I woke up this morning and it felt like Christmas. It’s Super Bowl Sunday. The day that the last year has built up to. Ever since Eli Manning and the New York Giants slew the dragon that was Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Phoenix in Super Bowl XLII, everything that has happened has gravitated towards this moment.
Sure, my team isn’t in Super Bowl XLIII, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be excited to watch it. It’s the teams that have survived the grind that is the NFL season. And the storylines are pretty damn good as well.
In one corner, we have the Arizona Cardinals. Long the laughingstock of the league, they appear to be today’s team of destiny. Kurt Warner has revitalized himself in the desert along with Edgerrin James, while they are joined by Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, two of the young stars of today’s NFL. Will Boldin’s much publicized sideline spat with offensive coordinator Todd Haley provide a distraction? If the Cardinals win, is Haley guaranteed an NFL head coaching gig? With the Kansas City Chiefs? And then we have Ken Whisenhunt going against his former employers. Any bad blood there? And finally there is that Clancy Pendergast defense that has pretty much shocked the world in recent days. Out of all the Cardinals, I feel the most for Adrian Wilson. He’s the longest tenured Cardinal and the only one remaining from the 2001 team he joined. He deserves this. He wants this. It seems like the Cardinals deserve this. Another two words on why this is the Cardinals destiny: Pat Tillman.
But in the other corner stand the Pittsburgh Steelers and one of the best defenses of the modern era. Mike Tomlin‘s team looks nearly invincible. James Harrison and Troy Polamalu anchor the defense. This defense definitely rivals the Baltimore Ravens defenses of the early 2000s. Harrison is one of the top linebackers in the game and is a playmaker down to the core. Polamalu joins Ed Reed as the top safeties in the game, despite the fact they both have very different styles. The offense of Pittsburgh is very interesting. Can the offensive line protect Ben Roethlisberger? They’ll have to if they want to win. Big Ben has one of the most underrated receiving corps in the NFL with Hines Ward, Nate Washington, and Santonio Holmes. By the way, you’re almost guaranteed to say Holmes’ name at some point today. He’s a playmaker. He’ll make a play. The Steelers will also have to bring Willie Parker and the running game as well. If they want to contend.
Both teams make strong cases. But finally, my pick.
My pick: I’m taking ARIZONA by a score of 27-21. Super Bowl XLIII MVP: Larry Fitzgerald with 7 catches, 148 yards, 2 TDs.
As for who I am rooting for, I’m split 50-50. I’m an NFC guy and I love an underdog, so part of me has to side with the Cardinals. On the other hand, I’m a Baltimorean who absolutely cannot stand the Ravens. Seeing the Ravens fans crying in their Natty Boh for another year would be great. But alas, I cannot have both, so I’ll take indifference. Hell, I just want a good game.