FIRE JOE MORGAN: In-Depth, Substantive Super Bowl Analysis Right Here!


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Monday, February 05, 2007


In-Depth, Substantive Super Bowl Analysis Right Here!

Title is totally inaccurate.

Let's instead look at Bill Simmons' Super Bowl pick from last week, with the obvious caveat that picks are meaningless and no one that I know of guesses the future with any sort of impressive accuracy.


As for the big game, I'm picking the Bears and taking the seven points. Here's why:

1. As I mentioned Thursday, everyone in Miami seems to be handing the trophy to the Colts already. ... Um, didn't we learn this lesson already from the Saints-Bears game? You never want to be on the same side as the gambling majority. Ever.

Not a football reason.

2. The Bears are staying near the airport (not near anything), while the Colts are staying closer to the beach (and closer to all the trouble). That makes it about 20 times as likely that an Indianapolis Colt will be this year's winner of the Stanley Wilson/Eugene Robinson Award and distract his team in the process. I can't take the chance.

Not football-related.

3. It's been said a kajillion times, but how can anyone be sold on this Colts defense? Against the Chiefs, the Colts stacked the line against LJ and just made Herm Edwards and Trent Green try to beat them. Against the Ravens, they didn't even have to stack the line because Jamal Lewis is so freaking slow, so they concentrated on forcing Steve McNair to make mistakes (and he obliged). Against the Patriots, they gave up 34 points and it would have been more if Troy Brown didn't get flagged for that illegal pick and the fourth-quarter interference against Reche Caldwell had been called. Now you have a Bears team that can pound the ball with two running backs AND has the receivers to throw deep. I know the Colts will stack the line and force Grossman to beat them, but teams have been doing that against the Bears all season -- they always seem to make two or three big plays.

Kudos. Football. Ended up being wrong, but still: football.

4. Peyton Manning's record in big games: Not so good. A little better recently, but still ... not so good. I'd like to see him win one title at the college or pro level before I'm laying seven points with him in a Super Bowl game.

Not really football.

5. Remember when the 2003 Yankees outlasted the Red Sox in that seven-game bloodbath and had nothing left for the Marlins series because it was like they had already played their World Series? I'm not saying the same thing will definitely happen here, but it's worth mentioning the Letdown Potential here. The Colts and their fans just spent the past two weeks breaking out the popsicles and doing the "we finally made it" routine. Meanwhile ...

Baseball. Bullshit Capitalized Theory Reference (Letdown Potential).

6. The Bears just went 15-3, made the Super Bowl and then had to spend the next two weeks hearing everyone take shots at their QB and give them little to no chance of winning the game. They have all the makings of being one of those teams that pulls off a mild upset in a championship game and spends the next few days telling everyone stuff like "Nobody believed in us!" and "The only people who believed we could do it were the people in this locker room," followed by everyone getting annoyed that they won't shut up that nobody believed in them. But it's kind of true. Nobody believes in the Bears. That's the best motivating force in sports. It really is.

Psychology. Come to think of it, 5 was also psychology.

Well, I believe in the Bears from Chicago. I see this being one of those Super Bowls that's crappy and disjointed for most of the first half, followed by a point explosion right near halftime and one of those second halves when the teams just trade scores (like the Pats-Panthers Super Bowl). And in those games, either team can win, right? So here are my predictions.

A. Chicago 33, Indianapolis 30.

B. Thomas Jones for MVP.

C. The greatest Manning Face of all-time.

D. A new record for "nobody believed in us" quotes.

E. A dead heat with the Sports Gal (she's one game ahead of me and picking the Colts) that can only be decided with the one sporting event that best determines whether you have a gambling problem: The 2007 Pro Bowl. I'm already giddy.

Of course A. was going to be wrong. No one gets those right. They're a semi-fun (ok, not really fun) waste of time. B. through E. also wrong. Congrats, Sports Guy!


Just wanted to add that we all understand that hey, Bill Simmons isn't really even a sports analyst, per se. It's almost gotten to the point where criticizing him for his sports-related opinions is like criticizing Andy Rooney's political stances. It's beside the point. He's going for "light," "fun," "entertaining," "pop-culture-y," "fizzy" -- understood. That's why we don't write about him that much.

My question is: how long until he turns into Rick Reilly?

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posted by Junior  # 4:04 PM
From reader Zachary:

What's even stupider about point #5 in that column is that the natural comparison for that rivalry would be 2004, when the Red Sox staged a comeback to finally knock off their hated rival (who had owned them until that point) and then went on to utterly destroy their championship competitor who came from a clearly inferior league/conference. What do you know, just like 2004, the team from the better league/conference won? Of course, Simmons would never compare the Colts to the Red Sox...

Good point, Zachary.
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