steelers 31
Cardinals 23
MVP: Willie Parker, RB


The Bar Chaplain said...

um, pat tillman won't be smiling down. there's nowhere to be smiling down from. he's dead. there's no heaven, and even if there was, the almighty wouldn't give a flip about professional football.

me? i give a HUGE flip about pro football. and i hope the memory of all pat tillman stood for and died for will help motivate the cards to win.

but the tired old religious angles in sports have got to stop.

Anonymous said...

They have to stop, eh? So you "preach" that people do not have a right to their opinions or a right to voice those opinions?

The line used in the post was a cliche line ... if anything, you're the one who brought religion to the forefront.

Paymon said...

Two posts and neither called me a whiner. YES!

And I agree with anonymous's takes - it was a benign yet cliche Berman-esque line.

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