Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Super Bowl Picks, Plus Odds and Ends

It's really shitty weather outside right now. If you believe the local news here in town, this is the beginning of Ragnarok, the Norse end of the world. God Damn it, I think Odin and Loki just bit the big one! We're all fucked! Run for your lives! At any rate, with the Super Bowl coming up in a few days, I figured that I'd preview it. To fill space make the post more substantial, I'll throw in some random ramblings at the end. Onto the column…

Pittsburgh vs. Green Bay (-3)

I really have no idea why Green Bay is giving three in this one. It kind of boggles the mind. Sure, Pittsburgh's O-line now features three fat guys that were working in a steel mill when the season started. And yes, Green Bay, when motivated, can march the ball down the field. The problem is, I saw two fairly similar teams out there last week: good passing attacks, solid defenses, but prone to letting the other team slide down the stretch. There was surprisingly little throat-stepping action going on. That's odd, because normally the Steelers just put on the steel-toed boots and step on people's throats for fun. You have to think that killer instinct can be reawakened.

Still, this line just doesn't make any sense to me. The Steelers have (by far) a better running game than the Packers. Both teams have dangerous 3-4 rushers (James Harrison for Pittsburgh and Clay Matthews for Green Bay). Both feature good, big-armed QBs with mobility. So what are the key differences in this one? I can think of two of them:

1) Troy Polamalu can make a big play at any given time. Packers fans will counter that Charles Woodson can do the same, but Polamalu can make big hits and cause fumbles in addition to being a ballhawk. Woodson can't. This is a huge advantage for Pittsburgh, provided Troy stays healthy and finishes the game.

2) Roethlisburger-to-Wallace can go for 50 yards or more on any given play. It's true that the Packers can get 15 yard chunks at a time when they are going well. But they don't really have an offensive answer to when Roethlisberger can roll out and bomb it to Wallace for 50 yards at a time. Those 2 extra plays it takes the Packers to go the same distance (when they're really clicking, mind you) are two more chances for Pittsburgh's defense to make big plays. Even one pick or fumble in those extra plays can be the difference in a game like this.

Intangibles: On the one hand, you have Mike Tomlin, master dog trainer and brilliant head coach who is making his second Super Bowl appearance in four years of head coaching. On the other hand, you have McCartman, who's pret-ty lit-ul scheme worked out quite well this year. Both teams are decimated by injuries. Both cities have a lot of obese central and eastern European immigrants that enjoy various cased meats. Still, for the coaching staff and reasons above, I think the pick has to be the Steelers.

Now, for a little bonus material:

-HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh man, I CANNOT stop laughing when media types make jokes about, "Which was worse, the Pro Bowl or the NHL All Star Game?" Man, these guys are true comedic revolutionaries, much like Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, or Eddie Murphy. I mean, both games clearly suck, but both allow corporate sponsors that aren't important enough to be invited to the Super Bowl or Stanley Cup to mingle with the players and otherwise enjoy a weekend of corporate debauchery. So unless you guys have a better idea on how to accomplish this, I'd suggest you shut the fuck up.

-Baseball starts up again soon. Eh. For the first time in a while, I'm not terribly excited about a new baseball season. Maybe it's because the Cardinals have let their roster and culture get a little stale. Maybe it's because of the whole Pujols circus. Maybe it's because games have gotten so long and (dare I say it?) boring that I don't really want to watch the Cards play the Pirates on a random Tuesday in July. I don't know, but they better do something to fix the sport. The only thing I can think of off-hand is implementing all of the rule changes from Super Baseball 2020. That would involve a lot of girls learning how to play baseball at a professional level fairly quickly, as well as many, many advances in robotics and artificial intelligence. To which I say, GET ON IT, EGGHEADS! WE ONLY HAVE NINE YEARS LEFT! Alternatively, we could go the route of Base Wars and let robots beat the shit out of each other whenever they have a dispute. Either path would be far more interesting than this…"product" that teams drag out there season after interminable season.

-There are a few movies I want to see, provided we still have movie theaters after the End of the World. I haven't seen The Fighter yet, and 127 Hours and The King's Speech also look like they'd be pretty good. I think I'm going to prepare for Oscar season this year. You know what that means: Little Fockers, here I come!

-Finally, I know that there are all kinds of crazy new first-person shooter games out there, and video game technology continues to progress at a pretty good clip, but I'll be goddamned if I don't find myself keep returning to Final Fantasy Tactics, Madden '04, and the Mass Effect games. Sometimes, games are truly timeless. Now if only they'd release that roster update for Madden '04 so that I can turn Sam Bradford into the greatest QB of all time…

Questions? Comments? Worried about the implications of Ragnarok on your day-to-day life? E-mail the Blogmogger team at blogmogger@yahoo.com.