The Super Bowl has become our nation’s sports holiday. I remember as a kid that the early Super Bowls were not treated in this manner, but Super Bowl Sunday has become the biggest one-day sports event in the United States.
The Super Bowl has become the “event” to watch each and every year no matter who is playing, and a host of folks are involved in “number pools” that keep the gambling element in play.
But this Super Bowl is historic.
Last week the headlines were dominated by the power struggle of the Tom Benson family for control of Benson’s money and the two teams he owns, the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. The other major news item was all about “DeflateGate” concerning under-inflated footballs used when the New England Patriots took on the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game.
It took away from something that you will never see again in your lifetime.
The head coaching/quarterback combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are playing in their sixth Super Bowl.A few years back in an interview before Super Bowl XLVI between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, I told Fox Sports broadcaster Jennifer Hale that we would not live long enough to see a quarterback and a head coach play in five Super Bowls.
I was reminded of that comment last week as Brady and Belichick once again team up on Super Bowl Sunday.
We have seen some great quarterback/head coach combinations like the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach and Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys and the 49ers duo of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana, but none of them were together for six Super Bowls.
Belichick and Brady are also playing in the commuter world of free agency, the other combinations didn’t have that in play when they got to play in their Super Bowls.
The Patriots are 3-2 in Super Bowls, but consider the fact that they were two passes away from being 5-0. It took a great catch by David Tyree from Eli Manning to defeat them in one Super Bowl and a tipped pass just inches away from tight end Rob Gronkowski on the final play of Super Bowl XLVI to defeat them in the other.
And this year the New England Patriots have pieced together a defense that in many ways resembles the team they are playing in the Seattle Seahawks.
While Brady and Belichick have been the constant duo in New England, the Patriots have also been able to create turnovers on defense during that span.
It is the most important statistic in football today.Since 2006, the Patriots are a whopping plus 122 in the giveaway/takeaway category.
They have been on the plus side of this most important stat since 2006, and been on the plus-side, double-digit wise, five out of the last nine years.
Consider the fact that the New Orleans Saints under Sean Payton have been on the plus side of the giveaway/takeaway ratio just twice.
They did it in 2012 when Payton was suspended for the year due to the BountyGate issue, and again when the Saints won the Super Bowl in 2009.
The Seahawks are a very dangerous football team, but this weekend I pick the Patriots to win.
Whatever you might think of Bill Belichick, he is indeed the best coach of our generation, and Tom Brady is the best quarterback of our generation.