Thursday, February 3, 2005

Behind the Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

Big game finally arrives

It is showtime. It is time to mix the grits with gravy. It is time for the million-dollar, 30-second commercials. In short, it is Super Bowl XXXIX time!

Are we becoming complacent in our expectancies now? This writer can remember the times that one week before Super Sunday, the media would smother us with pre-game hype. One could strike up a Super Game conversation in almost any quarter.

Now sports fans are just as prone to initiate a conversation about Shaq and his new team the Heat and their chances of making it to the NBA championship this season.

The talks in all circles should be about the face-off between the Eagles and Patriots. It is amazing to find that the football “experts” who I have talked to since last Sunday are almost evenly split.

The majority want to see the Eagles win because they have the “support the underdog” mentality. Others just plainly say that they don’t like the Patriots (some avow that it’s because they beat Pittsburgh!)

This writer is siding with the underdogs. That, plus the fact that I had firmly committed to supporting the Pittsburgh Steelers before they turned into a blot of molten whatever.

I know that the oddsmakers have ensconced the Pats as seven-point favorites over the Eagles, but yours truly is just silly enough to believe that the Eagles are going to defy these odds.

I must relate that it was really interesting after my predictions went partly sour in the conference championship. The Loftins of Loftins’ Grocery in Mount Pleasant were waiting for me to show up. They had some chiding comments about my forecasting.

So, you have my forecast for the Super Bowl. It is going to be stormy weather for the New England Patriots, and it is going to resemble a bunch of circling Eagles.

I realize that I just might have to live this one down next week, but I think it will be easier for me to explain yet another errant prediction than it will be for the owner of the New Orleans Saints (Tom Benson) to explain why the state of Louisiana might have paid for his 122-ft. yacht.

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