It’s Super Sunday.
T-minus three hours or so to kickoff.
And, I’ll be honest, I’m not watching the pregame show.
It’s testament to the prominence of the sport that Fox can justify four and a half hours of pregame content, which doesn’t even factor what airs on ESPN and NFL Network throughout the day. But by this time, I’ve heard virtually everything there is to hear about this game. I need to step away.
I mentioned this to my mother, who is back home on the couch with my father, watching college basketball. By backtracking through our Super Sundays as a family, we realized that more often than not, we’d built up to the big game with other games, rather than chatter.
Besides, I’ve wasted so much time stewing over this game and my prediction for it that I’ve ensured a long post-game night of catching up with tasks and obligations that await here at my desk.
See, when it comes to predicting this game, I always go against the distracted team. When Eugene Robinson followed a trek to Biscayne Blvd. with a sleepless night in custody nine years ago, I knew his Falcons were fried against the Broncos. When Barrett Robbins went across the border prior to Super Bowl XXXVII against Tampa Bay, the same thing.
Now, we have allegations of systemic chicanery leveled against the New England Patriots, which according to various reports, now encompass the preparations and walk-throughs prior to the XXXVIth edition of this game against the St. Louis Rams.
Is that a similar distraction?
The Patriots have been dealing with similar chatter all year.
In predicting this game, I’m distancing myself from my own personal feelings about the allegations revolving around the Patriots. This is a passionless pick about what might happen:
Patriots 41, Giants 21.
But I wouldn’t mind being wrong, as I have been for every Giants playoff game this winter.
OTHER PICKS FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE:
MIKE RICE, NEWSRADIO 850 KOA: New England, 34-24.
KYLE MONTGOMERY, BRONCOTALK: Championship games often come down to the better defense and the superior running game. Both teams are great in both places. But one team has Tom Brady, and one has Eli Manning. Patriots 31, Giants 28.
JOHN BENA, MILE HIGH REPORT:: New England, 34-20. There is just no way I can close my eyes and picture Roger Goodell handing the Vince Lombardi trophy to Eli Manning instead of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. While entertaining, this game will come down to a few key third downs, a couple of red-zone plays and a huge turnover, all plays the Patriots seem to make, especially in the Super Bowl. Close throughout, but never really in question.
JONATHAN DOUGLAS, BRONCOTALK: Giants, 35-33.
Enjoy the game.