Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Super Bowl XLIX: New England vs. That Team From Somewhere Out West.

Wait, what? 

Let me get this straight: You’re saying that, down two touchdowns with three minutes to go, the Seattle Seahawks still managed to defeat the storied Packers of Titletown by six points? 

You mean to tell me, after 57 minutes of offensive ineptitude, our boys in blue managed to dig their talons into their ruffled tail feathers and extract a big, jagged “W” from the depths of their musky undercarriages? 


Seriously, I haven’t seen a comeback like that since Bill Cosby erased a 27-accusation deficit to exonerate himself, using nothing but Fat Albert and a complex Illuminati flowchart.

So, yeah, for the second consecutive year, our Hawks are swooping into the sporting world’s brightest spotlight, facing the New England Patriots in Superbowl XLIX. 

Last year, I got a little emotional about the whole thing. A lifelong Seattlite, I wallowed in Seattle’s dismal record as a major league city, whining about the dearth of championships during my half century here at the continental USA’s eleven o’clock. And this time, if I really wanted to, I could double down on the pity. After all, when compared with Boston’s storied past, this image comes to mind:

Well, screw that, because you know what? Who gives a baggy Bill Belichcik boob about the past? So what if the city of Boston has hoisted the chalice 34 times compared to Seattle’s five (including a Stanley Cup won five years after the Titanic went down). 

What matters is this game, and like any other game, it’s all about matchups. So let’s use our heads this time people, because our hearts will inevitably hitch a ride anyway. 

Here’s my take on the most intriguing micro-clashes when the two teams take the field a week from Sunday:

Tom Brady vs. Russell Wilson:

This isn’t Brady’s first rodeo. Married to a supermodel, changing his haircut more frequently than Belichick changes his underwear, the Foxborro Fox is comfortable in the limelight. Russ has his share of endorsements, but he’ll have to spend a little less time at Children’s Hospital and a little more at the Playboy Mansion to catch up with Brady.

Advantage: New England.

Vince Wilfork vs. Michael Bennett:

While both of these interior defenders display freakish athletic prowess, I’m not sure Wilfork could ride a bike in full pads without the aid of ski poles and his new friend, Jenny Craig.

Advantage: Seattle.

LaGarrette Blount vs. Marshawn Lynch:

Interestingly, Blount began the season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Unhappy over his playing time last November against Tennessee, he left the game early and was promptly released and signed a week later by the Patriots. Marshawn Lynch would rather invite ESPN to brunch than quit on his team.

Advantage: Seattle.

Bill Belichick vs. Pete Carroll:

I guess it depends on what you’re comparing. If we’re talking about who looks more like a smudgy hobbit and smells like a gamy casserole made of burned toast and chickpeas, well then—

Advantage: New England

Overall Team Branding:

Seattle’s isn’t complicated. They’re the Seahawks, a pissed off bird of prey who looks like he hasn’t eaten since this morning. The Patriot looks more like a guy who showed up at the Halloween party with the other white dude who lives on the Raider helmet. 

Plus, a patriot is more of a compliment than a mascot. They may as well be the New England Really Good Landscapers.

Advantage: Seattle.

Finally, here’s the thing. Most New Englanders don’t even know where Seattle is. If you ask, they’d say something like, “I have an aant in Paaatland. Isn’t that neeyah theyah?” 

At least we in the Northwest were able to point to Massachusetts on a map, even prior to the the ascension of its finest patriot—Mitt Romney.

Overall advantage: Seattle. Go Hawks.

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