- Is the NFL season still going on? With the 2 week break between the conference championships and Super Bowl, and the fact that it's just about mid-February, something in my mind feels like the Super Bowl has already been played and the NFL season is over. It's not though. Today is, in fact, the Super Bowl, and it should be a really good one. On Friday I ran some Whatifsports.com sims and surprisingly, the Saints won all 3. Two of them went down to the final second of the game, and as a fan, that wouldn't suck.
Yesterday I played the game on Madden twice, once as the Colts and once as the Saints, and both times the game went down to the final seconds. When I played as the Colts, the Saints won 31-28, when I played as the Saints, the Colts won 20-17. Yes, I suck at Madden. The important thing is, every possible simulation I've run of the Super Bowl has yielded a very close and very entertaining contest. Given that, I'm ready to make my Super Bowl pick, and it is....
COLTS 31, SAINTS 29
Strange as it sounds, I'm pretty convinced that this game is going to come down to clock management. I think the Colts are going to score late in the game and the Saints are also going to score late in the game, because neither of these defenses are good enough to stop these very good offenses from scoring when they really, really need to. It's going to be about making sure you are the last team to score. I think the Colts have a knack for that. They seem to always have the ball last, especially in close games. I base that on absolutely nothing except anecdotal evidence, but the way I see this game playing out is that the Saints score late to take the lead, but leave about 1:30 on the clock, which is enough time for Peyton Manning to get the Colts the game winning score.
One thing is for sure, in a way we'll all be winners today as long as we watch the cheerleaders. Colts cheerleaders and their white leather chaps vs. Saints cheerleaders and their sparkly gold miniskirts and black hooker boots. Now that's super!
- Warren Sapp has been arrested on domestic violence charges and will be pulled from NFL Network's Super Bowl coverage. The incident happened in a Miami Beach hotel. The victim said she had been "partying" with Sapp and his friends. I am surprised that beating up a hooker counts as "domestic" violence?
- The NFL named its 2010 Hall of Fame Class. Leading the class are Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith. So this was a big weekend for Dancing With the Stars Alumni, 2 of them got elected to the HOF, and another got arrested for beating up a hooker and breaking up their happy home in a cocaine filled Miami Beach hotel room. Former Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson, Vikings DT John Randle, Redskins O lineman Russ Grimm, and old timers Floyd Little and Dick LeBeau are also going in.
- It looks like the Jags are going to release Torry Holt. Holt had 51 catches last year, and he's really not THAT old. I'm thinking the Bears reunite him and Mike Martz next year. At least I'm hoping they do.
- A pretty entertaining Merseyside Derby yesterday. Two red cards were handed out, one to each team, and Liverpool continued to right their ship with a 1-0 win over Everton. Dirk Kuyt had the goal on header. Liverpool has now gone 7 straight in the EPL without a defeat, with 6 of those being shutouts. Couple that with Spurs only being able to manage a scoreless draw at home against Aston Villa, and Liverpool has vaulted themselves into 4th place, which is the final Champions League qualifying spot.
- Man U is the current holders of the very transient 1st place spot following their 5-0 beatdown of broke ass Portsmouth in a complete mismatch at Old Trafford. Pompey scored 3 own goals, probably figuring that since their club can't afford to pay them, they may as well start scoring on themselves.
- Chelsea will try and make United's stay at the top a very short one when they take on 3rd place Arsenal in a big clash at Stamford Bridge today. Chelsea is currently engulfed in a media circus in which John Terry is the bearded lady, which I talked about on Friday. They trail United by 1 point. Arsenal needs this win badly after getting thumped by United last week. They are 7 points off the lead and Liverpool is closing in on them for 3rd place, which is significant because 3rd place gets an automatic spot in Champions League group play, while 4th has to play a qualifying match.
- US team member Jozy Altidore got his first EPL goal yesterday for Hull City in their 2-1 upset win over Man City. The loss was a really bad one for City, as Hull are bottom feeders and City is trying to play themselves into the Champions League.
- The top 3 in La Liga were all in action yesterday, and all 3 won. League leaders Barca got goals from Messi and Xavi in a 2-1 win over Getafe. They stay unbeaten despite two of their guys getting sent off with red cards. Real Madrid stayed 5 points back with a 3-0 walk in the park over Espanyol, getting goals from Sergio Ramos, Kaka, and Gonazlo Higuain. Valencia got goals Ever Banega and David Villa in a 2-0 win over Valladolid.
- Juventus may have a new coach, but they still are a disaster. Their latest bumbling performance was a 1-1 draw at 16th place Livorno yesterday. Juve is in danger of falling out of European play entirely, as they are currently in the last qualifying spot for the second tier Europa League, but could fall out of that today. Serie A leaders Inter have already played today, easily disposing of Cagliari 3-0 with goals from Goran Pandev, Walter Samuel, and Milito. 2nd place AC Milan is more concerned with holding off AS Roma than they are with catching Inter, and they had a bad result today, a scoreless draw at 14th place Bologna. Red hot Roma can leapfrog Milan for 2nd place later today if they can get a win at Fiorentina.
- A couple lesser European leagues are starting to really tighten up. Ligue 1 leaders Bordeaux were blitzed 4-2 by Stade Rennes yesterday, and now lead second place Montepellier by just 3 points. Montpellier beat Boulougne 2-0 yesterday. They were promoted following the 2009 season and are now threatening to win the league. Meanwhile, in Germany Bayern Munich has caught Bayer Leverkusen on top of the Bundesliga. Bayern won at defending champs Wolfsburg 3-1, while Leverkusen could manage only a 1-1 draw at 14th place VFL Bochum. Schalke lurks in 3rd place just 3 points back.