Super Cold XLVIII – Why in the world are we playing the Super Bowl in an outdoor stadium?

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It’s been the elephant in the room for months now. When people say that “The {Insert mediocre/bad team} are going to go all the way this year”, there’s been one lingering question… how will they do at Metlife Stadium in the frigid cold? Will they mess up because they’re a warm weather or dome team, be great because they live in Sumas, Washington, the northernmost point in the US, or be okay because they’re from some city that doesn’t have some huge weather difference. 

But it leads me to this question… why would they have it in New Jersey in the first place? There are a bunch of reasons not to have it there – the weather, the location, the fan experience, the soulless stadium, it’s NEW JERSEY – shouldn’t that be enough? The argument for this stadium may seem smart. “It’s the same as Indianapolis.” “It’s the NFL’s response to 9/11 to do something for New York” “It’ll be like the winter classic”. The first argument for Indianapolis is fine. However, there have been great chances for the NFL to do stuff like this. The NFL could’ve made a donation to some 9/11 fund of some sort. I’m not trying to be insensitive –  although it’ll be great for the city monetarily, it just won’t be a great experience for the fans (although seeing Wilson or Manning go short-sleeved would be really funny.)

Many have made the argument for it being like the Winter Classic. However, let’s compare them side by side. The Winter Classic is a minor event with little to no effect on the regular season or playoffs, and only happens once a year. The Super Bowl is america’s biggest sporting event, biggest monetary gain for the NFL, cold weather is not a rare occurrence, and the most important game of the year. There’s a difference there.

I love New York, and it’s one of the world’s greatest, if not the greatest city in the world. But putting the game in a dome or a warm weather city would make this easier for everybody.

 

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Why Bill Belichick is Coach of the Year

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Since the theme as of lately has seemed to be 2001, let’s have another flashback to then. That was the year the Patriots won their first Super Bowl with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick at the helm of the ship. Thirteen years later, the dynasty has remained.

But how have they remained at the top for so long if they have been around for so long? New tends to eventually wipe out the old in sports, and in life. However, this hasn’t happened yet. For the past two years, people have said that the reason the Pats were succeeding so late in time was because of Wes Welker, Vince Wilfork, Rob Gronkowski, Shane Vereen and Aaron Hernandez.

This offseason, Welker signed with the Broncos, Hernandez was arrested on murder charges, Vince Wilfork was injured early on, Shane Vereen played half the season, and Gronkowski played for 7 games with an injury, then promptly tore his ACL. This, was the end, surely, right? But no. It worked, and New England got the two seed this year.

So, how then? To fully understand, you have to go back to Bill Walsh’s creation of the West Coast offense, which was a system in which you can put anybody anywhere, and as long as they understood what to do, it consistently worked. And even though that’s been around since the eighties, nobody except Bill Walsh has truly used it any better.

But that’s a hard task for a coach. It really is. So to do what he does, even with the system, with what he has – a quarterback and an offensive line – he deserves that award more than anybody does.

The hardest (and easiest) sports to watch

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Okay, raise your hand if you watched The Masters. The whole thing.

Okay, now raise your hand if you just watched the final day.

Raise your hand if you only watched the last hour. (Me).

I was thinking about this as I extended all my CBS primetime shows by an hour… who can really sit down and watch 4 days of golf? I mean, really? Who can even watch one day? So I thought that, hey – people might say that about baseball, which led me here. So, without any further ado, my sports that are the easiest and hardest to watch.

FOOTBALL: Okay, the game is fine – it’s timed, it can be exciting, it’s unpredictable, and they play through any weather. Here’s the real problem I have with it. It’s three hours. No, not the game. It’s a mere 60 minutes. Which means there are 120 minutes of assorted timeouts, breaks and stoppages. Which stinks. If you watch a game of football, only 33% is actually them playing the game. Which makes it different from any other sport – in quite a bad way. And also, who can really watch they 1 and a half yard gains being cross-analyzed without going insane?

BASKETBALL: It’s all great.  It’s an hour less than football. It’s excitement, dunks, fun, a person who is new can pick it up fairly easily, and there is never a true stop in the action. Unless the game is close. And you know what comes after that – intentional fouls. Which lead to foul shots.  And after that, there are timeouts. Which mean 2 minutes turn into 4. And 4 minutes turn into 8. So when the game ends, the clock has been below a minute for 6 minutes. Which makes me repeatedly bang my head against whatever hard surface I can get to.

HOCKEY: There aren’t really stops. There’s only one timeout. It’s high scoring. There’s no problem!! Except for this. Ice hockey is very tiring. So the games take 2 and a half hours. The other problem I have with it is that I can’t really see the puck. It moves very fast, and unless you have been trained to watch hockey all of your life, it’s really hard to follow. Like, really hard.

SOCCER: No stops except for one. Constant action. Timed games. Brilliant plays. Easy to pick up.  Fun to watch if you understand it. And if the games matter. So have we found our golden game? The only visible problem I can find with it is faking injuries. Aside from that, I think this could be it…

BASEBALL: Baseball, is actually rather hard to watch. It is very hard to interpret if you don’t know the game, and has no time frame, but still many commercial breaks. Plus the bullpen calls. And it can get tedious. So unless you know the game and like it, you can really love to hate it.

GOLF: Okay, with no offense to golf, with tournaments, unless you are a golf fanatic, really, are you going to watch every second of the Masters? Now how about the Shell Houston Open? Hmm….

And now, the official Sports According to Will list of HARDEST SPORTS TO WATCH (6 is hardest to watch, 1 is easiest)

6. Golf

5. Baseball

4. Hockey

3. Football

2. Basketball

1. Soccer

So could the theory be that the simpler the game, the easier it is to watch? Maybe…

This is just me, so tell me about you if you want to!

Sincerely,

The Sports According to Will Information Bureau. (A.K.A. me)

JOE COOL

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Ray Lewis has gone out a champion. But that’s not the image we’ll be seeing on sportscenter. Joe Flacco has lead his team to a super bowl win. He’s graduated from the quarterback who just couldn’t take his team all the way. The game was an incredible one with the power outage bringing the 49ers back to life, but somehow the Ravens held on.

The Ravens have had a long and winding road to this one. It’s been tough with lots of criticism, injuries and wondering. But now that it’s over, you now have to start asking questions – how did Joe Flacco manage to do this? Just a little while ago, he was that quarterback who simply couldn’t finish. Now he ended up with an MVP trophy. He has become more and more confident, helping his game improve.

I’ll admit, I got the pick wrong. But that is the beauty of sports. It’s unpredictable and you can’t call anything until it happens. There are miracles. The 49ers were a better team all season, and the Ravens simply got hot.

They plowed through the 49ers during the first half, leaving them at 28-6 before the power outage before the 49ers rallied to bring it within 2 points. But Joe Flacco crossed the line from good to great to elite. He stayed cool and collected and took them down the field to put them 5 points up. The end came soon for the Niners.

Congratulations, Joe.

Welcome to the club.

The pregame hype was all about Lewis. But the game was all Flacco.

The pregame hype was all about Lewis. But the game was all Flacco.

Super Selection, Quarter by Quarter

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I promised I would do it! And with a mere five hours left in my time span, I have done it. So without any further ado, my Super Bowl pick.

QUARTER 1:
After a 3 and 1/2 hour long pre game dance and 4 and 1/2 hours crying on the field after the star spangled banner, Ray Lewis finally agrees to walk off the field to start the game with a kickoff to the 49ers. They get off to a fast start, hitting two or three long passes, but failure in the red zone leaves them with a field goal – 3-0 49ers. The Ravens get the ball for the first time, and it’s clear what their game plan is – Ray Rice. Rice continues to smash through the hole and Flacco hits Boldin for less than five yards for the touchdown, putting the Ravens up at 7-3. Colin Kapernick adds a whole other dimension to this game, and starts proving it in a no-huddle, run, pass or QB draw drive only taking two minutes to reach the end zone with a 15 yard Kapernick throw to Vernon Davis, in which he does the famous bible kiss. The Ravens will get it back but end up punting, giving the 49ers the first possession of…

QUARTER 2:
The 49ers, however fall to a three and out with a Lewis sack of Kapernick, which will be his only sack of the night. The Ravens will get 2 first downs, but not enough to extend the drive. The 49ers will take a long, methodical drive down the field, mostly with Frank Gore runs, ending in a field goal, putting the game score at 13-7. Flacco takes the Ravens to the 50 or so, but throws a pick and the 49ers take possesion at the Ravens’ 40. Akers takes a 55 yard try, but misses. The Ravens, however, do not squander their chance and put the game within 3 points, at 13-10 right before halftime.

During halftime, Beyonce will freeze up and break down – never to sing again, and the medics will prove she was a robot all along. A last gasp attempt of replacing her with Justin Bieber also doesn’t work, because he breaks down too.

QUARTER 3:

The Ravens receive the ball with a touchback. Flacco decides he needs to pick up the pace, and after three fifteen yard games, he bombs the ball to Smith for a 45 yard touchdown reception. 17-13 becomes the score. The 49ers pick up the ball at their own 30, but do literally nothing. The same happens for the rest of the quarter. Let’s hope there are some good ads that quarter.

QUARTER 4: The Ravens can’t squeeze out a touchdown or a field goal after going wide left from a 49 yard try. The 49ers end up punting. The Ravens punt, which looks hopeful for San Fran. But, coming up a yard short forces them to do the exact same thing. All the Ravens have to do is get one score, but they can’t. The 49ers get the ball with 2:30 to go. Kapernick fires one pass, then another, then Kapernick runs it through for the touchdown with 15 seconds to go. For the first time in Super Bowl history, there is

OVERTIME: The Ravens get the ball first and manage to put in a field goal. It’s just one defensive stop. Don’t let them score and they win. The Ravens force the 49ers to 4th and 6 at their own 30 yard line. Nobody is open. So after a miracle block from Frank Gore, Kapernick runs 35 yards for a first down and possession in Ravens territory. After Frank Gore runs for 2 first downs, it’s 1st and 10 at the Ravens 22. A 22 yard pass to Vernon Davis seals the deal.

Colin Kapernick and the 49ers walk off gloriously. The final score: 49ers, 27. Ravens, 23. Your super bowl MVP is Colin Kapernick.

And so begins the baseball waiting.

Judgement Day for Flacco and Ryan

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RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK, NEW YORK; APRIL 26th, 2008.

“With the third pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select Matt Ryan, from Boston College.”
“With the eighteenth pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Joe Flacco, from The University of Deleware.”

And so began an era. After two failures at the QB position, two fired coaches, it was time.

All of the sudden, the Ravens & Falcons were in the playoffs, one year later. The Ravens were one win away from the Super Bowl, and the Falcons were defeated in the wild card round – a disappointing end, but a promising future. The next year, the Falcons missed the playoffs, but ended with a winning record. The Ravens made the playoffs, and lost in the Divisional Round. In 2010, they both made the playoffs, but they failed to move past the divisional round, another sad end to a promising season. The Ravens came within a missed field goal last year, but the Falcons couldn’t get past the wild-card round.

So now it’s time.

After all of those losses, people have said – “They don’t have playoff experience”, or that they are “Still young – maybe next year”. Well, this is next year.

Ryan finally jumped the Hurdle of getting a playoff win, and the Ravens made a huge upset over the Broncos, but that doesn’t matter anymore. In all honesty, these two games are the second-most important of the season. Here’s the thing though – in some of these wins for Flacco, he was dismal. Other times, he was great. Ryan hasn’t been so good in his playoff games either, except for that last one.

But they need to finally prove they can lead their team to a Super Bowl. The promising season is this season. In all honesty, if they can’t do it this year, I don’t think they can do it at all.

They have their playoff experience, they are at their prime. This game could define an entire career –

They had better not mess it up.

Should RG3 have been on the bench? The answer is no.

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It’s in, and as it looks, it’s bad. RG3 has not only a partial tear in his ACL, but also his LCL. He is badly hurt, and may not start in NFL Kickoff 2013. Which brought everybody to the million dollar question – after hurting himself, should’ve he been on the bench?

The answer, in short, is no. Don’t get me wrong, Pierre Garćon, Alfred Morris, London Fletcher, DeAngelo Hall and many more made huge contributions to the Redskins in 2012. But while Alfred Morris doesn’t get enough attention, or the rest of those guys, the backbone of the team is RG3.

Here are three reasons you keep RG3 on the field.

1. RG3 is a clutch player. He can come up big in big situations. He will not be taken off the field unless you force him, or his injury is too unbearable, and with him, you never know when something amazing is about to happen.

2. When Rob Gronkowski broke his arm, Bill Belichick said that he wasn’t going to tell somebody else to go in on the play – you go break your arm! If Cousins was on the field during that snap, chances are, he might’ve torn an ACL or LCL too!

3. Redskins fans would hate it, and football would hate it. If the Redskins lost that game with RG3 on the sideline, everyone would’ve been screaming at Shanahan anyhow. The Redskins needed him on the field. He’s not only a physical booster, but he’s a morale booster.It makes the Redskins have hope.

I understand he was hurt, and he needed help. His leg had been a problem, and it should’ve been taken care of more cautiously. But think. You can’t blame Shanahan for keeping him in – of all the things to happen, a bad snap was one of the least likely.

Fate took an ugly twist with RG3. Very, very ugly.

RG3 goes down after a bad snap (Yahoo! Sports)