Thursday, January 30, 2014
Behind The Scoreboard
Big game prediction
As the past weekend approached, so did the anticipation of football fans everywhere waiting for the Super Bowl. Already some fans were undergoing severance pains, having to try and prepare their emotions for coming weekends without football. Sure, there was one football game played in sunny Hawaii as the selectees in the annual Pro Bowl met in a game with an entirely different bent.
This was not your father’s Pro Bowl. First, there was no intra-conference competition. Secondly, the picks were made by two notables in the vast former arena of football heroes. Teams were not identified as “NFC” or “AFC.” They were called “Team Rice “or “Team Sanders.” Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders staffed the teams through an accept or reject process. Whoever had first choice also had the right of refusal. Sanders and Rice both had positions on the sidelines to assist the actual coaches during the game. Rice must have known what he was doing because his team won 22-21.
The commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodall, had said if the play did not improve with this game, he would consider doing away with the “vacation game” in the future. Personally, I never saw the importance of such a game. If you are going to send a whole bunch of guys to a partying paradise for a week or more and have them play as they would in a regular season game, the premise is flawed.
At the end of the regular season, the coaching carousel went into full grind. Six teams have new coaches holding the reins for the 2014 season. Jim Caldwell will lead the Detroit Lions; Jay Gruden took over the Washington Redskins; Bill O’Brien will try and straighten out the Houston Texans: Ken Whisenhunt got the Tennessee Titans; Mike Pettine will guide the Browns’ ship; and Mike Zimmer becomes the head Viking. There were a couple more coaches treading thin ice but the carousel seems to have spun to a stop now.
Hardly anyone missed the ranting performance of Richard Sherman in the conference playoff game between the Seahawks and the 49ers. It has dominated the media. Let’s face it, Sherm is an antagonizing player. Does anyone remember the almost uncontrollable tirades by Muhammud Ali? Will the “best cornerback” (his estimation) in the league be able to back up his claim in Super Bowl XLVIII? I am sure that the Broncos took notes.
I will not venture a score in the big game, but I stand by my estimation that the Broncs will be a better team in this outing. The weather is definitely going to be the “12th man” for both teams.
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