With a mere 4 days before Super Bowl XLVI, I am hungry and thirsty already. Bring on the buffalo flavored everything and the cool filtered anything, and shut your mouths during the commercials. I’m trying to listen.
This year’s match up has a few interesting storylines, not the least of which is who will win:
Eli v. Payton: It’s the classic struggle between big brother and little brother. It’s the ultimate competition for bragging rights at the next big Manning family reunion. Payton has one ring and a long history of playoff futility. Eli has a chance for his 2nd ring in 4 years, and has gained a reputation as a clutch playoff performer. Regardless of the outcome, the real winner is Archie Manning, father of both players and former QB for the team that first inspired their fans to wear brown paper bags over their heads. The guy passed along some pretty strong genetic code.
The 99% v. the 1%: Big Blue, the NY Giants, personify a working class ethic. They play in a stadium best known as Jimmy Hoffa’s final resting place. The biggest star in their history was arrested last year for soliciting a minor for sex, and their best receiver from the last Super Bowl went to prison after he shot himself in the leg at a nightclub. You can’t get more blue collar than that. Contrast that with the Pats, with their pretty boy quarterback, his supermodel wife and their Dr. Evil coach. The Pats are synonymous with cheating (Spygate) and unfair rules designed to benefit them (the Tuck Rule). That’s pretty 1% if you ask me.
Business Casual v. Casual Dress: Bill Belichick favors the hooded sweatshirt and looks like he just rolled out of bed after a night of drunken revelry. Tom Coughlin represents an older generation with greater respect for the game and his employer. His clothes are pressed and washed. Gen X and Y believe that results matter, not what you wear. The Traditionalists and the Boomers think what you wear demonstrates a level of respect sorely lacking in today’s workplace. It’s a battle for the ages, pun intended.
Yankees v. Red Sox: Yes, this is football, but the passionate regional hatred carries over from hard ball to pigskin. New York hates New England, and for New England, the feeling towards New York is mutual. I wouldn’t be surprised if Derek Jeter was the Giants’ honorary captain, and Pedro Martinez did the honors for the Patriots.
Angry Unsmiling Coach v. Angry Unsmiling Coach: At the end of the evening, one angry unsmiling coach will be transformed into a happy unsmiling coach. The other certainty is that win or lose, Tom Coughlin’s job security will still be tenuous during the 2012 season.
XLII v. XLVI: In February 2008, these same NY Giants ruined the Pats chance at immortality via a Perfect Season of 19-0. The rosters have changed but the quarterbacks and coaches have not. Brace yourself for endless comparisons between the 2 games. The result on Sunday will be seen as vindication that XLII was a fluke if the Pats win, and confirmation that XLII was legitimate if the Giants win.
At the end of the day, some things will not be settled regardless of who wins the game. The biggest question will still remain – is Brett Favre really retired for good this time?
Two things are for certain, however – Giants 27 – Pats 22, and Tim Tebow gets 127 mentions during the 6 hours of pregame analysis. Book it.