I think the picks of Christina Aguilera and Black-Eyed Peas are terrible. I would have liked to have seen Goodell draw from the Old People Well one more time considering The Cars have a new album out this March. I personally would have also loved to see a hardcore group like No Innocent Victim or Jesus Wept get a shot. Aguilera seems a little washed-up to be doing the anthem. She can belt it out but don’t the less popular artists usually do the Pro Bowl? Or Arena Bowl?
I think it’s absurd to think that Pittsburgh will have any kind of “disrespect” chip on their shoulder because they are underdogs. If they turn on the tape, and this is if they are still underdogs by kick-off, they’ll see why Vegas – which puts stock into what you’ve done lately – has Green Bay favored. The Steelers scratched by the Ravens in a game where three turnovers (two of which were careless) were strongly capitalized on by their offense but two other long scoring drives had some help from poor officiating. Then, they then were able to get a few crucial first downs on offense a week later in the second half in a game which their defense almost gave away. Tomlin himself admitted he was going to allow Ben to try to get that last first down, not just because he trusts Roethlisberger, but also because he didn’t want to give the ball back to the Jets.
I absolutely think you have to factor the season as a whole and I thought two things most of the year: 1. I ranked the Steelers tops all season; I ranked them #1 until late in the year, NO@BAL, when I mistakenly got sucked into believing Cam Cameron was a real offensive coordinator; Even then, I only bumped the Steelers down to #2; 2. I thought if the Steelers were to re-match with the Patriots, the true colors of the Patriots secondary and the Steelers pass rush would show up strongly with Lebeau redeeming himself.
All that being said, it’s impossible to ignore how well Green Bay performed on both sides of the ball in two of the three playoff games. The 2010 Packers are the first NFL team to lose six games in a season and have all six losses be by four points are fewer. The betting action could also help move the line.
I examined a lot of the commercials already and am amazed at the complete lack of intriguing pitch-people: Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Danica Patrick, Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa, Roseanne Barr, and Ozzy Osbourne will be featured this year. Absolutely none of those stars interest me. I’ve already discussed my issues with the music.
The main dish is still football. This is a match-up between Green Bay with the most titles and Pittsburgh with the most rings. For predicting the game itself, you have to throw away the historical stats because – even if you point to the Steelers 37-36 win against Green Bay in 2009 – these are different, (and compared to 2009) better teams. Both of these quarterbacks have the Michael Vick-qualities of escapability and the propensity to throw on the run. Being a Ravens fan and living in Minnesota, I’m close to the rivalries both of these teams’ divisions have. Frankly, the Bengals, Ravens, Vikings, Browns, and Bears represent five fan bases that will tuning in out of utter disgust for their rivals. I would argue the Steelers are probably the second most universally-hated team in the NFL next to the Cowboys and just recently re-claiming the spot the Patriots have held. They are back in the second spot not because of Harrison or Roethlisberger, but because the Patriots haven’t been having the success the Steelers have. This can create an even more powerful rooting interest than some “feel good” story like the Saints last year.
Millions will tune into the Super Bowl because of the tradition and because it’s an event everyone will talk about. The NFL has the longest off-season of any sport so it’s often best for the league’s overall presence in the public’s consciousness. By being single-elimination, it also has just 60 minutes of play to deliver memorable moments. Lately, it has delivered. The last seven Super Bowls have all been competitive into the fourth quarter. The last three have had a striking, decisive play late in the game: the Tyree catch on the game-winning drive for the New York Giants, the tight-wire Santonio Holmes catch for Pittsburgh and the pix-six Tracy Porter delivered to break up the offensive shootout for New Orleans.